TV Review: The 4400 Season 2

As much as I might like to review every episode of television I watch, I just don’t have the time.  So unless an episode greatly offends me, I’m probably not going to talk about it specifically.  Instead, I have decided to just review entire seasons.  Today’s installment: season 2 of The 4400.

I remember when this show was on.  Unfortunately, because my parents were too cheap to buy cable until after I left for college, I never got to watch it.  I remember it because it has such an incredible premise.  You’re minding your own business, living your life, when suddenly you find out the world is going to end.  A comet is coming for Earth, and everything will explode.  Well crap.  You say your goodbyes, hug your loved ones, and – nothing.  Instead of crashing into Earth and dying, the giant ball of light deposits 4400 people in Seattle.  These are all people who have gone missing in the past 80 years or so.  Once they’re back, not only do they face the suspicion of the government and the population and trying to reintegrate into a society where possibly everyone they’ve ever known is dead, but also the fact that some of them now have super powers.  Wow.  I want to watch that show.

I got my hot little hands on season 1 a couple years ago and was, well for lack of a better word, whelmed.  I’m not sure why, but I just wasn’t incredibly impressed.  I found most of the characters a little flat, and most of the episodes a little boring.  I need to re-watch it, because it’s been a few years, but I just remember thinking, “That could have been better.”

Since then, I’ve heard a lot about where the show goes.  People have told me some of the developments, and it sounds excited.  But I wasn’t about to shill out 50 bucks on blind faith (I did it with Firefly and BSG, but still…).  Luckily, Netflix has provided me the opportunity to get caught up.  So I put it all in my queue, and just finished the second season.  So what did I think?

Well the first half was very much like season 1.  A little flat.  Still trying to find its footing, I think.  I enjoyed it, especially as it became kind of a “mystery of the week” type show.  Like Fringe.  Speaking of which, people always compare Fringe to the X-Files, but I would call it more a successor of The 4400.  Strange powers, mysterious situations, but also a clear view of where the show is going and a much larger plot afoot.  So anyway the first half was good.  The cases were of various interest to me, but it was clear they fit into some larger picture somehow.  THEN, halfway through, the show does one of those “this is all a dream/you’ve imagined all of this/you’re crazy” type episodes.  Like one of my favorite episodes of Buffy.  Tom – the main character – finds himself in a world where none of the 4400 were abducted, and so never returned, and none of the show ever happened.  Everyone seemed better off.  Further, he found himself married to a hottie who happened to be the only person who remembered the real world.  They tried to escape, and eventually did.  After EIGHT YEARS.  It was awesome.  It was a great way to introduce a new character, and to get the main character into a relationship and add a new dynamic to his life.

After that, I found myself really enjoying the show.  I was more invested in Tom.  His son got an interesting arc too.  The female lead was more interesting now that she adopted the pre-cog and had to interact with her ne’er-do-well sister.  Shawn became more interesting too.  In general I got more into the show, and it began really delivering.  I particularly enjoyed an episode where every male in NTAC suddenly became testosterone and adrenaline filled, and began tearing the place up.  It sounds weird but it was really cool.  And then the finale.  Wow.  I can’t even talk about it because it would be all spoilers, but it sets the stage for some really cool stuff for season 3.  I can’t wait until Saturday when I get the next disk!

So, if you’re looking for a new Sci-Fi show, might I recommend this one.  Season 1 is only 5 episodes, and it’s not bad.  I say power through it, get to season 2, and enjoy.  It’s not a perfect show, and there’s a lot I would do differently, but it has a lot of potential I think it will live up to.

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