Heroes Reborn – Season 1 Episode 12
We’re almost there folks, Heroes Reborn has one more episode to go and in theory all of the plot threads so far should be starting to pay off to deliver a conclusion.
The reality is that they aren’t because the show has been hampered by really dull characters who largely don’t develop in any meaningful way and a boring story that ran out of steam long ago. It was recently announced that there will be no second season of this show and I’m actually pretty glad. It’s unlikely that I would sit through another season anyway and the quality of this one more than shows that there’s nowhere near enough creativity to sustain another season. It’s a shame as this did show some early promise but I think that 13 episodes might have been a little too much for this particular story. This could have been tightly resolved in half as many and been a lot better as a result.
As always there were a number of missteps in this episode starting with Quentin abandoning his sister. According to what happens here, Phoebe being rude to Luke and Malina is more unlike her than killing lots of people at Erica’s command so this causes him to realign his loyalties. This doesn’t even begin to make sense and only happens because for whatever reason Quentin needs to be opposed to his sister for the finale. I suspect there will be an attempt at a tearful reconciliation next week but it will feel completely unearned as the events of this episode don’t work. This is a huge contrast to Quentin turning against his sister in the other timeline. That version had some weight to it and was actually came from who Quentin is as a character which is more or less the opposite of this nonsense.
Luke’s confrontation with Joanna was terrible as well. It mostly existed to fill time as well as remind viewers that Carlos and Farah are still in the show despite the fact that they really have no place in it any more. Luke has become a more central character recently and steps have been taken to redeem him from his murderous ways earlier in the season but he’s not a strong enough character to come back from that no matter how many times he claims that he’s changed. Seeing him confront Joanna was a powerful reminder of how woefully underdeveloped these characters are as there was no emotional heft to this at all. This should have been more dramatic since they are husband and wife who have been through life changing events but the execution was laughably poor.
Not everything was done poorly but even the better elements suffered from some fairly rushed plotting. Tommy/Nathan is among the strongest characters as usual because his motivations are easy to understand. He wants to ensure the wellbeing of his family and girlfriend as well as save as many people as possible. He doesn’t agree with Erica’s methods but recognises that saving as many people as humanly possible is worthwhile no matter who is doing it. I like that he is still naive as he believed that was Erica’s plan then felt betrayed when he found out that she was using him. If this show has been entirely focused on Tommy then things might have been a lot different.
The title of the episode references the first season Heroes episode “Company Man“. To my mind that was the finest episode of that show so trying to echoing it in this version makes a lot of sense. The main issue here is that there is a lack of understanding of why the original episode was so good. It was great as it gave us insight into Noah Bennet at a crucial point in the season when he was already a fascinatingly enigmatic character. Erica is a good character but not a patch on Noah and there hasn’t been enough development of her to make this feel as significant as it should.
I did like what was presented on screen as it did add some texture to her relationship with Taylor but it has all come a bit late so feels slightly unearned. I like the idea of Erica having a more tortured past that seems to have informed her hatred of Evos. Being taken advantage of by an older Evo in exchange for healing her father is a violation and it’s easy to sympathise with Erica in this situation. I think her crusade against Evos is a little extreme based on this one event but it was well presented and easy to see how it would stick with her. The whole idea of Taylor being forced to raise a child on her own just as Erica did is a solid connection though it’s let down by the fact that Erica was the one who killed her boyfriend. Still, the idea of connecting them in this way is at least solid on paper. It was interesting to get some insight into why Erica is the way she is but it was far too brief and should have been developed over the season.
Another strong part of the episode was Matt Parkman. His character has been all over the place this season but his motivations are clear and easy to understand. All he really wants to do is ensure the safety of his wife and child and is willing to go to any lengths to make sure that happens. His car accident and the salvation for his family washing away in the current was a really well done and tragic image that makes Matt something of a wildcard next week.
I’m not sure what the finale will bring but I’m sure it won’t be satisfying. There was an attempt to manufacture tension and urgency by constantly counting down the time until the solar flare hits but it doesn’t really work and comes across as contrived as the characters aren’t really reacting as if the world is hours away from ending.
Another underwhelming episode that has some really solid character beats that are hampered by lots of extraneous and underdeveloped elements.
Quentin’s change in loyalties feels entirely unearned with really flimsy reasoning that directly contrasts with the character based loyalty shift in the other timeline. This decision was made for plot reasons rather than being driven by character.
Luke’s confrontation with Joanna was terrible as well. It existed purely to remind viewers that Carlos and Farah are still in the show despite having no reason to be. Luke has become a more central character lately but his character isn’t strong enough to redeem him from his murderous ways earlier in the season. His confrontation with Joanna should have been more dramatic considering what the characters have endured but instead it was brief and only served as a reminder of how underdeveloped they are.
Tommy/Nathan is one of the strongest characters as usual. His motivations are clear and easy to understand since all he wants to do is make sure his mother and girlfriend are safe while saving as many people as he can. Even though he doesn’t agree with Erica’s methods he does recognise that it is a worthwhile plan. His naivety is preserved as he is shocked at Erica’s betrayal when he finds out that she has been using him all along.
Getting some insight into Erica’s past by revealing that she was taken advantage of by an older Evo in exchange for healing her father was a nice touch but it comes a bit too late. It does make her a more sympathetic character and helps inform her hatred of Evos. Her crusade seems a bit extreme based on this singular event but it was easy to see how it would stick with her. The whole idea of Taylor being forced to raise a child on her own just as Erica did is a solid connection that is a little bit soured by the fact that Erica killed her boyfriend but it’s good to see that a connection between them exists. This insight into Erica would have been more effective with more development over the season.
Matt Parkman has been all over the place this season but having him be motivated by ensuring the safety of his wife and child is simple and relatable. He is willing to go to any lengths to make sure that happens. His car accident as well as the salvation for his family washing away in the current is an effectively tragic image. This makes Matt something of a wildcard next week.
There was an attempt to manufacture tension and urgency by constantly updating the countdown to the solar flare hitting. This doesn’t really work as the characters aren’t reacting as if the Earth is hours away from destruction. I don’t know what next week will bring but I’m sure it won’t be satisfying.