Heroes Reborn 1.04: “The Needs of the Many”

So where I have seen this before?

The visual of humans being hooked into part of some machine has become cliché. How do I know this? Because the Heroes Reborn scene last night immediately reminded me of similar scenes in two recent films.

One, in Maze Runner: Scorch Trials, is played as horror. The other, in The Lego Movie, is played for laughs.

Not having a big budget like Scorch Trials, Heroes Reborn went with a sterile white room. The reveal should have had emotional resonance, given Molly Walker’s self-sacrifice to avoid being cog in the Machine. Alas, I’ve seen it before.

When Heroes first arrived on television, it offered something different. Now, the world’s caught up to its stories. That’s crystal clear by the use of the word “inhuman” at the end of the show, the same word that’s being used to describe the people whose powers are evolving in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

“Forget the past, save the future” would be good advice for the show overall, because it seems too much of the same instead of going for something new.

I’ve enjoyed watching the revival but I remain uncertain what it has to say.

Only the Ren and Miko aka Katana Girl, have a fresh storyline, as she’s questioning her very existence. Ren assures her she’s real (she ate pretzels!) but she’s not so sure. My theory: she’s a video game character brought to life rather than the reverse. I also enjoyed the use of social media to gather Ren’s crowd of cosplayers at Renautus headquarters .

What should keep me interested are the characters, then, not the plot. Unfortunately, so far, it’s only Noah Bennett, Molly, and Quentin who pull me in, and now Molly’s dead. (Or is she? Heroes always did like using time travel.) Molly also indicates a plan was put in motion in that hospital room on June 13, and that the original heroes had a part in it.

Molly’s sacrifice is also undercut by plot silliness. Noah turns Taylor, the daughter of Erica, the Renautus CEO, against her with the figurative snap of his fingers. I’ll buy that, as Taylor’s interested in the fate of her boyfriend. What I can’t by is how ridiculously easy it is for Taylor to waltz into headquarters with Bennett and Quentin in tow, or that there would be no video cameras in the room where the cogs are plugged into the Machine.

Is Renautus getting their security systems from the same place as the Gotham or the Central City police?

Aside: how does unplugging Molly make all the information about Evo locations disappear? She already pegged them, yes, so the information is stored in a database already. They’re not in the exact same positions right now but they’re close.

I’ll give the writers this plothole, because it seems like CEO Erica was most interested in finding our Luke Skywalker analogue (Melina) who’s training to prevent The World Ending Disaster. Melina’s power so far consists of overconfidence, playing with glowy things, and being able to grow a bad CGI tree. Not sold. Maybe Erica shouldn’t be worried.

There was also an excellent visual with Noah destroying three duplicates of Harris, the show’s multiple man. That I have not seen before.

In the most nihilistic plotline, Mr. and Mrs. Murder incorporated break up. The main lesson Mr. Murder learns in this episode is that when you kill someone, their dog is sad.

That causes the realization that he’s a horrible person doing horrible things. That, and becoming an Evo himself with an undefined heat power that’s so far great for boiling water and burning paper. He tells the missus to kill him but she merely breaks up with him instead.

Bummer. I was hoping they’d end up killing each other, as while the actors are fine, the characters are so far unredeemable. I want them to die and preferably as soon as possible.

Peter Parker, er, Tommy has choices to make too, and he chooses to save his mother from bleeding to death and exposes his status as an Evo. That can’t be good because the kid doesn’t need a lesson in “with great power comes great responsibility,” he needs a lesson how to use his powers.

For instance, he could teleport all the bad guys somewhere to buy time, zap the nurse and doctor to another hospital and then zap himself somewhere too. Teleportation is an excellent power and his seems to have no limits. Tommy needs to start using his imagination better and the adults around Tommy—his mother and mysterious watcher/stalker—need to start coming clean with him.

The most superhero-type plot, Carlos’s transformation into El Vengador is completed by the customary redesign/revamping of costume and vehicle. Oh, and the priest is killed and I’m seriously bummed by that. But now that Carlos knows his nephew is an Evo, he has even more reason to fight for good.

I hope that his next move, however, is a little less predictable and I hope the show in general finds its footing next episode.

I’m going to miss Molly. Green went so well with her red hair.

Corrina Lawson is a writer, mom, geek and superhero, though not always all four on the same day. She is a senior editor of the GeekMom blog at Wired and the author of a superhero romance series and an alternate history series featuring Romans and Vikings in ancient North America. She has been a comic book geek all her life and often dreamed of growing up to be Lois Lane.

Read all posts by Corrina Lawson for Criminal Element.

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