My weekly vidcap'd recap'd coverage of HEROES REBORN continues with episode 10, "11:53 to Odessa"...
I'm still a bit confused that Noah (Jack Coleman) and Malina (Danika Yarosh) are so close as grandfather-and-granddaughter, because I'm pretty sure they only just met last week, but never mind. Luke (Zachary Levi) meets up with his saviour's grandad this week, but isn't happy that his services as a father-turned-hitman-turned-human-toaster aren't required.
Nathan (Robbie A. Kay) wakes up in a garish bed, the "guest" of Erica Kravid (Rya Kihlstedt), and it's confirmed that she's been sending supplies and people several thousand years into the future to populate a town called "Gateway".
Actually in Gateway, it's Miko (Kiki Sukezane), who's still looking for her kidnapped father. I'm right in thinking she must have been wandering a scorched earth for millennia, right? Being a digital "construct". That's commitment.
It's been a surprise to find that Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg) is on the side of evil this series, but I'd like more explanation as to why. It seems a bit of a stretch to see him violating people like Farah (Nazneen Contractor) with his mind, as he was on the side of good throughout Heroes' original run.
Greenscreen, ahoy! Nathan is allowed to visit the distant future with Erica, Quentin (Henry Zebrowski) and Phoebe (Aislinn Paul), who's basically hanging around to reign in his power.
I thought we'd seen the back of Miko's friend Ren (Toru Uchikado), but it seems he's being brought back into the storyline for an important mission...
Matt discovered that Farah knows Carlos (Ryan Guzman) from their army days together, so unites them in an effort to disturb the mental block she's successfully throwing up against him. We also learn that, oh yes, Farah and Carlos are in love. Awwww.
Taylor (Eve Harlow) and her new HeroTruther friends have a plan to get inside Sunstone Manor and rescue Farah, which involves having a shapeshifter pose as Erica Kravid and gain access. Amazingly, it works. The guard on duty could have known it was all a ruse by, y'know, asking for ID, questioning why their boss has arrived on foot, or why she's still hanging around with her turncoat daughter.
Luke won't take "no" for an answer, so once again tries to appeal to Noah and help Malina achieve her world-saving destiny. I feel sorry for Zachary Levi in this role; he clearly thought it would be within his comfort-zone and appeal to his geeky fanbase, while allowing him to tackle some darker material... but, he mustn't have realised Luke would be such a downer.
In the future, Miko discovers some EVOs who have been transported there by Erica--including "herself" (the original Japanese girl she's a digital representation of), which is weird. But at least she finally completes her quest by finding her father, Otomo (Hiro Kanagawa), who explains he's only done bad things because his daughter's survival depended on it.
Speaking of weird, I really don't know why Matt was fooled by the ridiculous fake-Erica trick. This is a world where people have super-powers and shape-changing isn't a crazy idea, and yet he doesn't even perform a cursory check that Erica's thoughts are her own?
Ren meets with a construct of Otomo sent by the real Otomo from the future, is given a key, and told it'll help him get to Gateway to save Miko.
As expected, Nathan's beginning to see things from Erica's point of view. And that's fair enough. If normal civilisation really is fated to end, why not use his powers to populate a distant future? He's not asking too many hard questions about why EVOs are being rounded up and/or killed as part of the overall plan, but never mind. He's a kid.
There's always a scene where someone has to decide between two identical people in everything that involves shape-shifters. Amusingly, Harris (Clé Bennett) simply took a 50/50 chance and shot right-Matt. And there was a subtle sign that Matt may rethink his status as a villain after he heard a stray thought from Harris that he's not particularly important to Erica's plan.
Carlos escaped and rescued his beloved Farah. So yeah.
We finally met Micah Sanders (Noah Gray-Cabey) for the first time on Heroes Reborn, who is now unrecognisable as the little kid from the original series. It seems that he's being mind-controlled by Matt to use his mastery over digital and electrical devices, becoming... well, a sort of braindead human-Google.
Noah and Malina encounter a huge, dangerous storm on the road. A little odd that Noah looked slightly surprised when his granddaughter used her powers to try and diminish it.
During the storm, Noah narrowly escapes being squashed by a car thanks to an unseen rescuer who can teleport. Hiro? Nathan? With gramps now out of the picture, Luke is able to save Malina from a disgruntled crowd of humans who blame the storm on her. Those silly, intolerant humans.
Finally, Carlos and Farah make it out of Sunstone Manor thanks to Eve's help, and meet up with the triumphant HeroTruthers. Unfortunately, they're now all surrounded by dozens of Harris Clones...
Not a great episode, as it was just firming up ideas and recalibrating things ahead of the remaining three hours. A few characters have been given new missions, but there isn't much mystery left (beyond how the world is actually going to be saved by a naturally-occurring cosmic event).
I've enjoyed the weekly sense of discovery with Heroes Reborn, as the show is arguably at its best when it has secrets and knows when to reveal them for maximum impact and prompt further questions. But perhaps the main reason "11:53 to Odessa" felt underwhelming is simple: this marks the winter hiatus for the show. That's right, in another example of bad U.S scheduling, NBC think holding the last three episodes back for January is a good idea. Why not just power through until 10 December, eh? What's beneficial about risking the chance a large percentage of the audience will (a) mistakenly think this was the finale and not come back next year, or (b) forget to keep watching after Christmas because a seven-week pause is enough time for them to change their viewing habits?
What did YOU think? Excited for the last three episodes in the New Year, or does an increasing lack of mystery work against the show? Or maybe you're still very curious to see how the end of the world can be prevented by two teenagers who can control nature and bend Space and Time?