As announced last week, I'm going to be covering NBC's Heroes Reborn weekly, but via the medium of extensive vidcap. Click through to see what happened on "The Needs of the Many"...
Following their car "accident" last week, sulky teen Tommy (Robbie A. Kray) managed to teleport his mother (Krista Bridges) to hospital, although we never do find out who rammed into them.
Luke (Zachary Levi) had a crisis of conscience this week, after wife Joanne (Judith Shekoni) nonchalantly popped a cap in the forehead of the next EVO on their stolen hit list of targets. Luke's change of heart is partly because he's developed super-powers of his own, meaning he's now killing his own kind... and partly because their latest victim had a cute family... but it's mainly because the guy had a beautiful golden labrador that's now lost an owner. Sniff! It snuggled up to his corpse's shoulder and everything. Sniff! Joanne's the absolutely worst. Sniff!
We're back to the frozen wastelands of the north, where Malina (Danika Yarosh) is resurrecting thousands of dead butterflies. But why is there a field of dead butterflies in the Arctic? The very first shot of the miniseries had a butterfly fluttering towards Noah Bennett (Jack Coleman) in Odessa a year ago, so are they some kind of warning? It's all very hazy still, but at least we learned that Malina's invisible mentor is a woman called Farah Nazan (Nazneen Contractor) who appears to own a magic rug.
Like the famous Hiro/Ando double-act before them, Tokyo friends 'Katana Girl' Miko (Kiki Sukezane) and 'internet-famous' gamer Ren Shimosawa (Toru Uchikado) have decided to travel from Japan to America, in order to locate Renautas HQ and rescue Miko's father.
In hospital, Tommy learns that his injured mother needs a blood transplant. Tommy agrees to be the donor, but that's going to flag his EVO status to the authorities when they test it.
Now in Canada, Malina and Farah continue their hazy mission: which now involves growing trees. Save the trees, save the planet? I guess Malina has some kind of control over life and death, or nature itself? Is that why she can manipulate Aurora Borealis?
Over in L.A, Carlos (Ryan Guzman) makes further inroads to a storyline that's a hybrid of Batman (he considers building an armoured 'El Vengadormobile') and Iron Man (he makes an exoskeleton suit that increases his punching power). Pssst! Carlos. Did you know there's already a superhero called El Vengador? Even the name of your alter-ego isn't original, buddy. I'm finding this strand of the show a chore.
Noah Bennett and Quentin (Henry Zebrowski) made it to Renautas with a plan to stop C.E.O Erica Kravid (Rya Kihlstedt) and her EVO-finding tech E.P.I.C, which involved recruiting her daughter Taylor (Eve Harlow) to bust the vital cog of Molly Walker out of their hands.
On the car ride to their next assassination, Luke confesses he's an EVO to wife Joanne by setting fire to something... but her love for him prevents Luke getting a bullet through the temple. Maybe Joanne does have a heart, even if it's now just a shrivelled husk that only beats once a minute? Or maybe she just realises being married to super-Luke means she'll never have to use a microwave ever again.
Carlos's nephew (who may become the Robin to his Batman?), Jose Gutierrez (Lucius Hoyos), discovered his uncle's secret underground room and leather mask. In scenes that weren't as 50 Shades as it sounds. Still not excited by anything happening in the El Vengasnore subplot, sorry.
Thanks to Taylor and her unlikely ability to stab two muscled guards in the neck with hypodermic needles, while standing right in front of them, Noah and Quentin discover a Renautas chamber full of captured EVOs. They're apparently being harvested for their abilities, meaning Erica Kravid is essentially Reborn's version of the brain-eating/power-thieving Sylar. Molly kills herself with Noah's handgun after awakening, but not before issuing what's perhaps the show's new catchphrase and call to arms: 'forget the past, save the future'. A few straight answers about last year's Odessa disaster and conspiracy would've been more helpful, Mol.
Uh-oh. Erica isn't happy about Noah's security breach; especially because it only happened thanks to her own daughter's disloyalty, and led to the suicide of Molly Walker—which renders their new global E.P.I.C project redundant. Although we're told EVO-finding handheld devices still work at a limited distance, um, somehow. (She also needs to shoot whoever designed her carpet.)
The final sting in the epilogue is that Quentin Frady's missing sister, Phoebe (Aislinn Paul), can apparently create miniature black holes. If that's what that thing was. Might this be the manner in which the world's going to end? It doesn't look very safe.
This wasn't the most thrilling of hours, but I appreciated the story edging into darker territory. The unexpected death of Molly could work in the show's favour because it makes Noah's quest even tougher, but nixing the E.P.I.C project the week after it was introduced seems like a weird decision. The Carlos storyline still feels the weakest, because it doesn't have any obvious connection to anything else right now, but Miko/Ren are running a close second. A mission to save a character we've never met is always going to be a tough sell, and Miko's ability to literally beam inside the video-game EverNow still sits uneasily with me: it's a cool idea, but what are the rules and why is this a beneficial power to have?