Hey, remember how in the last two episodes, Hiro kept fussing at HRG to not change things while they were hanging out in the past, and HRG kept screwing with the timeline anyways? Well, turns out Hiro was right, and now everyone on the planet is dead (or at least will be shortly). Thanks for nothing, Noah.

Despite its excruciating title, “Sundae, Bloody Sundae” was one of the best episodes of the series. Not only did characters finally start running into—or careening into—or shooting at—other disparate groups of characters, shaking things up in interesting ways, but none of the different story arcs felt like we were wasting time, because we learned something new in each of them. And then there was that ending!

Actually, so much was going on that it’s going to be really hard to recap it so that it makes sense, which is not a problem I’ve had with a Heroes show since season one. Still, a pleasant problem to have!

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Let’s begin with Taylor, Erica Dravid’s estranged daughter. She’s kidnapped/tested by the Haitian (who is alive again in the new timeline) and his group of Hero Truthers, which is a name I hate to the depths of my soul. They want the founder of the Hero Truthers back, whom Erika has captured, and they want Taylor’s help to get him. This founder has a name you might remember: Micah Saunders, the tech whiz son of Ali Larter’s character from the original series.

Micah is being held at a place called Sunstone, which is where traitorous EVO Dylan Bruce is taking Carlos, but to help him find his nephew for no apparent reason. Carlos poses as Bruce’s prisoner, and discovers that all the EVOs at Sunstone are under some kind of mind control, in which they want to stay there, and are happy. Meanwhile, the Sunstone employees finally figure out Dylan Bruce is an EVO, capture him, and bring him to the director of Sunstone—Mr. Matt Parkman. Not only is he helping Renautes, but he uses his mind control powers to suggest/allow Dylan Bruce to commit suicide. Carlos is also captured, but despite not having powers, Parkman believes his military experience (which, as we see in a flashback, was mostly crying and wetting himself) could be useful somehow.

The real action takes place in Carbondale, Illinois, which is not a sentence that gets written much. HRG reunites with Tommy and his mom, and the mind-wiped Tommy learns about his childhood and Hiro being his dad and his destiny again during the opening title. At the ice cream parlor, the Fat Man (whose name, I have been forcibly reminded, is Caspar) arrives, presumably to mindwipe Tommy’s little girlfriend Emily, but is interrupted when Joan Collins bursts in, ready to do some murdering on behalf of Renautes. And about a minute later, Luke Collins and Mailna also arrive at the ice cream parlor (remember, Malina has a picture of Tommy, and Luke remembers seeing Tommy at the ice cream parlor a few weeks ago while he was on his matrimonial murder spree), and then Tommy teleports in, just for funsies.

Things get awkward, by which I mean Joan shoots Caspar and then tries to shoot Tommy’s special ladyfriend just as Luke tries to blast his wife with his magma powers. A panicked Tommy stops time for the first time, moves Luke’s fire-blastin’ hand away from his wife, and teleports him and Emily back to the safety of his mother’s hospital. (Tommy sees Malina briefly in the corner of the parlor, but has no idea who she is, and ignores her.) The cops arrive, Joan and Luke run off in separate directions, and Malina is forced to give a statement.

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The bigger development is that once Tommy pops into the hospital, he’s shocked to discover he can’t teleport anymore. Why? Well, he doesn’t know, but we do—he touched Luke, and almost certainly stole his fire powers. But Tommy doesn’t yet realize this, which makes it very easy for the new timeline’s Quentin, who is definitely working for Renautes, and his sister Pheobe to capture Tommy, put a gun to his head, and drag him to an elaborate dinner with Erica Kravid at her mansion. (On the plus side, HRG stops by the ice cream parlor later and runs into Malina, so at least he still has one of Claire’s power twins.)

As many of you predicted last week, this evil Quentin is not a shapeshifter as I insisted, but in fact the new Quentin of the new timeline HRG created when he shot Erica in the leg during his jaunt to the past. HRG actually calls Quentin his butterfly, which made me wish they were about to break into an impromptu Dance Dance Revolution match. Anyways, I was wrong, and I fully fess up to this.

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In my defense, this is really, really dumb.

When I assumed that HRG’s adventures in the past had merely brought us back to the regular timeline of the show, I assumed this because the only thing that seemed to have changed was Quentin’s renewed existence. Seriously, all the insane things that HRG did back in time, and Quentin is the only difference? Every single other character, including the ones who interacted heavily with Erica and HRG, are all on the exact same trajectories? That seemed, and still seems, completely absurd to me. Besides, most of the things that the new HRG did in past had still already happened, like someone still sent the kids back in time the first time around, but it was the new HRG that had the idea when he was creating this new timeline. Arrgh!

Time travel is a mess, and I guess is what I’m saying is that if HRG did go back and change time, there should be a lot more changes than just Quentin and the Haitian running around again. And if his trip was actually part of the time loop, then he shouldn’t have been able to change anything. Heroes Reborn is trying to have it both ways—HRG rampaged through the past, but most of it was stuff that had somehow always happened, and only a tiny little bit affected the present in a couple of minor ways? Sigh.

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I suppose it’s kind of a moot point, though, since the world is going to end anyways. Yep, all the heroes will fail completely, all of humanity will die, the world will become a barren wasteland—which we know thanks to an epilogue set 7,957 years in the future. Only one single, solitary being walks the charred Earth—Miko, the Katana Girl.

I assume—I have to assume—that even Heroes Reborn wouldn’t give us something as insane as a video game character wandering the real, post-apocalyptic planet for thousands of years and not have answers for how it happened and how they’re going to fix it. God help me, I’m genuinely looking forward to finding them out.

Assorted Musings:

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• So it didn’t dawn on me until this episode, but Tommy’s power is much different from his uncle Peter’s. They both can only handle one power at a time, but Peter copied powers; Tommy literally steals them. Hiro was powerless after teleporting Baby Tommy into the past, which means Luke should be powerless now, too. More importantly, Hiro’s powers are now effectively gone forever, right? Tommy could be used to de-power all the EVOs. I wonder if that’s what Renautes has in mind?

• A deer wanders into Erica’s backyard, and not only does she shoot it, she skins and guts it herself, in her kitchen, while drinking wine. If they hung a sign around her neck that just read “EVIL” it would be more subtle.

Heroes Reborn basically turns into a car commercial during Luke and Malina’s road trip. It brought back so many old, traumatic memories of the original Heroes I nearly had to turn off the episode right there.


Contact the author at rob@io9.com.