Heroes Reborn: Under the Mask Review

Heroes Reborn has so much happening at varying levels of quality in the new episode, "Under the Mask."

This Heroes Reborn review contains spoilers.

Heroes Reborn, Episode 3

I apologize in advance if this Heroes Reborn review comes across as disjointed, but in my defense, it’ll just be mirroring the show. Maybe I’m remembering the old Heroes through rose-colored lenses, but I recall a show that was a little more adept at juggling multiple storylines with more grace and congruency. Perhaps Heroes Reborn’s skittish appearance is directly tied to the varying quality of its many threads.

Nothing that has happened thus far on the show is outright bad or without flaw; each storyline has had its equal share of eye-roll-worthy and redeemable moments. For instance, I love Miko’s storyline so far. Her and Ren’s scenes have life, real energy, a fresh quality to them that’s lacking in other places on the show, but Miko’s fight sequences in particular, and last week’s admirable, yet ultimately cheesy video game moments are bogging down the otherwise fun material. After having seen what Marvel’s capable of staging on ABC and Netflix, like on Daredevil, the choreography of Miko’s big fight scene looks amateur. The old Heroes didn’t have to live up to any standards with its presentation of superpowered fights, now comparisons are available and they’ll be made.

Zachary Levi may be sorely miscast. Acting tortured, solemn, or grief-stricken is one thing, but coming across as wooden is another. When your most marketable trait as an actor is your charisma, you can’t appear this dull. I understand the character is supposed to be shut off, but its just not feeling believable, especially next to Luke’s near giddy wife Joanne. Luke asks “Why are we doing this?” and honestly, there appears to be no answer to this question, certainly not when Joanne doesn’t even appear to be an ounce as troubled over her son’s death as Luke. She’s a trigger happy Evo-killer just because.

Ad – content continues below

But the revelation that Luke has abilities finally adds some real drama to their plot. Hypocrisy in a character adds real internal conflict, and Luke’s big heat up at the end of the episode raises new questions. Did Luke cause the explosion on June 13th? Did he cause his son’s death? Is he aware that he did this? If all of the answers to those questions are yes, it explains away a little bit of the character’s demeanor. I smell a face turn for Luke coming, because Levi’s talents are being wasted as a baddie.

On the other side of the spectrum, I love Robbie Kay as Tommy and I like the way his story has been handled thus far. As a kid with powers who is more interested in doing push-ups for the girl he likes than figuring out who the mysterious guy sending him texts is, Tommy’s high school angle sets him apart from all of the high-concept plot spinning around him. Based on what we’ve heard so far, Marvel wants to take a John Hughes, high school angled approach to their version of Spider-Man, and this is a little example of what that could look like.

The main storyline, Noah Bennett and Quentin going to rescue Molly Walker from the shady Renautus has been acceptable, but largely echoing the tone and focusing on the original Heroes to the point of distraction. Once again, Molly Walker is being used to locate all of Evos, but what’s different is that Renautus is presenting the technology like its Google Glass, which creates a fun little analogy to the NSA-age, where big brother is not only tracking your every move, but collecting information about you too. We’re still unsure about what happened to Claire, but we know she didn’t die in the June 13th explosion, and we also don’t know why Molly Walker is so scared by the sight of HRG. I can already predict that Matt Parkman will be brought back in the mix to retrieve HRG’s memories, and hopefully the build up pays off.

Finally, the El Vengador stuff just isn’t doing it for me. The costumed superhero approach, especially one that looks so much like Batman, just feels so oddly out of place on Heroes Reborn. It also doesn’t help that the gang of thugs Carlos goes after are terrible actors even by 80’s action movie henchmen standards, and that Carlos and Jose’s scenes feel very stiff and unnatural. Like I said last week, I like Ryan Guzman’s performance, but the whole storyline just is falling flat. But hey, Father Smokey (that’s his new name, deal with it) is pretty cool.

So like I said, a lot of good, a lot of bad, “Under the Mask,” is just too mixed of a bag. But don’t give up yet, true believers, because we’re just getting started. Hold on for a Hiro.

The Best of the Rest

Ad – content continues below

  • Harris is BADASS! I love his power, I love the idea that he can be the soldier that Renautus sends everywhere. Looking forward to more of him.
  • The cold open, with an invisible woman telling a young Evo to concentrate to stop the storm, definitely did not hook any potential new viewers.
  • I still think the dynamic between HRG and Quentin is working, they just need to dial it back a bit. 
  • Ren’s reactions to the aftermath of Miko’s handiwork are priceless.
  • That being said, their “Let’s go to America!” “Ok!” exchange was a little too quick and convenient for my taste. 
  • So the question has been answered, yes, Tommy can teleport himself. 
  • I dogged on Miko’s fight, but El Vengador gets tossed around pretty well.
  • Cliff-hangers like the one we saw tonight, Tommy and his Mom’s car crash, are cheap and the worst. 


3 out of 5