Do you ever feel like you’re just watching the same episode of Heroes Reborn over and over again?
Let’s bitch it out…
At this point, we’re nearly half-way through this revamped sequel series, but it honestly doesn’t feel like much of anything has happened. We’ve been introduced to the Renautus group and their crazy bigoted CEO Erika (Rya Kihlstedt) whose nefarious scheme kinda/sorta comes into clearer focus this week. But so many other characters remain on the margins – securing barely a few minutes of screen time per episode – that we barely even care when something significant happens to them. I’ve never been as bothered by a global-spanning storyline populated by a substantial amount of characters as I have been by Heroes Reborn; it simply feels like a series that isn’t coming together.
Take high schooler Tommy Clarke (Robbie Kay). His story line in ‘The Lion’s Den’ is the most interesting of the bunch as he’s forced to go through
the Mutant Registration Act processing after being apprehended last week. One would expect that the personal infringements on Tommy’s freedom would be startling and connected to real world oppression of minorities, and while they are worrying (an implant in the wrist, compulsory check-ins and acknowledgment of any changes in power) they’re hardly terrifying. This is not the grim future of the X-Men films/comics, which depicted a similar initiative that resulted in genocidal results. Naturally because this is the candy coloured world of Heroes, there’s no interest in exploring these ideas; instead of forcing Tommy to undergo this experience, he simply teleports away to confront his mom and hear Casper (Pruitt Taylor Vince) bestow a heroic destiny upon him.
What’s disappointing about this development is that it feels like the writers are skirting the most interesting aspects of the story line in favour of a generic exploration of people with superpowers. This would be fine, except that Heroes Reborn isn’t doing an exceedingly good job of being a superpowered series either.
The Renautus plan is, quite frankly, ludicrous. Erika plans to destroy the world by reversing the polarity of the poles, bringing about some kind of heat wave that will exterminate everyone on earth. In the interim she’s seemingly using Robbie’s (or Hiro’s?) teleportation abilities to move large pallets of goods through some kind of portal…to somewhere. We learn about this, but Noah (Jack Coleman), Quentin (Henry Zebrowski) and Taylor (Eve Harlow) don’t, despite spending the episode tracking and conversing with Erika. Only the surprise appearance of Miko (Kiki Sukezane) and Ren (Toru Uchikado) at Erika’s McMansion elevates the overall mood of the episode, as Miko’s enthusiastic dive through the window and grandstanding in front of Harris (Cle Bennett) is one of the few unconditionally enjoyable set pieces. It’s telling that so much of ‘The Lion’s Den’ concerns the meeting between HRG and Erika, which ultimately amounts to nothing. At this point (and after four earlier seasons of wheel spinning), it’s very clear that Heroes has yet to figure out how to tell its stories in a compelling and well-paced fashion.
- In non-development news, Drearing (Dylan Bruce) is identified as an EVO and immediately disabled by colleagues at the police precinct. Carlos (Ryan Guzman), in turn, quickly kidnaps him in full El Vengador uniform in order to discover the the location of his abducted nephew. That’s literally all there is to this story line, which either needs to be folded into the main narrative, or needs far more substantial screen time.
- In other yawn-worthy news, bland Malina (Danika Yarosh) is forced to abandon controlling Farah (Nazneen Contractor) after they’re discovered by Harris in Quebec. Farah never seemed particularly bright (or interesting), so it’s hardly surprising when she is shot after believing she can fool the Renautus glasses with her powers. The only remotely interesting part of any of this is the appearance of Phoebe Fraday (Aislinn Paul), who appears to have the ability to neutralize powers in other EVOs.
- Luke (Zachary Levi) revisits the old family home and effectively burns his past to the ground. Zzzzzz. Why do we care?
- The shrugworthy nature of so many of Heroes‘ stories indicates to me that not only am I not particularly enjoying the show, but that there’s very little to say about all of these disparate, bland characters. Writing 800 words of complaint and disappointment each week isn’t enjoyable, so this will be my last review for the series. Best of luck to those of you who continue to watch. I hope it becomes more compelling.
- Taylor (to HRG and Quentin after getting off the phone): “I’ve always been an excellent fake crier”
Your turn: is Renautus’ plan interesting or far-fetched? Do you wish that Heroes would stop taking the easy road out for its story lines? Are any of the secondary stories that stand out to you? Will you continue to watch? Sound off below
Heroes Reborn airs Thursdays at 8pm EST on NBC