Synopsis of 5×06: Noah joins forces with Miko and Ren to release Hiro Nakamura; Luke gets wet; Carlos is still around.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

How can it possibly be that we are six episodes into Heroes Reborn and there are still fundamental concepts of the show that remain a mystery? Heroes Reborn has not yet revealed the nature of Milena’s (Malena? Mawleenah?) powers. Heroes Reborn doesn’t think you need to know about either of the great overarching threats of the season.

Heroes Reborn has decided it unnecessary to explain anything about Evernow, or how exactly Miko jumps between that world and this, or where she is in space when these things happen. Previously, she would pop up at a point in space corresponding to her geographical point in the game, but in this episode she appeared instantly in a coffee shop? Did her father program that particular Colorado coffee shop into the game?

None of it makes sense and nothing important is being explained.

I can’t, you guys. I can’t.

But I have to try.

Pictured: an obviously trustworthy man [NBC]
Pictured: an obviously trustworthy man [NBC]
Don’t Drink Blood Given to You by Bad Guys

I, uh, assumed that it was a given that you don’t drink things your enemies give to you in tiny vials. I assumed a rational, thinking human being would avoid such things. But the writers of Heroes Reborn seem incapable of creating rational, thinking human beings and instead write dullard Batmans who down such vials without thinking.

Also, why did Dearing have this vial on him? Does he just carry it around with him at all times? Did he fix it up while being on the receiving end of “Game Over’s” opening montage of prisoner abuse? Is the composition of this review going to be 90% questions?

Taylor missed out on this brilliance [NBC]
Taylor missed out on this brilliance [NBC]
More Plot Than Taylor Can Handle

This week Taylor split off from Noah and Quentin to go off on her own plotline like the strong, interesting character she isn’t. The writers, seemingly itching to unload some of this extra plot they have lying around, saw Taylor as an injured lamb and shot her with more rounds of plot than she can really take.

First, she heads back to the Torture Basement to find her boyfriend. He and the rest of the prisoners have been relocated.

Second, she up and transfers some important files from her mother’s computer to her own. Taylor does this in her mother’s office, which she apparently doesn’t lock.

Third, Taylor is introduced to the Occupy Wallstreet of the Heroes Reborn universe in a hastily-tossed-out barely-on-camera news report. Called “Hero Truther,” which joins the continued Leroy Jenkins references as being just the worst ‘old white guys writing for young people’ writing I have ever seen, Taylor decides to contact them by posting a video from her web cam. Within this same scene and without context, we see that there is a positive pregnancy test on Taylor’s sink. There are three different episodes worth of plot at play here, and it all happens in approximately four minutes of screentime.

There is a throughline throughout “Game Over” of leaving the our stories at cliffhangers, seemingly so that we are on the edge of our seat by the time the show returns from its sojourn back to June 13th. Taylor, strangely, gets three cliffhangers, like she’s somehow the fan favorite and we’re just going to die if we don’t find out what happens to Taylor.

We won’t.

Pictured: an unnecessary desire to see the Eiffel Tower [NBC]
Pictured: an unnecessary need to see the Eiffel Tower [NBC]
In Paris, Nobody Behaves Like a Person

Tommy and Emily(?) go to Paris. Tommy doesn’t like that people don’t like him. It’s a racism metaphor enacted on a white character so that we feel sympathy for him. This is really out of character for Tommy. If, indeed, Tommy has a character?

Emily and Tommy find an issue of 9th Wonders because Heroes will just never let go of Isaac Mendez and his dumb paintings.

Tommy and Emily kiss. Hoo-rah.

"I REALLY wanna get inside that tower!" [NBC]
“I REALLY wanna get inside that tower!” [NBC]
All-Star Team Up

Luke arrives at a dock that doubles as a boat-selly place.

“Can I help you?” asks the salesman.

“I want this one,” says Luke, holding out his dead son’s toy boat. “But I want it big.”

The salesman smiles. “Let me build that for you in thirty minutes. Either that or we just happen to have that exact boat. The show is unclear.”

After he buys the boat, Luke fills his backpack with bricks, presumably having removed all the people-killing equipment first. Sad that his son is dead, he throws himself from the back of a big version of his son’s favorite toy, just like I did when my son died and I tossed myself from the back of a giant Furbie.

"Hope nobody's hunting us!" [NBC}
“Hope nobody’s hunting us!” [NBC}
But Meulina, who saw earlier that Luke had zappy hands, saves him with her Vague And Unspecified Powers. She shows Luke a picture of Tommy.

“Is that,” stammers Luke, “T-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-tommy?”

Moolaena is ecstatic that Luke can help her find the boy that is to save the world with her. They agree to team up. To Be Continued in Three Weeks…

Noah in front of what I believe to be an Austin Powers time machine [NBC]
Noah in front of what I believe to be an Austin Powers time machine [NBC]
I Have Almost Too Many Questions

If I may continue the series of questions I began at the top of the review: If you’re the bad guys, why keep the Master of Time and Space in a castle in an active MMO? Is Evernow an MMO? What is the point of Evernow? Why is the only enemy in the palace a palette-swapped version of Katana Girl? Is Miko actually a glitch come to life? Is she just Vanellope von Shweetz from Wreck-It Ralph? If you have access to the code of the game and intend to make it harder for Miko to complete her question, why not get rid of the doors on the castle? Why make it a castle at all? Why not a black hole? Or an unreachable safe? Is Miko a spawn point? How can Ren’s avatar just appear where Miko is? Because that’s not how games work?

Is Miko really dead? They wouldn’t really kill her off screen, would they? Is she dead, only to be undeaded by Noah and Hiro venturing to the past? What was any of that last-minute stakes-raising garbage about her dying about, anyway? Why would you program a person like that? Why not just program her to not die when she completes her task? Is Miko’s dad an actual insane person? He did design his daughter after a videogame character so we can just say he’s an insane person, right? Why didn’t Harris, a professional killman, see the bright pink girl hiding amongst white crates?

Sorry. Had to get all that off my chest.

What about this could possibly not make sense? [NBC]
What about this could possibly not make sense? [NBC]
All questions aside, this may be the most interesting plot in Heroes Reborn history. If we remove all the conveniences. And the clunky dialogue. And how bad and fake the props look. And the bad guys’ central location being found at “88 Hill Valley Rd.” which is the worst and most obvious pop culture reference in the history of popular culture. Okay, it wasn’t good.

Essentially, I was impressed that they killed off Quentin, and that they went for the emotional option when he went. Heroes Reborn really thinks we care about Quentin, which is adorable. Quentin is a major character, if not a particularly strong one, and we watch him get choked to death by his own sister and her shadowy tendrils. It shows gumption for a show to go that route. It didn’t quite work because it felt sudden and unearned, but at least I was surprised. And Noah calls him “buddy.” I’m glad Noah had a friend, albeit an annoying, dead one.

The big moment of the episode is the return of Hiro Nakamura, who Noah addresses as an old friend although my memory of the original Heroes doesn’t really support this. Hiro returns to the natural world after Katana Girl so nobly sacrificed(?) herself to rescue him. Held captive by Renautus, Hiro’s power was used to take mysterious crates to the future.

Pictured: A Visual Metaphor [NBC]
Pictured: A Visual Metaphor [NBC]
Within one minute of his return, Hiro has already lost all sense of character.

It was an interesting touch to lose Hiro’s characteristic sense of wonder. In the right hands, that could be an great bit of character development. In Heroes Reborn’s hands, it feels like they forgot who Hiro was. The mascot of the show has lost his sense of self.

“Take me to the past,” says Noah.

“No,” says Hiro, firmly.

“Come ooooooooooon,” Noah responds.

“Okay,” says Hiro, firmly.

Hiro takes Noah back to June 13th, the day of the alleged terrorist attack by Mohinder Suresh. And we get to spend two episodes here. Cue “Ode to Joy.”

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