The second season of The 4400 was the first full season for the show, which was 13 episodes instead five, a number of episodes that is still about half of what you’d expect from a network television show these days. But being that it aired on cable, USA didn’t feel the need to go for a full 22-26 episodes and that probably helped it be as tight of a season two as it is.
Because as mentioned, this show has the potential to follow a “4400 of the week” formula, and there are definitely a few episodes that do this, but the writers and producers do a very good job of following the over-arching plots of the season: the 4400 center, Sean’s ability to heal, and what exactly is going on with Kyle.
The latter comes to a head about halfway through the season when we discover that Kyle has been “missing time”–blacking out and then doing things that are criminal or reckless–and it leads to him committing a crime that is central to the middle and second half of the season. Also about halfway through the season, we have a weird “fantasy/alternate world” episode where Tom winds up falling in love with a 4400 woman named Alanna (Karina Lombard). This actually does the show a favor and puts to rest any shipping potential that Tom and Diana had and keeps the relationship between our two main characters friendly and professional. I like that about the show–it feels like that’s where the chemistry between the two of them lies.
Rounding things out are the continual impressive performances by Mahershala Ali and Laura Allen as Richard and Lily, who begin the season on the run from anyone and everyone who wants to hunt them down for being of the 4400, a storyline that allows us to see how the world beyond Seattle is dealing with the 4400. They then find their way to the 4400 Center and we spend the rest of the season with the conflict between them and Jordan Collier (Billy Campbell, who continues to be an excellend L. Ron 4400). Rounding out the highlights is the addition of Samantha Ferris as Nina Jarvis, Tom and Diana’s new boss, replacing Dennis Ryland (Peter Coyote, who returns for a guest spot later in the season).
There’s some really strong episodes throughout the season and it builds to what winds up being a great finale and cliffhanger. With two more seasons–26 episodes–to go, I’ll keep going.
Watch or Skip?