This Heroes Reborn review contains spoilers.
Heroes Reborn Episode 5
Allow me to do the opposite of Heroes Reborn right now and get to the point; this show is really bad. “The Lion’s Den” may not have been as bad as last week’s episode, and I mean how could it have been, but it was still pretty awful. There were moments in this episode that seemed to be heading in the right direction, only to be immediately negated by something horrendously contrived or nonsensical. By my estimation, there is exactly one storyline that is working, two that have their moments of lucidity, and too many to count that are complete dumpster quality.
Since I don’t want to be like Heroes Reborn and make you wade through the garbage, I’ll start with the good. Robbie Kay is doing a completely adequate job making Tommy’s story work. As itself, the Tommy storyline functions sufficiently enough as YA superhero action TV show, the likes of which would do just fine on ABC Family (or whatever that channel is calling itself these days). Make of that comparison what you will. I never watched Kyle XY, but I imagine it would be sort of like this? I don’t know.
It’s fine, inoffensive, not my cup of tea, but I suppose it passes on some level. He’s even got the whole “adopted” thing going for him, which goes with this Teenage Chosen One genre so well. It’s all very cliché, but unlike most of Heroes Reborn, it’s coherent. I mean come on; I have to say something positive! Watching him tested by doctors, a segment that lasted all of ten seconds, was the most interesting thing that happened onscreen, a perspective to the whole rounding up of Evos thing that is sorely missing, an actual humanizing moment. But as I said, it was sort of “blink and you’ll miss it.”
Now on to HRG and his rag tag group of confused character types: Noah, Quentin, and Taylor act like the audience surrogates, saying things like “What does she mean?” “What’s she talking about?” and “Whenever I ask a question all I get are more answers!” It’s like even the show is self-aware about how little information they’ve given us, expecting us to just go along for the ride. Noah shared a decent scene with Erica, but nothing is really revealed, so what’s the point? And Miko finally crashes the party for an instant, and it looks like things are finally going to start coming together! BUT OF COURSE NOT! She peaces out of there with her sword in a flash.
At the end of the episode, we learn finally get context for all of Melina and Farah’s (I would say R.I.P. but I couldn’t care about her in the slightest; their storyline may be the most frustrating) vague danger talk, a solar flare that’s going to wipe out 96 percent of the life on Earth, but it’s such a tossed off moment for something that is supposed to be important, it makes the conflict seem even more inconsequential. Luke’s storyline goes absolutely nowhere and leans full tilt into the dead kid trope to make the character interesting. By the time one of those stupid sound gift cards starts saying “I love you dad-dy,” I laughed out loud at its heavy-handed shittiness. Call me heartless, but that’s just cheap and lame writing.
Speaking of lame, the fake Batman crap is so dull. We don’t need any more riffs on Batman; we don’t need any more generic vigilante stories. At this point, it’s impossible to make that fresh or interesting. The cop that Carlos is hunting for has a more compelling storyline, being a bad guy who is turned on by his friends the moment they find out he’s an Evo, than Carlos. I acknowledge that I only seem to like the parts where characters are made to suffer because they’re different, and I realize that liking such an emotionally manipulative, thinly veiled parallel to being a minority isn’t right because it isn’t exactly fantastic television, but the show tricks me into finding it super compelling because there’s nothing else to latch on to.
Heroes Reborn doesn’t look to be improving. The prospect of watching eight more episodes gives me a headache. If I could have a super power, I’d go into the future where Heroes Reborn has ended and I can watch something better on Thursday nights.