Three of the shows I’ve been following very closely all aired their respective season finales this last week, much to my chagrin (… well, I guess there’s always the Bionic Woman remake in a couple of months). I have to say that I’ve been looking forward to this week for awhile now, even though it does mean I’ll be without a decent handful of shows to watch for awhile. Heroes in particular, was a really big deal — it’s the new kid on the block, and has been crazy-ambitious with its storyline and format. 24 and Lost are relative veterans, with Keifer’s signature show being the one with the longest history and (I suppose) most loyal fanbase.
Turns out though that it was the new kid that proved to be the biggest disappointment, with a finale that wasn’t nearly as climactic as the show had been building up to. The long-awaited confrontation between Peter and Sylar was sadly bereft of the kind of fancy superhero-type moves that you’d expect from the “end of volume one.” Now, this show has traditionally been very tight-fisted about bandying around its characters’ power, and that restraint is part of its charm. The grand finale though, just really needed to be more bold, and I couldn’t help coming away from it feeling like I had ended an otherwise fine meal with a thoroughly average dessert. I’d give this a 3 out of 5.
24, meanwhile, was surprising. Season 6 tried very hard to break a lot of the traditions set by the first 5 seasons, going so far as to actually have a nuclear bomb finally go off in a populated area, despite our hero’s best efforts. The introduction of Jack’s father and brother, as well as the political struggle within the White House, were all steps in the right direction, but this season still saw 24 drop below the Top 20 TV series list for the first time ever. The season ender though was unexpectedly introspective, and the final conversation at Senator Raines’ house was a nice bit of drama. I was honestly waiting for Raines to say, “You’re just a gun, Jack” or something equally catchy. Good stuff. This one is at least 3.5 out of 5.
But I guess the biggest surprise of all was the mind-bending Lost, which has been losing its primary audience to Heroes for months now. In 90 minutes of really, really good TV, Damon Lindeloff summoned up the magic that hooked so many people to this show’s first season; the Through the Looking Glass two-parter is the first time since Season 1’s wonderful Walkabout that I was really bowled over by this show. I guess you could say I’ve been waiting a long time for another one of those episodes for awhile now.
Without giving away any spoilers, “Looking Glass” takes one of the fundamental concepts of this show, and really turns it on its head. Brilliant, brilliant work. I honestly cannot wait for season 4. 5 out of 5 stars.