After a much-praised first season, NBC's Heroes took a tumble, then a dive, and though producers desperately tried to resuscitate the show, there didn't seem to be any signs of life. "Volume Four: Fugitives" showed some promise, but the stranglehold on "Heroes" is strong, prompting many fans to believe that it's too late to save it. Instead of sitting around and moping, here are 10 suggestions to get the drama off life support and breathing on its own:

1. Kill Nathan Petrelli. The flying Judas has had too many reprieves already, what with miraculously surviving two bullets to the chest, not to mention a nuclear explosion. He almost had an epiphany in Mexico but lost it, just like he lost his post-shooting relationship with God. Retire his cape already, and use his death as a catalyst for the heroes to start fighting back. They could hold the service on the roof of the Deveaux Building, it'd be just like old times.

2. Send Hiro on a press tour. They need all the good publicity they can get, and it'd be interesting to see the brighter side of humanity for a change. Forget the militia kicking in doors - where are the papparazzi? Where are the crazed fangirls and autograph hunters? Where are the just-plain-curious people? There must be some people in the world who think abilities are cool rather than terrifying - certainly a few teenage boys. Claire could go on Oprah and cut off her own hand, and everyone would love her.

3. Find Matt someone his own age. We didn't buy Matt and Daphne as a couple, so now that she's dead, maybe you could find him a girl more his speed. Don't even think about a reunion with ex-wife Janice - even if she is the mother of toddler touch-and-go, that chapter was closed at the beginning of season two. Try fixing Matt up with a hearing-impaired hero - Greg Grunberg is a champion of disability, and communication is not an issue when you can read minds. Just make sure she looks like she graduated from high school.

4. Get Claire a BFF. Preferably female, not another love interest. Not only does the show need more estrogen, Claire needs someone she can team up with, Thelma and Louise-style. We enjoyed Claire and Elle working together in season 2, except for the part where Elle was completely insane. Give us a reason to like Claire again - maybe because someone else likes her, someone who isn't related to her or just thinks she's hot.

5. Turn Sylar into a woman. His quest for God-knows-what is getting stale, and he seems devoid of weakness, which makes for a dull villain. There aren't enough female serial killers on television, and just think of the damage a hormonal Sylar could do. Plus, it would give him a whole new mess of issues to deal with now that he's conquered his daddy complex. He could even get knocked up and pass those issues onto another generation. Soccer mom by day, skull cutter by night! We smell a spinoff.

6. Bring back Molly Walker. She may be in India with Mohinder's mother, but with her ability to find anyone in the world, she would still be an incredibly valuable asset to Danko, not to mention Sylar, so I doubt they'd let a little thing like geographic proximity get in their way. If she found her way back to New York, she could join Micah in his rebellion and help him track down the people who need help. They'd be like adolescent Avengers, only not British.

7. Introduce Barbara, already. Despite the myriad of attempts to convince us that Volume Three never happened, the fact remains that a doctor told Tracey Strauss she was one of triplets. None of whom were named Jessica, by the way. We've met and killed Nikki and Tracey, which only leaves Barbara. Though it would be better for everyone if Ali Larter were set free to make movies, we'll never get over it until we find out what Barbara's ability is. Just make it quick.

8. Break out the spandex. The time has come to suit up and start fighting crime. Forget this "every man for himself" stuff - we want the team together and kicking ass, like they were in Kirby Plaza. It's hard to keep it straight when everyone has their own agenda, and everyone's so depressed. Less angst, please, more crazy-power battles. Not every episode has to be about saving the world.

9. Raise the stakes. On the other hand, another "the fate of the planet is at stake" scare might be just the kick in the pants this show needs. At least then they'd know what they were trying to prevent, rather than just running around trying not to get caught. There has to be some powered villains clawing their way to the top in the power vacuum Arthur Petrelli left behind. Give one of them a promotion and unite our forces to take him - or her - down.

10. Ninjas. Everything's better with ninjas.

What do you think will make "Heroes" better? Can it improve? Let us know in the comments!

Story by Megan Christopher

Starpulse contributing writer