Episode Title: The Needs of the Many
Original Airdate: 10-8-15
Before starting to watch Heroes Reborn, I intended to go through most of the first season of Heroes again in order to prepare. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it nearly as far as I originally thought I would be able to, but there were a few things that I have noticed even just from refreshing myself with those first few episodes. And one of those elements of the show I had already forgotten about until I re-read my recent review of the original first episode. It’s a little disappointing to see that the ratings for this show haven’t been as strong as they were when this show was still new, as I’m quite fond of this show compared to, say Gotham. But this episode continues to develop some of the mysteries while dangling several others just out of reach.
What I realized from looking back at my thoughts on the first episode of the very first season of Heroes is that both that show and this show have a very strong connection to the absent father figure. The most obvious one is Miko who is the one literally looking for her father. The teenaged teleporter Tommy is being raised by a single mother, Quentin and his missing sister Phoebe’s parents are dead. There are a couple fathers in the show that have the reverse problem, as both Noah and Luke are dealing with the death of their children. The mysterious Malina up in the Arctic is being guided by a woman, whether it’s her adoptive or biological mother or just a mentor is still unknown at this point. And the one father son relationship that does exist in the first episode between Oscar and his son in East LA is taken away when Oscar dies in the first episode. One possible theory as to why there is such a lack of fathers in this show is that there is a sense of lack of guidance for all the characters. Without their fathers, they are constantly searching for something, but they don’t know what that something is, and for the most part neither does the audience. There are so many different mysteries within this show that have yet to be answered. What is Malina and what is her connection to the coming disaster? What is this coming disaster and how is it connected to Renautas? How is Noah Bennett connected to all of this and why did he wipe his own memory of it all?
There’s only a hint of an answer given within this episode as we learn just a little bit more about Malina and Renautas. While it’s still not entirely clear, Malina seems to be almost a child of prophecy. She is treated as if she is “the one” by her handler slash mentor while at the same time she is being hunted by Renautas. Meanwhile Renautas is going out of their way to search for her as if she is the key to whatever project they are working on that’s supposed to “save the human race”. While at the same time, Molly Walker tells Noah that whatever he’s getting into could cost the lives of billions of people. Whether it’s some approaching natural disaster that can only be prevented by EVOs, or some byproduct of Renautas’s EVO agenda that will end up killing all non-EVOs is still very much unclear.
Meanwhile over in East LA, Carlos is taking on the Luchador Batman role very seriously which includes making himself a Batmobile and a beefed up Batsuit, only sans-bat. It’s tough to really see where this arc is headed and it feels like one of the weakest. At least the weakest next two the two EVO hunters Luke and Joanne. Luke’s heart hasn’t been in it since after his first run in with Tommy, and lately his EVO power has been flaring up quite literally until he comes out and reveals his secret to his wife. There is a bit of an interesting dynamic between the amount of joy and revelry she gets in killing these EVOs, but there is so much left unanswered. They aren’t Noah Bennett level good so I find it unlikely that they would have come this far while there’s no evidence that anyone is after them for their crimes. It also doesn’t help that the special effects for Luke’s heat powers are one of the weakest when his skin glows when he’s exposed to sunlight and in an agitated mental state. It also feels strangely like it was a quick turnaround for Luke that took forever. It’s difficult to explain, but in just three episodes Luke went from this seemingly experienced killer to someone who never really wanted to kill anyone over the course of just four episodes. But that change was represented with him spending most of his time on screen looking mopey and anguished, it just never really worked for me. I can see Luke turning his character around to be someone who works with the other EVOs now that he has separated himself from Joanne, though I imagine that she will turn up again at the most inopportune time.
The arc that really holds this show together for me is any scene with Noah Bennett in it. I love the buddy cop relationship he has with Quentin who gets the best comic relief moments without taking it all the way around to being too silly. Even though he’s supposed to be a bit of a conspiracy nut character, he is the best audience surrogate possible. This show needs that character that stops them for a moment to comment on the three clones that were killed and turned into a pile of salt. It’s also great that the episode ends with the reveal of what his sister has become. It’s her first appearance in the show proper, but even though I watched the Dark Matters webseries prequel, it was still a great moment for me to behold. The look of her character as this human weapon called the Shadow is quite impressive, it’s one of the more visually impressive moments in this episode along with the look and design of Renautas’s little EVO farm.
Finally, I do want to take just a quick moment to comment on Miko. I still think that she represents the Hiro character from the first season, only it’s her sidekick that has Hiro’s enthusiasm and naivete, the only difference is that she has plenty of naivete to go around herself even though she’s still the one with the power. The biggest downside of her character is that she generally feels like a bit of a blank slate. She has plenty of story surrounding her, but there isn’t any sense of personality to go along with it. She feels a bit like the video game character that her friend Ren keeps referring to her as. She has fighting ability, she can physically go into a video game, but there’s not a whole lot else to her character. But even though I seem to be calling a lot of attention to the negatives surrounding this episode, I’m still along for the ride of this show. There are enough characters that I enjoy who I want to see more of, but the mystery surrounding the show is such a big part that if it ends on a poor note, it will end up souring the entire season for me which would be disappointing, as there needs to be more shows like Heroes.