As “Heroes” has been reborn, so has CBR’s weekly recap of the once-popular and now-returned franchise. Last week, the two-hour premiere brought us faces new, old and computer generated for a reintroduction into the world last seen by viewers five years prior (or much sooner for those that decided to binge watch the original in prep for the new series) and a world much changed since that time. It also introduced us to a bunch of new characters, caught us up on some old ones, killed off one of those old ones (R.I.P. Haitian!) and made us go, “I don’t know what’s happening right now but I cannot wait to find out,” with others. It was certainly a lot to take in, and if you thought maybe the dial would get dropped down from 11 with this week’s episode, boy, were you wrong.
The face-paced, intense structure of the two-part first episode continues right into this week, and if this gives an indication for the speed in which the rest of the series plays out, I’m super excited to sit back and enjoy the ride, especially considering the nearly glacial pace of some of the previous seasons. It really does seem like this new limited episode format is working in the show’s favor.
“Under the Mask” picks up sort of where the previous episode, “Odessa,” left off: somewhere in the Artic with the mysterious Malina doing… something… and talking to some sort of ghost… guide… thing… It’s all super confusing and easily one of the most enigmatic part of the show. However, that actually works in favor of the show — building up towards a revelation but having other stuff progress faster alongside it. This was something that “Heroes” did really well in the first season but lost in subsequent seasons, so it’s great seeing this sort of clever pacing return.
Luke and Joanne continue their hunt of the Evos, now aided by files taken off Quentin and HRG during their escape from the remnants of Primetech last episode. From hints in the previous episode and an interview conducted with actors Levi and Shekoni, viewers know these two are having some serious marital problems. Luke clearly isn’t having “fun” anymore doing what they do, while Joanne seems to be losing herself piece by piece. On one hand, I probably should have seen the reveal of Luke developing powers coming, but I didn’t, and even if I did, it honestly doesn’t take away from the fact that this is a great and logical plot point. Sure it’s easy to assume that this will be the thing that helps them put their marriage back together, but considering the show’s tendency so far to buck some tropes, there’s no guarantee Joanne might not straight up try to murder Luke upon discovering his secret.
Tommy’s storyline this week sees his friendship with Brad growing while Emily watches on seemingly… jealous? Upset? Both? I’m not sure. Just let the bromance between Brad and Tommy happen, Emily! Gosh! Tommy learning how his powers work also opens some awesome doors, especially since he can use his powers on himself, setting up his likely escape from this episode’s cliffhanger and what I hope will be a Nightcrawler-in-“X2”-like fight scene with him later on in the series.
However, the best part of Tommy’s storyline is easily the other most enigmatic part of the show: Pruitt Taylor Vince’s amazingly dressed character. I still have zero idea what his deal is but from the way he dresses and his mysteriousness, my significant other and I have started calling him “Mr. Mxyzptlk.” He likely won’t end up being an inter-dimensional magical imp, but how great would that be?
Speaking of “what the heck is happening?” we catch up with Miko right where we left her: kicking the crap out of the guards at Yamagato Tower – home of the Renautus Corporation and its head Erica Kravid, the Bolivar Trask-esque villain of the series. Although we don’t really get Miko in video game form this episode or any answers on what the heck that’s about, we do get one confirmation — that is, in fact, Hiro’s sword she’s wielding — and one fantastic introduction to a character I already love, Harris (Prime). The delivery on that bit with Harris and his clone regarding his watch was perfection. Also, Harris’s power set definitely opens the door to some great future battles.
Erica Kravid’s story intersects with HRG and Quentin’s as well. Once again, HRG seems to be serving as the main connecting thread between current events and the events of five years ago. As HRG and Quentin continue their investigation, they end up discovering Claire apparently died in a hospital near Odessa and that Hiro might have been there, prepping a return of the fan-favorite character in an upcoming episode. Now, I’ll admit, I’d be nervous about this since Hiro started off as a fantastic character in the first season of “Heroes” and became, essentially, ridiculous comic relief for the rest of the series (except maybe the last, like, three episodes). However, this seems to be the badass future Hiro version and that version I am all about.
The quasi-revelation about Claire and sort-of-revelation about Hiro pales in comparison to the other thing HRG and Quentin discover, namely Molly Walker’s recapture and how Renautus plans on using her. Namely, to power eyewear that allows its wearer to single out Evos. Essentially, the Google Glass version of Cerebro. Also, poor Molly Walker. Even as an adult, terrible things keep happening to her.
Finally, there’s Carlos’ story. Out of everyone, Carlos seems the most unconnected to everything else going on. We see how all the other pieces of everyone’s story tie together so far and some characters have already crossed paths with one another. However, Carlos is off doing his own thing, making it unlikely he encounters any of the other characters anytime soon (unless Luke and Joanne actually do decide to go after El Vengador). That said, Carlos’ “own thing” that he’s doing is pretty much “becoming Batman,” so I’m 100 percent fine with that.
With three episodes down, “Heroes Reborn” still seems to be going rather strong. There’s no character I particularly dislike or am uninterested in. Some characters are actually very intriguing (please, please, please be a fifth dimensional imp) and I can’t wait to find out more. Kring said he wanted to go back to the idea behind the first season: ordinary people discovering they possess extraordinary powers. On the surface, he accomplished that goal. But deeper than that, he’s brought back the same feeling I had when I watched those first few episodes of the original series nearly a decade ago — that feeling of excitement and curiosity and speculation. “Heroes” has indeed been reborn, and it’s a great feeling to have back.
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