Heroes Reborn: It has potential

I work evenings and don’t have cable, so most of my current-season TV watching is done via Hulu. When I got home last night I stayed up until 3 a.m. waiting for Heroes Reborn to be available before realizing I should just treat it like Christmas: The faster I fall asleep, the sooner it will be here. And when I woke up, I got the present I’d been waiting for.

:D Somebody remembers me! - Molly Walker circa 2007, played by Adair Tishler
😀 Somebody remembers me! – Molly Walker circa 2007, played by Adair Tishler

Finally! Somebody remembers Molly Walker! Initially, I wasn’t pleased with how she was introduced. Before we knew the character was her (a new actress helped with that cover-up), she was introduced as a young woman on the run, hooking up with a dice-throwing cheat and trying to steal his money. She’s jaded and walking a fine line.

Don't mind me, I'll just be over here having issues. - Molly Walker, 2015, played by Francesca Eastwood.
Don’t mind me, I’ll just be over here having issues. – Molly Walker, 2015, played by Francesca Eastwood.

But that’s not the Molly I remembered. But then I realized, the Molly I remembered was a kid whose parents were killed around her, who nearly died from a mysterious virus, found two new surrogate dads, got trapped in a nightmare by an evil dude while helping one of them, and then was unceremoniously shipped…somewhere…and never spoken of again, while Surrogate Daddy No. 1 takes up with his ex-wife and new baby and Surrogate Daddy No. 2 returns to academia in India. And that’s just through the first few episodes of the last season of the previous series.

So, expecting her to grow from sweet kid to upstanding young woman might have been an over-reach. Especially since apparently in the interim she was captured and exploited by a new company that she’s now on the run from (but seem to have caught up with her). I want to know more about her story.

But a lot more happened than the handful of minutes devoted to Molly. Much like its parent series, Heroes Reborn doesn’t shy away from introducing a bunch of characters and plot lines and mixing up their stories into a given episode. Yes, the Heroes Blender is back.

One of the driving forces of the episode is Noah Bennet, who survived an explosion at a unity conference from humans and “EVOs” – the term for evolved humans – that killed a lot of people, including (perhaps) Claire, with whom he’d been estranged after she exposed her powers to the world. Now he has a new fiancee that he apparently forgets about faster than he forgot about his son Lyle, because once a schlubby guy named Quentin approaches him with mysteries about his former life, he goes off in search of answers. Fun fact: As they explored the Primatech rubble, there was actually a moment where I thought we’d find out Quentin was actually Lyle, life had prematurely aged him, and it’s been so long since Bennet saw him, he had no idea. But turns out he’s just a guy looking for his sister, who was taken by the new company Renautas, which has found a way to monetize people with abilities.

But if Noah is our link to the past, there are a whole host of characters to lead us into the future. There’s Tommy, a kid who can teleport things to other places and has been on the run with his mom since his powers started manifesting. Miko, who…can transport herself into a video game? Her power is very strange, but it seems very obvious that Hiro is her father and trapped somewhere, and she’s going to save him. And there’s Carlos and Jose. Carlos is a returning war vet who shuns the hero label everyone gives him. Jose is his nephew, and it turns out their brother/father was secretly a powered person who’s been fighting crime as a masked luchador and helping EVOs pass on to Canada in an underground railroad. He’s killed, and it looks like Carlos is about to take his place. Jury’s out on whether Carlos has powers, but right now it’s looking like not. This could be setting us up for a morality lesson on how you don’t need super powers to be a hero. I’m mostly OK with that.

And lastly, there’s Luke and Joanne Collins, a husband and wife who were taking their son to Unity Day when the explosion happened. Seeking vengeance for their son, they’re out to murder every EVO they can find. Luke looks like he might be having a crisis of conscious soon. I’m not opposed to that, because I’m not sure I want to see Evil Zachary Levi, but I kind of wish it could have waited a few more episodes before he started seeming so conflicted over what they’re doing.

Oh yes, and there’s some sort of celestial phenomena that’s going on and is apparently about to wreak havoc.

I’ll be honest and say that most of my interest is still on the interim time between Heroes and Heroes Reborn — especially what led up to Mohinder being reported as “accepting responsibility” for all the terrorism that’s been going on. I think if the series can keep a nice mix of new and old going on until the old feels resolved and then spins more fully toward the newer stuff, it could work. But ultimately, it’s good that Heroes Reborn is airing now.

With Captain America: Civil War, The Inhumans, and Agents of SHIELD leading the charge for the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the X-Men movies mostly behind us, Heroes Reborn is in a sweet spot where it can still play with the concept of fictional people being oppressed, feared and hated for their fictional differences without yet feeling like a tired cliche for real problems.

I’m not quite at “Is it next week, yet?!” levels with this, but I’m definitely interested in what happens next.

Heroes Reborn airs Thursdays at 7 p.m. on NBC.
Heroes Reborn airs Thursdays at 7 p.m. on NBC.

Leisure Time is on Twitter! Follow @theLTtweet for post updates and smaller thoughts.


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