Episode Title: Under the Mask
Original Airdate: 10-1-15
It’s time to take another look into the return to Tim Kring’s Heroes universe that combines the old cast in with a new generation of heroes. As far as the ratings on the show goes, it’s tough to say whether or not it’s doing what they expected, it’s doing significantly better than Constantine did last season, but it’s doing a bit better than the last season of Heroes did, especially when you add in one of the largest time-shifted viewership for any network shows this year. I’m still very much into the mystery aspect of the show that leaves many unanswered questions alongside all of the interconnected characters and new powers.
There are really two overarching mysteries the show is presenting at the moment: there is something weird going on in the Arctic Circle involving the northern lights and an EVO who is able to control them in some way alongside an EVO who can turn herself invisible. There’s nothing very concrete about what is happening aside from the fact that it’s not a good thing, it must be prevented, and it’s getting worse. The second big mystery is the one surrounding Noah Bennett and his quest to regain the memories that he himself had a hand in erasing. Everyone who he thinks is able to give him answers ends up being a part of his old self’s plan and won’t tell him anything else. We find out that his daughter Claire died back in the June 13th incident, but it’s unclear as to how she was able to die. It was also another moment where they obviously didn’t have Hayden Panettiere, though their workaround was handled as well as it could have been.
There’s also a big reveal in this episode of a big part of Renautus’s plan. There’s been some talk here and there about how Renautus is able to digitize EVO’s powers to some extent, but there hasn’t really been much of an explanation as to what that really means. This is the episode where we do get to see what that entails, though I’m not entirely fond of how it was presented. Their entire plan revolves around the powers of Molly Walker who essentially knows the location of everyone in the world. Renautus is able to jack into her brain Matrix style and link her to a network of Google Goggles called Epic which act like a networked version of Cerebro where they can identify rogue EVOs including the two in the Arctic and one random guy in their audience. It certainly appears to be accelerating the level of fear and distrust to X-Men and corporate interference to levels similar to the X-Men universe with the Sentinels, only minus the giant robots. Instead, they have Harris who has the next step in Claire’s ability where he can regenerate himself in record time, but he can also regenerate his clothing and regenerate his entire body from a single body part, resulting in a perfect clone of himself.
Aside from the mysteries, there is plenty of cutting between the many different characters that we are following, and here in the third episode, I’m already getting a handle on most of them. My least favorite are Zachary Levi & Judith Shekoni’s vigilante EVO killers, we know that their son died in the June 13th event and it’s likely that he was an EVO himself which is supposed to explain why they are taking their pain out on other EVOs. But in this episode, it’s revealed that Levi is actually an EVO himself and either his power is only just now manifesting, or he has been repressing it and hiding it and it is coming out again beyond his control. He also seems to be tiring of killing, though there isn’t really any explanation or motivation for his switch, it’s just something that’s happening now probably to make him a more sympathetic character for the audience. And he also made the choice to head towards Los Angeles which will put him in the path of the Luchador Batman and the underground EVO railroad.
On the other hand, one of my favorite characters is Kiki Sukezane’s Miko who gets a bit more backstory filled with plenty more questions in this episode. We find out that her “father’s sword” is actually Hiro Nakamura’s sword, but they still refer to her father as a different name which means that it’s mostly likely that Miko’s father was given Hiro’s sword, but there’s also a single line in the dialoge where Miko is referred to as “her father’s greatest creation”. Now that can be interpreted a couple different ways, one is probably the more likely explanation that she was her father’s creation in the same way that every baby is the creation of their parents. But when you consider her ability to exist in a digital format, there’s also the possibility that she is a physical representation of a digital creation, meaning that she is essentially a video game character brought to life. This would explain her apparent lack of memory in many areas as well as her martial arts abilities both in game as well as in the real world.
Before I wrap things up here, I’ll also quickly mention Robby Kay’s Tommy. He is becoming a typical rebellious teenager and more brazen with his abilities. He’s teleporting himself to get past his mother, and he steals a stash of beer by teleporting it outside of a store to supply the underage party, but his mother confronts the mysterious protector with the memory erasing pennies and has the idea to leave town again when they get sideswiped by a car which ends the episode. I think that the car getting sideswiped out of nowhere has been rather overdone in the past few years, it’s meant to be a shocking moment but it comes off as cliche at this point. But aside from that, I did enjoy the episode for the most part. I’m curious about where these mysteries are going, and I’m starting to get a feel for the characters and want to know more about them. How I feel about this season as a whole will really depend on what the answers to these mysteries end up being. The setup is ok, but if the payoff is weak then it will feel very much like a big let down.