Heroes Reborn – Season 1 Episode 7
“June 13th – Part One”
Heroes Reborn enters into the second half of the season and has another episode deliver some answers while replacing them with a whole new set of questions.
The explosion at the Human-Evo summit on June 13th has been underpinning this entire season in one way or another so returning to that date to explore it makes a lot of sense. Having Noah be the one who goes back also feels like the right thing as he won’t be baffled by the fact that he’s in the past and is the sort of guy who can make some very tough decisions if he needs to.
His objective is more of a personal one as he wants to find out what happened to Claire. That is more important to him than every other death that happened on this day. Of course he intends to stop that as well but his main concern is Claire and the rest will fall into place after that. Come to think of it, we have another “save the cheerleader, save the world” scenario at least as far as Noah is concerned.
I found it to be a little awkward that this entire episode had both Noahs running around looking for Claire and in some cases actually speak to her over the phone but never actually show her. I realise that this is literally because Hayden Panettiere doesn’t appear in the cast for whatever reason but having her be a part of the story without actually appearing was laughably clumsy. It sort of worked in prior episodes where she was mentioned as being dead long after the fact so there was no expectation for her to appear but now that Noah has gone back to a day where she was alive for at least some of it expectations of her showing up start to manifest.
The fact that she doesn’t ever appear is a huge elephant in the room for the episode. Jack Coleman is a very good actor but seeing him torn up over her death when he is basically acting with an extra under a cloth who happens to have blonde hair is a tough sell. Simply telling the audience that she is dead without actually showing any evidence of it doesn’t really fly especially given that Heroes used to play fast and loose with the mortality of any of the characters. There’s always a way for them to return be it through time travel, healing abilities or any other contrived means. I guess that I just don’t buy that Claire is actually dead. Her power is pretty much geared towards not dying so it is left unexplained why her power failed in this instance. Since Phoebe’s power dampens the powers of other Evos I thought that Erica was suppressing Claire’s abilities for some reason but maybe that’s me just trying to make excuses for really shoddy writing. At least Noah asks the question about how Claire can be dead when her power makes her heal from any injury.
The reveal that Claire died while giving birth to twins is a good one. Angela Petrelli (Cristine Rose) returns and has had a premonition that features one of Claire’s kids as instrumental in saving the world. It isn’t revealed which one because there has to be some mystery apparently but the fact that it is definitely one of them keeps things interesting. What makes things more interesting is that since they need to be old enough for their powers to manifest and make a difference the decision is made to send them back in time with Angela so that they can reach the right age and be ready for the extinction level event.
As I predicted last week, Tommy is indeed a Petrelli…sort of. Since Claire is Nathan Petrelli’s (Adrian Pasdar) illegitimate child and Tommy is Claire’s child -given the birth name of Nathan- then he is a Petrelli. Having Malina be Claire’s other child and Tommy’s sister is something I didn’t predict but it does make sense within the framework of the show. I hope that the human drama is allowed to take its natural course and the family reunion is given the time for the characters to react.
Hiro’s desire to preserve the timeline shows him as a seasoned time traveller who understands the consequences associated with changing history to achieve a personal outcome. There’s always the danger that Hiro will seem overpowered and he definitely is but when he sets himself the personal goal to not save the day for clear reasons of not risking making anything worse then it shows a level of restraint that limits his power in a way that makes sense. His decision to not save the people who die on June 13th feels like it comes from him as a character rather than a function of the plot. Masi Oka is a joy to watch as Hiro with as much charisma as he ever had. He feels more mature than he was back in Heroes but still retains the fun nerdy qualities that helped define him.
Even Luke and Joanne are used well here. I like that they were hopeful for their son to be cured by an Evo in some way. They feel more like people than plot devices at this point in their lives and Joanne is a lot more likeable than she ever has been. The quiet moment they have at the hotel feels more real than any other scene they have ever been featured in.
The actual cause of the explosion being a group of Harris clones in bomb vests going off at key areas was a bit disappointing given all of the possibilities that could have been used. It feels too simple and as a result is a bit of a let down.
One thing about this episode is that it does emphasise the old characters a little too heavily. This is fine for me but viewers who started with Heroes Reborn will be completely lost. This isn’t a problem for me and I’m not sure how much of the audience have come into this without having watched Heroes but this definitely feels like an episode of the old show and a good one at that so I can’t really complain too much.
This episode marks a good set-up for the rest of the season and the questions raised are interesting. Which of Claire’s children is destined to save the world? Did Noah have his memory wiped so he would forget seeing himself? Is Claire really dead? There are so many others and as long as the human drama is kept at the forefront then it will remain compelling.
A well put together episode that answers some questions while raising some others and produces some interesting character moments into the bargain.
It’s good to spend some time around the date of the explosion at the Human-Evo summit of June 13th as it has underpinned everything about the season so exploring it makes a lot of sense. Noah is the perfect character to be travelling back in time as he is familiar with the concept and can make tough decisions when he needs to.
Noah’s objective is very much a personal one as he wants to find out what happened to Claire. He intends to stop the explosion but the main focus for him is finding his daughter and preventing her death. It was a little awkward watching both Noahs run around after Claire which included sometimes speaking to her and never having her appear. The fact that she doesn’t appear is laughably clumsy. It was more effective mentioning that she died long after the fact as there was no expectation for her to appear. It’s difficult to believe that she is actually dead given how fast and loose the show has played with mortality in the past.
The reveal that Claire died giving birth to twins is a good one. Angela Petreli’s return with a prophecy of extinction focusing on one of those twins but not revealing which one is interesting. As predicted Tommy turns out to be part of the Petrelli bloodline but I didn’t think Malina would be his twin sister.
Hiro’s desire to protect the timeline shows him to be a seasoned time traveller who understands the consequences of making alterations. Masi Oka plays this perfectly and adds some maturity to Hiro’s loveable nerd persona. He is overpowered but chooses not to use that power. It’s an interesting outlook for him and great to see him back.
Even Luke and Joanne are handled well by showing a very different side to them in the time before their son died. There are scenes where they feel like people rather than plot devices for the first time since they were introduced.
Having the explosion be caused by a bunch of Harris clones positioned at key areas with bomb vests is very disappointing considering all of the possibilities. It feels like a bit of a let down to find out that it is such a simple answer.
This episode does rely on the old characters too heavily so will leave viewers who jumped on with this show with no knowledge of the parent one more than a little lost. I have no issue with it as I know what came before but it is something to bear in mind. It is a solid set-up for the rest of the season and raises some interesting questions that will hopefully be answered in a satisfying way.