NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of Heroes Reborn are present in this review
Heroes Reborn continued to stay in higher-quality territory this week with “June 13th Part One”, which, as the title suggests, is a two-part episode that finally reveals the backstory of what went wrong at the key Odessa Summit that was supposed to unite humans and Evos. This also presents a welcome opportunity to bring several veteran Heroes personalities back to the spotlight, even if it meant that the better part of the new cast was almost entirely absent.
As Noah and Hiro arrive in the past, about to implement a plan to save the summit, we see a few additional perspectives, including Erica, as she is predictably revealed to be behind the feigned terrorist attack, and Mohinder Suresh, who is properly seen in the flesh for the first time in this miniseries. Mohinder also meets with an also-returning Angela Petrelli, who warns Mohinder that Erica is about to betray him, and she tips him off about Renautas being the same outfit as Primatech at the same time. Mohinder doesn’t believe her however, and decides to go ahead with presenting his research publicly at the summit.
Naturally, Angela is right, and Mohinder is taken off to be executed by a Harris when he meets up with Erica. Hang on, if Mohinder is believed to be dead, and was about to speak at the summit about human/Evo relations, obviously being a celebrity academic at that point, how in blue hell does the world think he’s an Evo supremacist terrorist and mass murderer in the present?! This just proves the issue I pointed out earlier in the miniseries’ first episodes. Blaming Mohinder for the attack makes no sense, especially if he’s claimed to be among the dead, and there’s no way that the world would buy it. It seems like even the writers have given up on that angle with his character at this point, and are just pretending it didn’t happen, as if even they’re silently admitting that it was a bad idea.
Likewise, we see a pre-murder spree Luke and Joanne take their young son to the summit, in hopes of finding a cure for his abilities, which cause him to be burned by sunlight. There’s some mildly relatable and touching scenes here, but when the attack happens, as it’s fated to do, there’s predictably no reliable evidence to prove that these two can suddenly justify mass-murdering Evos in response. Hell, Luke even saves the life of an Evo after the explosion! At the very least, Luke, and especially Joanne, are more tolerable characters here, since this is before that idiotic Evo-murdering arc has happened in the storyline, but again, this just proves an issue with the story that most viewers would have noticed, even without this backstory.
Fortuantely, the good outweighed the bad in this episode, as we see the promising idea of Noah trying to twist Hiro’s arm to change the past and stop the attack, which he actually sort of does when the two discover that the explosive charges are being planted on a bunch of Harris clones. Why the bombs disappear when the clones are dead, I don’t know. Anyway, Noah is called away when he learns that Claire has been rushed to the hospital, and Hiro is left to have a pretty solid action scene where he fights some Harris clones, before stopping time, exploring the hypothetical future of stopping the attack, and then lamenting that he has to let it happen. All he says is, “Too many butterflies”, and leaves Harris to blow the summit. It’s actually a pretty solid moment, and at the very least, the miniseries seems to be making good use of Hiro so far, even if actually showing him being digitized into Evernow doesn’t make that plot element seem any more logical.
Also great this week was the very shocking reveal that Claire wasn’t injured, but was going into labour! We have no idea who the father of her children are, and yes, I say children, since she ends up having twins, a boy and a girl. This was a fantastic twist, and it does lead into another fantastic twist at the end of the episode, but this also ties into another weaker element of the story; A lot of Claire drama, with no Hayden Panettiere appearance. As much as Jack Coleman gives his all to the emotional shattering of Noah as he sees that his adopted daughter has died in childbirth, it would have been a lot more impactful, had it not been obvious that he was interacting with a body double, and one with a sheet on her at that. Beyond that, Noah just talks about Claire in passing, and that really feels like a let-down, and a wasted opportunity for a better death scene for Claire, who feels even more unceremoniously bumped off than even The Haitian! Moreover, if Claire can heal any injury, how did she die in childbirth, exactly? The show really didn’t explain that very well, since the former Heroes series established that she can’t even drown, suggesting that her heart somehow doesn’t need oxygen, and is just as invulnerable as the rest of her.
No one dwells on this for long however, before Noah, Hiro and Angela decide that the only option is to take the twins into the past, and raise them further back in the timeline of 1999, since that’s the only way to hide them Erica. That’s actually not a terrible plan, since the past is the one place that Erica can’t reach, though again, this creates another plot hole, since it fails to justify why Noah needed to tap The Haitian’s powers to make him forget the twins, beyond creating a contrived excuse for the miniseries to perpetuate a bunch of frustrating vagueness in its early episodes. Can’t Noah just say to take them into the past and not tell him where? Even if Erica somehow captures and tortures this fact out of Noah, it’s not like she can do anything about it. Going to The Haitian was completely unnecessary, and Noah telling The Haitian to kill him if he came asking makes even less sense! This gaping plot hole makes The Haitian’s bullshit death at the start of the miniseries even more insulting and infuriating for longtime Heroes fans.
Regardless, the next reveal is still great, since Angela volunteers to take care of the twins in the past (which legitimately explains why she hasn’t yet appeared in the present timeline of Heroes Reborn), and Hiro takes them there, before they take the opportunity to name the babies. Angela names the son, “Nathan”, after her own lost son who died at the end of Season Three of Heroes, and yes, this baby is Tommy Clark, whose adopted mother accidentally outed him as, “Nathan” a couple of episodes back. Likewise, Noah names the girl, calling her, “Malina”, after his mother. This means that Malina’s significance in the story is that she’s Claire’s daughter, and her being destined to save the world, along with Tommy, now actually holds water, since Angela had a vision of the two saving everyone from the extinction event.
You see, Heroes Reborn, this is how you properly deliver a superb twist! It makes sense, and yet, the audience won’t expect it. This also finally explains why Tommy and Malina are apparently characters of such significance, and why their arcs tend to be better than most of the other characters, even if Malina’s is sometimes a tad more aimless.
The episode ends as the past Noah comes into contact with the present Noah, who is about to shoot and kill Erica. Past Noah goes to intervene, and that’s where the episode ends. It’s a pretty solid place to end things, and the implications of Noah encountering his past self, and vice-versa, should be another interesting way to keep Hiro as one of the better parts of the story.
Heroes Reborn is continuing to move away from disappointing, sub-par territory at a small, but noticeable uptick, which continues with “June 13th Part One” this week. We’ll see if the story can keep going to new and interesting places when its second part airs next week, but for now, colour me cautiously optimistic.
- Hiro having to controversially let the summit blow
- Great reveal of Claire's twin babies, and their identities
- Finally fills in some stubborn mysteries in the miniseries
- Unfortunately opens up more plot holes for the miniseries
- Hayden Panettiere is missed