Here’s good planning: Heroes Reborn is three episodes from the end, yet the next episode isn’t airing until January 7. Who does this make sense to?
We get it, Thanksgiving is a lousy day to show an episode, and people travel a lot around Christmas, but there’s still time to show the eleventh episode on December 3 and end it with a double header finale on December 10. Done!
But no, NBC has to drag it out, with a mid-season “finale,” whose grand finish consists of The Haitian and his Hero Truther crew making like the gang from Scooby Doo, running in two different directions.
To the Recap Cave!
I have to be honest, I’m struggling to feel this show at this point. The pieces are coming together, it’s just that as the pieces come together we have to look at boring things, like Tommy/Nathan attempting to look tough, Luke Collins continuing to exist and Taylor and Erica Kravid attempting to appear competent. The screen is just covered in bummers.
A big source of the tension of this episode is HRG being a giant jerk to Luke Collins, who wants to come with him and Malina to Meridian. This is kind of, sort of understandable (his wife was acting way cray-cray), but it’s also weak tea. We all know that everyone is going to wind up thinking that Luke is great. He’s got to redeem himself. It’s just so telegraphed.
It’s a little hard to look on these network shows kindly after binge-watching Netflix’s Jessica Jones, honestly. In the end, Heroes Reborn, on the moment-by-moment level, is structured around a lot of the same tired formulas that is all too familiar on most network television.
The rejection of Luke Collins being a case in point.
Heroes Reborn doesn’t even have the guts to get past its own tired formula: saving the world. It’s like: seriously? Again with the whole world thing? I kind of don’t really care about the whole world anymore. Can’t you save a plane full of babies or something?
Tommy/Nathan meets Erica, while the goober twins follow him around. She tells him that the world is going to be destroyed by an astral event, and her plan is to move a bunch of people into the future, long after the event, to restart humanity.
“This isn’t the prophecy. We’re supposed to stop the apocalypse,” Tommy/Nathan says, in loud, angry, tough guy voice, coming from his roughly 100-pound body.
“Tommy, there is no stopping it,” Erica replies.
So they go to the future, Gateway City, to check it out, so that the kid can see what a barren wasteland the Earth has become, and Erica can convince him to help her move people back and forth between the present and the future.
Meanwhile, Katana Girl is also slipping around Gateway City, the place Kravid has built in the future. It has a lot of security, which is weird for a city built in a place with no life.
The no life thing is also bothersome, because, if the planet can still support human life, then thousands of years in the future lots of some kind of life would have bounced back.
Katana Girl and Ren both manage to run into Katana Girl’s dad, who is still alive somehow. He sends them on very obtuse missions without much guidance about how to get it done. They agree with lots of wide-eyed, gap-mouthed stares. You’d think that someone who could appear in both the future and the past would be able to hook up some sweet intel for his posse, but not so much.
When Erica learns that that Katana Girl has been running around in her future city, she says, “She’s a tenacious little construct.”
“Construct” is definitely the word you’re meant to hear when she says that, too.
The best scenes are Matt Parkman trying to read Farah Nazan’s mind. She’s not dead! She’s strapped into a chair! She looks amazing in her prison tank top!
Somehow, Nazan has been trained not to let her mind be read; however, Parkman brings Carlos Gutierrez into the room. He got captured last episode because his clever yellow polo plan didn’t work. And some stuff about love or whatever makes her crack. Which really wrecks whatever value they’ve built up in her as a strong character who puts her mission first.
But the fans like love, right?
Maybe we’ll see them hold hands?
Anyway, guns are secured.
While Taylor gets inside with a shapeshifter, after which Harris thinks mean things about Parkman. And Parkman feels insecure!
A kind of non-sensical plot point develops here, where Parkman begins to suspect that Kravid thinks he’s useless. Which is ridiculous, because he’s her only psychic. She also appeared to think that Suresh was useless, earlier, as well, which is also insane since he did all her science for her, before he was suddenly no longer necessary.
This is the kind of forced tension building that can get so tedious on these kinds of shows. Where you’re just yelling at the screen constantly: but that doesn’t make sense! I’ve watched Daredevil twice and somehow it manages to barely ever provoke this reaction.
Out on the highway to Colorado, HRG and Malina get stopped by a crazy looking storm. It’s throwing cars around. One of them almost kills HRG but Tommy/Nathan appears and makes him disappear.
Where’d he come from?
Well, first, Erica’s elaborate demonstration of her golden city in the future convinced him to help her, but he expresses his reluctance by saying a few things in a VERY LOUD VOICE.
Then Katana Girl shows up and basically just says, “Hey, I would like you to do the thing that absolutely no one is stopping you from doing: leaving by using your power,” and with that he’s all like, “Well, you are wearing pink ribbons in your hair, so okay.” And they disappear. Which gives Erica all the sad face.
But when they snag HRG, the trio just leaves Malina in the middle of her doing her Captain Planet thing to stop the storm.
With that, all the people who’s lives she’s just saved, flip out and start threatening her. That’s when Luke saves her. They can’t find anything of HRG but his glasses.
Carlos gets free of his guard, who has him handcuffed, by doing that simple but unstoppable trick of just stopping in a doorway and refusing to move while someone has a gun to your head, then suddenly spinning around and putting up a fight. It’s weird how that always works, and no one has ever come up with a counter-move.
He goes and gets his big crush, Nazan, and they get guns. Then they find wicked boring Taylor. Talking ensues.
The Haitian and his crew are just walking up to the mansion, meanwhile, while Parkman talks to Micah in the basement, to assuage his insecurities. Micah, by the way, was the cute kid in the original series who could control machines. He founded Hero Truther, the resistance, but was captured in the prequel.
Then a bunch of Harris’s show up, walking from the same direction that the Haitian and company just came from, so it’s not clear why they let them pass by, but this isn’t Masterpiece Theater right?
That’s when it ends. See you in 2016!
This show started off with a lot of promise. It looked like this interesting commentary on the way the tech industry can turn people, their talents and their attempts to connect with each other into commodities.
It has since devolved into a “ball of fire” in the sky movie, which, I suppose, might be a real threat humanity could one day face, but it’s not precisely relatable. It’s also not a threat that, by imagining, we become particularly more human.
Take this disappointment and make it dumber with time travel, the worst construct of science fiction, and you’ve got some sort of Hardy Boys’esque nostalgia piece meets Liefed-era X-Force comic books.
We just have to get through three more episodes, though, you guys.