This morning, I watched the final episode of Heroes Reborn, the sequel series to 2006 Heroes. Right before watching the final episode, I found out that Reborn won’t get a second season. Coming from the amazing first season ten years ago, I was surprised to experience relief that this series was put out of its misery. Although, surprised..
I remember Heroes premiering here in Belgium in my very first semester at uni, and other students were talking about this new series on VT4, the channel on which it was airing. It took me five minutes to find myself glued to the screen week after week. The magazine my parents bought every week also did some promo by printing page-long ads for it, where each week a new hero was displayed and I decorated my room with those little posters. Only Charmed and Buffy managed to get me this obsessed, but I was obsessed with good reasons cause the first season was so good. The whole Sylar and “Save the Cheerleader, save the world” plot was engrossing, as were the morally grey characters. My favourite heroes were without a doubt Claire and Niki/Jessica, but I liked most of them, to be honest. I only didn’t care all that much for Matt Parkman and the Petrelli brothers, though I warmed up to the latter as the season progressed.
Along came the short second season and along came the disappointment. I don’t know what that was, but it didn’t make that much sense to me. Trying to continue the Sylar-storyline but introducing so many new heroes I just couldn’t warm up to.. I don’t know, the second season was a mess. I had high hopes, however, for the third, but it failed to deliver. I really liked the addition of Elle (Kristen Bell) to the cast, but it was too little too late. The series had become a hot mess and lost whatever made the first season so captivating. I feel like you could sense that the writers knew they had to go back to the origins, cause the first season tried to remedy some issues, but the battle was lost. Cancellation was announced and the series finale would be the biggest cliffhanger in series history for me.
Fast forward to 2015, and Heroes Reborn came along. I don’t remember where or when I had read it, but I thought that the idea behind the series was a revival which was going back to the roots of the first season. My big disappointment with the original series has had some time to simmer down, so I was more than willing to give it a fair chance. Alas, it was not really what I had hoped it would be.
What made the first season such a delight for me, was the focus on a hero as an antagonist and the human factor involved. The later seasons upped the importance of shady government organisations and it was just not that engaging. Comes along Reborn and the prime antagonists are, a shady government organisation and a natural disaster.. Where Sylar was a character with an intriguing psyche – and appealing physique, but that is for another post – Erica is just a deluded bitch. Only in episode 12 out of 13 we get some insight into her past, but it was way to late to redeem her.
If redemption is something the writers sought, they didn’t find it with this bunch of heroes. Their powers were sort of okay, though they did replace season two Maya’s poison tears as most ridiculous power with the Insert-Videogame power – that this videogame stuff was a thing was the most ridiculous decision ever made in the history of the entire series, if you ask me. The problem lies with the fact that the first gen heroes were so memorable that this bunch of kids just falls flat. No matter that Tommy and Melina are Claire’s children, they have nothing on their mother. And when the heroes are so so, the series turns into a no no. There was this one episode halfway through which was really good, and I hoped that the series finally found its flow again, but it proved to be an anomaly as the subsequent episodes returned to its usual mediocrity.
I finished this miniseries with the feeling that it just went nowhere, really, and the finaly was quite the messy wrap-up that I feared it would be. I mean, all of a sudden Tommy knows how to be in two places at once? Could’ve come in handy earlier on, but okay. And don’t get me started on the annoying teaser for the never-will-be second season. I mean, if the cancellation was announced last week, was it that impossible to cut the final two minutes from this episode so this mysterious Tarot-set up was just.. not there?
Perhaps I’m a bit harsh, but not there is what Reborn should have been. This did nothing to redeem the original series whom, in spite of a brilliant start lost its way. Despite the flaws and all, the original series still has its merits and while I am sad that it became what it was at the end, I did enjoy watching it. Reborn, however, leaves a bitter taste in my mouth and taints the memory of Heroes.