The 4400 could be such a good show. All the pieces are in place. The first season was relatively perfect. I'm not saying it was flawless or as good as 24 or the X-Files, but the way the 6 episodes of the first season were executed it worked perfectly.
The first season introduced the idea that over the past century there have been these abductions. There is a white light and everything points to some sort of alien abduction. That is what we are programmed to believe with the lore of alien abduction and Area 51 and everything. But they are all returned at once. All 4400 of them from all across the world. They are all returned in one place. They are returned at the same age they were when they left, even though the world has kept turning. Why? Who took them? Who returned them? When the 4400 are carefully released back into the world it seems that some of them have come back with special powers. We see in each episode as a different returnee is profiled and how there is a ripple effect of that person's life is able to make the world a better place in some way. Then at the end of the season we learn that the 4400 were returned not by aliens but by humans from our own bleak future and the 4400 is to help alter that future. Bang, season ends.
When the second season started I had high hopes. I want to know where do they go from here. There were interesting things going on, like with the 4400 Center, Jordan Collier, some abilities, and the hint that there is something more going on, but the episodes didn't seem to connect to anything. The first third to half of the season was fine as they were building something with Jordan, but after that everything fell apart. It is as if the series lost focus and tried to fit too little into too many episodes.
I think the season would have worked far better as another 6 episode mini and work only with the primary storyline and keep much of the side stuff offscreen. Every now and then there was just enough hint and just enough revelation that I'm riveted to the screen, and then things don't make any sense again and there is no clue where the writers are going with this and no clue that the writers actually know except that they must be watching Passions to get tips on how to execute this.
And then the season ends with another something that makes me want to watch the third season in the hopes that the writers are able to tighten things up. I'm confident the series will be renewed. It's not like USA has anything better to air. Just, please, deliver on the promise of the show. This really could be one of the best things on tv right now. Running it during the summer off-season only helps. But deliver the product that this program could be!
Please. I want good science fiction on my television. And this is told in such a manner that the sci-fi doesn't overwhelm the human element (my wife watches with me, that should say something), so it is accessible to more than the sci-fi fans, but the show really needs to deliver.