By BRYNN RICHTER
After much anticipation, Heroes Reborn has finally arrived. There was a great deal of hype surrounding the premiere as NBC announced which members of the original cast would return (a slim number, since many of the actors have gone on to bigger projects) and what new actors would be joining the cast. Because the first season of Heroes was excellent, I had hopes that whoever decided a Heroes reboot was necessary after the show greatly declined and was ultimately cancelled, would bring that quality to Heroes Reborn.
Heroes Reborn picks up five years after the original series ended, opening on the Odessa Summit, where people with powers, “evos” are accepted. Minutes later, however, a June 13 terrorist attack on the summit destroys all pro-evo sentiments, leaving evos no choice but to go into hiding. A year passes and we are introduced to numerous, seemingly disjointed plots and characters. So where do our evo and evo haters stand two weeks in?
Noah Bennet (Jack Coleman), of the original series, is looking for answers to what and who caused the June 13 attack, why he has no memory of the attack and how his daughter Claire (the cheerleader of the original series’ mantra “Save the cheerleader, save the world”) is involved. Our old friend, The Haitian (Jimmy Jean-Louis), who has the ability to erase memories, appears and tells Noah that he erased Noah’s memory at Noah’s own request. Luckily for Noah, a new slightly annoying sidekick Quentin (Henry Zebrowski) approaches him demanding answers to what happened during the attack that also killed his daughter. Noah and Quentin embark on a journey to find answers, leading them to a mysterious organization called Renautas.
Quentin embodies my biggest gripe with the reboot, and TV in general: The writers underestimate the audience’s intelligence and use characters like Quentin as a method of exposition. Noah explains what’s going on to Quentin, and in turn, Quentin makes observations that viewers are apt to be thinking. But the audience is smarter than that and frankly deserves a lot more credit.
In the most cliché high school plots, Tommy (Robbie Kay) just wants to be a normal teenager despite his supernatural abilities to teleport things. Tommy is bullied by the school jock, only for them to become friends, while Tommy is stealing his too-nice girlfriend. As one might expect, Tommy’s status as a cool kid doesn’t last very long. Tommy’s mother finds out about a mysterious man who follows and protects Tommy, and insists they move yet again.
Meanwhile, Luke (Zachary Levi) and Joanne (Judith Shekoni) are hunting evos to avenge their son’s death in the June 13 attack, beginning with a slaughter of evos that Tommy narrowly escapes. They can’t possibly think that they single-handedly will kill all the evos (they have shady corporations for that), but soon their plan starts to unhinge as Luke begins to realize, and promptly hide, that he’s an evo. I was worried about their use of Zachary Levi as Luke after the premiere, because he plays slightly clueless but lovable (a la Chuck) much better than serious and vindictive, but second week’s introduction of his powers puts him in more familiar territory as he learns to cope with his new status.
In Japan, a young woman, Miko (Kiki Sukezane) is greeted by a stranger claiming to have unlocked a secret message in a video game that contained her address. The stranger reveals that she is the unlockable character in what turns out to be her father’s video game. Her father also left her Hiro Nakamura’s sword (of the original series) which can transport her into the video game. She embarks on a journey to save her father in both the video game and real life.
This was another plot line that seemed absurd at the conclusion of the premiere, but the follow-up episode quickly discloses that her father’s disappearance is tied to none other than Renautas and their big reveal of their revolutionary project, Epic. We find out that the Epic program can track and identify any non-registered and potentially threatening evos using none other than Molly Walker (Francesca Eastwood) who has not grown up terribly well since she last appeared as a sweet young girl in the original series.
In the most disconnected plotline of the show so far, Carlos, (Ryan Guzman) in the wake of his brother’s death, takes over his brother’s role as evo vigilante El Vengador and vows to protect the Underground Railroad that his brother set up to transport evos safely to Canada. The system is threatened by corrupt cops who are also evos because mystery. This plotline is pretty disconnected except for Carlos being Luke and Joanne’s next target, but it has a grittiness and realness, reminiscent of Marvel’s Daredevil, that makes it one of the more interesting storylines.
All of the evos and non-evos alike have their missions which become more connected as the miniseries progresses. The second week definitely gave the storylines purpose and relevance that will hopefully lead to a collection of events as exciting and suspenseful as Heroes’ season one. If the writers clean up the somewhat clunky narrative and give viewers the opportunity to be in the dark a bit more, this series truly does have the potential to be fun and intriguing to watch.
Brynn Richter is a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.