Project Reborn

The end is nigh.

After months of buildup, we’ve reached the conclusion of Tim Kring’s ‘Heroes Reborn.’ And despite the up and down nature of this revival, there was a sliver of hope the finale would be able to recapture the glory of a ‘Heroes‘ show of years past.

We pick right up where we left off last week, starting with Micah, Carlos and Jose getting the wounded Farah to the hospital. Unfortunately, with the coming of H.E.L.E., everyone’s been evacuated and the hospital stands deserted. Working together, the trio’s able to patch up Farah and, when a host of injured folk arrive after an interstate pile-up, the heroes know they still have a job to do.

Back at Renautus, Ren and Emily watch as Erica, with her henchman Dr. Richard by her side, addresses the community of Gateway. She flips on the teleportal and sends everyone to the new Gateway. “Welcome to the future,” she tells them all as they look out at the landscape of their new home. Not deterred by the new circumstances, Ren and Emily search the compound for a way to get Tommy back. They discover a roomful of harnessed Evos, including the real Miko and Hachiro Otomo. After freeing the father/daughter pair, Otomo kills Dr. Richard and sends Ren on his true mission: rescue Tommy from Evernow. With help from none other than Katana Girl.

Pointing a gun at a man that can literally stop time: sounds like spitting in a hurricane to me.
Pointing a gun at a man that can literally stop time: sounds like spitting in a hurricane to me.

Inside the guarded fortress of Evernow, Tommy runs into another version of himself. This second version makes Tommy realize the memories he once thought were lost, were within his own power to regain. “Time is a circle,” Tommy 2.0 says, “and memories are timeless.” The memories are key, showing him the first time his mother told him of his destiny as well as meeting his sister Malina for the first time when they were children. New knowledge in hand, Tommy’s awakening coincides with Ren removing the key to the fortress door, freeing Tommy from his prison only to be surrounded by Erica Kravid and her Reanutus thugs.

Skipping back to the present, Luke, Quentin and Malina arrive at Gateway just as the first H.E.L.E. wave arrives. Luke sees the opportunity for redemption and absorbs much of the wave into himself, causing it to dissipate and giving his life. Between the first and second wave is a shower of satellite debris. Quentin and Malina use the clock tower as shelter only to have the deranged Phoebe attack. As Phoebe prepares to crush Malina with her dark power, Quentin shoots his sister, freeing one half of the world-saving duo.  The wave gets closer and Malina, fearless as ever, faces it alone.

In the future, Erica threatens the lives of Tommy’s mother and Emily, forcing him to choose her newly envisioned future. Somewhere along the way she forgot her intelligence and Tommy’s true power. Using Tommy 2.0’s advice and infinite amount of practice, he splits into two Tommy’s. One returns to the present, the other uses his power to transport the Gateway people back to the present—save for Erica Kravid. He allows her the dream of becoming ruler of a kingdom of one.

Tommy and Malina's attempts to stop the wave fail...they need a conduit.
Tommy and Malina’s attempts to stop the wave fail…they need a conduit.

But there is a problem: even joined, Tommy and Malina cannot stop the wave.  Returning to the forgotten memory of he and Malina sharing their powers for the first time, he realizes they need a conduit between them. That conduit is none other than Noah Bennett. His disappearance several episodes back on the highway now makes sense. Taking Hiro’s advice, Tommy uses the smallest of butterflies re: changing fate. Noah would have died on that highway but now he can give his life for humanity. He does so and the combined powers of Tommy and Malina disrupt the wave. The world is saved.

Three Months Later…

For some odd reason, Quentin is in cuffs, interrogated on these Evos. As we are given glimpses into where our heroes are now, Quentin explains how Evos are “us on our best day” and “this is just the beginning man…an awakening.”

And both Tommy and Malina receive mysterious Tarot cards about twins. Angela Petrelli tells her granddaughter that it’s their father and no one will be able to protect them.


Finally, it’s over and done with.

When I first heard about ‘Heroes Reborn’, I was excited yet wary. Sure, the first season of the original show is still one of my favorite seasons of any series but season two took a significant dip in quality but was still decent. Season three was worse and season four…well, I never got past the third episode of that one. Could Tim Kring recapture the magic of season one or would it be more along the lines of the final three? Despite having some solid moments, ‘Heroes Reborn’ was definitely in the latter category and the finale highlighted the inconsistencies prevalent throughout this season.

First, the good. Though I wasn’t a fan behind Tommy’s imprisonment, the way they handled his ordeal—using it as a training ground for him to rediscover his memories and hone his abilities—made sense in the narrative. As he told Erica, he had a lifetime to practice his abilities and that showed. And other than a nitpick or two (more on that later) I thought the show did a good job handling his role in the entire saga. Even though the show missed quite a bit, without Noah, the show’s foundation would have crumbled.

Other positives included Tommy and Malina. Though not the strongest of performances, I did like these characters. Carlos and Farah were also well done, if not all but forgotten by the end. But Zachary Levi’s Luke was by far the most interesting and well-written (and acted) of all our heroes. His journey from grief-filled, vigilante to a true hero is a primary reason the show carried some weight with me. Killing the woman he once loved and giving his life showed just how much he’d grown over the season and his death, despite the horrible acts he committed at one time, was that of a true hero.

Now, the bad. The villains in this ensemble—Matt Parkman, Erica Kravid, Harris, and Phoebe—were terrible. They had zero strength to their roles, both from a dialogue and character development angle. The acting only exacerbated the issue. A weak/mediocre villain can be overcome if the heroes are fantastic (see ‘Guardians of the Galaxy‘) but a terrible villain, in nigh impossible to overcome (‘Thor: The Dark World’). Never once did any of the ‘Heroes’ baddies wow me, other than the ridiculousness of their attempts to be menacing. I could devote an entire article to their failings but I won’t waste time.

Noah’s dying breath was a prime example of a misstep trying to garner reaction. From a narrative standpoint, it makes no sense for the fact that, after being a conduit for such power, he’d be burned up by then. There were several such missteps where the writers had good intentions but failed to deliver. The entire Sunstone Manor subplot was sloppy and unnecessary and, instead they could have focused more on Carlos’s efforts to tame his own inner shame. Tommy and Emily’s relationship was a minor hiccup; from friends to boyfriend/girlfriend in a heartbeat (what happened to her previous beau?) to Joanne’s final mission, there were too many strands that needed to be cut or rewritten in order to work.

There is no way to say it other than ‘Heroes Reborn’ was a major disappointment. There were four or five episodes that fell into the great/good category but, sadly the rest were mediocre or plain bad. It’s a shame because, this had the potential to be so much more. Maybe the next volume can be captured in some sort of print format because, after this failed revival, I doubt we’ll ever see ‘Heroes’ grace the small screen ever again.

I’m more than okay with that decision.