Review: Heroes Reborn – Brave New World

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Look! A review! Been a while since I did one of those, so let’s jump right in.

Short, utterly spoiler-free version – I like it. Not all of it was perfect (or even good, really) but I still like it. I will be tuning in for more (and hoping that the not-good parts get better).

For the spoilery, much more detailed version, make with the clicking!

So, let’s talk Heroes Reborn… We start off with a bunch of flashbacks to get us up to speed (sort of) from the end of the original run of Heroes. That would be Claire Bennet jumping off a ferris wheel and showing the world that she can heal… and she’s not the only one with powers. Noah (aka HRG) is walking into a big unification thing for humans and evos (the shows new term for people with powers). He passes numerous people showing off powers. Whoop-de-doo. I strongly suspect that a butterfly we see fluttering along with/ahead of him will have something to do with what happened next:


Yup. The convention/symposium/whatever you want to call it went boom. To quote Leeloo from The Fifth Element: “Big bada-boom!” It apparently took a big chunk of Odessa, Tx with it. No big loss, actually. Many people dead, not including our favorite optically-challenged agent. Supposedly, however, Claire the nigh-immortal, super-regenerating cheerleader was blown to bits. More on her later. More flashes, forward from that perspective, less backward from ours, show us various evos being chased by shadowy people that appear out ot kill them. not just in America, though. We’ve got international hero-hatred! Yay?

When we get to the present, Tommy the teleporter is going into a secret meeting of other evos, who variously want to fight back and/or just run for Canada, which is supposedly a safe haven. Remember, kids: When you’re being persecuted, always go north. It’s just the rule. Tommy, meanwhile, just wanted to learn how to use his powers better, and leaves abruptly, dropping a clue to where he lives. On his way out, he slams into a guy on a bike, knocking him down, before he runs and jumps on a bus while yelling how sorry he is. Damn kids these days. That’s when Zachary Levi (Chuck! … No, wait. His name here is Luke.) tells them about being in Odessa and watching his son die in his arms. Then, obviously, he proceeds to kill everyone there (with a little help from his partner Joanne). He shows her the card and they go off to find Tommy and finish the job. Oh, and all this time, a fat man is lurking across the street. Fatty McPennycase (you’ll understand later) is definitely up to something.

Then we begin the bouncing about like crazy this is traditional with early episodes of Heroes. Hey, when you have a dozen story lines going at once, you can’t spend too much time on any one of ’em.

HRG is a car salesman in Austin. I bet that was some culture shock, going from conservative Odessa to the center of weirdness that is Austin. Annnnyway, he sees someone watching him. Dun Dun Dunnnnnnn!!!

Latino soldier makes out with teacher. Latino soldier give speech to kids. Latino soldier drinks while speaking. Oh, and Latino soldier forgets teacher’s name… repeatedly.

Tommy is now at school, checking out Emily, the little hotty dating the big, dumb jock. Big, dumb jock proceeds to threaten him and Tommy holds back from wishing him into the cornfield. Thought you needed help controlling your powers, doofus? Oh well. he hears about the massacre and we find out that one of the dead was a coach at his school.

Jump to a police department, where the man Tommy slammed into is sitting in an interrogation room. Fatty McPennycase comes in, opens his briefcase and pulls out one of many, many pennies inside (see? I told you we’d get there) and spins it on the table, telling the guy “A penny for your thoughts.” When a real cop comes in, the guy no longer remembers anything about Tommy or Fatty. Fatty appears to be a cleaner, like the Haitian.

HRG talking to a woman that he apparently marrying. he realizes he’s still being watched. Oh, and he goes by Ted now. Nah… looks more like a Noah to me.

And then we get to the part that will, in a bit, suck all the rest of the show down down down. A Japanese boy (Ren) hunts for an address and eventually finds it. The door is unlocked, so he goes in and find a girl (Miko) with her music way too loud, making origami swans(!!!). He tells her he played a MMORPG called Evernow and got to a point in the game which revealed her address to him. She looks familiar to him and he sees a painting on a door that he recognizes as part of the game. She shoves him out of her apartment and looks at the door like she’s never seen it before.

Back at school Emily comes up to Tommy and starts talking about where she works (ice cream parlor) and apologizing for her big, dumb jock. She wants Tommy to come interview for a job, since he obviously is an ice cream aficionado. As she goes, he gets a text from an unknown number saying “Don’t trust anyone.” Could Mulder be hiding in a locker? Helllllo cross-over!

Back in LA, the soldier (Carlos) is walking his nephew (Jose) home and hearing all about El Vengador, an evo vigilante in a luchador mask. Jose idolizes him. Joses’s dad, however isn’t a fan. The brothers get in a little spat about the garage, which had previously been their father’s. Aaaaaaand scene!

Finally, we get to the meaty part of the show…. HRG confronts the guy following and finds out he’s Quentin Frady, a conspiracy nut who worked for Renautus, this season’s Big Bad Corporation, which had bought Primatech, HRG’s former employer. Quentin makes HRG realize that just maybe things didn’t happen quite how they appeared to… right be he’s hauled off to the pokey.

Back in Tokyo, Ren comes back and tells Miko that she looks just like “Katana Girl” in Evernow, a character no one has ever been able to unlock. He shows her a comic which tells the story of how she found a katana in her father’s study and used the power it gave her to rescue him.On the back of the comic — a picture of Miko’s father! Dun Dun Dunnnnnnnnnn!!!

HRG gets up in the middle of the night and looks through a bunch of things from his old life. A card with Lumiere Opthalmology on it falls out of his journal. He looks it up and finds they moved from Odessa to Dallas. Road trip!

Back in LA, Carlos is getting drunk. He watches a news story about El Vengador and we finally get to see el luchador en la acción. A girl is being chased, and he drops from a roof onto a car (crushing the top…. poor car owner!). He beats the guys chasing her and then, two shots ring out…. from the girl! Yup, kids, it was a trap, and El Vangador fell right into it. He whips a knife out and throws it, killing her. Then he escapes into the foggy night. The next morning, Carlos goes to his brother’s shop and sees a trail of blood leading to a hidden room. His brother is dying, and Carlos puts two and two (and the Vengador mask on the floor) together and figures out it was his brother all along! Oscar lives long enough to point to a board with all kinds of conspiracy stuff on it (this show loves it’s clue boards!) and tells him to take care of Jose and that Joes and “others” will require a strong hand. Then…. he dies. Like we couldn’t see that coming.

Back to Luke and Joanne, sitting in the ice cream shop. Yeah, that card Tommy dropped led them right to him. Dumbass. Luke is pretty iffy about the whole thing and thinks they should go after El Vengador (but wait… didn’t someone else just do that? Multiple bad guys!) while Joanne is determined they should finish this first. Meanwhile, Tommy comes in the back with Emily and is subjected to the most intense job interview ever. “Can you scoop ice cream?” “Yes.” “You’re hired!” They go out to get Tommy his uniform and he sees Luke. Tommy goes up to talk to him about the massacre just as Joanne returns from the rest room. She leads Tommy out at gunpoint, with Emily following. Out in the alley, Joanne decides they’ll just take care of both of them right then, forcing Tommy to show us his power. They just seem to get sucked up and vanish. He’s either super-fast or super-thorough, too, since the bullet that had already been shot at Emily also vanishes. Tommy takes off on foot, with Emily in hot pursuit in her VW Beetle. She catches up and asks him where they went. He says he doesn’t know, and she tells him his secret is safe with her. Ah young love!

Back in LA, Carlos visits Jose on a roof. Jose says “I never even got a chance to tell him. To show him.” and then requests some time alone. Uncle Carlos obliges and (like you couldn’t have guessed) we get to see that Jose is an evo. He phases his hand through part of the roof, then back out. Seemed a bit strained, though.

HRG goes to Lumiere Opthalmology in Dallas, the receptionist insists he’s never been there and he notes that the sign in sheet is completely blank. He shows her the card with “See more clearly” on the back and she says “We don’t have anyone here named Seymour.” Obviously, the girl is either a robot or stupid. Then, realizing the jig is up, she pulls a gun on him. Before anything else can happen, though, Rene the Haitian pops out and tells HRG to meet him across the street. Behind Rene, we can see all kinds of computers and surveillance equipment.

Meanwhile, Miko goes into the room she apparently didn’t know was part of her apartment and finds many notes on a board, her father’s desk, and (surprise!) a part of the floor holding a katana with the Heroes squiggle on it and a note that says “Save me… the sword is the key.” She removed the sword from it’s scabbard and *zap* she’s a poorly rendered digital version of herself in the game Evernow! She fights off a bunch of goons and one say “You will never save him!”

HRG is waiting and Rene comes up to him and gives him some nice, new horn-rimmed glasses… and then proceeds to strangle him. Well, attempt to anyway. HRG pulls out a gun and they struggle, ending with HRG shooting the Haitian. “Why were you trying to kill me?” “You told me to.” Rene tells him he needed to forget, and “It’s coming,” then is dead. People on this show are big on dying just before they tell the important parts.

Mohinder begins narrating and we see the girl from the trailer, lighting up the Northern Lights and controlling them. They begin to form a circle and… “It’s happening faster than we thought. I don’t think I can control it much longer.”

Beginning in the second part of our big premiere, we open with HRG washing the Haitian’s blood off his hands. Clearly, he has decided there are things he must find out.

Back at the high school, Tommy and Emily are hanging out in a shed (what kind of school has a shed students can get into just whenever they want?) discussing his power. he says that having powers is like being a witch in Salem, which just proves the boy needs to study his history more, since the ones executed were innocent. He then tells us about how he was taken as a child and kept in a room with toys and no windows, and that he thinks about it whenever he’s scared. I’m sure you’re thinking the same thing I was…. Gee, dumbass…. that’s probably where you send things! Think of someplace different next time! She wants him to demonstrate his power for her and hands him a flower. I guess making the two people with guns disappear didn’t really show her what it did. Of course, as TV luck would have it, big, dumb jock just happens to walk by the window at just that moment. Zing! Busted!

HRG again…. now he’s bailed out Quentin, his stalker, and tells him all about the incident with Rene. Weird place to jump back to them, but oh well…

Back to Tommy… as Emily heads off to Trig, her big dumb jock grabs Tommy and tells him that he knows what he is, and he’s turning him in.

Aaaaand we’re in a suspiciously familiar-sounding room with toys and no windows… but it does have a Luke and Joanne in it! Joanne clearly just wants out, but Luke takes a moment to reminisce about their son over a T-Rex toy and contemplate whether they might be in Hell. Apparently, Hell has neon lighting and lots of toys. Joanne, on the other hand, is busy shooting things and telling him how none of this would have happened if he hadn’t convinced her they should take their son to the Odessa thingy.

In Tokyo, Ren comes back to Miko’s apartment to apologize and once again finds the door wide open. Either he has the power to unconsciously open locked doors, or Miko really needs to work on remembering to lock that damn door. Ren wanders in and finds a computer with Evernow playing on it…. and there’s Katana Girl! She sees her father, who says “Finally, you’re here!”… which makes sense. How long was he waiting for her to realize he had a whole office with an obvious spot in the floor with that save-me-sword? The girl is kind of dense, if you ask me. Well, she starts to get over-run by the villains, so Ren logs into the game and heroically saves her ass, letting her go off after the guys who had her father. As a bonus for the geeiest of us, his battle cry is the classic “Leeeeeeeeroy Jenkins!” Thank you, Heroes people. I appreciate the effort.

Tommy tells the jock (okay, okay…. his name is Brad) that he could’ve made him disappear, but he didn’t. This is, quite possibly, the closest we come to seeing Tommy grow a pair. Congratulations, Tommy. Brad tells him that he won’t say anything, if Tommy will do a favor for him. Tommy promptly agrees, then asks what it is. I feel like I did the same thing when I agreed to type up this recap. Meanwhile, of course, Fatty McPennycase is watching. Always watching.

Carlos and Jose are eating (looks soooo yummy) after the funeral, when a priest comes and talks to Carlos about his brother. He seems to know that Oscar was El Vengador, and subtly encourages Carlos to follow in his brother’s footsteps. I hope Carlos has some powers if he’s supposed to jump off buildings.

Tommy and Brad arrive at Brad’s house. Brad’s stepdad is a total dick, and Brad asks Tommy to make him disappear, to stop him from further abusing him and his mom. Sounds like a plan to me. brad skedaddles, giving Tommy the chance to whammy Pappy Slap-Around, but as can be expected, Tommy wusses out and makes a run for it. Fatty watches.

HRG and Quentin are talking about Renautus, and how they’re going after the evos. HRG says the need to go to Odessa and find his files from Primatech, then find Molly Walker (Hey! I know her! Cute little blonde girl, straight-as-a-board hair, about 9 or 10 last we saw her) and have her do her thing to find Claire. Here’s a hint, Noah – she’s on another channel being a country singer right. this. moment.

Back in the video game, Katana Girl finds her father, who says they have more to do… just as he’s sucked up into a huge building. She sheathes the sword and falls right over. Good thing Ren the not-quite-a-burglar is here!

Hey, a new storyline! Like we needed any more… in this one, we enter a club with a prominently-placed “No Evos” sign. That alone should tell you what kind of thing is going to happen. A gorgeous redhead (like…. WoW) is at the bar as a brunette walks up. The redhead wanders over to the craps table, where a guy is absolutely killing it. We get a close-up of the dice that shows them tumbling in a verrrry unnatural way. I suspect we have a violation of the “No Evos” policy! As an obvious casino employee walks up, the guy decides it’s time for he and red to go find a hotel room and celebrate his winnings, so he cashes out.

Fatty McPennycase visits Brad’s stepdad, who just wants to get back to the utterly enthralling episode of The Biggest Loser that he’s watching. Fatty holds up a penny. Uh oh. Guess he isn’t going to get to finish that episode.

Carlos is looking at Oscar’s board-o-conspiracy-bits when he sees that a cop has blamed El Vengador for the murder of three policemen. Hey! That cop is on the board! ding ding ding Carlos figures something out!

Ren is now taking care of Miko, who wakes and realizes everything he told her was true and she has a mission requiring her to go back into the game. She also realizes that a big office building (the Yamagata Tower) looks just like the tower her father was sucked up into, so she pulls out her trusty sword and zaps herself back into the game.

The redhead (Zoe) and dice-boy are having a drink in his room and talking about powers. She throws a knife at him and it just hangs there in mid-air. Telekinesis! Yup, that’s why they say No Evos. She tried blackmail, but he has other plans and attacks her. She pulls the old “hairspray and a lighter” trick and burns his face so she can run out the door, resulting in a very Vader-like choke hold from across the room. Helpful Citizen #17 comes running to the rescue and whacks him in the head, knocking him out. The brunette from the bar is suddenly there and suggests that Zoe doesn’t want to be there when the cops get there, so they book it out of there.

HRG and Quentin are now at the site of the Big Boom and find signs about toxic substances. Quentin is more than a little worried, while HRG just tells him it’s exactly the sort of thing the Company would do to keep people out… and then drives right through the chained gate. Naaaahh…. nobody will notice that! They get to the Primatech building and head in to what must be HRG’s old office. He pulls a bunch of well-chosen trigger books out from the shelf, and a door pops open to a secret room with all his files and so much more. Why would no one have ever realized there was a secret room there? They knew who he was, what he did, and what the layout of the building was. They owned it and employed him, after all. Oh well, write it off to “it just works this way” and move on. In a happy little accident, they immediately find a list of people missing from the summit, with Claire and Molly’s names right at the top. Quentin, getting a bit desperate, tells us how his sister is an evo, and she was kidnapped, so he wants to get her back. That’s sibling devotion right there, folks. He and HRG vow not to keep any more secrets from each other and we slowly pan down to Level 5… where Luke and Joanne are hanging out! Whoda thunk it?

Luke is apparently over his need to think about Hell and the toys they might have there, as he realizes something is wrong. There are no light switches! Maybe so no one on this side can see through the giant, obvious, two-way mirror, Luke? He pulls Joanne in and shoots out the neon lighting, revealing…. Hey, it’s a giant, obvious, two-way mirror! Time to blow this popsicle stand!

Tommy is walking across the street from the ice cream shop when Brad approaches. Since he didn’t do the Stepdad-vanishing, Tommy just knows he’s looking at an ass-kicking (or worse). Instead, Brad is the happiest big, dumb jock on the block! He thanks Tommy and declares them Bros 4 Life, which apparently includes more than a little hugging. Gaaaaaaaaaaay. Emily is watching from across the street and sees this strange bonding which leaves her more than a little confused. Why is her manly-man boyfriend hugging the shit out of her dweeby little evo buddy? Does this mean they’re secretly in love with each other? Instead of two possible dates for prom, is she now down to none?

Back in LA, Carlos confronts the cop who blamed the murders on El Vengador by beating the snot out of him from behind (while using that tried and true disguise – a hoody!) and gets a name from him of who it was behind the whole thing (Deering … Captain Deering). Then beats him a bit more just for good measure.

The brunette (Taylor) now has Zoe at a different bar, having a drink and icing her head. Hmmm… never thought to ice one’s head for being force-choked. Zoe whines about all the money in the hotel room being all she had (technically, all the guy had) and Taylor offers to write her a check, since she has more money than she will ever need.

Carlos drops in on the priest that came by before in the confessional. The priest admits that yes, he knew about Oscar being El Vengador, and also that Oscar was helping run an underground railroad out of his auto shop. Captain Deering is trying to shut it down. But the priest needs Carlos to help get two evos out of the country tonight…. oh, and the priest is an evo, too. He turns into a mist and floats right through the confessional window.

Tommy and Emily are having a heart to heart, and he tells her he didn’t do what Brad asked, despite Stepdad Douche-canoe vanishing. He even tells her about the anonymous texts that have been helping him along. She opens a big tub of ice cream (Maple Walnut) and freaks out a little because there is a flower in it! Then she realizes that it’s the same flower she had Tommy wish away earlier! He tells her that when he made it vanish, he was thinking of the first time he saw her, right here… and he ordered Maple Walnut. The geniuses put it together finally that he sends things where he’s thinking about . He tells her he was thinking of the room with toys when he poofed the couple before. Way to catch up with the rest of us kids! Maybe there’s hope for you after all!

Speaking of Luke and Joanne, they’re just now getting out of the room, and are looking at all the fun rooms down there on Level 5, all with giant, obvious, two-way mirrors. They spot a little geeky guy coming out a door and when he sees them, he desperately tries to get back in, but has no luck as they pulls guns on him. They go through the door and find a whole lab full of people on computers. Cue the gunfire, as our Assassin Couple shoot first and ask questions never. HRG hears it and sends Quentin back to the car with their only copies of all the stuff they found. Who else can see bad things happening? HRG comes in just as they leave, and he finds all the dead people in the lab. But hey… one of them (who he co-inky-dink-ally knows) isn’t quite dead. He manages to get out “We figured out a way to monetize the Evos… to save the world,” just before he dies without explaining what he means. Like I said, they have a real bad habit of doing that on this show. HRG looks around, but all info on Molly is lost. Dammit.

In LA, Carlos is meeting with the priest and two people (a mother and daughter) who just need to follow a secret tunnel to a boat that will get them to Vancouver. Glorious Vancouver! In appreciation, Mom turns a socket into solid gold. How he’s going to explain a solid gold socket when he tries to sell it, I have no idea. Maybe he had a torch that he can use to melt it down. And maybe she can use her powers to crater the economy in Canada. That’s serve them Canadians right!

Luke and Joanne are speeding off in a very familiar car, along with a very familiar list of evos. Joanne is excited, but Luke is worried and wonders whose car it is, anyway. One guess, Luke…. and anything that isn’t HRG doesn’t count! We pop back and there’s Quentin, laying there bleeding as HRG asks where the car is. Quentin says he was shot (but it’s really nothing bad) and they stole the car. HRG found out Renautus is about to launch a new product called “Epic”… and they need Molly Walker to power it!

Zoe wakes up from being obviously drugged. Dammit, Zoe… you have to watch out for those roofies! Taylor and the telekinetic guy are making out, and Zoe realizes they working together. She’s a bright one, that Zoe. Telekinetic Guy calls someone and tells them “We have Molly Walker.” Frightened face, Zo… Molly. Yup, that’s the one. Good girl. Dun Dun Dunnnnnnnn!

Katana Girl makes it to the tower in-game and there are a huge number of guards. She sheathes the sword and she’s in the real tower! Huzzah! There are a shit-ton of guards here, too. Boooo! One guy reaches toward her and she says “Don’t touch my sword.” Then proceeds to start kicking ass here in the real world. Katana Girl lives!

Dun Dun Dunnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn!

Now, a few thoughts and theories…

They’re going to tease us with the Claire talk for a while. I’ve heard NO noise on the line about Hayden Panatierre doing a guest spot, plus her regular show (Nashville) airs opposite Heroes Reborn. Odds of her showing up are about 1 in 1 million.

I still hold to my theory that that butterfly was just a little too focused on. It’s going to have something to do with the Big Boom. Or maybe I watched too much Under the Dome.

Fatty McPennycase is clearly working for someone, but we don’t know who. Clearly not the ones killing evos, but if he’s working for Renautus, I would think he’d be have done something by now, instead of just protecting Tommy. My best guess: Angela Petrelli. We’ve seen her picture in Quentin’s possession, and I think I spotted a flash of her in a car in one trailer. And we all know how she likes to manipulate people.

Is it a rule that all Japanese heroes (and nearly all non-Japanese) have a non-powered partner? Hiro had his Ando, and Miko has her Ren. Speaking of which, who doesn’t think there will be some connection between Miko and Hiro? Both have near-identical swords, believe in a “mission,” and there were all those damn origami swans in her apartment! Secret time-travelled dad? I just don’t know. But they’ve dropped too many hints for it to be nothing. The video game, though? Ugh. Kill it with fire. Please!

The anonymous texts Tommy keeps getting. Well, Micah was kidnapped by Renautus in the webisodes, so he’s likely out. They could pull Hana Gitelman out of cold storage, I suppose, even though they effectively killed her off in a graphic novel. Or just make someone like her. Or it could just be Fatty, sending messages from a burner phone to try and keep the little schmuck safe.

Okay, the show has always been fairly big on words puzzles. So…. Renautus is a variant of Renatus, which is Latin for “reborn.” Clearly, something was reborn. The Company? Arthur Petrelli? Adam? Okay, probably not that last one. But I wouldn’t write off The Company being “reborn” under Angela. Similarly, Lumiere is french for “light.” A light in the darkness, perhaps? Maybe shedding light on the whole mess, or at least part of it?

Obvious one: Carlos is El Vengador v.2. Powers? We haven’t seen any, but we know they run in families, so there’s a possibility.

Why would HRG tell Rene to kill him if he showed up, then keep the card that would lead to him showing up? The sense, it is not here! There has to be something big and bad to make HRG feel like the best chance is to make him forget all about whatever it is, and if he even might remember, he should be killed. My best guess: He helped set up Lumiere, which is keeping an eye on everything, ready to reveal it to the world (like Claire would want). And whatever it is they’re watching for, “it’s coming” and the girl in the north “can’t control it much longer.” Are we finally going to get Uluru, despite what Tim Kring said in 2007?

The whole second half just jumps from one to another and back again so much and so fast, it’s obvious it was a different writer. Instead of Group A Scene 1, Group B, Scene 1, Group A Scene 2, Group B Scene 2 happening in short order, why not just show one scene with Group A, then one with Group B? The viewers really are smart enough to figure out how time works, and know there is overlap.

You just know that, despite their new-found Bro-ness, Brad will eventually turn on Tommy because he thinks he’s stealing his girl. It’s just the nature of the beast.

Betcha didn’t see Zoe the rehead sexpot being Molly the blonde youngster, huh?

Oh, and one more thing…. Quentin is working for the same group as Luke and Joanne. Count on it. Otherwise, why would they not show us when they got out, shot him, and took the car? These are two people who can shoot invisible people and kill them with one shot, that just shot up an entire computer lab full of people for no reason other than they existed, and they let Quentin off with not much more than a flesh wound? And he just hands over all the info he and HRG had found? We didn’t see the scene because they came out, either knew him or he identified himself, then he gave them the files and had them shoot him in the arm to make it look good. Obviously, it’s not Renautus, but I’d bet my last thin dime that they all work for the same people.

Dun Dun Dunnnnnnnnnnn!!!


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