Heroes was always aptly titled, and Heroes Reborn seems to be no different.
While the main characters have largely changed, “Under the Mask” proved that they share many of the same successes and challenges as their predecessors.
This week saw Tommy getting closer to his friends, but his happiness was short lived as a new threat presented itself. Miko has managed to fully embrace her sword skill and character, though she may have gotten a tad overconfident.
Meanwhile, Carlos attempted to avenge his brother and got even more mixed up with the EVOs his brother was trying to protect. His efforts also led him into some villainous hands that he may or may not be able to take down alone.
In addition, new threats emerged and the world as our heroes know it may be changing forever -- in more ways than one.
A Balancing Act
Episode three sees the series firmly establishing its threats. All but one, however, seem less tangible than they should. This is easily explained by where the narrative is (still in the exposition phase) and the show’s general air of mystery. However, for solid inciting action to build and eventually combust, there has to be a clear set of stakes for all the storylines, characters and viewers. And ideally, the thread between them will be woven tightly.
Right now the stakes are life and death — no different than the series predecessor. Another set may also be the threat of exposure, but again, how different is that from Heroes? Reborn has succeeded in re-building the Heroes universe by using identical story structure, but the literal story and stakes can’t be the same. Nods are okay. A re-write? Not so much.
The single well constructed obstacle — “Epic” technology — is certainly hair raising. Molly, one of the returning heroes, was effectively captured at the end of last week’s two hour premiere. We now see what she will be used for — locating and capturing other EVOs just like her. Noah has been known for getting himself and others out of harry situations, but what remains unclear is if they even need Molly anymore. The “treatment” they were using on her seemed incredibly harsh. Could her body withstand that over and over? And if not, have they found a way to harvest her power without her? Getting her back might be the smallest hurdle Noah faces going forward.
Tommy’s story took a wild turn this episode, and where he landed might be a good indication that we are going to see what he can really do as an EVO. It feels like the show may pull a Disney and kill off his mother, but that doesn’t have to be all bad (outside of following a terrible trope). It will force him to further rely on his new friends. The role of “Mr. Penny For Your Thoughts” might become clearer and more prominent as well. He seems to be a good guy — despite how much Tommy’s mom didn’t want his help. And there is certainly something special about Tommy (a.k.a further proof he is the new Claire) and now that he is learning to embrace and practice his powers, we might find out what that is.
Carlos appears to be battling his own set of EVO catchers and dealing with a calling that may or not involve him having powers. Through Carlos viewers are offered an outside perspective at the EVO world — where everyone and everything is not as it seems. As a result, Carlos was perhaps the most relatable character this week. His story remained fractured from the rest of the group, but his feels far more like an origins story than anyone else. Yes, he may be the only one with powers, but Carlos is coming into a calling. He helps EVOs, can’t get caught as one, and with all the knowledge he is slowly gaining about the battle between the heroes and those that want them dead, he may be the group’s best bet at a leader.
Meanwhile, Miko’s storyline made a clean connection to the plot-at-large this week. It also tied her to one of Heroes’ most prominent faces — Hiro Nakamura. We knew he was set to make an appearance, but we didn’t know when. Now we have a vague how. She is somehow linked to him… by his sword.
So far Miko’s video game-esque powers have only appeared to come in handy when she is fighting, but I’m left to wonder what else she can do besides wield a samurai sword. If she could simply materialize, what other nifty powers does she have? And does she have them or are they a result of her entering the game? More importantly, who is her father and what role does he play? Especially considering the group behind EPIC seemed shaken by learning he had a child.
Outside of this eerie aura the show continued to carry, “Under the Mask” revealed what Reborn’s major players were capable of, while shining a light on where each may be going. Storylines became more concrete, while more tension was built. There is quite a bit of inciting action going on right now and I’m eager to find out how powerful each of these character’s is. The show wouldn’t choose to concentrate on EVOs who might not be game changers, so how exactly will they all fit together?
Heroes Reborn continues Thursdays on NBC.