Never before have I been more welcoming of a mid-season break. Heroes Reborn has been a rollercoaster of quality ever since the beginning of the series. It’s a shame because they had a lot going for this spin-off until it started to fall prey to the same problems that affected the parent series. There’s just too much going on at once. We barely get time to register what’s happening with one character before we’re jumping across the board to another. Tonight’s installment, “11:53 to Odessa”, was just another cluttered mess of an episode with few redeeming qualities. (spoilers ahead!)
The last thing we saw on Heroes Reborn was Miko in the distant future, making her way to a mysterious city. It is here that she finally discovers her father, Hachiro Otomo, who is seemingly working for Renautas and has a clone of Miko under stasis within a special machine. Apparently, the Miko we’ve been following this whole time is a doppelganger, and the one that Hachiro is watching over is the REAL Miko. We don’t get many details on this, so it’s left pretty ambiguous. Hopefully, we get answers in the last couple of episodes of the season.
Meanwhile, in the past, Ren sees the red shogun from the Evernow video game wandering the streets of the real world. He follows the shogun into a dojo, where he discovers that he’s actually a construct of Hachiro Otomo. Hachiro gives Ren a special key and tells him to head toward Gateway at Renautas. After some pondering, Ren stumbles across a bus (the 11:53 to Odessa) that advertises, yep, you guessed it, Gateway at Renautas!
I just didn’t care about what was going on with Ren and Miko and her father. This whole part of the story was interesting at first, back when I felt like there was a connection between these characters and Hiro Nakamura, but now it’s just tedious trying to follow up with them. I’d rather just focus on the rest of the cast (even if they’re not so special either).
Malina and Noah, now a happily reunited family, head on a road trip to Renautas in order to save Tommy. Along the way, they discover that they’re being followed by Luke, who claims that he wants to help, but Malina and Noah reject his offerings since his wife killed Casper. You feel bad for Luke as he gives a heartfelt statement about how Malina saved him from killing himself, but at the same time, you have to understand where Malina and Noah are coming from. It’s a hell of a conundrum. Luckily, Luke is able to prove his good intentions later on in the episode.
Noah and Malina are stopped in a traffic jam by an approaching storm. While Malina is attempting to control the storm with her powers, a car is tossed into the air and almost squashes Noah, until a mysterious stranger teleports him away. Now the question is, who saved Noah? Was it Hiro Nakamura, having regained his powers? Or is it someone else, possibly an old Heroes cast member who we thought wouldn’t be making an appearance (*cough* Nathan Petrelli *cough*) ? Hooray for mid-season cliffhangers!
The big chunk of the episode centers on Sunstone, the EVO refuge where Matt Parkman rules with an iron fist. Greg Grunberg has been knocking it out of the park lately with his performance, and this episode is no exception. It’s strange seeing him act so evil, especially when there’s little explanation as to why he turned out this way. However, it’s strongly hinted that he’s ultimately doing all this so that he can save his family. I guess you gotta do what you gotta do, right?
While the Haitian, Taylor Kravid, and the rest of the EVO freedom fighters are attempting to infiltrate Sunstone, Carlos and Farrah (who we found out served together in Afghanistan) are trying to break out. Carlos is a self-admitted coward whose fear jeopardized his entire unit in the military, which explains why he’s so determined to be a hero now. The only problem is that, without his powered El Vengador suit, he lacks the courage to stand up to evil-doers. This all changes when he realizes that he has to save Farrah, and in a shockingly impressive display of bravado, he overcomes his captors and rescues his beloved. But as they say, “out of the frying pan, into the fire”.
Carlos and Farrah escape and reunite with the rest of the freedom fighters, only to be halted by an approaching group of Harris clones with their guns drawn. The episode ends just as the heroes run for cover.
We can’t forget about Tommy, though, can we? Erica attempts to bring him over to her side, convincing him that instead of saving the world for the impending apocalypse, he should instead help her with the mission to bring a select group of people to the future in order to rebuild humanity at Gateway. For a moment, it seems like Tommy is going to consider this proposition, on the condition that he is allowed to bring as many people as he wants with him to Gateway. But before the deal is sealed, Miko appears and convinces him to teleport them away. Whoa – what just happened?
Like I said, Heroes Reborn is just throwing so much stuff at us at once that it’s getting tiresome trying to keep up. Give us one cohesive storyline and worry about that; don’t half-ass several storyline at once. I have very little enthusiasm for this show anymore, but of course, I’ll have to keep watching; partially because I want to see how it ends, and partially because I have to keep doing these reviews.
Final Grade: C +
+ Glad to see Carlos stepping up to the plate and kicking some ass even without his El Vengador suit.
+ Greg Grunberg killed it again with his performance.
+ The special effects were neat.
– Confusing cliffhanger.
– 90 percent of the characters on the show just irritate me.
– The entire subplot with Ren, Miko, and her father holds zero interest with me.
– Who saved Noah? Could it be the surprise return of a certain Heroes character?
How did you feel of the mid-season finale of Heroes Reborn? Are you looking forward to its return in January, or could you care less? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!