Does Heroes Need A Reboot?

Published 6 years ago by , Updated February 10th, 2012 at 8:43 am,

heroes s4 Does Heroes Need A Reboot?

Heroes‘ latest installment, Redemption didn’t exactly connect with its two-hour season premiere, pulling in just 6 million viewers. Even though a lot of our readers found the opening chapters to Redemption to be interesting and full of potential, the Nielsen figures seemed to dictate that Heroes‘ was trying to dust it self off too late, considering the show once pulled in 16 million viewers weekly.

After seeing last night’s episode, “Ink” (which was one the better episodes I’VE seen in the show’s four-year run), I found myself back on the fence, wondering if Heroes truly needs to be “rebooted” next season, or if the show simply needs more episodes like “Ink,” consistently, to lure viewers back into the fold.


In last night’s episode we saw Carnival ringmaster Samuel (Robert Knepper) head out on a mysterious mission to test Peter, bringing with him an equally mysterious blend of “magic ink.” Meanwhile, Claire tried to figure out how to handle exposing her powers to new girlfriend, Gretchen (Madeline Zima), while Parkman had an interesting tug-of-war for control of his mind with the psychic “ghost” of Sylar. Finally, Peter learned that there can be a downside to saving lives in this litigious society we live in, and we were introduced to a new hero, Emma, a deaf woman who can “see” sound as colored auras.

What I loved about “Ink” is that it was a timely example of Heroes at its best. The show is always operating at top form when it finds ways to shine an original and interesting light on tried and tested superhero conventions. The Claire storyline showed the young whiny girl we’re annoyed with actually growing up and becoming her own woman (thank god); the Parkman sequence with Sylar and that suspected drug dealer was probably the best Parkman storyline I’ve seen to date (no doubt in large part to Zachary Quinto); and the Peter crossing paths with Samuel storyline set up some major intrigue about who Samuel is (Good guy? Bad Guy? Bad guy with a twisted moral code?) and what role his Carnival will play.

And I don’t think I’m being sappy by saying that the scene with deaf hero Emma creating glorious music in the park using her “sight-sound” power was not only beautiful, but inspirational as well (ok, maybe I am being a bit sappy).

“Ink” had me feeling like I was back watching Season 1 of Heroes again. Every commercial break was like torture; I didn’t want that good feeling to be interrupted, and I certainly did not want the end credits to roll.

When we get episodes like this, it’s hard for me to argue that Heroes needs a fresh start.


…On the other hand, that scene with Emma in the park does lend some strong credit to the claim that Heroes would benefit from a “start from scratch” reboot approach next season. Emma discovering her power and the possibilities it opened up for her was the EXACT emotional bait that had us holding our collective breaths the first time Peter stepped off the edge of that roof believing he could fly – or clapping our hands like trained seals the first time Hiro successfully stopped time. Heroes made us believe that we too might one day discover that we are greater than the boundaries of our everyday lives – only that promise somehow got buried under the same geektastic cliches and conventions that’ve kept comic books regulated to fanboy circles.

One obvious benefit of starting Heroes over with a (largely) new cast of yet-undiscovered powers is that viewers (beyond the fanboy nation) could once again connect with these everyday people (like Emma), who discover something extraordinary about themselves. After introducing us to new possibilities, the showrunners could make the corrective step of wrapping the storylines for each character much sooner (discover their powers and decide what to do with them), freeing the show up to explore all over again with new characters, powers, perspectives and possibilities.

heroes peter and sylar Does Heroes Need A Reboot?

For those who are partial to certain characters, no worry: a reboot each season or two doesn’t mean the fan-favorites would have to be thrown out with the extraneous bits – just keep a few (2-3) familiar faces around as through-lines, and now and again (preferably during sweeps week) you could bring the whole gang (or most of them) back for a super-showdown climax. And, of course, cameos and guest-appearances by old friends would not only be welcome, but arguably a strong draw for the audience.

I’m still not sure, though… under the right creative direction (read: Bryan Fuller), even some tasty juice can get squeezed out of Parkman. That’s big, but how often will an episode like “Ink” come along this season?

Oh Heroes, I don’t yet know WHAT to think… How about you guys reading this? Should Heroes be rebooted or was last night’s episode a prime example of everything that can go right with this show?

Tune in to Heroes: Redemption Mondays @ 8/7c on NBC to get in on this debate. Check out Hulu or to catch up on the episodes already shown this season.

Peter/Sylar Image Source: TV Sky

TAGS: Heroes
Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. i guess they could use a reboot…or they can have good writers once aging…come on even the office has more comic book writers for there show then heroes… i just think they should reboot this season and start a new from here saying that the last 3 seasons where just preludes to this season and make this season like the first making use love the characters that we know and the new ones- and to have a goal to stop something from happening like they do every season…

  2. This is a Heroes reveiw i like usually you’re so anti-Heroes on this site;) I love Heroes (all seasons) and the idea of focussing the show on new characters and weeding out the old tierd ones is great. To be honest the guest stars are the real stars of Heroes (like Elle, Daphne, Doyle, Charlie, Linderman, Eden…) I sincerely hope that emma sticks around for a while and doesn’t get killed off before her time.

  3. They should have “rebooted” at the start of every season. A new batch of Heroes every year discovering their powers, crossing story arcs and saving the world. The Heroes from past seasons could have returned for cameos spots or what have you, but the formula of keeping everyone on year after year, especially characters who have exhausted their story potential (What the hell is Ali Larter still doing in this show?) is destroying everything fans used to love about these characters.

    Rant over.

  4. I thought last night’s episode was fantastic, and I was surprised how good the scenes with Parkman were. I feel he is the most overused and overrated character on the show. I would not be disappointed if by season’s end he was gone. I stated this in the other thread about Heroes: Sylar and Peter are the only 2 original Heroes that need to stay in the show. Everyone else, including Claire, is expendable. I LOVE the idea of introducing new Heroes to the show to keep things fresh, and I have a feeling that Claire’s new roomie is going to have a superpower surprise for us. So far, so good on the newest season of Heroes!!

  5. @LL: What!? I love Ali Larter! Especially as Tracy, Niki was a little “Eh” ;)

  6. I guess the ratings will kill the show. I suspect this is the last season. Maybe if they rebooted the show they would have to name it differently, like “New Heroes” or something to get people’s attention

  7. The writing has been great these last two weeks, I love the fact the series is getting more grounded again and it’s getting back to the original premise of the series. Which is great. Plus they’re playing up the psychological aspect of having super powers which I also like. I do think for Heroes to get back on the right track and re-emerge as a fresh series, they’re gonna need to start wrapping up the plotlines of the season 1 cast and expand and bring in new characters (without killing them the following volume like they did with Elle and the rest!). If they do decide to stick with the OG characters for the rest of the run, they can’t keep reverting back to what they used to be. The show’s all about evolving and moving forward, and for the series to keep going, the characters need that too. Unfortunately for Heroes, it’s now going up against HOUSE Monday nights at 8, which is a dick move on NBC’s part, it’s gonna get murdered. I have a feeling they just want the series to fail so they don’t have to shell out money for the demanding cast/effects budget. I mean, it’s NBC, they killed 5 hours worth of original programming to put on Jay Leno. Talk shows and reality tv are cheaper to produce than high grade dramatic/science fiction programming, and demand less brainpower from viewers. Anyway if the acting, writing/storytelling continues to improve, maybe the audience will come back, and hopefully get new viewers. I mean, LOST was dying in season 3 then just had a resurgence. Heroes needs that too.

  8. The season premiere DID keep me on the edge of my seat (don’t know about anyone else) but I liked the second episode of Season 4 a lot. But it’s gonna take more episodes of “Ink”s calibre to reaffirm my confidence in the show again. Here’s hoping that “Heroes” can truly redeem itself.

  9. Ali Larters characters make me sick to my stomach and i try to ignore every scene she is in lol shes pointless imo lol sorry Andy S

  10. The only good part of the last episode was the deaf woman. The whole part with sweaty Parkman, what, we’re gonna have to watch another 10 episodes of “No, i don’t wannnaaaaaaaaa use my powers”? Two episodes of that idiocy was quite enough.

    And as for Claire, “Boo boo i wanna be normal, boo boo boo” is making me sick.

    Why the hell make a tv show about superhumans who don’t want to use their powers?!

    Also, anyone noticed NOTHING HAPPENED this episode?

    The story is where we left it last week.

  11. So far Heroes Season 4 sucks. The only reason worth watching is Sylar. Other than that the program has gotten terrible. How the hell can you say “Ink” was a timely example of Heroes at its best. Let alone make you feel like you were watching season 1 again. Season 1 was the shows best. Season was worth watching, had what the show needed. Season 2 was good as well. Season went down hill. Season 4??? Like I said if it was an all Sylar season they could probably pull it off.

  12. Nothing has been the same since the writer’s strike…it’s a shame because there were a lot of really good shows that went to hell ever since then.

  13. ok I have to say that I am sold so far on the new season. I loved ink. I think you are right in that it was like watching season 1 again. I remember looking at the clock and realizing it was almost over and being shocked. I am excited for next week and it’s been a while since that happened. I think the focus of Ink was part of what made it. Instead of going 5 min on every character they focused on about a third of the cast for an episode. It really made a difference. If they keep this up they will find redemption. Now here’s to hoping they can stick with a story line.

  14. @Aaron

    I COMPLETELY agree with you!! Ali’s character needs to actually be taken off the show. She has no purpose, and all her story lines are just plain pointless and boring. I have no beef with the actress, just the horrible character she plays.

  15. Your idea of a reboot is a good idea. Maybe the problem is that the characters get stale and the audience gets bored with seeing the same powers over and over again.

  16. You’re talking about next season?!? Heroes will be lucky to survive to next month. This is already its third reboot. I don’t believe it deserves any more chances.

  17. Gotta agree with Forester…Heroes has been given enough chances. It’s squandered some of its most interesting characters and couldn’t come up with a cohesive storyline that didn’t contradict itself with seemingly every episode.

  18. The first three episodes of season 4 were a joke. They must have rolled some freaking dice when it came to choosing the storylines, etc. Who in their right minds would start a season off like that? Especially considering it was already starting to suck. It was a joke. A sad, sad joke that should never have been told.

  19. Let’s make a poll to see what people think about Heroes surviving for the fifth season. My vote is “hell, no” :)

  20. I don’t think that a full on reboot is needed but definately at this point Heroes has lost its appeal to to its audience. The show is no longer a cult classic and has grown tiresome and boring. We have given it too many chances and while this season is off to a good start, it has already lost too much of its fan base and nobody is willing to give it another chance. I mean we are definately tired of Ali Larter’s characters. They offed her in the second season only to bringher back in the 3rd as another character…just get us a new actress! Nathan Patrelli should no longer be on the show, yes I know he’s actually Sylar, but once you kill a character get rid of him because it is confusing and irritating to the audience. Sylar should DEFINATELY not be there anymore. I mean you cannot have the same main villain for all these seasons. You dont need to kill him off because he is popular but just have him on for guest appearances. Mrs Patrelli is as obvious as it gets, she needs to go. Nobody cares anout her stupid story and involvement with the show. Same goes with Noah Bennett. He is a human, not a heroe and he has survived death a COUNTLESS number of times, he needs to go and in killing him off we could show Clair progress and mature into a more independant adult.
    Characters that shoudl stay:

    Claire: Because lets face it, she is the cast hottie and does have a cult following of young teenage boys.

    Peter Patrelli: Clearly the lead of the show and the character that everyone is most interested about. IN thefirst season his powers were limitless and godlike, we need to get him back there.

    Hiro (not Ando as well): Second most popular character on this show and definately has his own group following. His name is even the same as the shows, well close to it.

    Other than these characters everyone is pretty much expendible in my opinion.

    What they could do is a reboot with Hiro or Peter going back in time and in turn starting a butterfly effect changing the courses of people’s lives. That is probably the best way to do it, kind of like how the reboot was approached on Star Trek except with different characters of course

  21. I agree with Huggybear that the blind woman was the best part of the last episode. That scene where she was playing the viola and could see the sound was fantastic. I thought the entire episode was pretty good but I agree that this might be the last season.

  22. Huggybear, nothing happened? Really? Sam didn’t meet Peter and mark him with the compass? Parkman didn’t realize that Sylar has to get out of his head? We weren’t introduced to a new hero?

    What are you talking about “nothing happened?”

    Ink as proof the show is still alive. Hiro, Ando, Angela, and Tracy weren’t even in the episode and it was good. Now, their current stories are the most boring, but they will progress through the show.

    I don’t understand why ratings went down. The story of Peter’s dad, I loved Kristen Bell’s character Elle, Adam Monroe was cool, but I guess Claire being annoying and Peter rarely using his powers was gay. Seriously, USE YOUR EFFING POWERS!

  23. Well, I’ll have to heavily disagree on the “nothing happened”. Ink had what I love(d) the most about Heroes.
    Personally, I don’t think they need a reboot, but I won’t be against a cast renewal. Some will die at some point, others will move on, and others could stay but with less presence. Of course, if it’s to kill newly introduced characters before even exploring their backstory, I don’t see the point.

    I already love Emma, who is not blind by the way… It seemed pretty clear when I watched the episode.

  24. No it doesn’t need a reboot. I like it just the way it is. The actors and writers are doing a great job. The reason the ratings are down is that people do not know how good it has gotten. It’s going to be a terrific season. For some reason, reviewers keep talking about rebooting or killing off all the characters and spreading negative information. People need to come back and watch! It is so pointless to keep writing articles saying how they can improve it when they already have improved it.

  25. You have to be kidding me! Do you work for the studios?!?! I USED to be a die hard Heroes fan and after last nights episode I think i’m going to be throwing the towel in. All these new characters and a “REBOOT” is exactly what Heroes DOESN’T need. If people haven’t started watching by now they never will and in the mean time the producers are neglecting the true fans that have watched there characters develop pushed to the side.

    To see a show that was so great and had so much potential die in the matter of 3 episodes is trully sad.

    I think instead of bringing on new characters they need to bring on new writers and producers!

  26. Ink suffered from what a lot of Heroes suffers from, bad writing. The concepts and ideas are good, but some fo the logic of events are just terrible.

    1) Claire upset with Noah about wiping Gretchen’s memory with “she’s the only friend I’ve made”, just hours after Claire was blowing off Gretchen as an annoyance? Some friend.

    2) Peter wants to be the unsung hero, yet he hangs news clippings of his rescues all over his wall? I think his partner is right, he is a glory hog. Not really in his character from the past couple seasons.

    3) Matt was backed into a corner to use his powers because he’s an idiot, not because Sylar manipulated him. There was no motivation for him to beat up a guy handcuffed to a chair. The scene was cool, but only because of the one thing that still makes the show and that’s Sylar.

    Heroes doesn’t need a full reboot, but waive off some of the older characters with some links to the older stories (Noah and Sylar).

  27. Really? Nobody remembers Maya? She was the “new hero” in season 2, and it was a great moment when she stumbled upon Sylar's body early in the season. The only moment greater for her character was when they flashbacked to the first time she used her powers. It was very 1st season.

  28. Really? Nobody remembers Maya? She was the “new hero” in season 2, and it was a great moment when she stumbled upon Sylar's body early in the season. The only moment greater for her character was when they flashbacked to the first time she used her powers. It was very 1st season.