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TV REVIEW: The Heroes Reborn Premiere Is A Second Chance to Do It Right

BY Abbey White

Published 6 years ago

In a media culture saturated with world savers, NBC’s return to the Heroes universe might seem like bad-timing at least, and overkill at most. Better yet, it might seem futile.

Heroes helped pave the way for a new golden age of story, but it never quite cemented itself as the standard. An amazing premise coupled with some shaky development turned much of the series into an afterthought, if not a bad memory for some of its fans.

Which is why returning to that world -- while stacked against shows like The Flash and Agent Carter -- might not seem like the best idea.

Luckily for Heroes Reborn, it -- like fine wine -- has gotten better with age.  

Whether it’s an understanding of its predecessor's missteps, an appreciation of its competitors right ones, a cast of fresh faces breathing new life into the mythology, or a renewed commitment to the narrative by those writing it, the two-hour premiere of Heroes Reborn has rebirthed all the action, mystery  excitement, and hope of the series that came before it.

We Could Be Heroes

The premiere introduces us to a brand new set of global characters through a series of seemingly unrelated plots. The first of which is Tommy, a young American man on the run with his single mother in an effort to stay alive. We first see him fleeing the Canadian border, but he is brought back to Chicago where he fights to control his powers in the triggering hallways of high school.

While he attempts to deal with his feelings for a girl he can’t have, his presence at an EVO gathering has put him in the direct sights of Luke and Joanne. The three have a reunion that shows us his powers  —  a less unsettling version of The Twilight Zone’s “A Good Life” vingette. Little does Tommy know, the power to send people to unknown places is what will help get the girl, give him normalcy, make new friends, and maybe even keep he and his mother alive.

Our second new EVO is Carlos, a handsome soldier with a douchebag bedside manner. There is definitely something underneath those moving but insincere high school auditorium speeches, but it isn’t awakened until the death of his brother — and the discovery of a double life.

To find purpose in his own, Carlos takes on his brother’s duties and turns to protecting the people of his small Mexican town. He does this by slipping on his brother’s mask and becoming the famous “El Vengador”, a masked wrestling hero who is believed to have EVO powers. 

In Toyko, Ren Shimosawa is a famous gamer who, after unlocking a new level in a video game, is led to a home address. There he meets Miko Otomo, a girl who bears and uncanny resemblance to an unlockable character in his favorite video game.

While initially resistant to Ren, Miko’s curiousity gets the best of her and she must confront her father’s secret. He is a storyteller of the greatest kind — a man who can literally bring his worlds to life. In her search to know more, Miko ventures into his room and finds herself playing in his video game. It is in that game that she finds her inner warrior and attempts to recover her father, who is somehow stuck in the game. 


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