Greetings, ladies and gentlemen!
The final episode of Heroes Reborn has aired, and with that comes my final post discussing the show. For this post, I just want to discuss the big plot points that moved the story forward and brought the
season series to a close. Luckily, there wasn’t much wasted time in this episode. A lot of the focus was on the twins, Nathan and Malina, and their mission to save the world. I will also do a review of the series as a whole, but I have a lot more to say on the topic than I wish to write in a single blog post. So, I will condense my thoughts as much as I can. Let’s see how the season series closed, and how I felt about it.
Final Episode Recap
Even though this episode was the
season series finale, it still fell into the same one hour time slot. I did find this disappointing, because I believe more can be done with a two hour time slot. It is my belief the writers would have more room to tell the story, or build up and complete a scene without having to rush through each moment. However, even if this episode had a two-hour time slot, NBC would still steal 30% of that time slot for ads, but 84 minutes is still better than 42 minutes.
At the start of the episode, the first solar flare is hastily making its way towards the Earth. Luke, Quentin, and Malina move to take cover in one of Renautus’ bunkers, except Luke doesn’t step in. Instead, he closes the door with Malina and Quentin inside, and waits for the solar flare to come for him. As it comes closer, his body begins to absorb the solar energy, and he starts to “human torch” it towards the sky as the energy builds within him. Eventually, he absorbs so much energy that he explodes and negates the incoming solar flare.
So, Luke is basically in the episode for all of a few minutes, and somehow manages to stop the first solar flare. I can understand how this is supposed to make sense, because he absorbs solar energy to fuel his powers, but the first solar flare was said to strike the whole of North America. Luke hasn’t shown that he has the capacity to handle an immense amount of solar energy. He starts to glow even when a small beam of direct sunlight hits him (as seen in the previous episode). I did find Luke’s sacrifice to be a poignant moment, I like his character, but I didn’t quite buy the absorption of the solar flare watching the episode a second time.
Pheobe Finally Takes a Shot (Literally)
While dodging debris from obliterated satellites, Quentin and Malina encounter Pheobe inside the present day Gateway clocktower. Pheobe uses her powers to ensnare Malina, and holds her over a large drop in the center of the clocktower. Quentin reaches the top of the tower and aims a gun at his sister. Now, he should be conflicted at this point because he has taken it upon himself to watch over Malina, but to do that now requires that he stops Pheobe. He tries to talk her down, but she doesn’t listen and starts to kill Malina with her powers. Quentin fires a few rounds into Pheobe, and she falls out of an opening of the clocktower, plummeting to the concrete below.
I have been waiting for this moment for a long time, but I have ultimately wanted Pheobe to suffer. There have been too many moments where she could have been shot or roasted, but none of those opportunities were taken. She is someone who was easily manipulated into using her powers for evil, and she hasn’t shown the capacity for being anything more than a dangerous minion that needs to be removed. I did like the approach of having Quentin be the one to finish her off, because it gave him one more opportunity to try to save his sister, but it was an opportunity that was destined to fail.
Ren Completes His Mission
A great moment in this episode involved Ren saving Nathan (the artist formerly known as Tommy) from Evernow. After being released from an EVO pod, Otomo sends Ren into the game to free Nathan from his prison. Ren is aided by Katana Girl who is slowly fading away like the fortress. Nathan is freed after Ren pulls the sword of Hiro Nakamura from the prison door. Sadly, following his daring rescue, Ren isn’t seen again until the very end of the episode.
The Secret of the Twins
A major plot point for this episode was discovering how the twins were meant to save the world. Individually, neither Nathan nor Malina seem capable of stopping the destructive power of a solar flare. Throughout the series, there has always been this idea that they can save the world together, but we have never been told how. This episode provides the answer while Nathan resides in his virtual prison. By joining hands, Nathan and Malina generate an immense amount of energy that surges between them. If this energy is channeled through another person, it creates a beacon of energy that can shield the world from harm.
This is a pretty cool idea, but I feel like the show waited far too long to let the viewers know how the world was going to be saved. Had this information been given a few episodes earlier there would have been some anticipation behind seeing the twins’ united power in action. Especially, since the person who becomes the conduit for their power dies. We would be wondering for the remaining episodes what their shared power actually does, and who the conduit was going to end up being. Of course, considering he disappeared in the 10th episode, HRG was clearly going to be the conduit when this was revealed in the final episode.
An Ominous Message
The episode ends with Nathan and Malina each discovering a tarot card, one at the diner and the other in a locker at a school. This ominous message was supposedly delivered from the father of the young twins. Malina is told this by Angela Petrelli, her grandmother, who has miraculously regained the years she lost from going back 16 years into the past. While it has been officially announced that there are no more episodes due to come out for the Heroes franchise, the writers made sure to leave a little something at the end for a possible story. This last part of the episode did make it seem like Nathan and Malina’s father is some kind of villain. If this story ever gets told, it might be interesting to see how Claire ended up with that person.
I am a huge fan of the original Heroes series, and watched it when it originally aired. So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that I was excited to learn that Heroes was coming back in the form of Heroes Reborn. I was happy to see a few characters from the original series return. I was also glad to see an actor or two that I have seen from other things, Zachary Levi in particular, were joining the cast of new characters. I didn’t know at the time that I wouldn’t end up enjoying this partial-reboot as much as I loved the original series.
Carlos, the Purposeless Bystander
One of my biggest gripes with the show, that I have expressed in previous posts, is how much time was invested into the Carlos character with nothing gained for his presence. As the show progressed it became increasingly apparent that his part in the show was nothing but filler, because his actions had no effect on the main story. My suspicions were solidified during the final episodes of the series after he saved Micah Sanders. The truth that was revealed to world, about Renautus being the cause of the tragedy of June 13th, had zero impact on the remaining chapters of the story. Also, Carlos became nothing more than a background character, making random appearances for a few moments at a time, but this happened even before the Sunstone Manor saga.
Carlos made a brief appearance during the two June 13th episodes that resulted in nothing. It is fair to say that if his 2 minutes of screen time were cut, the remainder of those episodes would have been unchanged. His tiny appearance was supposed to show he had a connection to Farah, and possibly be a lead up to the flashbacks that would later come from his being captured at Sunstone Manor. However, that connection is discovered by Matt Parkman during the flashbacks. So, he could have been cut from those episodes entirely without any butterfly effect (time travel pun intended).
Even in the final two episodes, the writers showed me that Carlos was a purposeless bystander. In the “Company Woman” episode, he shows up for a few moments just to watch Farah get shot, and then carry her away from the action. In the final episode, we seem him carrying the wounded Farah into an abandoned hospital, and just stay there, oblivious to the fact that a solar flare is on its way to wipe them out. Sadly, characters like Farah and Micah also suffered from serving no impactful purpose in the remainder of the series simply by association with Carlos. This saddens me, because I was genuinely excited to see Micah Sanders return, but he had as much impact on the story as Carlos.
I honestly wish the show had focused on Oscar Gutierrez, Carlos’ brother, and the man behind the mask of El Vengador. I believe he would have been a better character for the show than Carlos, because he had a better story from the moment he was introduced. He was an EVO in hiding, he secretly used his powers to protect his neighborhood as a masked vigilante, and he had a son to raise who was also carrying a secret (he’s also an EVO). In general, he would have been infinitely more useful and compelling in a single episode than Carlos was throughout the entire series. Granted, making Oscar the focus would have meant either not introducing Carlos, or having his character killed off early on, and I’m fine with both of those options.
The Problem with the Final Boss
I believe Heroes Reborn falls short of my expectations for one major reason, which is the series’ big bad. Now, you may be thinking I am referring to Erica Kravid. She was a pretty terrible person throughout the series, and had many terrible things done in her name. However, she wasn’t the end goal of the series, nor was she the biggest threat to the world at large. That’s right! The big bad of the series I am referring to is the sun…
Despite all the grief the protagonists are put through when Renautus comes onto the scene, it is just an obstacle. The goal of the heroes isn’t to stop Erica and her plans, she is just in the way of the end goal — a lot. Unfortunately, even when Renautus was a serious threat, many characters weren’t used to their fullest extent. As I mentioned before, Carlos, Farah, and Micah were pretty much sidelined as soon as they were done at Sunstone Manor. Additionally, there was nothing to bring all of the heroes together for a final confrontation. Then again, even if there was a final confrontation, the writers would need to be better at utilizing their whole cast of characters.
I didn’t enjoy the body count that Heroes Reborn left in its wake. Many characters, both old and new, had targets on their backs from the start of the series. Now, there were quite a few deaths in the first season of the original series, but very few of them were core characters, and the deaths mostly came about because the big bad was a murderous crazy person with super powers. In Heroes Reborn, there were some deaths a viewer could easily anticipate, such as Harris Prime, Pheobe, and Joanne, but not all of the deaths were warranted (Hiro), and not all of them were executed well (Joanne). Luckily, the one original character that was destined for the grave, HRG, had a meaningful death that contributed to the twins’ primary objective. Not that I’m really happy about him being killed off either…
While I don’t absolutely hate Heroes Reborn, I do feel disappointed in its execution. The writing was the show’s weakest point at times, and there are a lot of little things I could pick apart. I believe the show would have benefited from avoiding the world destruction ploy, and focusing on Renautus and their exploitation of EVOs. A lot of the other elements of the story work, but the writers needed to trim some of the fat so more important parts of the story could be given proper amounts of attention. It was a good attempt, and there are some really great moments that got to me. I think the next revival of the Heroes franchise needs to look at what made its first season so great, emulate that, tighten up the writing and story telling, and give the fans new characters to be drawn to.
What did you think of the
season series finale? What did you think of Heroes Reborn as a whole? Were you satisfied with the outcome? Do you still have questions that remain unanswered? How many Petrelli’s does it take to change a light bulb? Join the discussion below.
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War Fist out.