Two episodes were provided prior to broadcast.
There are no evil carnivals in Heroes Reborn. For diehard fans of the series, well, first welcome back to 2006! And, second, I have good news: the new NBC mini-series/event saga/reboot/apology tour is worth your time. The 13-episode run has some characters and locations fans will know and recognize, but creator Tim Kring largely sticks to the “reboot” part of this new do-over, introducing half a dozen fresh faces into the mix and kicking things off with a literal bang that sends shivers and ripples down each of the show’s multiple plots.
Chronologically, the new “volume” takes place what seems to be a few months after Claire “came out” to the world as an Evo (new lingo in Reborn), with her dad, good ol’ HRG Noah Bennet (Jack Coleman) meeting her at a rally meant to promote the symbiosis of humans and the new evolved. Things don’t go as planned though, and Noah, Claire (Hayden Panettiere is busy with Nashville, so don’t expect much of the Cheerleader here besides an answering machine message), and newbie Luke (Zachary Levi) are left to deal with the aftershocks of what appears to be some kind of terrorist attack in one of the show’s central hubs: Odessa, Texas.
From there, Heroes Reborn completely reboots (again), introducing Tommy (Robbie Kay, A.K.A. evil Peter Pan on Once Upon A Time), Carlos (Ryan Guzman), and Miko (Kiki Sukezane) – among others – who come in as essentially the new freshman class of heroes, ah, “evos.” The show retains the mysteries over most of their powers, even in the first two episodes, with reveals that feel fun and shocking, even for somewhat expected abilities. But Heroes Reborn also keeps a feather in its cap for its predecessor’s flair for the weird, with some absolutely insane powers that are too good to spoil. Remember that girl whose power was pretty much the ability to see and manipulate sound waves, like some kind of synesthesia on steroids? Well, the stuff we get here is even weirder than that.
All the newcomers fair pretty well acclimating into the world of the show, with Kay’s on-the-run Tommy coming out on top. His story is given a bit more time to breathe in the two-hour premiere, and it seems to be connecting to the overall threat in Odessa a bit more than the mysterious luchadore-inspired superhero running rampant in Los Angeles, or Miko’s search for her missing father in Tokyo.
But even those tangents are fun – especially an absolutely bonkers turn late in episode one with Miko’s arc – and doubly so coming from a series that utterly lost its way due to the myriad amount of characters, plots, and threats thrown at the screen past season one’s laser focus. And, thankfully, the show doesn’t feel overenthusiastic in re-introducing a few familiar side characters from the first seasons, doing so with modest dollops in the premiere, one of which provides Heroes Reborn with its first major WTF moment.