Heroes Reborn, Season 1, Episode 10, “11:53 to Odessa”
Written by Seamus Kevin Fahey
Directed by Larysa Kondracki
Airs Thursdays at 8pm (ET) on NBC
The fall finale has come and gone. There won’t be any more episodes until January. Heroes Reborn has left much of its cast scattered to the winds, trying to converge and save the world. Everyone has some of the answers to how to accomplish this; no one has all the answers. The villain’s evil plan is almost ready except for a few crucial pieces that they are close to acquiring. The fate of the Earth hangs in the balance. Sounds like a pretty exciting place to leave the audience, doesn’t it? Except it’s not, and that’s because Heroes Reborn, as been pointed out time and time again here, has no idea what it’s doing.
The simple idea of a finale that leaves the main cast dispersed, needing to connect as some kind of clock runs out is a good idea; Heroes has never been short on good ideas. Yet, a finale that separates the majority of the cast only works when that cast has been together for any significant amount of time. Heroes Reborn opened with unconnected stories that threatened to connect all season, but that wasn’t ever going to happen. HRG meets up with Malina at the end of last week and is taken from here by either Luke or Hiro at the end of this week’s. Luke has been either solo or tagging along with Malina for most of the season, and he ends tonight just tagging along with Malina. Tommy has the most characters to bounce off against, but his bland Chosen One shtick has never been dynamic, no matter who he’s interacting with.
But even when the show has a brand new character it’s fumbled: Carlos and Farah meet onscreen for only the second time in the season—assuming you don’t count the flashbacks to Afghanistan—and it just makes zero sense. We know these two are involved because they kissed once and Parkman keeps reading their minds so he can remind the audience about their romantic entanglement. Carlos has been so disconnected from the season as a whole that it’s not all that surprising that he doesn’t make sense when he bumps into other people’s stories. But Heroes Reborn had the kind idea to introduce a romantic relationship for Carlos with a character he had never shared the screen with in the middle of the goddamn season. It’s as if they too realized Carlos’ futility as a character up to that point and thrust him onto the lips of another character he had no history with just because Ryan Guzman was already signed to a full season. Carlos and Farah do not work as a couple because they’ve had maybe a minute of screen time up until this point, the actors have the absence of chemistry, and they were barely characters on their own to begin with.
Also fumbled: So many characters with undefined powers. Ok, not so many, just three characters, but three characters whose powers don’t make sense on some level with only three episodes left in a superhero show is pure crazy talk. Luke has sun powers, but how long has he known he has powers, and why is he suddenly so comfortable with them when the first time we saw he is an evo he almost exploded? Otomo has some kind of tech-based power that he uses to create videogame people, but does that mean the Miko who infiltrates Gateway is the same fake Miko he created when he was first captured, or is this a new Miko, and how did she get to Gateway, and can he create videogame people through time and space or did he know he needed to leave a proxy of himself to help Ren before he got kidnapped? And what even is Malina capable of? We know she, like, controls nature to some extent, but what’s that extent, and is it all nature? Why are giant storms placed under the same category as an aurora borealis? Does this mean she can bring people back from the dead, or even just make humans do whatever she wants? Can she talk to animals? Can she talk to plants? Why doesn’t she just stop the poles from reversing right now; why would she need Luke’s help to reverse the poles? Why is this review still capable of being filled up with so many rhetorical questions this late in the game when this space would ideally be used for analyzing the form and theme of the show?
It’s actually kind of relaxing knowing that Heroes Reborn is going to be off the air for over a month. Fatigue has basically set in at this point, both with the show and its audience. Maybe some time spent away from the show, eating large poultry and drinking with family, will help bring some fresh perspective. Or perhaps all that time away from Heroes Reborn will make the all-but-inevitable disappointing and confusing for real finale all the more disheartening to watch. Who knows? But in the mean time, at least you can now spend your next few Thursday nights doing something actually productive.