The Renautus plan is revealed…and the parallels to X-Men continue as Heroes Reborn enters its third hour.
Let’s bitch it out…
Last week Heroes Reborn had a very busy opening two hours that seemingly introduced a lot of interconnected people without actually doing much with them. This week more connections are revealed, but the series stubbornly refuses to coalesce as most scenes feel like they’re completely isolated from each other.
At this point the big end game/threat has been identified and it involves new character – and Renautus CEO – Erica Kravid (Rya Kihlstedt). Last week we learned that locator Molly (Francesca Eastwood) is an integral part of the plan and now we know that it is because she can be used to find all of the
mutants evos. The scenes of Molly being plugged into the E.P.I.C. machine play out like a cross between a half dozen sci-fi movies & series (cross breed The Matrix, Total Recall and X2). So Heroes Reborn is clearly playing in the homage end of the pool with this dastardly plan, which doesn’t exactly help it feel fresh and original. The fact that the display graphics of mutants evos during Erica’s presentation look eerily like the visual depiction of Cerebro in X-Men and X2 (from 2000 and 2003) only makes this reboot series look cheaper.
From the lackluster opening fight choreography of Miko’s (Kiki Sukezane) Tokyo lobby fight with Harris (Clé Bennett) to the terrible green screen of the driving scenes, there’s a pervasive cheap feeling that haunts the series. Even the special effects used to catapult hypocrite Luke (Zachary Levi) from hunter to closet
mutant evo frequently look silly, from the superheated fork to the dazzling white light that apparates him at the end of the episode. I don’t doubt that the costs of producing a glossy sci-fi show are exorbitant, but considering what we’ve seen on other series, it’s hard not to judge Heroes Reborn critically in this area.
Aside from the less than stellar visual look of the series, it’s just hard to buy into this a second time. The divided characters still like they’re cut off and doing their own thing. Noah’s (Jack Coleman) one year mind wipe continues to cause trouble – most notably in the form of a hospital meltdown one year earlier and an altercation that conveniently prompts Molly to run from him when they and Quentin (Henry Zebrowski) meet up in Midian late in the hour. Unfortunately this feels like the same kind of delayed gratification storyline that Heroes excels at: rather than have Noah make progress solving the mystery of why he has done this to himself, he uncovers just enough information to move him from point A to point B so that the character is in place to do what needs to happen.
Add to this the fact that none of the new characters are remotely compelling. It is still early days, but no one is close to breaking free of their 1-dimensional trappings, despite nearly everyone getting more interesting things to do. Oh sure, Harris’ power is cool (how many clones are out there running around?!), but Miko fails to react like a normal person when she is taken into custody by a shady organization and threatened with violence. Couple this with Ren (Toru Uchikado), whom we know next to nothing about, can pickpocketwith ease, as well as navigate an entire building populated entirely of guards in order to execute a rescue mission. But do we care whether any of these characters live or die? Not really. Aside from the fact that Ren and Miko are fun, they’re barely more than token Heroes asian characters who wield swords and are overly animated (sometimes literally).
Therein lies the problem of kicking everything off with mysteries and scattered characters. The series started out stuffed and it adds more characters and new locations each week without servicing the characters it already has. At this point we should end the season with 100 characters and know nothing about any of them.
- A new
mutantevo is introduced who controls storm in the Arctic and has a camouflaged mentor. Neither gets to do much, but presumably they’re important because the Renautus guards (lead by Harris Clone) are closing in on her, so expect to see more next week.
- Tommy (Robbie Kay) is definitely sadled with the least interesting story line of the episode as he butts heads with his shrill mother who doesn’t want him to go to a party. He barely arrives before he leaves with whatsherface to find his crazy mother brandishing a gun at his “protector” (Pruitt Taylor Vince). The following scene in the car is not only poorly done, but the car crash is completely telegraphed (as it always is these days). That’s hardly a cliffhanger…
- We learn that bounty hunter Taylor (Eve Harlow), who escorts Molly to Midian, is also Erica’s daughter. This could be interesting, but since Erica clearly just had Taylor’s evo boyfriend killed, it seems like this story line is going to go into familiarly bland territory.
- I want to like Carlos (Ryan Guzman), but I’d be lying if I said I perked up during his scenes for anything aside from the mancandy. Tonight the Step Up star is pitted againstOrphan Black‘s Hot Paul (Dylan Bruce). Bruce is playing a new character named Captain Dearing (though I only know that because the name was included in NBC’s press release). Dearing the
mutantevo hunter battles Carlos, suited up as El Vengador, in a loft that is seemingly comprised entirely of styrofoam judging by the way Carlos goes through all of the walls. Not sure if Dearing is working for Erica and Renautus or if this show is just literally stuffed with hunters, but I don’t quite get why the superpowers haven’t fought back yet considering how much damage we know that they can do.
- Finally, Joanne (Judith Shekoni) continues to grate on my nerves. I just do not like this character.
Your turn: what are your thoughts on the second week of Heroes Reborn? Are the story lines coming together for you or is this all too much of a rift on better sci-fi properties? Are any of the new characters making an impression? Are the bad special effects distracting? And where will the story go next? Sound off below.
Heroes Reborn airs Thursdays at 8pm EST on NBC