Save the cheerleader, save the world.
It’s a phrase that became the staple of Heroes and any fan of the series can recognize this quote in a heartbeat. In Heroes Reborn, the characters we all knew and loved are gone (with the exception of a select few) and audiences, both old and new, are introduced to a new generation of heroes to root for. The beloved cheerleader is no longer in the picture and the world still needs saving; will these characters accomplish the goals the old characters couldn’t?
Before I delve into the 2-hour premiere, I’ll answer an important question in regards to Heroes Reborn. With the emergence of the series came a question that was certainly on everyone’s mind: would Heroes Reborn succeed in pleasing fans of Heroes, while drawing in a new crowd?
As a fan of the latter myself, I’m certainly pleased with the new show; the premiere is layered with shout-outs to Heroes, which could confuse newer fans, but not enough to abandon the series. I absolutely loved Heroes, even when it started to decline, and Heroes Reborn reminds me of the reasons why I fell in love with the original show in the first place. I was hit, several times, with bouts of nostalgia and I couldn’t help but get emotional while watching Heroes Reborn. Heroes was a groundbreaking series that introduced such a beautiful storyline while presenting us with equally as beautiful characters; Heroes Reborn brings forth similar elements and I simply cannot wait to see where Reborn leads me next!
“Brave New World” opens quite beautifully with Noah Bennett aka HRG calling his daughter Claire as he attends a convention of sorts for peace between humans and Evos (individuals with powers). Right off the bat, I’m overcome with emotions as I hear Claire’s voice (she doesn’t answer Noah’s call). Noah’s voicemail to Claire proceeds to emotionally overwhelm me even further as I’m taken back to memories of the two in Heroes. Noah’s monologue plays out throughout the first couple minutes with the potential peace Claire brought about coming to life before Noah’s eyes. His dialogue in this particular scene is quite tragic because we all know the future that awaits Claire and the so-called “peace” she wanted to bring to the world.
Hey, it’s your dad. I know it’s been a few years since we last talked and I don’t know if you’re still mad or if I don’t know anything. I just know…I miss you. I’m sure there’s plenty of apologizes to go around, but to be honest with you I’m not interested in who’s right or wrong anymore. So much has changed since I saw you last, I don’t know if whether those changes are good or bad, but I really think it has a chance to all work out. Knowing how important you have been to all this, to so many people out there…it’s made me proud. And I just wanted to call and tell you how excited I am that we might be seeing each other. When you look back at the things you’ve done, the decisions you’ve made, the last thing you want to feel…is regret. Am I right? I’ll see you soon, Claire-Bear.
- Noah Bennett, “Brave New World”
As Noah wanders his surroundings, we’re shown evos and humans’ coexisting in a playful and awe-filled environment. The recurring theme of peace, humanity, and coexistence resonates so profoundly throughout not just this scene, but the entire series thus far. The happiness presented was refreshing to see but, unfortunately, all good things must come to an end.
The area is rocked by an unknown explosion that results in the loss of tons of lives. The blame is quickly placed on the shoulders of the evos, and humanity is quick to fear and persecute individuals they don’t understand; the date, June 13, is set as the day where the lives of the evos changed for the worse.
Noah desperately shouts Claire’s name and the scene transitions to multiple evos running from the authorities, which is how we’re introduced to Tommy Clarke; a teenager who reminds me so much of Claire due to his fierce desire to be normal.
Tommy and his mother attempt to flee to Canada, but upon seeing an evos get apprehended, they quickly leave the premises. As they’re speeding away, we see dozens of the 9th Wonders comics fall out of Tommy’s bag; this is a sneaky shout-out to Heroes. The 9th Wonders is a series of prophetic comics drawn by deceased artist Isaac Mendez. We flash forward a year later and Tommy has relocated to Chicago, Illinois. Tommy attends a meeting at a church with other evos, who are trying to figure out what to do in this world filled with humans who want to eradicate them. Mohinder Suresh, a Heroes alum and a so-called evos “supremacist,” takes the blame for the bombing that took place on June 13th and we learn that Odessa has become a wasteland.
Tommy quickly leaves the meeting and the rest of the group is slaughtered by Luke and Joanne Collins; a husband-wife duo who lost their son in the bombing and have now made it their mission to dispose of all evos *dramatic eye-roll.* Tommy left behind a card of his favorite ice-cream parlor and the duo deem it absolutely necessary to kill Tommy before moving on to the next town. They set the church ablaze and dedicate their killings to their son Dennis…cause you know every child wants their mom and dad to become psychopaths who kill innocents with amazing powers. Dennis is probably rolling around in his grave or under the debris, unless he was reduced to ashes…wherever he is, he probably isn’t pleased!
Noah is now a car salesman who goes by a different alias, Ted, and is also preparing to tie the knot with his girlfriend (what happened to your wife and son? You have some explaining to do Mr. Bennett…unless they died and I just totally forgot about it). We’re then introduced to ex-solider Carlos Gutierrez who is giving a half-assed inspirational speech at his nephews school Linderman Junior High School due to receiving a medal of valor for saving three fellow soldiers; could this school be named after the elusive Mr. Linderman, a key antagonist in Heroes? Carlos clearly doesn’t believe in his own words about courage and heroes as he pours liquor into what appears to be a soda can. His nephew, Jose, watches on with pride and dutifully claps at his uncle's inspiring words.
At school, Tommy quickly learns about the church massacre and the scene abruptly shifts to an older man with a hat (who was watching Tommy as he entered the church) move through the Chicago Police Precinct where he proceeds to wipe the memory of a delivery man who collided with Tommy as he was on his way out of the church; the delivery man assumed Tommy was the one responsible for the deaths. Who is this mysterious man in the hat who carries around a briefcase full of pennies? He seems specifically connected with Tommy’s character as he watches over him and seems to be protecting him, but it remains to be seen if whether or not this character is a hero or a villain. Until we learn his real name, I’ll refer to him as Mr. Hat (I know, how original of me). The scene briefly shifts to Noah and his girlfriend; Noah notices a suspicious vehicle parked outside and inside the vehicle we see a man with files on Mohinder Suresh and Angela Petrelli. Each scene that shows or hints at a past character serves as a dose of heartache. I didn’t even like Angela and I’m dying to see her! What sorcery is this?
We’re then taken to Tokyo, Japan where we’re introduced to another new hero, Miko Otomo, and her potential, more than likely sidekick, Ren Shimosawa. These two are hands down my favorite characters of Heroes Reborn so far. Ren is a self-proclaimed “famous” gamer who ventures into Miko’s apartment. Side note: Miko is totally rocking a hot pink ensemble and some fierce bangs while listening to Japanese Pop (her style and attitude make her stand out amongst the rest). Ren claims to be an expert at the game “Evernow,” which was created by Miko’s father. Upon reaching the second to last level, Ren unlocked a secret message that contained her address. Miko seems baffled by the turn of events and demands that Ren leaves; Ren seems to recognize her, but can’t quite seem to remember where he’s seen her before. While she’s attempting to lead him out, Ren’s gaze falls upon her eerie hallway that leads to a mysterious door; the minute he sees the door, he mumbles, “Evernow?!” Miko succeeds in kicking him out (she seems wary of the mysterious door) and Ren seems to have had some sort of an ecstatic revelation.
Tommy forms a bond with fellow classmate Emily, who Tommy more than likely has a crush on. Emily has a boyfriend, Brad, who takes great pleasure in hassling Tommy. Tommy receives a mysterious text message, warning him not to trust anybody. The scene shifts to Carlos and Jose as Jose is trying to convince Carlos to work at the mechanic shop with his dad Oscar. This scene is telling of Jose’s admiration for his uncle and he compares him to local masked vigilante/Jose’s role model El Vengador. Jose also seems to be pro-evos, and speculates that someone is kidnapping and killing evos. El Vengador is the only hero in town and Oscar orders Jose to clean up the graffiti he sprayed of El Vengador on the mechanic shop’s walls. Carlos see’s nothing wrong with Jose idolizing El Vengador whereas Oscar views graffiti supporting the vigilante as “bad for business.” Oscar is clearly bitter towards Carlos, but the full reason as to why remains unknown.
Noah finally corners the man from the vehicle who turns out to be conspiracy theorist Quentin Frady; he’s a character that was introduced in a six-chapter prequel web-series, Dark Matters, which was released on July 9, 2015. He already knows who Noah is and claims that there is more to the June 13th bombing incident. He’s dumbfounded as to why Noah has readily believed everything he’s seen and heard thus far; why hasn’t he attempted to look below the surface facts? Quentin has studies that show there are more evos now than ever and the number increasing day by day. He believes that the evos’ exist to save the world…he’s certainly right about that! Noah remains bull-headed and Quentin is arrested. Before being escorted away, Quentin shouts words of warning, “something big is coming!”
Ren is back to pester Miko and claims her to be Everglow’s “Katana Girl”, a powerful warrior that no gamer has been able to unlock. Sure enough, Miko looks exactly like Katana Girl and the graphic novel Ren owns tells the story of Katana Girl attempting to save her father by the means of her all-powerful sword, which is hidden under a floorboard in her father’s study. The sword transforms her into an all-powerful warrior. Miko understandably freaks out and kicks Ren out of her apartment once more. Before leaving, Ren leaves the comic for her to read. It turns out her father created the graphic novel and Miko seems determined to finally enter the mysterious room (her father’s study).
Noah can’t quite seem to sleep and pulls out a bag of cash that carries a gun and what seems to be an address book/mini-diary. A card for an ophthalmology office falls out and Noah is rightfully suspicious as to how he got the card and what he’ll find once he goes there. We check back in with Carlos who’s getting ridiculously drunk and we finally see El Vengador, who gets lured into a trap and shot; he manages to escape before the police can apprehend him, but he’s been wounded. Carlos finds out El Vengador is actually Oscar, who was just trying to make a difference in the world. Oscar practically asks Carlos to take on the role of El Vengador before promptly passing away.
Luke and Joanne are waiting for Tommy at Moe’s Ice Cream Parlor; Luke seems hesitant when it comes to killing Tommy and Joanne won’t leave until they kill Tommy. These two characters are already starting to shift away from one another and it’s entirely possible that Luke will switch sides in the future. Tommy gets a job at Moe’s in courtesy of his gal-pal Emily and is eager to start until he spots Luke, who Tommy believes escaped the church massacre. Joanne is quick to correct Tommy’s misunderstanding and the two lead Tommy out of the parlor at gunpoint. Emily follows and Johanna decides Emily needs to be disposed of as well. Before Joanne can pull the trigger, we finally see Tommy’s ability. He literally makes Joanne and Luke disappear; it’s later revealed that Tommy can teleport anyone and anything to a location of his choosing. For example, he teleports Luke and Joanne to an isolated room at Primatech (Noah’s old workplace) which ends up being a place where Tommy was observed when he was younger. Emily obviously finds out about Tommy’s powers and promises to keep it a secret. Brad, Emily’s boyfriend, finds out about said powers and demands that Tommy make his abusive stepfather disappear. Tommy gets cold feet last minute and runs out of Brad’s house. Mr. Hat decides to take on the job Tommy couldn’t complete and disposes of Brad’s step-dad. Brad is immensely thankful and becomes Tommy’s new bff; am I the only one who likes Brad? I hope not! These events (with Tommy) are scattered throughout the episode and I’m completely aware I went out of order but…I got ahead of myself! (Oops!).
Jose is grieving for his father and can’t understand why El Vengador didn’t rescue him. Jose mentions he didn’t get a chance to tell or show his father something very important; we find out Jose is also an evos (he’s basically like Shadowcat from X-Men). When will Jose entrust this knowledge to Carlos? Only time will tell. The scene shifts to Noah, who has just entered the strange ophthalmology office where he reunites with Renee aka The Haitian. I can’t tell you how exciting it was to see The Haitian once more…it’s been too long my friend!
Miko finally enters her father’s study and unsheathes the powerful katana which was indeed hidden beneath the floorboards. Here’s the show’s first wtf moment: the minute Miko unsheathes the swords, she’s transported into the video-game and attacked by a group of soldiers. Oh and this is all animated…no seriously! It shifts into full-on animation mode. At first I was stunned, but then I readily enjoyed the surprise animated sequence. The scene goes back to Noah and Renee and after Renee gifts Noah his infamous glasses back, he promptly tries to kill Noah. The Haitian plan backfires and Noah ends up shooting poor old Renee! Renee reveals Noah had asked him to kill him; Noah comes to the realization that he had Renee wipe his memory. “You wanted to forget,” Renee explains and Noah can’t remember what it is he needed to forget. Renee passes away and warns Noah, “it’s coming.”
We then head into perhaps my favorite scene of the entire 2-hour premiere. The main theme of Heroes plays in the background while Mohinder’s familiar monologue from Heroes plays along with it (the dialogue has been tweaked to fit Heroes Reborn): “Where does it come from? This fear, this quest, this need to hide in a simpler past, when the future cannot be avoided. It’s coming and when it does…everything will change and yet there are those who can stop it. Do we know how?” While the monologue is playing, we see Malina, a new character, summoning the aurora and she states, “it’s happening faster than we thought…I don’t think I can control it much longer.” This scene gave me literal chills and sets up a plot akin to the one presented to us in season 1 of Heroes.
Noah promptly heads to the police station after struggling to come to terms with Renee’s death and figure out what to do next. Noah bails out Quentin; the two grudgingly partner up in order to discover the truth and save the world. Luke and Joanna are stuck in an isolated kid’s room at Primatech (Tommy’s old room) and it becomes apparent that things are less than perfect for the duo. Luke blames Joanna for their current predicament and Joanna blames Luke for their son being killed; these two have an interesting dynamic and although I feel sorry for them (kind of) because of the loss of their son, I can’t root for them. Chances are, they’ll attempt to kill some of my favorite characters: if they harm Miko and Ren in any way possible, I’ll personally dispose of them with my own superpowers…and that’s a promise. Speaking of Ren, he stops by Miko’s place to apologize and discovers her door open (does this girl ever lock her front door?). He approaches her CPU and quickly discovers Miko is in the game. Ren hilariously provides assistance with his warrior Leeroy Jenkins, a samurai wearing a tiger mask that has glasses on. Ren holds off the attackers while Miko chases after her father. Not going to lie…I’m already kind of shipping these two. I can’t help it, they’re just too cute! Miko and Ren’s storyline is certainly the most bizarre out of all the ones presented in Heroes Reborn yet it’s my favorite.
Noah and Quentin have a discussion about what’s really going on and Noah questions why Mohinder is being framed for everything and why evos are disappearing and being killed; Noah decides it’s time to head back to Odessa so he can access his old files. Miko finally reaches her father, but he’s yanked away and Miko is knocked unconscious and appears back in the real world (whatever happens to her in the game, happens in reality…well that makes things tricky). We’re introduced to Zoey and Taylor; “Zoey” being a mysterious beauty who attempts to rob an evos and Taylor promptly rescues Zoey from the premises after the evos tries to kill her and a bystander knocks the evos unconscious. Taylor drugs Zoey (she’s partnered with the evos) and it turns out that Zoey is actually Molly Walker, an evos with the ability to locate anyone; she’s a key character who was first introduced in the first season of Heroes. She also happens to be someone Noah is looking because if there’s a chance Claire is alive, then Molly will know where she is. Unfortunately for Noah, the evil corporation Renautas has sinister plans in store for Molly. They plan on harnessing her power as a means to find other evos. Noah reaches Primatech with Quentin, where we find out Quentin is looking for his sister Phoebe: another character from Dark Matters) just as Luke and Joanna break out of the confined room and kill every Primatech employ in the building. They steal a file filled with names of all evos (oh lord no!) and Noah is left with no clue as to where Molly could be.
Carlos seems to be dabbling with the idea of being El Vengador while trying to figure out what his brother was up to and Miko wakes up only to go back in the game and straight towards Yamagato Tower, where her father is being held. Carlos finds out, through a priest he’s familiar with, that his brother had started an underground railroad for evos. He would help them leave the country or simply hide them for a couple of days with the help of the priest who is also an evos. In the end, Carlos decides to embrace his brother’s mission and help aid evos. At the moment, it doesn’t appear as though Carlos is an evos, but it’s a secret that could be revealed later. “Odesa” concludes with Miko reaching Yamagato Tower in reality through the video game and she proceeds to kick some serious ass. Seriously, Miko is a true badass! The episode ends with Miko fighting and the screen fades to black with a “to be continued.”
The trailer for the season shows many exciting things to come including the return of Micah Sanders, Matt Parkman, Hiro Nakamura and at last Mohinder Suresh. It also shows that Miko and Ren team up with Noah and Quentin at some point. I have to say…I absolutely love Heroes Reborn. It contains the essence of Heroes while establishing itself as a series of its own with a slew of interesting characters and a plot that has been yearning for more!
Heroes Reborn gets a solid A with a must-watch recommendation! Even if you haven’t seen Heroes, be sure to give Heroes Reborn a fair chance!
What did you think of Heroes Reborn? Share your thoughts in the comments down below!