Heroes Reborn – Season 1 Episode 3

Oct 2, 2015 | Posted by in TV
Heroes Reborn

“Under the Mask”

Heroes Reborn carries on with the plot lines established in the first 2 episodes from last week but still fails to give any meaningful answers about what is really going on.

The major downfall of the original Heroes series was too many meandering plotlines that just weren’t interesting. The revival is doing a lot better than Heroes before it ended but I can’t help feeling that there is some dead weight needing shifted to make room for the more interesting stories. Many of the stories featured here are intriguing but they are unfortunately hampered by the weaker plots.

I mentioned in my review of the last episodes that the most interesting character story was Tommy but he largely takes a back seat. This really was a shame as any development given to Tommy this episode was pretty superficial. He does push-ups just before a party because he wants to impress a girl, lies to his mother about where he’s going because he wants a normal life and gets angry when there are limitations placed upon him. It’s all pretty standard stuff and would be more forgiveable if it were part of a deeper story but instead it comes across as more “been there, done that”.

Heroes Reborn

Miko is interrogated by Harris

That isn’t to say that it’s bad but it does come across as a little unimaginative. I do really like Robbie A. Kay in this role as I find him very believable an I find the situation of being a social outcast looking for acceptance a very relatable one so I’d like to see more development of that. The biggest problem is that the script seems to to be more interested in building up the mystery element associated with this character with the character beats feeling more like a tick box exercise. The trouble with that is that there has to be an investment in the characters before I can come to care about the mystery surrounding them.

Tommy is still an engaging character and I do find his situation interesting but I don’t think the emphasis should be on the mysterious stranger looking out for him at this stage. It has been established that he is important for some reason now and I do want to find out why that is but I am more interested in his super powers affecting his largely normal life. Character driven superhero stories are a lot more common than when Heroes was first around and you just need to look to Arrow or The Flash to see excellent examples of shows in this genre that put character first. Heroes Reborn needs to step up its game to compete with them in terms of quality.

Noah and Quentin remain a watchable double act by virtue of the actors doing a great job putting this across but like with Tommy the actual story feels a little by the numbers. Noah is investigating his memory gaps by taking a look at the shady Renautas corporation but as with Tommy the focus is more on what he discovers rather than how he feels about it. For instance there is a scene where he sees a video of himself looking at his daughter’s dead body despite him feeling that this should be impossible. This should have been a really powerful scene as the idea of looking at something you really should remember but don’t for reasons that remain clear is potentially emotionally deep but the episode quickly moves away from it so that more questions can be asked about what is going on. I get that it”s a short run but maybe this level of rushing is indicative of a larger problem of overstuffing the plot with more content than can reasonably be dealt with in only 13 episodes.

Heroes Reborn

Noah sees some of what he has forgotten

Jack Coleman can at least be counted on to deliver an authentic seeming performance. The pain and anger on his face as he slowly uncovers his lost hours is fantastic viewing and Noah comes across as more vulnerable than perhaps he has ever been. Claire was always his weakness so I’m glad that this fact hasn’t changed. Quentin remains a pretty straightforward character with a clear objective and a simple sense of morality which provides a suitable contrast to Noah’s darker streak. He seems to be a good foil for keeping Noah a little in check. He is also very likeable into the bargain which helps boost his lack of real depth. Maybe he’ll be given more focus when he starts to get answers about his sister.

Connected to this is the abduction of Molly Walker (Francesca Eastwood) who has grown up since the original series but still has the handy ability to tack down other Evos. The Renautus corporation led by Erica (Rya Kihlstedt) wants to use Molly’s ability to power a new technology called E.P.I.C which works a bit like Google Glass but is designed to find Evos anywhere. Is anyone else reminded of X-Men’s Cerebro? Naturally having Molly enslaved to power this invention is a really terrible thing so that puts Renautas very much in the bad column. The idea seems to be to track down every Evo before they can commit an inevitable act of terrorism but I just know there’s something more behind it. Any company that uses the slogan “Doing good is good business” just can’t be trusted.

Molly so far is being used pretty well. She’s desired because of her ability that seems to be of use to everyone but she is very much on her own with an inability to trust anyone. Her connection to Noah in his missing time intrigues me as she was willing to be caught by Renautas to avoid him. Just what did he do to her and others during that time?

I didn’t say much about Carlos, Jose and the vigilante sub-plot last week because I didn’t really seeing it as  being the focus of the season opener but here there’s much heavier development of that story. It didn’t really work for me as the characters involved aren’t all that engaging and the idea of a super powered vigilante is so old hat now that it would have to do something special to even get audience attention. I can’t help but compare this part of the story to Arrow because of the dark tone and nature of the personal mission but Arrow handled this far better. Fair enough this is only a smaller part of a larger whole whereas Arrow is a whole series but the writers could be doing more to make this more engaging. Again, the focus is more on the events than the people which hurts the whole thing significantly. What it ultimately boils down to in this case is that stuff is happening to characters I don’t care an awful lot about so there’s a complete disinterest in the “important” mystery that the writers insist on building up.

Speaking of mysteries the big one that is almost certainly going to bring everyone together is the mysterious girl in the Arctic named Malina (Danika Yarosh) keeping some kind of disastrous cosmic event at bay. It turns out that she is accompanied by a woman with invisibility powers who coaches her and reassures her about her abilities. This mystery actually works really well as the visual imagery of the event is really striking and Malina is so far very interesting despite having had almost nothing to do other than wave her hands and look unsure of herself. Since this and the previous episode set her up as being connected to the event rather than the other way around then she becomes part of that mystery and the suggestion is that more will be revealed about her in tandem with revelations about the event itself. The difference with the other stories is that the characters were set up as being the important part which makes it seem disjointed when important character moments are glossed over so quickly.

Heroes Reborn

Molly is terrified of Noah

Despite how ridiculous it is I actually really enjoy Miko’s (Kiki Sukezane) part in the story. Her team-up with Ren (Toru Uchikado) reminds me a lot of Hiro and Ando which I imagine is the point of all this given that they are the Japanese characters and they are more than a little nerdy while being sucked into a bizarre adventure. I loved the scene where she Miko was interrogated by Harris (Cle Bennett) who has the ability to clone himself. He seems wonderfully sadistic and his ability creates some interesting potential.

Lastly the little pieces of development given to Luke and Joanne are something of a mixed bag. There are moments that suggest some depth to these characters with the implication of a dead son and I like the idea that Luke is a hypocrite who hates Evos despite being one himself. If the writers play with this enough then an undercurrent of self loathing for Luke could be interesting. The problem here is that Joanne seems to be window dressing for his character so far. She remains static while he develops which will become a problem if we’re supposed to care about their relationship somewhere down the line.



  • 6.5/10
    Under the Mask - 6.5/10


There’s a lot going on here and in many cases far too much but there’s plenty of interesting stuff here to hold my attention for a while.

Sadly the most interesting story for me being Tommy’s powers invading his chances for a normal life takes something of a back seat in this episode. There are some moments where he gets to develop slightly as a character but they seem somewhat superficial as the episode is more concerned with teasing the mystery surrounding his character and his apparent importance to later on.

A similar thing happens with Noah and Quentin as the narrative spends more time trying to create a mystery rather than deal with the reasons these characters want the answers. There is a potentially powerful scene where Noah sees footage of him looking over Claire’s dead body but is unable to remember it. The focus on moving the plot forward robs this scene of much of its emotional heft.

The Renautas corporation are reasonably interesting so far and are certainly in the middle of everything. Their Evo detecting Google Glass/Cerebro rip-off is a bit unimaginative but the concept of enslaving Molly Walker to do it gives it a little more bite. I’m interested to see what else is done with Molly as well.

An overall mystery is teased with Malina’s efforts in the Arctic to control some sort of cataclysmic event. Her character is connected to the mystery so remains mysterious herself until more information is found. I look forward to seeing that develop.

Beyond that, I enjoy Miko’s story despite how ridiculous it is. Her interrogation by Harris was a great scene and his ability to clone himself is a cool one.

Luke being revealed as both an Evo and a hypocrite might be interesting should the writers do enough with it. This part of the story is being hampered by the lack of development for Joanne who sits firmly in the background of these scenes.

This is definitely still worth watching but I hope some of the bloat is trimmed in subsequent weeks as this is what was the downfall of the show before.

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