NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of Heroes Reborn are present in this review
Well, I have to hand it to Heroes Reborn. It actually managed to justify several of the dubious plot turns that occurred earlier in the miniseries with “June 13th Part Two”, which filled in a lot of the essential holes that caused slow pacing and frustration when the miniseries first started out. Not every explanation was a good one, and not every character still feels worthy of a place in the plot, but this episode is probably the best that Heroes Reborn has offered to date, and seems poised to at least set up for a strong finish.
With this being the second part to the two-part event that began last week with “June 13th Part One”, the other Noah stops present Noah from killing Erica Kravid, though Noah still manages to shoot her in the leg. This leaves Erica at the mercy of a still-living Quentin Frady, who demands to see his sister. It’s thanks to Quentin that Erica gets away, particularly when the two Noah’s must hide to re-assess their plan, and not tip off anyone else to the fact that there’s a time traveler in the midst of events.
As much as the show makes a big deal over Noah running into his past self, amidst all of the warnings from Hiro Nakamura about, “Stepping on butterflies” in the past, it really didn’t feel like much of consequence happened in the end. In fact, having two Noah’s almost came off as an advantage, even if the past one ended up being captured by a Harris, and interrogated by none other than… Matt Parkman?! Yep, Greg Grunberg is taking his turn to return form the miniseries from the veteran Heroes cast, though honestly, his cameo felt pretty lacklustre. Parkman proudly declares that he’s sold out and become a company man, which is completely inconsistent with his likable, grounded and honest personality on Heroes, then seems to do a heel-turn when he learns that Claire died in childbirth (while still tipping off Harris to this effect), and suddenly becomes apologetic and sympathetic to Noah. He even allows Noah to escape. Ummm… Ok. Thanks, Matt Parkman? Yeah, I feel sorry for Grunberg, because his cameo here is definitely the most pointless and poorly-written. I thought Sendhil Ramamurthy got a raw deal with this stupid idea of Mohinder Suresh being blamed for the destruction of the Evo Peace Summit, but somehow, Grunberg got even worse off.
Oh, and speaking of Mohinder, yes, the show is stubbornly sticking to its guns in the blaming of Mohinder for the attack. It’s still not a good idea. It’s almost laughable that a reporter acts like the world has no idea who Mohinder Suresh is, right on the heels of confirming that he is an academic celebrity who was supposed to speak at the summit last week (funny how Erica left that detail out, and everyone forgot. It’s not like guest speakers at peace summits are a secret!), and when Quentin deduces that Erica forged the terrorist declaration video with a shapeshifter, that feels especially contrived. Where the hell did Erica get a shapeshifter, I mean beyond the show’s rear end?! Boy, for a company that supposedly wants to exploit and capture Evos, Renautas sure has a lot of Evos on their payroll!
On the bright side however, it’s impossible to deny that the explanation for Claire’s death was actually a good one. Apparently, Tommy, or I guess, Nathan, is what I should call him now, has always had the usual Petrelli powers of being able to leech abilities from people, though unlike Peter, the person who comes into contact with Nathan loses the ability permanently, and unlike Peter’s father from Season Three, Nathan can only hold one ability at a time. Apparently, Nathan’s warping ability had always come from Hiro, since he absorbed it from when Hiro held him as a baby, just like he absorbed his mother’s ability to heal, hence why she died in childbirth.
Ok, the explanation for Claire is legitimately smart and logical, I’ll give the show that. However, this revelation also creates a bunch of holes in Nathan’s ability. For starters, if Nathan absorbed abilities from infancy, how was Hiro able to travel back to the past in the first place, and why did Angela not lose her abilities? Second, if Nathan has Hiro’s ability, why does it do something that it never did with Hiro, who could only transport himself and anyone or anything he was touching through time and space? Third, why is Nathan able to teleport Molly without absorbing her power and rendering her powerless, and himself unable to transport anything anymore? Fourth, if Nathan has learned to control his ability to leech powers, then why does he need to be kept away from Malina, and even if he has, how come Malina never lost her abilities during the birthing process? Fifth, and biggest of all, why didn’t Nathan absorb the abilities of Caspar and Harris when he was clearly right next to them? Ok, you could make the case that Nathan can’t absorb the ability from a Harris clone, but that doesn’t change the plot hole with Caspar.
Like I said, as much as Heroes Reborn did a commendable job of tying up all of its many plot threads and paving the way for what should hopefully be a solid finale, not every answer to our questions was a good one. The miniseries also continues to fail at ‘fixing’ characters that are fundamentally terribly written. Joanne is still a horrendous character, for example, and despite the show attempting to demonstrate how she got on her Evo-killing bender, as she brutally stabs a man to death when he goes to thank Luke, and accidentally freezes his throat for a second when Joanne antagonizes him, this still doesn’t hold water from a psychological standpoint. It’s zero to sixty in the span of a few moments, and human psychology doesn’t work that way, even during extreme times of grief! Moreover, Luke is clearly horrified at Joanne killing the guy, and there’s no indication of why he’d ever go along with an idiotic Evo killing spree, especially since this sequence of events just re-affirms that these characters are amateurs, not trained killers, and should have been arrested ages ago!
Carlos also shows up, and we get a brief peek at some of his military past, namely why he’s apprehensive to identity himself as a war hero. Turns out, he was actually bailed out by Malina’s future pilgrimage buddy, Farah, and her ability to turn invisible, while hiding from an attack. Farah forced Carlos to take credit for saving the soldiers that she did, since she didn’t want to be arrested and experimented upon as an Evo. I thought Evos had to register? Shouldn’t that be doubly true for Evos in the military? Oh well, whatever. In any case, she makes Carlos take credit for her actions, goes off with Angela Petrelli to presumably take Malina away to the Arctic Circle for… Reasons that the show still hasn’t fully explained (I guess we’re meant to infer that Malina somehow delays the extinction event), and Carlos still does pretty much nothing. Like I said, the show hasn’t been able to fix characters that are fundamentally badly written, and that means that Carlos still feels out-of-place, and like he serves no purpose in this miniseries, even towards the climax.
Oh, and on the note of serving no purpose, sorry, but the memory wiping still feels very contrived. Noah’s memory being wiped would have made more sense if it had cut out The Haitian altogether, and had Caspar steal his memories out of necessity to avoid the twins being found out by Matt Parkman, but I guess that wouldn’t have been as exciting an intro for this miniseries. Likewise, Caspar taking away all of Nathan’s memories was equally contrived, and frankly, pretty extreme. Does he really deserve to have almost all of his memories taken away simply because he doesn’t want to abandon his adoptive father, Hiro (revealed to be the mysterious husband of Tommy/Nathan’s adoptive mother) to be killed by Harris clones? Seems kind of drastic, and like I said, contrived, especially since it puts him at a blatant disadvantage, and undoes all of his psychological readiness for having to save the world with Malina. Nice going, Caspar, you idiot!
Lastly, we get an aside that shows how and why Miko was created, and we see Miko’s ‘father’ get taken off by a Harris clone, and that’s about it. This felt pretty disconnected from the rest of the plot, and it fails to fill in the hole of how Ren actually found his way to Miko. I guess Otomo left that hidden message to find Miko off-screen, but why would he trust the fact that he made a living digital creation tied to a powerful corporation hiding an extinction event from the world, to just any old basement-dwelling idiot who played Evernow for long enough? Doesn’t seem like the best plan. Also, if Miko is essentially a newborn, how the hell did she function completely by herself in that apartment up until Ren found her?!
Oh, and since Noah changed the past, Quentin is now alive… And a traitor working as a mole for Renautas. Ok. That sort of came out of nowhere, but hey, I’ll accept it, if it keeps the remainder of the miniseries’ episodes interesting. Hopefully, we also undid a few of the more stupid character deaths in this miniseries with the change of the past too.
Like I said though, overall, this is probably the best that Heroes Reborn has been yet, even if it’s still a flawed miniseries with pretty shaky writing in some places. “June 13th Part Two” told us what we need to know, and had the ever-expanding plot of the miniseries finally come full circle. Some of the explanations were sloppy, and Joanne especially is still a terrible character that even a backstory can’t redeem, but at least Heroes Reborn is gradually edging forward towards at least a decent climax. We can at least hope for that now.
- Finally ties the plot together effectively
- Surprisingly logical explanation of how Claire died
- Hiro's noble final (?) moments
- Not all of the explanations make sense
- Joanne and Carlos are still badly-written characters
- Matt Parkman cameo is pretty lacklustre