Heroes Reborn – Season 1 Episode 9
“Sundae, Bloody Sundae”
Heroes Reborn returns to the present and continues Tommy on his journey towards his destiny of saving the world.
This episode was a vast improvement on last week as it confined the focus to only a few characters instead of trying to cram everyone into the same episode just because they exist. This sharper focus meant that more time could be spent to make scenes more meaningful and properly explore the impact of certain things.
Tommy is one of the characters the episode chooses to focus on which makes sense given his apparent importance when it comes to saving the world. His scenes are less about that and more about him realising the extent of his potential. Thankfully his mind wipe is more or less cast aside as his mother fills him in on Hiro’s role in his life as well as the true extent of his abilities. Up until this point he only thought he could teleport but knowing that he has the ability to stop time is all he needs to awaken that.
Seeing him trying to process the truth of the situation is a really funny and well put together scene as he lists all of the ridiculous things that make up his life. It’s a solid summary of everything the viewer needs to know about Tommy and sounds completely insane when put together like that. Tommy’s reaction to the truth doesn’t feel like it has been swept aside to move onto the next thing either. It feels like a big deal for him and appropriate time is taken to have him really process this. It’s great to see as human drama and reactions are rarely allowed to happen in a way that feels real on this show.
Malina doesn’t really appear much in the episode but her appearance was a meaningful one as she has a conversation with Luke that actually makes him seem a little more like a person than we have seen. It doesn’t forgive how badly handled this character has been up until now but his pseudo partnership with Malina works pretty well. The idea that they both feel lost and abandoned while being slightly overwhelmed by their powers is a good shared angle for them to bond on. Luke talking about his son allowed Zachary Levi to put across some genuine affection with a hint of sadness in his delivery. I just wish this level of care had been taken with Luke when he was introduced.
Joanne still has no depth to speak of but works well enough for the needs of this episode. It is a bit contrived to have her, Caspar, Luke and Malina all converge on the ice cream shop that Emily works at but it does create a really tense standoff with Joanne’s instability making the outcome unpredictable. It also acts as a nice catalyst for Tommy to use his time manipulation abilities to stop time and save Emily. It wasn’t nearly as good as the now famous Quicksilver scene in X-Men: Days of Future Past but it felt like that’s what the episode was going for. It works for what it is and shows Tommy’s growth into his powers. With so many other Evos nearby I can’t help but wonder why Tommy didn’t absorb any of their abilities. I wonder if he has to touch another Evo in order to do that. It remains a question that is unanswered.
This scene also brings Tommy and Malina together much quicker than I thought. They don’t manage to exchange words but the curious look that Tommy gives her as if he knows who she is or at least knows he is connected to her in some way was a really subtle moment acted well by Robbie Kay.
I have been very critical of Carlos since this show started but his scenes actually really worked for me but not because of his strength as a character. His scenes were effective because they played out something like a horror movie. The unsettling location and the brainwashed people everywhere helps build a sense of mystery around the Renautus compound.
Carlos’ scene with Matt Parkman is near perfect in its execution. Matt’s manipulation of Carlos’ mind definitely comes across as an intimate violation and the experience seems absolutely horrifying for Carlos who is forced to relive his most unpleasant memory in the most visceral way possible. I wasn’t on board with Matt’s turn to the dark side in the last episode but Greg Grunberg manages to sell Matt being a bit of a sadist in a way that he didn’t last week.
Noah isn’t being handled very well at the moment. His contribution to this episode was really superficial. The most important scene for him was getting to see his grandson with all of the time travel craziness surrounding it but it was played as an event that happened rather than being an important emotional moment for both of them. It had a lot of potential to be dramatically relevant scene but instead came across as bland plot furthering.
Quentin is similarly underwhelming after the reveal last week that he is working with Erica. All he really does in this episode is betray Noah and reveal that he is working with his sister. There’s nothing about him that seems like a fully realised character and the show hasn’t really done anything with his changed allegiance. Maybe if the reveal had been kept until this episode rather than have the information given last week it would be more effective.
Erica is used really well in this episode as she kills a deer for the fun of it. This turns out to be a bit of a character moment for her as it is revealed that she grew up on a farm. Her knowledge of how to cut up a dead deer for food is a fairly obvious symbol of her plan to cull the herd in order for the species to survive but it gives us some insight into Erica’s past and underpins her motivation. It’s the first time she’s seemed like a real person rather than a plot device.
Taylor’s motivation to defy her mother is further reinforced as she reaches out to HeroTruther and relates to them why she feels that her mother needs to be stopped. They are good scenes that don’t really go anywhere but some hope for Carlos is created by their planned journey to the Renautus compound. Revealing that it was René interrogating her is pretty convenient considering that Caspar is killed leaving him as the only memory altering ally for Noah to make use of. It’s irritating that most of the major deaths have been undone but as long as the characters are put to good use then it might turn out well.
The final scene showing Miko thousands of years in the future is a really interesting ending that actually makes me excited to see how that is resolved in the coming episodes. Hopefully things will move reasonably quickly now that we’re in the final stretch of the season.
A vast improvement on the previous episode that confines the focus to a handful of characters which allows them to be developed much more effectively.
Tommy is one of the main focus points of the episode which makes sense given his apparent importance to saving the world. There was a really funny scene where he listed the crazy events that make up his life helping to contextualise everything around this character. It’s a big deal and the appropriate time is taken to process this.
Malina doesn’t appear much in the episode but her scenes with Luke are really well done. Luke actually seems like a person when he’s talking about his dead son and they have a very natural interaction.
Joanne is as lacking in depth as she always has but she is part of a really cool showdown in the ice cream shop that Emily works at. This allows Tommy to realise his potential in freezing time and save Emily. This scene also brings Tommy and Malina together much earlier than expected. They don’t exchange words but there’s a subtle glance from Tommy indicating that he feels a connection to her in some way.
I have been critical of the scenes involving Carlos since this season began but they worked really well in this episode. None of it was because of him as a character but the unsettling setting and brainwashed people were like a set-up for a horror move. Mat Parkman’s invasive psychic interrogation making Carlos relive his most painful memory was really effective. Greg Grunberg really sold Matt as a sadist more than he did last week.
Noah isn’t being handled very well at the moment. The scene where he reunites with Tommy when Tommy knows that he is Noah’s grandson should have been dramatically relevant but it was glossed over to move the plot forward a bit quicker.
Quentin is similarly underwhelming. His turn to the dark side has done him no favours as his only contribution to the episode is betraying Noah by revealing that he is working for his sister. Maybe if the reveal had been left until this week instead of doing so in the last episode it would have been more effective.
Erica’s use in the episode makes her feel like a person rather than a plot device. Seeing her kill a deer and knowing how to cut it apart is a bit of obvious symbolism about culling the herd so that the species can survive but it connects to her motivations well enough. There’s some good insight into her past here as it is revealed that she grew up on a farm.
Taylor’s motivation to defy her mother is further reinforced as she reaches out to HeroTruther to help them bring her down. The reveal that René was the one interrogating her was cool even though it represents death being meaningless on this show but it does give Noah another memory altering ally now that Caspar is dead.
The final scene showing Miko thousands of years in the future is a great ending that raises lots of questions around why she is there and what has happened. It has made me excited to see the next episode.