Synopsis of 5×12: The ensemble cast gears up for the finale by converging on a location that isn’t the one where they need to be.
Trust is one of the most complex of human concepts. Trust is easy to lose, difficult to garner, and too frequently thrown in directions it doesn’t belong. Some are reticent to trust, and their continued isolation only furthers their idea that pushing others away is the proper course of action. Some trust too quickly and in the wrong direction. Once trust is gone, it is hard to earn back. Except in abusive relationships, where trust is continued or strengthened despite all evidence that the contrary should take place.
I trusted Heroes Reborn again. The show that has pushed me to a breakdown, has ruined eleven of my Thursdays, had me. As “Company Woman” began, my interest was piqued. Heroes Reborn was playing things smart. It was moving all of its pieces toward a unified goal. It was staging scenes to completion, as characters had understandable conversations about things we understood. It was exhibiting actual filmmaking. Only once before has Heroes Reborn pulled off something like this, back in its episode “June 13th – Part One,” the only episode of true competency among the aired twelve (and, I’m safely guessing, the whole thirteen) and whose quality only worsened the series by revealing its potential. “Company Woman” looked to be that episode’s successor of quality.
And then, almost exactly thirteen minutes in, they ruin it.
From the moment that adult doctor’s hand landed on that little girl’s lap, “Company Woman” shifts into a pile of unwanted garbage. It’s instantaneous. That one little moment, and the episode stops being quality. All at once. I have truly never seen anything like it. The tension was building, the potential burning, the chance at redemption imminent. And it vanished. Just like that.
It’s like they saved the ridiculous stuff for after that moment, like they wanted to sucker me in. Before the doctor, the threat of the H.E.L.E. grows (and is explained). After the doctor, Taylor’s several-week-old fetus transfers its superpowers unto her. Before the doctor, there was a common thread, as every character sought refuge within Kravid’s proposed future paradise. After the doctor, we learn that Phoebe’s power can not only stop Evos, but also flashlights. Before doctor: taking stock of gateway watches. After doctor: terrible ADR. Before doctor: Tommy has to make a terrible choice. After doctor: the incomprehensible action shootout in the Union Wells High School gymnasium. Before the doctor we have hope; after the doctor we have everything Matt Parkman does.
It is official now that Heroes is not coming back. It was announced just days ago. Reborn was a trial run. And critical and commercial destruction has labeled that trial a failure. This is the effort unfortunate enough to air right after that news, and it is the perfect effort to illustrate exactly why.
Heroes Reborn has ground into dust what little ground was left for the old show to stand on. There was greatness there before. There was even greatness here, if you looked hard enough. But the fact that “Company Woman” can contain within it something as taught as the first thirteen minutes and as ludicrous as Matt’s car crash and subsequent laughing howl that nearly closed out the episode is a testament that some things were just never meant to be.
Heroes Reborn was never able to hold the floodgates of its own idiocy. It had some bright ideas, but like a hangman who couldn’t tie knots it was terrible at execution. Heroes as a series is a high school valedictorian who went to college, experimented with one too many drugs, and threw away their future. Just look at that gym shootout. The maneuver with Farrah and Mawlina makes no sense. Luke scorching his wife to a pile of smoldering ash (after their entire plots and flashbacks were about their crumbling marriage) is shot with the cold unfamiliarity of a similar moment played for laughs. There is no last minute bit of drama. Just a long distance shot of a lady burning up.
Heroes Reborn is terrible, but it will only haunt me for one more week. I suppose that is the most I can ask for.