Heroes Reborn – Season 1 Episode 5

Oct 16, 2015 | Posted by in TV
Heroes Reborn

“The Lion’s Den”

Heroes Reborn approaches the halfway point of the season and the audience are still waiting for something resembling solid plot progression.

Episodes like this remind me why I stopped watching Heroes in the first place. It is so mind blowingly frustrating to sit through 40 odd minutes of television and feel like absolutely nothing has been accomplished. The story -if you can call it that- is moving so slowly that I can only conclude that there was only ever maybe 3 episodes worth of plot that is being stretched out painfully over 13 episodes.

We are five episodes in and it is finally revealed that the apocalyptic event persistently teased before now is a “coronal mass ejection” or a solar flare. It is going to hit Earth in 6 months and wipe out 96% of all life on Earth unless a group of Evos with the right abilities can team up to save the day. It’s baffling that this would take nearly half a season to have confirmed as the vague dialogue spoken by Malina in the first episode already made me assume that this was what was coming. I was actually hoping for something more interesting as getting the answer to that question this late in the game feels like such an anticlimax. This part of the story does feature the return of Phoebe Frady (Aislinn Paul) from the “Dark Matters” prequel webisodes. She is a character I’m interested in seeing as her development across those short webisodes was more interesting than anything that’s going on here.

Heroes Reborn

Tommy goes through the registration process

The problem with an event like this is that there is absolutely nothing interesting about it. Global extinction events are all too common in science fiction and are rarely handled with any level of sophistication. In most cases the enormity of the event overpowers the characters which means that they don’t develop in any meaningful way and feel superfluous to the story rather than being an integral part of it. Shows like The Flash have managed to have large scale destructive events that don’t feel quite so outlandish because the solution is a very character driven one. I highly doubt that this will be the case here.

Another issue with this show is that the character stories have already run out of steam for the most part. I really couldn’t care less about Luke’s angst ridden pity party where he listened to audio clips of his son and generally tearfully reminisced about what he had lost. The fact that a guy has lost his son is definitely a tragic thing but the show has done almost nothing to make me care about this character. His sudden reversal of his position on Evos upon accepting that he is one of them last week was completely unearned so it’s impossible for me to feel sympathy for this guy. Beyond that it was handled with a complete lack of sophistication using every cliché in the book to signify loss. There was a real sense of these scenes going through the motions and any hints of what Luke was really feeling or who he is as a person are completely sidelined. It’s just very lazy writing and a contrived attempt to force an emotional connection with the audience.

Malina and Farah have completely lost everything that made them interesting in the first place. Harris hunts them down and kills Farrah who has had pretty much no development up to now so why is that something that should be cared about? By killing her off and leaving the similarly underdeveloped Malina on her own it is another forced attempt to make the audience feel that the stakes are being raised when they genuinely aren’t, at least not on a character level.

Heroes Reborn

Renautus bring out Phoebe

The Carlos story really needs to go as it is such a clumsy vigilante story that it’s literally embarrassing to watch. If the perspective was flipped to the awful cop who turns out to be an Evo then this might be interesting. I like the idea of a bad person losing his support structure when seen to be different. In a way the audience could root for him to get his comeuppance and see it from his point of view. It would have the potential to be an opportunity for the show to do something unique but instead we get an embarrassing Batman/Arrow rip off.

Miko and Ren don’t really contribute all that heavily to the overall narrative this week either. Miko manages to get Hiro’s sword back and there was a clever fake out using cosplay that actually managed to be quite effective as a device. More so than the others their story has an energy to it and an entertainment value that isn’t being created in the other scenes. It is still largely superficial but I am finding it entertaining to watch at the very least.

The episode does manage some solid moments between Taylor and Erica but I think more of this is down to the performances rather than the actual writing because I’m struggling to remember anything significant that was said. For the most part it was retreading the same conflict from last week without developing it in any way.

Noah’s conversation with Erica was similar in that regard. It was really well performed but it was so so bereft of any meaningful dialogue that it feels like such a wasted opportunity.  It’s a classic example of skilled actors elevating really mundane material. Quentin might as well have not been in the episode but hopefully the return of his sister will bring something meaningful for him.

Tommy continues to be the strongest character with the strongest story but there’s an element of throwing so much back luck on him that it’s starting to get ridiculous. Before this episode he had to contend with being an Evo, navigating high school, constantly looking over his shoulder and his mother being badly injured. It feels like a bit much to have him suddenly be adopted. My money’s on him turning out to be another illegitimate Petrelli child.

Heroes Reborn

Tricked by cosplay

There are some contrivances to Tommy’s story seen when he gets angry at his mother for hiding the truth about his parentage from him which comes across as completely forced and probably only serves as a lead-in for Emily to help him come to his senses next week. I did like the whole registration process as it was put across as a genuine government initiative rather than some kind of cartoonishly evil plan.

I’m hard pressed to figure out if the season is going to go anywhere interesting as the main plot and the character stories are on the whole equally uninteresting. The show needs to deliver some real answers soon or risk going the same way it did years ago.

  • 4/10
    The Lion's Den - 4/10


A frustratingly dull entry that only serves to drag along the main plot and character stories without any meaningful development on any of them.

The apocalyptic event is finally revealed to be a solar flare that will wipe out 96% of all life on Earth when it hits. I was actually hoping for something more interesting after 5 episodes of teasing but this threat was entirely predictable from the beginning and is incredibly uninteresting. The chances of the character development being lost in the magnitude of such an event is very likely judging by what we’ve seen so far.

Most of the character stories have completely run out of steam. Luke’s pity party was riddled with almost every cliché in the book and does nothing to make an unsympathetic character any more likeable. These scenes had such a lack of sophistication about them that they could have been removed and the episode would have been better for it.

Malina and Farah are two completely underdeveloped characters who have lost everything that made them interesting. Harris killing Farah feels like a forced attempt to create sympathy but considering how ill developed Farah is it’s difficult to really care. These scenes do bring back Phoebe from the “Dark Matters” prequel webisodes so there is potential for her character to bring something interesting to the mix.

Carlos’ clumsy vigilante story really needs to go as it fails to be the least bit interesting. The focus should be on the awful cop who is revealed to be an Evo which causes his friends to turn against him. The audience could see him get what he deserves from his perspective and have the writers attempt to do something unique instead of a clumsy Batman/Arrow ripoff.

Miko and Ren still manage to have the most entertaining scenes but they contribute little to the mix this week. Miko manages to retrieve Hiro’s sword and there’s an impressive fake out involving someone in cosplay that was pretty clever but beyond that there’s not much to their scenes.

Erica and Taylor manage to have some solid interactions that don’t really further their relationship in any way. The performances of the two talented actresses elevate the material beyond the lack of significant developments.

Noah and Erica’s conversation is similar with great performances disguising the lack of depth and the fact that it’s all basically a holding pattern. Quentin might as well not have been there this week but maybe with his sister Phoebe coming back he’ll have a lot more to do over the next few episodes.

Tommy is still the strongest character with the best story but the writers are laying it on a bit thick with him not turning out to be adopted. There are some contrivances in his story with a manufactured argument with his mother just to set up Emily talking him round in the next episode.

Hopefully things will pick up with more definitive answers coming out over the next few episodes. There really needs to be some kind of progression as the show is quickly becoming difficult to watch.

User Review
0 (0 votes)