Heroes Reborn – Season 1 Episode 13
Heroes Reborn ends its only season with a resolution of the solar flare story that has been teased throughout the season.
I found myself a little confused by the structure of this episode as it robbed the story of any real urgency. We knew that the solar flare impact was imminent but it never really felt like it was because the show was wasting so much time making it actually count.
Having Tommy/Nathan -I’ll refer to him as Nathan from now on as this is apparently what he calls himself now- stuck inside a video game for much of the episode really is a head scratcher. If he is as important to saving the world as people say then this should really be his episode and he should spend that interacting with the people he is supposed to save instead of wandering around some Matrix inspired maze of endless corridors. The idea of doing all that soul searching to reclaim his lost memories is fine but it’s far too late to be doing that. If this had been the subject of the previous episode or even the episode before then it would have made more sense as then there would have been time for him to come to terms with his “destiny” rather than the light switch realisation that happens to him in this episode.
The most unearned part of this was the fact that coming out of the Matrix he had suddenly mastered his abilities despite the fact that he couldn’t use them when stuck in there. How can you master something without actually practicing? It boggles the mind what the Heroes Reborn writing staff think we’ll accept. Nathan’s ability to be in two places at once because of time travel -I guess?- was entirely pointless and came out of nowhere. He can freeze time so he doesn’t need to be in two places at once. Changing how his abilities work at the last minute isn’t compelling drama, it’s “God modding“.
Almost as bad is the fact that the memories unlock the key to saving the world by introducing the brand new idea of Nathan and Malina needing someone to act as a conduit so that their powers will combine properly. Of course doing this kills the person who is used as the conduit so that gives the whole process a very real cost, or at least it should.
Using Noah as that conduit doesn’t really work as there’s no real dramatic reason for him to do so. Fair enough he’s their grandfather and I suspect the idea was to have one big family effort to save the world but it would have made far more sense for Erica to be used. She is the main antagonist for the season but has had a twisted desire to save humanity the only way that made sense to her. It would have been much better on a dramatic level if she had volunteered to sacrifice herself as some kind of redemptive gesture. It would have allowed closure to her arc of wanting to save humanity and prove that she was genuine in her desire. This is the ending her character deserved rather than cartoonish villainy ending with her being deleted as a timeline is erased.
Noah’s death is a complete disservice to his character as well. He has been absent over the past few episodes and only returns to learn what needs to be done then volunteers to do it. He manages to get a few words out before he finally expires but it all falls flat and deprives Noah of a satisfying final moment. He really has made this show partially worth watching almost single handedly so I’m irritated by the way he has been cast aside.
Malina doesn’t really do anything other than scream at the sky. She has no meaningful scenes with Nathan despite the fact that it’s essentially their first meeting outside of the flashbacks we see. Speaking of those, I thought that it was too dangerous to keep them together in case Nathan absorbs her ability. When did that change?
One thing that worked was Luke’s sacrifice. It was meaningful that the character would selflessly sacrifice himself to buy Nathan and Malina more time. It did go on a bit long but if the character had been handled well then it would have been an effective exit for him. It’s a shame a lack of proper development stopped the moment from having the intended meaning.
Quentin killing Phoebe made sense on a narrative level as it showed his commitment to save the world overpowering his sense of family but the execution didn’t work. He didn’t really need to kill her as tackling her or knocking her out would have done the job. Malina didn’t seem to be in massively immediate danger so instead of being a profound choice for Quentin it felt like more plot furthering.
Unlike much of the rest of the season this episode at least had focus. The solar flare was in the middle of everything and all of the characters were largely in a single location so from that point of view it all hung together really well. There was the mandatory pointless Carlos and Farah scene but other than that I at least liked that there was only one thing happening.
There were some notable absences that had me confused such as Matt Parkman. I got the impression that his story wasn’t finished in the last episode and we would see him be something of a wildcard at the height of his desperation but he isn’t here at all. If that was the last we would see of Matt Parkman in the Heroes mythology then what a horrible way to leave him.
The epilogue was pretty much what you’d expect from this show. I’m not sure why Quentin got the final speech about how Evos are heroes and saved the world while asking for nothing in return but that’s apparently what seemed like the best way to conclude things. I have to laugh at the cliffhanger setting up Malina and Nathan’s father as a villain for the next season that we will never see.
It’s finally over and I’m really glad that it is. This show has been both dull and frustrating pretty much since it started and it really does baffle me. Tim Kring had years to mull over why the show failed in the first place and figure out what made it popular in the first place so that this attempt could fix it. It seems that he is incapable of learning what needed to be fixed and made all of the same mistakes but somehow worse this time out. It has been reported that it’s never coming back but it seems that Tim Kring has threatened otherwise. I use the word threatened because to do so would be torturing viewers. I’m not sure how many chances a show can get before it is ultimately deemed non viable creatively because Heroes has had too many at this point.
The show wasn’t all bad. I liked seeing Noah again and Tommy/Nathan was a really good character as well. It started off well with character driven intrigue and the sense that it was part of a world that had a past with things that were moving but it took almost no time to descend into bad habits and become frustratingly dull in the process. Goodbye Heroes Reborn, you will not be missed.
A finale that manages to be pretty much as frustrating as the rest of the season and lets Heroes Reborn end on a whimper.
Throughout this episode we knew that the impact of the solar flare was imminent but the structure of the episode robbed the threat of any real urgency.
Having Nathan locked inside a video game for most of the episode was a really stupid idea. If he is important to saving the world then this is the episode that should have him interacting with those he is supposed to save. The idea of soul searching to reclaim lost memories is fine but it’s something that should have been dealt with before this.
This soul searching apparently allows them to master his abilities despite not being able to use them when stuck in the Matrix inspired simulation. His new ability of being in two places at once is pointless since the ability to freeze time means you don’t need to be in two places at once.
Nathan’s memories unlocking the key to saving the world by adding the new idea of using a conduit to focus their combined powers is a really lazy late introduction. Using Noah as that conduit doesn’t work as the logical choice is Erica. If she volunteered then it would show that she was serious about saving humanity and would take advantage of any chance. It would be proper resolution to her character rather than having her act cartoonishly evil and be erased along with a deleted timeline.
Noah’s death is a disservice to his character as his absence over the past few episodes means that he doesn’t get a proper sendoff.
Malina doesn’t really do anything other than scream at the sky. She has no meaningful interaction with Nathan despite the fact that it is essentially their first meeting.
Luke’s sacrifice worked well as it was meaningful that he would sacrifice himself to buy Nathan and Malina more time. It did go on a bit long but would have worked so much better if the character had been handled well over the season.
Quentin killing Phoebe makes sense on a narrative level as it shows him choosing to save humanity over his sister but the execution was terrible. The way that the scene was constructed showed that there was no need for him to kill her other than the plot dictating it.
The episode at least had focus. Most of the characters were in a single location and everything was focused on the solar flare. There was the mandatory pointless Carlos and Farah scene but other than that the episode was only one thing happening.
There were some notable absences such as Matt Parkman who seemed like he was going to be an unhinged wildcard in this episode but apparently his exit from the mythology is what we got last week. What a horrible way to leave him.
The episode was more or less as expected but I’m not sure why Quentin got the final speech about how Evos are heroes who ask for no thanks in return for their help. I have to laugh at the cliffhanger around Malina and Nathan’s father. Does anyone really care at this point?
It’s finally over and it at least seems as if this is never coming back. It wasn’t all bad but I have no desire to see any more of this. Tim Kring had years to fix all the mistakes made the last time and showed an inability to do that. Heroes has had too many chances and should just fade away.