Butterflies and ripples, always the representative nugget when discussing the ramifications of time travel. In this week’s Heroes: Reborn, we get to see the beginning of the end as well as how small changes in the past can affect the future.

We rewind a few minutes in time from where last week left off. Erica Kravid is throwing Evos under the bus and, with Mohinder’s “video”, the entire country falls for the ploy. She eventually snakes her way through the hotel where Current-Noah (C-Noah) draws a bead on her but, before he can take the kill shot, is tackled by Past-Noah (P-Noah). The stray shot hits Kravid in the leg and a desperate Quentin pulls her into the stairwell while the two Noahs hide from security. P-Noah berates his future counterpart for ignoring the whole butterfly effect. While they await Hiro’s return from dropping Angela and the babies off in 1999, Quentin tries threatening Erica in order to see his sister, Phoebe. She turns the tables on him and is able to gain his aid in order for the chance to see Phoebe.

I don’t believe Hiro signed up for diaper duty.

Back in 1999, Hiro realizes a major issue has arisen with baby Nathan, more specifically that, as a Petrelli, baby Nate has the ability to steal another Evo’s powers. It’s the reason Claire died during childbirth and why Hiro has the unfortunate luck of being stuck in the past. Realizing the danger of keeping the babies together, Angela takes Malina while Hiro must find a way to make it with baby Nate at his side.

Fast-forward back to the present (one year removed), Molly and C-Noah make the trek to the Odessa suburbs to visit Hiro and the teenaged Nathan. Anne, Tommy/Nathan’s ‘mother’ is there with Hiro and the boy, who gets to meet his grandfather for the first time.  This version of the boy realizes his destiny and is all-in for saving the world. The group gets a small surprise when a Harris clone pops up, ready to take the boy out but they turn the tables and realize that C-Noah’s actions have sped up Erica’s time table so they all need to get a move on. It starts by C-Noah taking Nathan to see Angela.

Matt Parkman’s working with the bad guys

Meanwhile, the Penny Man (aka Casper) is about to wipe P-Noah’s memories but another Harris clone arrives and takes out the memory man while securing P-Noah for questioning. What’s the best way to question someone who doesn’t want to talk? Matt Parkman, resident telepath, that’s how. It’s a disappointing surprise when P-Noah realizes Parkman’s working for the bad guys but he allows the Evo to read his thoughts on Claire’s fate but just as Parkman’s about to uncover the full story, a Casper penny rolls in front of P-Noah, wiping his memories from that day. Casper neutralizes the clone and though he has the chance to stop them, Parkman lets Casper and P-Noah go. The latter eventually finds himself in the middle of the rubble when a familiar woman—his present day fiancé—a relief worker, helps him.

Sadly, Luke and Joanne discover their son’s fate and when Ice Boy, the Evo that had been playing with Dennis, comes to thank Luke for saving him, Joanne goes off her rocker. She attacks Ice Boy and he tosses her aside in self-defense. He uses his power to neutralize Luke’s attack and when Joanne brutalizes the Evo, Luke sees the psychotic break in his wife’s eyes. The Joanne he loved is gone, replaced by a horrible desire to kill those she holds responsible for her son’s death: Evos.

In Japan, Hachiro Otomo questions Kravid on the misinformation on Hiro and her response, along with discovering he’s been locked out of his own game, forces the Evo to take action. He removes one of the game’s main characters—Katana Girl—from Evernow and into reality. Thus, Miko is born.

We also get a glimpse of Carlos Guiterrez’s hearing about a firefight during a battle in Afghanistan where one of his comrades is none other than Farah Nazan, the Invisible woman. “We had a deal,” she tells him, “I kept my end of it and you don’t get a court-marshal.” Turns out, the medal he received was Farah using her invisibility to turn the tides of the fight. It’s the same power she ends up using to work for Angela in getting Malina prepared for the road ahead.

Nathan meets his grandma Angela but only watch his twin sister from afar…

Speaking of Malina, C-Noah and Nathan watch her from afar as Angela cautions that they can’t meet just yet. She tells C-Noah about the warning signs of the pole shift, something he’s well away of and the upgrade in their timeline.  They return back to the house where the young Nathan becomes a transit station, popping Molly to India (to speak to Mohinder’s family) and C-Noah back to the future. When several Harris clones show up to take young Nathan down, Hiro stays behind while Nathan, Casper (who joined the gang) and Anne are whisked away. Casper uses his memory powers on Nathan and the boy will only remember his mother.

C-Noah is back in Midian and is shocked to find Quentin still alive. He tells his quirky companion everything, completely unaware than Quentin’s now bought in to Erica’s new vision for humanity.

Hero Space

  • The more things change, they say. Despite some very interesting developments—Nathan’s power stealing abilities stranding Hiro in the past and causing his mother’s death—Reborn still has one major flaw: Erica Kravid still does not work as the story’s villain. Her character is written as a cardboard cutout and the performance does nothing to alleviate the flaws in writing. The primary reason the preceding two episodes were so good was due to more focus on the other characters. Anytime Kravid and her Harris henchman are onscreen, things stall. Considering the pair will be there until the end, it’s something we’ll have to live with…
  • Kismet. Serendipity, whatever the term you like, I always find it interesting as to how all these characters intersect with one another. This was a plot device used quite liberally in the first Heroes but, at the same time, there was an organic feel to it. Heroes Reborn does a serviceable job in that category as well. Carlos having a relationship with Farah, young Nathan’s power sapping causing his mom’s death, etc. No matter my issues with certain aspects of the plot (still not a fan of Hachiro Otomo’s “video game” powers) I can appreciate some of the steps taken to bring everyone together.
  • A gripe I have with the ending is Hiro’s decision to stay behind. It was—based on the information we have—an unnecessary sacrifice. True, Hiro’s glimpses into the future in the previous episode may have warranted his actions but, from a viewer’s standpoint, it was an over-the-top sacrifice for dramatic effect. Of course, knowing Hiro, I very well may be proven wrong.