Looking Back on ‘Heroes Reborn’ or Why It’s Always a Bad Idea to Hook Back Up With an Abusive Ex

We all deserve second chances. We don’t always get them, but I’m an optimist and believe that everyone… and everything… should have at least one chance to redeem itself. Take a look at The X-Files, for example. Three terrible seasons and one terrible movie later, the show came back on the air and cranked out some pretty decent episodes. Firefly, through no fault of its own, got itself canned after only one season, but was given a cinematic wrap up that was both beautiful and traumatic. Did Heroes deserve a second chance? That’s a debate you’ll have to have on your own, but as I said… I believe that everyone and everything deserves one and so, I gave Heroes its chance at redemption.

Here’s the rub, though. When you give someone a second chance, you run the risk of them hurting you all over again. The Meth addict you gave a room to might rob your home for a fix. The unfaithful wife you gave a second chance to, might decide that something temporary is better than something permanent. A television series that you thought might learn from its own mistakes, might just fall right back onto them like a crutch and break your heart all over again.

Such is the unfortunate case with Heroes Reborn. It learned nothing, it did little different, it was actually sloppier, and now it’s dead and cancelled.

At this point, I say good riddance. This show had become a barely coherent pile.

The final episode was called “Project Reborn” which is rather ironic given that it’s now not-reborn anymore and it follows a small number of the show’s obscene number of characters as they try to save the world from a solar flare and save the future from an elitist woman who hates all Evos and, yet, surrounds herself with them all the time.

I know this is a little late, but I decided to finish the show given that there were only a few episodes left. It’s like watching the Twilight movies knowing they will be terrible, but also knowing that I’m OCD, a completionist, and I hate myself.

The first thing I notice as I type this review is that here I am, at the end of a series I’ve been watching all season, and I still can’t remember most of the character’s names. Tommy, the time-traveling kid? I’ve been calling him Peter Pan. Carlos, the armored non-powered vigilante? I’ve been calling him Mexican Batman. Luke, the guy who found out he can control fire? I’ve been calling him Chuck. Quentin, the bearded guy who hangs around? I’ve been calling him, “You No-Talent Hack Actor Who Ruins Every Scene You’re In, Why Won’t Your Character Just Go Away Already?”

There is no connection to any of these people? Do you remember Hiro’s contagious enthusiasm for getting powers? Remember Claire’s invulnerability? Remember Sylar being an evil so-and-so? I know the original series was not that great, but I at least didn’t have to research the characters to remember what their names are!

Getting to the episode: Most of this series’ army of useless characters are missing. Emily’s story is apparently wrapped up, so she’s gone. Parkman was apparently done after his car crash last week, so he’s not around anymore. Some characters are hardly in the episode at all. Carlos’ (Mexican Batman’s) one job this episode was to get Farah to a hospital. Micah, despite a big lead up to his appearance, did something so inconsequential to the plot that I don’t even remember what it was other than touching a screen and bringing a computer to life.

It only drives home how bloated this cast was and superfluous all of these plots were. You could have easily cut Carlos and his entire family out of the series and very little would have changed. Farrah could have been dropped. Tommy’s useless girlfriend could have been dropped. If the series would have focused on fewer characters, giving us a chance to actually care about them, this show might have been better but, no… it’s season two and three all over again.

It didn’t learn from its mistakes.

The crux of this episode involves the arrival of the unfortunately named H.E.L.E., a solar flare that will cook the earth and not an amusing pair of shoes with wheels in the bottom, and the effort to stop it. Tommy has to get out of Evernow (he’s trapped in a video game in case you’re wondering) and help his sister, Malina, prevent the end of the world. Meanwhile, the villainous Erica Kravitz is still trying to move people to the future in an effort to start an Evo-Free society at the cost of allowing everyone on the planet to die.

Here’s my issue… I don’t understand why Erica is a threat to Tommy. Tommy, you see, can literally stop time and Erica is threatening him with a gun. I’m not sure how imaginative you are, but in my estimation, that’s like threatening a tidal wave with a Sham-Wow. Once Tommy escapes Evernow, which I admit, was a clever way to hold him prisoner, there is literally nothing stopping him. If Erica is threatening his family, he could have easily stopped time and sent his family to someplace safe and then dropped Erica into a volcano. There are literally a billion things this kid could have done to end this episode in five minutes (or before it started, really) but the fact that it doesn’t even enter his mind show a stunning lack of competency and vision, not only his part, but also on the part of the writers.

This only carries through to the mind-blowing stupid emotional finale when Bennett (who has been missing for a few episodes following his supposed death during a storm) sacrifices himself to serve as a needed conduit between Malina and Tommy to stop the H.E.L.E.. My question is… why? Why did Bennett have to kill himself when, only two minutes before the scene, the show actually showed some poor guy doing the same thing unwillingly? Why sacrifice your grandfather when you have… literally… only seconds before doomed the villain to be stuck in a future that’s about to be erased?

Here’s a clue for you superpowered dip sticks… USE THE VILLAIN YOU’VE ALREADY SENTENCED TO DIE!? This is a solution that didn’t requite a load of thought, I was thinking this during the ending when Bennett was volunteering to die. Hell, you could have used Parkman, for goodness’ sake… don’t sacrifice a character stupidly because you want to emotionally manipulate your already bored audience.

A little off topic here: But how many times did they kill Katana Girl this season? I know she’s a video game character and maybe that’s part of a joke or something, but she and Rory Williams should really write a book about surviving all kinds of stuff and sell it. They’d make a killing that, I’m sure, they would both survive somehow.

We all deserve second chances, but seriously… forget this series. Forget Heroes and its bloated convoluted storytelling. Forget its mountain of useless characters. Forget its conceit, its slow-moving structure, and its lice-infested Afro of plot threads.

The episode ends with a cliffhanger. Yes, this series had the unmitigated gall to come back and wrap up the cliffhanger of season three only to leave its few dedicated fans with another cliffhanger that will be resolved sometime around never. It could have easily ended with Tim Kring giving a finger to the camera and it would have had the same effect.

It’s frustrating, it’s enraging, and it’s stupid… pretty much on par with the mess that Heroes Reborn was and, honestly, if you’re still a fan of this dreck by this point, you kind of deserve to be abused by it.

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