It’s been a month and a half since Heroes Reborn left us off on a bizarre cliffhanger where Noah Bennet disappeared, Miko was alive and well in the future, Tommy was being pressed into helping Erica, and Matt Parkman went full evil as the head of a Children of the Corn style X-Mansion full of hypnotized evos. All-in-all, having experienced this first of the final three episodes of Heroes Reborn, it would have been preferential if we had just powered through, and finished the whole thing up before Christmas. Instead, we have to kick-off 2016 by slogging through this bizarrely non-urgent first leg of the series’ climax.
So what happened to Noah? That is not answered, and Malina and her new guardian Luke don’t seem to put a whole lot of effort into trying to find him. Tommy, meanwhile, despite being told that the world is on the brink of destruction and only he can save it, spent a considerable amount of time this week just bounding around the future base with Miko, who it seems speaks fluent English. (Not sure if that was a well known fact before hand, or whether she was just always in the company of someone whom she could speak her native Japanese to.)
Let’s deal with Miko first because despite the miracle of this video game construct based on her creator’s real daughter surviving her final mission, it turned out that she had one final, final mission. Tommy teleports Miko to Sunstone Manor, home to the only real urgency in the episode as Carlos, Farah, and the Hero Truthers try to rescue Matt’s evo prisoners. Miko’s mission, as it turned out, was to kill Harris Prime, and thus eliminating the threat of his clone army. The shame is that Harris is one of the few characters in this new Heroes that actually had presence, either because of the simplicity of his function as a henchman, or the cold charisma of Clé Bennett. As for Miko, she disappeared to video game heaven (I suppose), but with Micah and his electronic controlling superpowers back in play, I doubt this will be the last we see of Katana Girl.
As for Tommy, he spend most of the hour acting like he didn’t trust Erica to be as good as her word about saving as many as possible, why else would he teleport Miko away and tell Erica she just vanished. But I guess saving your mom and your girlfriend from an off-screen disaster buys a certain amount of good will, and Tommy looks truly shocked when Micah reveals to the world that Erica was behind June 13 with video of her coaching Fake Suresh. But he did sit voluntarily in the chair of doom, and Erica was talking about rebuilding the video game prison, so if Tommy has got a plan up his sleeve he better move fast.
Speaking of moving fast, Quentin, who went from dopey sidekick to secret hard ass, started waffling again as he and his sister Phoebe traveled with a pair of Harrises to eliminate Malina and Luke. Phoebe, meanwhile, who always seemed to be a pitiable figure, broken down into a robot kind of utility evo who whipped out her shadows on command, seemed decidedly more evil in this episode. She was busting her brother’s balls about maybe not wanting to kill and an innocent girl, and not giving Luke and Malina details about Erica’s wicked plans. It was almost as if someone cast Team Rocket for a Kevin Smith movie watching these two now.
As the hour rolled on, particularly with the Quentin and Phoebe scenes, you could note that the writers of Heroes Reborn didn’t seem very concerned about consistency. Is Phoebe a victim or a willing participant? Is Quentin a loyal soldier out of commitment to his sister, or is he truly invested in helping Erica because that means winning the “I survived the solar flare” lottery? In other words, was he conscripted into the fight, or was he an eager volunteer?
The complete lack of consistency in characterization has been a pretty big problem with Heroes Reborn. I think the writers think that they’re adding shades of grey to the characters and their motivations, but in watching the story unfold it seems like these heroes and villains change their minds like other people change socks. It’s not like it matters though, as only the fate of the world is at stake. It’s one thing to be ambivalent about your goals, especially if they require you to do horrible things, but there must be a clarity of purpose, a character must somehow tell the audience that “this is my goal, and I am committed to it.” Heroes Reborn hasn’t really done that, and it’s been depending on our love for a good twist to get us to buy the inconsistencies from episode to episode.
For instance, I didn’t feel particularly compelled to revisit the show during the break, but why does Erica want Malina dead for? The prophecy says that both of Claire Bennet’s twins were meant to save the world, not one out of two is okay. Then, when Luke’s estranged wife Joanne walks into Erica’s office at the end of the episode, it seems clear that killing Malina is a priority because it gives Joanne a reason to have one last marital throw down with Luke. It’s a vicious cycle that Luke and Joanne seem characters meant only to be a kind of obstruction at one point or another, either to themselves or the heroes. It’s interesting too that Joanne, driven all season for her need for revenge against the people she perceived as responsible for the death of her son, would just let it slide when she comes face-to-face with the actual responsible party and says okay when Erica tells her she’s being framed by the evos.
The hour wraps with a blatant set-up for a two-hour mega finale as all parties head for Odessa and the final countdown. Micah tells Carlos and Farah that there will be two solar flares hitting the Earth in less than 24 hours, the first that will fry North America and a second that will fry the rest of the Earth. I’ll spare you the tedious scientific dissection that solar flare damage would not be limited to a singular continent, and just say that this time in two weeks, it will all be over.