Heroes – Acceptance (S04E04) – Episode review

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As the fourth season of Heroes sputters along, commentators are cynical about the ‘volume title’ they’re given the series. Redemption is hardly an appropriate word for a series that seems to be slowly choking to death on its own weaknesses.

The same old crew are back – the Peterellis, Noah and Clairebear Bennett, Parkman, Hiro and Ando and the numerous others. They’re joined in this series by a seemingly vengeful circus family, but four episodes in and we still have no idea who they want revenge upon.

More to the point, there are four or five disparate plot threads running at the same time, and not one of them is really causing much interest. The Sylar who believes he’s Nathan Petrelli continues to run, as ‘Nathan’ discovers he’s responsible for the death of a teenage girlfriend. Noah Bennett is depressed, jobless and soon to be divorced while adoptive daughter Claire still hasn’t found her purpose in this series. Matt Parkman is out in front for using his powers to send a potential lover for his wife packing – well, she can’t be trusted. In other news, Hiro is clearly dying in this series, but since nobody ever dies on Heroes, this storyline has nothing to interest us whatsoever.

So, fourth episode, Acceptance, continues the treadmill of Heroes episodes, but unfortunately nothing really happens. We learn nothing important about the characters, and the plots fail to move beyond what we already know. Acceptance was blatant filler, and as such was criminally missable.

I know Heroes-bashing is fashionable at the moment, but even the faithful are switching this show off in their droves. I had quite a good discussion with Dan Owen about this last week, when I suggested that the show might be better without the ever-recurring cast.

I have my own theory as to why the ratings are dropping – they continue to stick to the same old cast members haphazardly losing, gaining, struggling with their powers. It was proved to me when they went to ridiculous lengths to keep Ali Larter in the series.

I think the producers of Heroes see the value of the show in its cast, whereas I fell in love with a diverse bunch of characters who were forced to come together to prevent a massive disaster. For the last couple of seasons, I’d have rather seen an entirely new set of ‘heroes’ with new powers and none of the baggage and good/bad flip-flopping of the likes of Sylar.

Sure, Heroes launched quite a few careers, but it could pull this trick off once again if it wasn’t hampered by characters who should’ve disappeared after season 1.

If there was a high point of the Acceptance episode, it was Sylar rising from a shallow grave meant for Nathan Petrelli. One can only hope that he causes some mayhem in the fifth episode, but more than likely he’ll fritter away the entire episode with turgid introspection about the meaning his life. Yawn…

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