Saturday, 3 October 2015

HEROES REBORN, episode 3 - 'Under the Mask'

Saturday, 3 October 2015

I'll be covering Heroes Reborn weekly at DMD, but in more of a visual manner. The material isn't substantial enough to feel like it deserves a huge amount of effort spent on it, so for the duration of this miniseries I'll be commenting below a dozen or so vidcaps, which will illustrate my lighthearted thoughts as the show develops.

We begin with another sequence at the Arctic Circle, where a woman we now know as Malina (Danika Yarosh) appears to be keeping a dangerous phenomenon in the sky safe. This is the hushed 'end of the world' problem she's keeping a lid on, it seems. The intriguing thing is the reveal Malina has an invisible female mentor, who speaks with an Indian accent. Is that woman related to Mohinder Suresh, perhaps? But why is she keeping herself invisible out in the remote Arctic tundra? Just wear white, silly.

Next, we continue 'Katana Girl' Miko's (Kiki Sukezane) one-woman attack on the Renautas skyscraper that apparently contains her kidnapped father. Miko's ability to enter a digital world analogous to the real world is confusing me, though. It would make more sense to me if there was a Matrix-style trade-up with this ability, with Miko gaining enhanced fighting skills in "game world", but she seems just as competent kicking ass in her human form...

Well, until she comes up against the mysterious Harris (Clé Bennett), who disarms Miko with relative ease. One of the best intrigues of this episode was Harris's name being suffixed with "(Prime)" when he was introduced to us, but I was wrong to predict a knotted timeline is the reason for his delineation...

Upstairs, in Renautas HQ (the place Miko's invaded with her magic sword), we meet the head of this powerful conglomerate: Erica Kravid (Rya Kihlstedt). She appears to like decorating in the style of Lemarchand's box from Hellraiser.

Thousands of miles away in Los Angeles, former soldier Carlos Gutierrez (Ryan Guzman) is trying to avenge his brother's death, and comes across three dirty cops illegally interrogating a woman we later discover is an 'evolved human' (EVO) who can fly. I'm not into this subplot yet, which feels like reheated Arrow to me.

The husband-and-wife EVO killers Luke (Zachary Levi) and Joanne Collins (Judith Shekoni) go to a diner together after their car breaks down, which for obvious reasons reminded me of the opening to Pulp Fiction. Minus the robbery.

Or should that be Howard the Duck, once Luke's revealed to be having some unusual problems with heated cutlery. Has he developed a super-power?

That's a big fat YES, then. Poor Luke's become the very thing he despises and has sworn to eradicate. Will his wife be forced to put him down when she finds out hubby's prone to becoming a walking torch?

Noah/HRG (Jack Coleman) also made a discovery this week: that there's CCTV footage of him with his daughter's dead body in a hospital morgue, meaning Claire didn't perish in the infamous Primatech blast last year. And there are odd gaps in the tape, which points to the involvement of time-traveller Hiro (whose sword is also the one Miko's wielding, BTW).

Molly Walker (the human equivalent of Apple's 'Find My Phone' when it comes to locating her fellow EVOs) has been captured and is being flown to Renautas. In a private jet, so it's not all bad.

Ohhh, so that's why Harris has to be identified as 'Prime': he can regrow detached limbs, but the missing limb itself grows a copy of its original body. That's very cool. But that can't happen a lot to him, can it? Unless Harris is spectacularly clumsy and prone to getting involved in nasty accidents with swords and industrial machinery.

We also caught up with alienated teenager Tommy Clark (Robbie A. Kray), who just wants to go out, get drunk, and get laid. But his understandably overcautious mother would prefer he stay indoors. I have no idea why Tommy doesn't realise he can teleporting back-and-forth to the party behind her back. He's not the sharpest tool in the box, is he? That's his best party-going T-shirt, after all. That. I'd clean my car with that top.

The party Tommy wants to go to isn't that epic, anyway. It's rated "TV 14 LV", as you can see, which is very uncool. Weirdly, it's early at the party but someone's already arranged a large pyramid from hundreds of empty beer cans. Those guys aren't drunk enough to have got through all those tins so quickly! So did that kid bring his own stash of empty beer cans, specifically to build that thing? Weirdo.

Interesting. It's shown that Tommy's mother knows the mysterious Caspar Abraham (Pruitt Taylor Vince) who's been tailing him, keeping him safe, like an overprotective father-figure. And there I was thinking Caspar was a baddie. Tommy's wrapped in too much cotton wool.

Carlos dons his brother's vigilante disguise as El Vengador to attack the crooked cops. Unfortunately, one of them appears to have super-strength.

A huge piece of the Heroes Reborn puzzle was revealed by the end of this hour. Renautas announced the launch of their new product E.P.I.C; which may look like a rival to Occulus Rift, but is actually a system powered by Molly Walker's super-power, that gives the real-time location of every EVO on the planet. Yeah, okay, it's basically "Cerebro" from X-Men. Tim Kring hasn't seen those films, or read those comics, I'm sure.

And finally, while driving her son home from his awful party, the Clark's car was T-boned by an unseen vehicle. Cue slo-mo and CGI glass shards. Have some EPIC-equipped soldiers really caught up with Tommy that quickly? Or is this Tommy's mysterious texter, come to save him from being grounded? Where's Caspar when you need him?

Final thoughts:

The fun of the new dissipated a little with "Under the Mask", but I was pleased to see some of the mystery become clearer. Heroes was championed in season 1 because (unlike Lost at the time) it often answered its own questions relatively quickly, and giving us info about Renautas and E.P.I.C in episode 3 certainly continued that trend. But we still have the mystery with Noah's memory loss, the reason for the Primatech explosion, and what Malina's doing in the Arctic with her invisible friend. I'm not very keen on the vigilante storyline for Carlos right now, but there are unexpected developments with anti-EVO Luke gaining a power of his own. Or has he always had it, but just doesn't want to let his wife know he's "one of them"?

What did you make of "Under the Mask"?