My weekly vidcap'd recap'd coverage of HEROES REBORN continues with episode 8, "June 13th Part Two"...
Wouldn't you know it, the Noah (Jack Coleman) from June 13th foiled his future self's assassination attempt on Erica Kravid. She got away with just a gunshot wound to the leg, leaving the two Noah's to rant and rave at each other's stupidity.
In 1999, Hiro (Masi Oka) and Angela Petrelli (Cristine Rose) arrive with Claire's twins, Nathan and Malina, only to discover that baby Nathan has inherited the power-absorbing ability of his uncle Peter. Sadly, this means he renders Hiro unable to manipulate Time & Space, stranding him in the Odessa of '99, and Angela insists the two babies must be separated.
The storyline with Carlos Gutierrez (Ryan Guzman) hasn't been the best, but there was a nudge towards making it at least feel more tied into the rest of the show here. It turns out that on June 13th Carlos was still in the military, and taking the praise of a secret EVO colleague, who turns out to be Farah Nazan (Nazneen Contractor), the invisible mentor of grown-up Malina we've been following a year later.
Luke (Zachary Levi) and Joanne (Judith Shekoni) faced the terrible truth of the Unity Summit bombing after discovering their son's dead body retrieved from some rubble.
Another original star returned this week: Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg), who's now using his mind-reading to help the villains. Luckily, he still has enough goodness inside to go easy on Noah during an interrogation into what's going on, and Noah's memories are luckily erased in the nick of time thanks to Caspar (Pruitt Taylor Vince) rolling one of his pennies towards Noah's foot. So that's how that guys power works? The coins are imbued with a 'mission' (to erase such-and-such from someone's memory), but they only work their magic when they come into contact with the chosen subject? That's kind weird. How do you even realise you possess that sort of power?
Over in Tokyo, it became clearer what the background to Hachiro Otomo (Hiro Kanagawa) and his daughter Miko (Kiki Sukezane) actually is. She's not a human with the ability to enter video games, but a video game representation of Otomo's daughter that he dragged out into the real world to help with his grief. That's sort of cool.
I love time-travel stories for all the mind-twisting situations that can develop with them. Here, "Future Noah" went to see Hiro with Molly, who's been living in Odessa without his powers for the past 16 years...
So it turns out Hiro's become the adopted father of Noah's grandson Nathan, in a relationship with hospital worker Anne (Krista Bridges), who the boy considers his mother. It's a real family affair!
The Collins' are such a depressing part of the show, aren't they? It's like Heroes wants to tackle much weightier ideas with them, but it just doesn't suit the show very well. Back in their motel room, we witness the moment Joanne takes out her anger on the EVO called Dennis that her husband saved from some wreckage. A mix of grief and resentment causes Joanne to go crazy with a pair of scissors, stabbing Dennis to death and thus kickstarting their crazy EVO killing spree.
To keep the timeline in good order, the Past Noah's memory of these events are erased by Caspar and we get a replay of the first scene from the premiere with Noah believing he's lost his memory as a result of the Unity Summit bombing.
Meanwhile, his future self goes to see Angela with grandson Nathan, who's now an old woman who does 'old woman things' like trim roses. Interestingly, Malina's present but it's still too dangerous for her to come into contact with the brother she doesn't know exists.
Having helped Erica Kravid (Rya Kihlstedt) with her gunshot wound in the hospital stairwell, Quentin Frady (Henry Zebrowski) goes to visit her while she convalesces. All he cares about is seeing the sister she kidnapped, which she agrees to.
It seems that Farah was tasked with protecting Malina by Mama Petrelli herself. The guy who does the subtitles just couldn't resist angling them that way.
Otomo and Miko enjoy an evening preparing a meal together, but now comes the moment when Harris (Clé Bennett) arrives to steal away her father. She therefore spends a whole year in that apartment, alone?
Quentin is reunited with his sister Phoebe (Aislinn Paul), but this show of kindness from Erica will later have nasty consequences for Noah...
Three Harris Clones locate Hiro's hideout in Odessa, leading to a moment where Hiro gets to continue the sword-fight he started 15-years ago.
Meanwhile, Nathan uses his ability to teleport his mother and Caspar out of harm's way. I'm not entirely sure why Hiro couldn't come, too. Still, this scene makes sense of how the Nathan we first met doesn't remember any of this and thinks his name's Tommy, because Caspar uses another of his magic coins to erase Nathan's memory of everything except his mother.
Returning to the present day, Noah is astonished to find that the timeline's been slightly altered thanks to his meddling in the past, but with the benefit of Quentin now being alive.
Unfortunately, Quentin's survival has everything to do with the fact the new timeline sees him in cahoots with Erica, who he calls to pass on information gleamed from Noah about Claire's baby actually being two teenage twins.
Bravo, Heroes. Bravo. Time-travel stories are a bitch to get right, but this "June 13th" two-parter did a very good job with its sense of logic and avoidance of the pitfalls. I was very satisfied with just how well these episodes have coloured in the background to Heroes Reborn, and a great deal of it made complete sense to me. I particularly like how the issues with Noah's memory were explained very neatly, and the reasoning behind Nathan/Malina being kept apart in secret. I'm sure if you're the kind of person who stresses about plot holes you could find a few problem areas, but there are very few time-travel stories that are completely watertight. "June 13th Part Two" demonstrated that Tim Kring and his writers have thought their story through this year, and now comes a second half that's free to go for broke without having to worry about stepping all over its own continuity.
You know what? I'm tempted to say Heroes Reborn is the best season of Heroes, at least in terms of how the story's been constructed. The first season was much scrappier than people remember and had real problems sustaining its narrative after the halfway point, to ultimately end with a notorious damp squib finale. We just loved it because not many networks were doing large, big-budget ensemble comic-book shows in 2006. Nearly a decade later, and shows like this are commonplace and many of Heroes' signature moves don't feel very fresh, but the plot this year is the best they've ever constructed.
What did YOU think? Surprised and delighted that Heroes Reborn is proving to be this good? Or do you disagree and think it still has core issues that an entertaining and revelatory mid-season two-parter can't fix?