Awhile back, we published a story outlining the creative traps that NBC’s Heroes Reborn was falling into early on. Much like its original series, it began to spiral into a tangled mess of characters, secrets, and stories that were hard for even the most attentive viewer to keep track of. Heroes first came about in a time when TV shows were just beginning to understand the power of presenting and withholding secrets from an audience (thanks for nothing, Lost), and the reboot series has carried traces of that DNA in its initial run.
We’re now eight episodes deep into the 10-episode miniseries, and we’re finally getting some answers. It’s no small feat to neatly tie together a host of mysteries, involving characters who begin with no clear connection to each other. Heroes Reborn has managed to do just that, thanks to “June 13th” parts one and two. Before we can understand how everything came together though, let’s dive into the initial confusion of the early season and determine if our concerns were warranted.
The beginning of the series presented us with a few unanswered questions: Why did Noah Bennet have his memory wiped? Why do we care so much about Tommy, a boy on the run with the ability to teleport? What is the monolithic Renatus corporation up to, and why are they rounding up EVOs (evolved humans)? These questions barely scratch the surface of the first six episodes, as we’re also treated to the stories of numerous other characters with tangential connections to our main thread (which early on, appears to be the story of Noah Bennet).
The last two episodes managed to put a neat little bow on most of our pressing mysteries. Noah Bennet had his memory wiped so he could hide his daughter’s children, Luke-and-Leia-style. Tommy is one of Noah’s grandchildren, who had his own memory wiped a year earlier. Renatus is looking to use the abilities of EVOs to create a sort of humans-only arc for the coming apocalypse at the hands of a particularly nasty solar flare. Written down, it’s all about as complicated as it sounds, but to the show’s credit, it all plays out fairly well on-screen.
Even with all this being true, Heroes Reborn is still far from perfect. Any show that requires a two-hour expositional timeout is one that’s trying to keep too many balls in the air at once. At some point, it becomes about the writers knowing full well they’ve written themselves into a corner, and that without pausing to explain everything, the show simply couldn’t go on. It’s a symptom of the withholding nature of shows that come from the Lost school of writing, and it’s the one, glaring flaw of Heroes Reborn.
All in all, the Heroes reboot has been just entertaining enough to keep us tuning in week-to-week, but still not without its flaws. The show managed to answer most of our biggest questions late in the game, and for that, we’ll give credit where it’s due. It does still serve as a warning for future shows that try a similar tact. Heroes Reborn has stumbled frequently over its eight episodes, and it’s taken a long time to get us to a point where things make sense from a storytelling perspective. With two episodes to go, we’ll see if they can conclude on a high note.
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