It’s one of those occasions where you hope the episode of Heroes Reborn you’re about to watch is as clever as its title. “Sundae, Bloody Sundae” refers to a showdown at the ice cream shop where Emily works and is one of the backdrops of her and Tommy’s romance, but there was nothing cute about what happened at the quaint little slice of 1950s Americana this week. After two episodes of being rerouted through an extended flashback, it’s nice to get the actual story back on track, but Heroes continues to be plagued by its own bad choices, and less than inspired plot points. Just as this thing should be revving up for its endgame, Heroes Reborn is still going through the motions.
To begin with, we get it, Erica is evil. I don’t need to see her shoot and slice up an innocent deer to already have embedded in my brain that small detail. I wanted to think that Erica is one of those villains that doesn’t realize how bad they are, or are simply misguided enough to think that their plan for global genocide is the only/best way to save the world, but it’s increasingly become clear that she’s just a Roger Moore-era James Bond villain in high heels.
Meanwhile, Erica’s daughter Taylor made contact “Hero Truther,” a group that is apparently lead by the Haitian (Didn’t he die?), but answers to Micah Sanders. It would make sense that Micah would be an underground hacker thanks to his ability to control machines, but unfortunately, the whole idea of “Hero Truther,” while interesting, seems like something that’s distracting from the main thrust of the story, how to stop the apocalypse and prevent Erica from using it to achieve her own re-write of the human race.
Another story that feels almost superfluous at this point is Carlos’ quest to save his nephew Jose and Father Mauricio from the Renautas L.A. facility, where, coincidentally, Micah is being held. Also coincidentally, Matt Parkman is the director of this base, using his telepathic skill to learn people’s secrets to meet Renautas’ ends.* At some point I imagine that we’re going to get some kind of explanation as to why Matt has gone villain, but does it matter? Already we’ve seen Matt’s bad guy pawn routine falter in the presence of a friend, so really just how bad is he?
*Incidentally, if you hadn’t guess that the Director was Matt Parkman from the minute the men at Renautus so pointedly were using his title, then you would have had to have been a special kind of dim to not realize it a second later when Dearing talked about the Director’s “way of getting in your head.”
Outside of the main story, the whole secret Renautas utopia base was kind of a let down, other than seeing Dearing get some cold justice. (Or did he? Was killing himself a Parkman created illusion?) Carlos’ story was once one of Heroes Reborn’s more interesting, a street level tale that had heart but was also evocative of Heroes comic book inspiration, but now it feels like a vestigial tale (spelling intentional), a story that serves no purpose other than to itself. I assume Taylor and friends will arrive, spring Micah, and Renautas’ evil will be revealed for all to see. There, I saved you four more weeks of wondering.
So let’s talk about that main story, the pressing need for Claire Bennet’s twin children to save the world. For a while there it looked like this would be the end of the entirely too cute romance between Tommy and Emily, Casper alluding to tying up loose ends and all, but even the penny-pinching memory wiper can’t deny the power of Temily. Sadly, it gets him killed.
Joanne Collins re-enters the picture this week. Yay. I guess she decided to go back to where it all started to go wrong with Luke, their last encounter with Tommy. In Joanne’s twisted mind wiping out the kid would grant her some closure no matter how fleeting or imaginary it may be. It’s interesting that for a moment there Joanne appears to seriously consider Casper’s offer to just forget everything and leave all her revenge fantasies and anxieties behind her. In fact, the only thing that stopped it from being even more effective is the fact that Joanne hasn’t engendered anything even remotely resembling sympathy.
The only thing more predictable than Joanne being recruited by Harris is the fact that Luke and Malina show up at the ice cream shop at the same time that Joanne’s very special hostage crisis gets underway. Leaving aside how Luke could be left at the side of a road in the middle of nowhere, make his way home, get his affairs in order, burn down his house, attempt suicide and be saved by Malina, but still get back to Illinois mere moments after Joanne, it seems that Luke is feeling much better now.
It seems more fitting to Zachary Levi that a touch of levity is injected into Luke now, opening up to Malina and accidentally burning his lunch with his powers. It feels more like the characterization they should have pursued for Luke the first place, instead of being Captain Buzzkill on the revenge world tour. Understandably then that there was absolutely no tension between the former couple when they came face-to-face again. I imagine on paper, the writers thought that after seeing them as a happy family and then seeing their grief in the flashbacks, we’d feel some kind of dramatic tension in the ice cream shop face-off. We did not.
The only real consequence of that whole situation, aside from the death of poor Casper, is that Noah is re-united with his other grandchild. Here’s another touching moment that might have been more touching if we had some sense of Malina beyond her being a Chosen One. Heck, there wasn’t even any time for her to say three words in last week’s flashback. And wasn’t it weird that Noah could just walk into a crime scene, and tell the cop that he called it in, and the cop’s just like, “Sure, okay, you can hang out.”
So in the space of an hour, Noah found one grandchild, lost him, and found the other, and sadly for Tommy he’s now in the hands of Erica who solidifies her evil bona fides again by serving the deer she iced and sliced to her young guest while the Shadow girl she’s brainwashed into being her slave creates a protective dark cloud overhead. All that’s missing from this scene are sharks with fricking laser beams attached to their heads and a cycloptic colleague, but there’s still four episodes left…
In a bizarre coda, we see that Miko is alive and well and 8,000 years in the future, coincidentally within walking distance from Renautas “Gateway” facility. It looks like Miko’s become a real girl and she’s, ahem, not out of the game yet.