Tai Freligh reviews the season premiere of Heroes Reborn…
Heroes Reborn premiered last Thursday night with an ambitious and intricate double-header of “Brave New World” and “Odessa”. It was amazing and frustrating and messy and hopeful. There was a lot that I liked, some interesting seeds planted and some elements that just didn’t work. New shows have to set up their world and lay down the ground rules, but Heroes Reborn has an additional responsibility- put this world into context for new viewers while keeping fans of the original show happy. It largely succeeds, but I’m withholding total judgement until I see how the next few episodes play out. Here are my thoughts on the two-hour premiere.
Five years after Claire Bennett exposed her powers to the world and outed the existence of evolved humans, an explosion at a evo/human unity summit in Texas blamed on Mohinder Suresh (spoiler: he’s framed) erases all progress towards a peaceful coexistence of the two. It also sets the path for many of the characters in the new series. Noah Bennett aka HRG (Jack Coleman) suffers memory loss and tries to figure out why, conspiracy theorist Quentin Frady (Henry Zebrowski) tracks down HRG and convinces him to look further into what really happened at Odessa, Luke (Zackary Levi) and Joanne (Judi Shekoni) lose their son in the tragedy and embark on a killing spree of evos, high school student Tommy (Robbie Kay) hides his powers because he’s afraid of being an outsider, Carlos (Ryan Guzman) resorts to drinking to deal with his powers, a mysterious vigilante suits up in a costume to help fight crime…the list goes on and on. The original show jumped from storyline to storyline, intersecting between them at times, but this opening salvo was just too much. It really felt like they tried to cram everything into those first two episodes. Perhaps Executive Producer Tim Kring thinks they will only have this 13 episode mini-series to tell the entire story, so they want to cover everything in one season.
My least favourite storyline was the Luke and Joanne one because I just didn’t buy that this couple would become cold-blooded killers, especially for such an extended period of time. A particularly disturbing scene was when Joanne becomes ecstatic at finding the files with the names and addresses of all known evos and considers it a giant hit list.
I particularly enjoyed the scenes with Bennett because they harken back to the original show. Kring uses a voice-over by HRG in the beginning to set up the show and also provide context to the series as we “remember” what happened along with him.
There is much promise with the storyline of Miko, the young girl in Tokyo who is trying to find her father and holds the power to travel into a video game through her sword and become Katana Girl. These animated scenes are fantastically done and I look forward to more of her unique story.
Overall, the show tries to bite off too much…too many story-lines, too many characters, too many social issues tackled (teen angst, justice, terrorism, coming out, what family means, etc.), but there is a lot of promise from what we’ve seen so far. What will Noah Bennett remember from his past? What is this mysterious Renautas tech company and what are their plans for evos? Will Katana Girl find her father? What’s the deal with the penny guy? Will Carlos take on the mantle of the masked vigilante from his brother? When will we see Matt Parkman or Hiro or Mohinder? Will Molly Walker (the evo who can find anybody in the world) be rescued? What’s up with that girl in the Arctic trying to keep some big, terrible thing in the sky from coming? Lots of interesting threads being pulled, it just remains to see what will be unraveled over the next 11 episodes and if it can all be cohesively wrapped up by the finale. My grade for the first two episodes is a 7 out of 10.