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The second season of Heroes seems to be built entirely on a foundation of Wall Bangers and Idiot Balls:
When West tells Claire that he was abducted by a man with horn-rimmed glasses, the reasonable response would've been for Claire to say "Yeah, that's my dad. He used to work for an evil company that kidnapped people, but now he's a good guy". Instead, she keeps quiet. Likewise, she told him not to come to her home, but was utterly incapable of telling him it was dangerous. "Don't come if you don't want to be killed or locked up" isn't hard to say, even if she can't explain the details.
Then there's the Maya storyline, which as aired ended up being a colossal Shaggy Dog Story. Maya gets shot just before the climax and is only healed in the closing moments.
The death of DL belongs here. At the end of Season One, he has a bullet to the gut and is slumped on the floor. At the beginning of Season Two, his wife, Nikki, and his son, Micah, are at his grave. Obviously, DL died from the bullet wound, right? WRONG!!! A flashback reveals that DL recovered from the bullet wound and became healthy before his wife went crazy again. As "Jessica", she goes to a dance club; DL goes after her. She's dancing with some guy when DL arrives, and he snaps her back to sanity. The other guy gets pissed, pulls out a gun, and blows DL away. Two problems:
DL has the power of becoming intangible. He was already shown to have quick reflexes with his intangibility — he used it to avoid being punched by the guy who ended up killing him. Why couldn't he have used it to escape the bullet? The guy took much longer to pull out the gun than to throw the previous punch.
Peter was told by Hiro, Matt, and Victoria that Adam was evil, but didn't read his mind to check if he wanted to release the world-ending virus instead of destroy it. Granted, given that Adam's worked with a mind reader before, lived for 400 years, and presumably developed strong willpower, it's possible that he's trained himself to resist all mind reading. But Peter never even tries. Also, Peter tried to open a massive vault with telekinesis and waited for Adam outside as he walked in to destroy it by himself, presumably with his sword, instead of simply phasing through it and destroying it himself. Peter seems to be a walking pile of phlebotinum that is held in check only by his Idiot Ball.
Another good example of Peter-flavored Wall-Banging: Amnesia-ridden Peter goes to the future with his new Irish girlfriend, promptly loses her there, and returns to the present without her. Granted, he'd have had a helluva time finding her; but that future's been invalidated, and she's now lost in an alternate future forever. And he promptly forgot about her upon his return (as in, within five seconds).
Wasn't Caitlin infected with the virus? Bringing her back to the present would likely start the viral apocalypse. Then again, he didn't even check.
Argh! Caitlin was NOT infected either, she was being deported back to Future Ireland (aka Robo-Ireland 29) because of a quarantine in Neo New York or whatever... The worst part of this — which is already the worst Wall Banger in Heroes — has to be Tim Kring's glib little response. When asked about Caitlin and whether or not Peter would ever address her loss / disappearance on the show, Kring said, "No, we passed it, we leapfrogged it". WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN??? Imagine if Dallas came back from the "Who Shot JR?" season break with, "Meh, who cares who shot him, let's just leapfrog it and move on with the important stuff." KRRINNNGGGG!!!!!
One of the apparent main themes of Heroes is that nobody can make a good decision, ever. This is a Wall Banger in itself. About the only decision any character makes that isn't disastrously wrong is "I think I'll have the waffles."
Claire would somehow be maimed by the waffle iron.
Claude got the hell away from them all as soon as possible, that's a pretty good decision.
The entire Villains arc. Characters who could've been developed into interesting and likable characters are killed almost instantly after being introduced. Several important subplots and sometimes even CENTRAL plots are dropped about half way through. Nearly every character undergoes serious character derailment (Mohinder, Sylar and Hiro arguably getting the worst of it). And the only way they made this work was by actually creating an episode to RetCon pretty much everything that had happened in the series up to that point.
For a arc named "Villains", the show managed to take every single villain on the show save for Sylar and kill them by the arc's end, usually in the most off-handed way possible.
During a quick trip to the future in 3x04 "I Am Become Death", Peter is confronted by enemies and Sylar tells him to teleport out of there. He could do that...or stop time, time travel, turn invisible, become intangible, fly away, mind-whammy his enemies, or use any number of other powers he's accumulated. Instead, he stands there looking like an idiot and inadvertently gets a kid killed.
So, Arthur Petrelli needs to manipulate his son Nathan into falling in line with his plans. He decides to do this by having Maury Parkman give Nathan visions of a "ghost" that tells him what he should do. Who does Maury decide to use? Is it Arthur, Nathan's sainted and then-thought-dead father? Is it Isaac, a fellow metahuman and acquaintance with a precognitive power? No, he goes with Daniel Linderman, the Big Bad of season one and the man least likely for Nathan to trust ever.
But even worse than that: In the beginning of the Volume, Nathan is shot by future Peter and is in the hospital, close to death from his wounds. Suddenly he is revived miraculously, and it appears that Linderman is actually alive and used his healing powers to revive Nathan. No problems so far, right? Well, Linderman is later revealed to have been dead since Season 1 as we believed, and this appearance was just a psychic illusion created by Maury Parkman. So who exactly healed Nathan if Linderman was never there? The entirety of Season 3 is full of plot holes like this one.
In 3x12, "Our Father": After a touching moment where Hiro receives the catalyst from his dying mother and swears to always protect it, he reunites with Claire. Then Arthur Petrelli shows up from NOWHERE, having no way of knowing how they would be there. He proceeds to take the catalyst and Hiro's power, rendering most of the episode meaningless. And that's the second time Arthur does that!
Somewhat justified; Arthur DID steal every power Peter had ever absorbed, including time-travel, teleportation and precognition. We had already seen him drawing future events earlier in the season, so it isn't too much of a jump to suggest that he drew a few more pictures off-camera, figured out what Claire and Hiro were up to, and acted accordingly. And we already saw him teleport to go after Hiro the first time... Though this wasn't immediately obvious; this was one of the few times this season when repeating things as if the Viewers Are Morons (how DID Peter survive that fall?) was necessary. That they DIDN'T explain this point is a Wallbanger in itself.
That justification makes Arthur Petrelli's not doing more with his phenomenal cosmic powerall the worse. Seriously, he spent almost the entire volume sitting around doing nothing before they found the Haitian and killed him.
Episode 3x13. Sylar angsting about HRG and friends turning him evil and throwing a tantrum over the lack of good in the world?
What's idiotic with Peter that episode is his cooperating with Knox Flint on their destructive rampage enough to ask Knox to stand guard on Nathan. Peter, you are aware that you are now an accessory before the fact to the attempted murder of your brother and the murder of everybody who didn't get out of that building in time? Of course not; you're Peter Petrelli and thus Too Dumb to Live.
The finale of volume 3 could be infuriating (although the Sylar bits were brilliant). The super-marine, who could have been an interesting character, gets his neck snapped by Knox randomly. It would have been better to have the two super-strength guys have a real knock-down fight scene - that's what super strength is for.
Perhaps the only meaningful thing that Pinehearst and the Company ever did was create Sylar and let him loose on the world.
The fact that Knox and Flint turned on Pinehearst after working with Arthur the whole volume for no reason than they fear they might outlive their usefulness. Rather than try to talk to the man in charge to ask about their long-term plans, they suddenly decide the formula will make them expendable.
It seems volume four is going to be one of these after another as far as Nathan is concerned; he's turning into Marvel Civil WarTony Stark. At least the show's writers aren't waiting until the storyline is over for everyone else to take turns telling him what an asshole he's being, though.
Just as well.
Even worse with volume four is the abduction of Hiro. The US government abducted a private Japanese citizen from Japan and held him without trial because they thought he might possibly commit a crime in the future that he is physically unable to commit. This citizen is the head of a major corporation who can afford to get the message out and who should have some pull in Japan.
The Volume 4 finale delivers just as promised. Big effin' fight scene that takes place almost entirely offscreen? Check. Major character (Nathan Petrelli) getting a bridge dropped on him? Check. And Matt Parkman using his telepathic powers to rewrite Sylar's entire identity to make him think he's Nathan. Yeah, there's just no way that that isn't going to blow up in everyone's faces (especially the writers').
It's already starting to...
The last episode of season 3/Volume 4 marked the third season finale in a row to kill Nathan Petrelli only to bring him right the fuck back with a contrivance. It's also the third season in a row to end with the faux-death of another main character; they also brought back Traci, who died some episodes prior. The show has a serious problem with killing anyone on the DVD cover.
Claire's blood might be the biggest one of all. Established in Season 2 as being able to heal wounds in others, including BRINGING BACK THE DEAD... and then forgotten about or ignored.
And apparently, Claire's blood can heal anything, including death - EXCEPT tumours. So presumably, if soaking up all the radiation Claire gets over the seasons results in cancer, then she's fucked.
If that happens, then she'll become Lady Deadpool.
Made obscenely egregious when HRG, Angela and Matt are wangsting about Nathan's death, and how Angela will do anything to get him back. They choose the what-could-possibly-go-wrong option of Making Sylar think he's Nathan, when standing right there is someone who knows he can walk right outside the room, find Claire, take some of her blood, and bring Nathan back to life.
EVERYTHING about Eric Doyle's ridiculous Heel-Face Turn. The misogynistic rapist and serial killer is given a walk by Claire because... he feels sorry for what he did? Are you goddamn KIDDING me?! Micah buying that he's a good person is stupid enough. The kid's meant to be SMART yet he comes across as a bigger idiot than Spastic-Boy Prime of DC fame. But Claire, who he tried to cold bloodedly murder after taking her bio-mother hostage letting him just walk off into the sunset is so stupid it hurts.
Thankfully in Volume 5 the writers realised that, in a show already rife with sexism and borderline misogyny, this was one of the stupidest most physically painful examples of same, so they had him go back to being an evil dick working with Samuel to murder lots of innocent people. And had Sylar smack him around off screen.
In season 4, Hiro suddenly realises that he can use his powers to (GASP!) save the love of his life! How does he do this? He asks his BFF Sylar, the serial killer and sociopath who has spent most of his time murdering people, to SAVE his girlfriend using his powers! But then, Hiro's power comes with a HUGE Idiot Ball...
... That made more sense than how he "saves" Mohinder. He needs to make Mohinder disappear for a few weeks. You'd expect him to drag him a few weeks into the future, since he can time travel. Instead, he drops him off in an insane asylum.
Becomes an even bigger Wall Banger AND a Shoot the Shaggy Dog story in the final episode of Season 4 after Hiro finds a time-lost Charlie by sheer coincidence... as she is an old woman in the present day. She asks him not to rescue her in the past because doing so would kill the children she had after she met a nice man in the past.
In Season 4/Volume 5, the show's entire time-line became screwed up after the writers started setting the show's events in Comic-Book Time. Until this point, the show was meticulously planned out with many events being set on specific dates and specific measurements of time being used to mark the passage of time between volumes (Four Months Ago, Six Weeks Later, etc.) Once Season 4/Volume 5 started, the writers seemed to think that 1 Year of Real Time Equaled 1 Year of Heroes Time. Since the time-line of the first four volumes (mapped out in some detail here, under the heading The show's timeline is completely broken!) took place over roughly 11 months this resulted in such problems as...
... Claire starting college as a freshman, despite being described as a 14-year old girl in a flashback that was supposed to take place "last fall".
... Hiro referred to jumping back in time three years to save the love of his life... that he had met in September 2006.
... Baby Matt Parkman being very much a newborn... which actually would fit in the early seasons' time-line (he was brought to term somewhere between November 2006 and March 2007) if everything else weren't insisting that three years had passed since Volume 1. So Baby Matt SHOULD be 2-3 years old and fully capable of walking and talking... but he isn't.
Daphne's entire story arc. She was originally created to be a Nemesis for Hiro - a Chaotic Neutral Thief with Chaotic Good tendencies, whose Super Speed made her immune to the Lawful Good Hiro's Time Master powers. Somewhere along the line, it was decided that she was destined to be the love of Matt Parkman's life but that she was doomed to die in a few years if he didn't stop a coming disaster. Matt was able to avert the disaster, with the help of a Magical Negro who kept having visions of Matt and Daphne together, but wasn't able to do much when Daphne died after taking multiple gunshot wounds eight weeks later at the start of Volume 4.
And then to add insult to injury, Matt was back with the ex-wife who cheated on him in Volume 1 by Volume 4's end without feeling the least bit guilty or conflicted about Daphne at all. Shoot the Shaggy Dog doesn't begin to describe it.