Last night “Heroes: Reborn” was laid to rest as it aired its final episode. No amount of time traveling could fix what was wrong with the episode or the series.
The original “Heroes” series debuted to much fanfare in 2006. The network and fans had big hopes for it. At one point NBC planned to give the show a spinoff series where it would introduce new characters that would eventually be used in the main series. Those plans were soon ditched and the show began to sputter with bad convoluted stories. By the 2nd season fans learned that there was no true danger on the show. Disasters, deaths, shocking allegiances were all temporary because they could all be easily undone with time travel or other powers. The show with evolution at its core refused to evolve and constantly returned to the status quo. With no real danger or sense that anything had ever been accomplished, fans lost interest. By season 4 the ratings were half of season 1’s and the network pulled the plug.
Five years later the show came back as “Heroes: Reborn”. Most of the original cast had moved on but a few were able to be secured, unfortunately they were mostly minor or unpopular side characters. Jack Coleman was the biggest original cast member that they were able to lure back to play Noah Bennet/Horned Rimmed Glasses. The character at one point had been mysterious with questionable allegiances and morals, by the end of the original series he had mostly lost his edge and was a doting dad yet the new series relied heavily on him until he disappeared for a while. The new characters on the show were not well defined and the viewer was often left to wonder what their powers actually were. It’s still unclear as to what Malina’s (Danika Yarosh) power actually was that saved the world.
“Heroes: Reborn” relied on a crutch of the original “Heroes”, badly executed time travel and a very poor understanding of it. Anytime a character is constantly referred to as the “master of TIME and space” it is simply impossible for that character to then be up against the clock. Most of “Heroes: Reborn” revolves around whether Tommy/Nathan (Robbie A. Kay ) will be able to save everyone in time. Time isn’t an issue. He can slow time, stop time, and travel through time at will. He can’t run out of time. It just isn’t possible. He absolutely has enough time to save everyone in the world and before that he even has enough time to sit down and watch the original 4 seasons if he thinks it will somehow make sense out of the mess he now finds himself in. Watching those 77 episodes really won’t help him much though. While there are old characters that have come back some of them like Greg Grunberg’s Matt Parkman are depicted so differently that it doesn’t even seem like the same character and probably should have been replaced with a new character instead of an old one being shoe horned into the role.
Character motivation is a mess in “Heroes: Reborn”. Not only does Parkman’s fall from hero to villain make no sense but neither do many other characters’ motivations. Luke (Zachary Levi ) and Joanne (Judith Shekoni ) had an Evo (evolved human) son who was killed in the first episode by a terrorist attack thought to have been perpetrated by an Evo. They then hate Evos, referring to them as “mistakes” and hunt down and kill as many as possible. If the son had been depicted as a normal human killed by an Evo then their hatred of Evos would have made sense, instead they profess hatred for the very thing their son was.
The main villain’s Machiavellian scheme is so convoluted and bloated that it makes the series hard to watch and it’s rife with many potholes itself. Erica Kravid (Rya Kihlstedt) finds out from an Evo that life will be wiped out by a solar flare so she works with a team of Evos to figure out how to send humans to the future to repopulate the Earth. She then kills thousands of Evos in a terrorist attack and places the blame on an Evo who supposedly believes Evos should be the ruling class. No one questions why an Evo would kill thousands of his own kind as a demonstration for Evo rights. Also not making sense, Evos helped Kravid with the attack killing the Evos and set up this Evo making their own kind look bad. Kravid then uses the fear caused by the attack as an excuse to hunt down and capture Evos which she then hooks up to a computer like in “The Matrix”. The Evos’ powers are then digitized and are able to be used by the computer except we only see three powers used in the entire series. Throughout the course of the series Kravid’s team of Evos help her hunt down the other Evos even though it’s clear she’s a bigot who doesn’t like Evos. She talks about how she plans to start over in the future in a world without Evos, yet she brings her Matrixed Evos and henchmen Evos to the future with her.
It’s not just bad time travel and poor use of characters that make “Heroes: Reborn” so bad, it’s also really lazy writing that leaves all kinds of plot holes. Early in the show Tommy/Nathan develops a crush on Emily but she’s dating someone. Her boyfriend Brad (Jake Manley) finds out about Tommy/Nathan’s powers and blackmails him into helping him with his dad. Brad then befriends Tommy to the point that he is basically his best friend. When Tommy is in the hospital Brad and Emily go as a couple to visit and support him. That is the last we ever see of Brad and suddenly Tommy is dating Emily with no mention of Brad ever again. Surely if Brad was willing to blackmail Tommy before, after Tommy stole his girlfriend Brad would be even more inclined to use that power over Tommy. The love triangle that had so obviously been set up was just simply dropped.
Writing aside, “Heroes: Reborn” looks bad as well. The fireballs falling from the sky in the finale looked terrible. The scenes in which characters were sucked into a video game seemed like a way to pass off cheap animation and save on the production budget. Perhaps during the original series they could have gotten away with it but it’s amazing that the producers would still go with such a lame trick when they have so much more competition from actual comic book shows like “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., ”Arrow”, “The Flash”, “Daredevil”, and “Jessica Jones” all of which have successfully gone with the less is more approach when it comes to special effects.
“Heroes” has always been a show about people living up to their full potential and yet every season the show itself consistently failed to do that. The season always started off with such promise and yet by the end you were left shaking your head wondering how it all went wrong. You often hear people ask “If you could go back in time, would you do it all again or would you do things differently?” “Heroes: Reborn” did everything the same and with the same results. The show has been cancelled for a second time meaning the opportunity that so many fandoms (“Firefly”, “Jericho”, “Disney’s Gargoyles”, “Veronica Mars”) have begged for has been squandered.
“Heroes: Reborn” is on DVD and Blu-Ray 4/12/16
To stay up to date with movie reviews, news, and releases subscribe by clicking here.