Heroes Reborn 1.06: “Game Over”

“Game Over” was the best episode of the reboot so far, and not just because it reunited Noah and Hiro.

It’s because the storylines finally overlapped, collided, and the stakes became even higher. The fact that the two deaths this episode felt more like side issues is indicative of how much was packed into this hour. Halfway through the mini-series, all is in motion.

Noah and Quentin attacked the secret Renautus facility looking for answers after a little waterboarding of Harris. Ren and Miko also converged there after determining that’s the real world location for the person Miko must rescue. Of course, that person turns out to be Hiro, as speculated since the beginning.

Tommy plays Peter Parker this week, with Gwen Stacy/Emily standing in for Uncle Ben by telling him that with great power comes great responsibility. Malina has an unexpected encounter with Luke and Carlos takes the El Vengador idea to new levels.

There were moments beforehand with all the cast worth watching, and some great editing in the beginning that reminded us that other Evos are still out there. For instance, the quick cuts at the beginning between Noah’s waterboarding of Harris and Carlos’ beat-down of the crooked cop. Both are desperate for answers and to rescue people they care about but the visual point being made is they’re hardly saints either.

First, Ren and Miko are adorable at the coffee shop where they reconvene. I had joked last week about Ren not getting a signal and it appears they found a place with one. They appear to be on the cusp of finishing the mission of Katana Girl in Evernow when the game’s code is changed and the Fortress is hidden. But a quick image search reveals that the Fortress’ real-life equivalent is the place where Renautus is sending supplies into the future aka the facility I dubbed YoYoDyne Propulsion last week.

It’s a good way to get the pair in the same physical space as Noah and allows Noah to meet up with them and realize that Hiro is being held captive inside Evernow. Only Miko can rescue him. But, as also speculated, it’s revealed Miko isn’t real at all but a creation of the game given life by Hiro’s sword, and to rescue him, she must sacrifice herself.  Which she does, and this frees Hiro.

But before she does go back into the game one last time, Ren confesses that he loves her. Miko channels Han Solo, looks at him, and says “I know.” Nice homage, creative team.

Still, some of the video game plot holes demand answers. If Renautus can recode Evernow, why haven’t they changed the code and eliminated Katana Girl before this? And if they can recode the game, why did they put it on a public platform in the first place? Why not put Hiro inside a game that no one plays? I suspect the answer to these questions is that the game existed before Hiro was trapped inside but that raises another host of questions, like why couldn’t Renautus simply prevent access to the game by taking servers offline once Miko arrived on-scene in Tokyo?

Perhaps these questions are best put aside with the other questions I have about the incredibly lax security that allows Taylor to waltz into her mother’s office and download important files in about 30 seconds or why the security is so awful that Ren can hide in a box and get in or that with one word, Harris can get Noah and Quentin inside the facility too.

I do want to know, however, what is with the crazy carpet in Erica’s office? That could give anyone a serious migraine.

In an attempt to buy Miko time inside the game, Quentin also sacrifices himself in an unexpectedly poignant encounter with Phoebe, his altered-Evo sister who seems to have drunk the Renautus Kool-aid. Poor Quentin! The comic relief isn’t supposed to die! Even Noah is moved.

But Noah has little time to grieve as, just before they’re about to be captured, he convinces Hiro to go back in time to June 13, to Odessa, to the day the bomb exploded and changed the world. The assumption is that Erica set the bomb, that Hiro and Noah can keep it from exploding, and not only save Claire but save the world. (Save the Cheerleader, Save the World!)

I suspect it won’t go that way at all. That’s not just because the other plotlines in the present might be left dangling but also because it seems too easy a reset. What may happen is that events unfold as they did originally except this time Noah knows what to do and alters one or two key things or finds out that Claire did survive or comes back from the past to save the world in the present.

My theoy also is that Past Noah had his memory wiped at the urging of Current Noah so events could unfold the way they’re meant to be. The next two episodes are Odessa, parts one and two, so we’ll find out soon enough.

But, poor Miko. Poor Quentin. Poor Molly. Maybe these deaths will be undone somehow.

Meanwhile, Tommy takes Emily on a trip to Paris via his teleportation power. Despite his stupidity at making a scene at the entrance to the Eiffel Tower, this side trip is mostly effective, though laced with the hokiness of Emily assuring Tommy he can save the world, with a nice call out to the original Heroes comic book. Next week, Angela Petrelli returns. Perhaps that’s in relation to Claire but maybe it’s also about Tommy, also speculated to be a Petrelli.

I’ve made no secret of how much I’ve hated Luke and Joanna in the recaps but, for the first time, I felt for Luke, as he buys a boat like the one that belonged to his son, loads himself down with weights, and tries to commit suicide via drowning.

He’s saved by Malina in a cool sequence with a waterspout. This is not a way to keep a low profile, kid! But it works out for her because she reveals what was inside the envelope: a photo of Tommy! Luke conveniently knows where Tommy might be, so they’re off together, Malina to save the world, Luke to atone. Excellent, though Tommy remembers Luke as a murderer and might not be receptive to the idea. It’s also another one of the show’s plot holes, too, because a current photo of Tommy means someone had to be near him to take it, meaning his current whereabouts could have been included in that envelope too.

Carlos is stuck with a plot that seems unrelated to the rest of the story lines this week but given the ominous manner in which Sunstone Manor is introduced, that’s likely to change. I was with Carlos and his desperation to rescue his nephew from this place where everyone goes in but no one comes out until, in a moment of supreme stupidity, Carlos drinks an unknown substance given by his captive, Captain Dearing. Yes, he has to pretend to be a prisoner to get inside Sunstone but no, no, not smart, Carlos. I assume that he goes into the Manor as an actual prisoner now. Bummer, I wanted someone to stop Dearing from smirking.

Meanwhile, Taylor releases the information about what Renautus did to Evos online. The fact she’s pregnant with another eventual Evo may have had something to do with that. The betrayal by her daughter leads Erica to smash her tablet against the wall but that’s the least of her problems with Hiro free.

I can’t figure out Erica’s endgame. To think she wants to destroy all but a few select people makes her the equivalent of Ra’s Al Ghul, except with little depth. Maybe she’s doing it because she didn’t cause the Great Disaster but to save some people who are left? Good motivation, bad methods?

Overall, though it took five episodes, the show is finally firing on all cylinders.

Now, if Hayden Panetierre does show up as Claire down the line, that would be perfect. Given she’s perched precariously on the top of a building in Nashville previews, with her character Juliette’s fate up in the air, perhaps that’s not a forlorn hope. (Though, boo if Nashville kills her off. I like poor, messed-up, clinically depressed Juliette.) 

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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