Goddammit, Heroes Reborn. I gave you the benefit of the doubt. You hurt me—not just failed to entertain me, not just insulted me as a viewer, but emotionally hurt me—for three of your four original seasons, and I still tuned in, thinking “Oh, it’s been five years, Surely he’s changed!” You haven’t.

Even recapping “Game Over” would be to give Heroes Reborn more credit than it gives its viewers, so let me just take you on a brief tour of Heroes Reborn not giving a shit about its audience, its quality, or even basic storytelling. First there’s the dumb things that the show could probably get away with if there was any substance to the story it was telling: How can nose-plugs stop EVOs from using their powers? Who moved the box Ren was hiding in into the deepest secret lair inside Renautes? Why would Carlos drink an unknown liquid provided to him by Dylan Bruce, whom he’s captured and forced to help him, based solely on Bruce’s promise that it’ll give him superpowers? Why are we pretending that the French guards at the Eiffel Tower understand Tommy’s hissyfit when he’s bitching in English?

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These are the sort of things lazy writers do that they hope will go unnoticed because the audience is so engrossed in the story. In “Game Over,” the only thing that distracts from this sloppy writing is the unbelievably awful writing, most of it having to do with Miko. Suddenly, the show has decided that it isn’t her father trapped in the EverNow video game, it’s “The Master of Time and Space.” No, there’s not even a hint of how Renautes managed to trap a real person in a video game—which, by the way, is phenomenally stupid even in a show where people have superpowers.

But this is no dumber than Renautes making the tower in the video game invisible to hide it from Miko, even though she—and Ren, and god knows how many other players—are looking at it when it disappears. They don’t teleport the tower, they just render it invisible after people have located it—and the terrifying thing is that it still works, apparently because like infants, no one in Heroes Reborn has object permanence, meaning once it’s out of their sight it’s out of their mind.

But oh ho! Miko saw a special symbol on the tower, and remembers that, at least, drawing it for Ren. Luckily, Renautes—ostensibly a multibillion-dollar company with offices and factories and buildings around the globe—has very kindly put that exact symbol on the one office where they are holding Hiro Nakamura (but still in a video game!) and then put the address of that building online so Miko and Ren can head there with only minimal trouble. It’s so stupid it makes me want toss myself into a shallow amount of water, much like Zach Levi does in this episode, only to be rescued by The Last Airbender and her pitiful special budget.

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Actually, everything involving the EverNow video game is moronic, as clearly no one even bothered to do the tiniest bit of research on how video games work before making it an essential part of what I will charitably call “the plot.” It’s supposedly the world’s most popular online game, and yet there’s never anyone playing but Miko and Ren. Miko and Ren are always finding foes and “levels” that somehow no one has ever seen before, despite achieving nothing in the game to warrant this. And, most insultingly, both Ren and Miko shout “Leeroy Jenkins” as a battle cry, a nerd reference that is literally over a decade old. I have no doubt that Tim Kring is still patting himself on the back for this topical “inside joke” because he’s already used it twice in this goddamn show without any hint of irony.

I could go on—really, I have a bunch more examples, such as the grating, forced inclusion of the French edition “rare” 9th Wonders comic that somehow miraculous turns Tommy from a whiner to a would-be hero—but Heroes Reborn doesn’t even deserve the amount of thought I have to hate it at this point. Maybe now that Hiro has been freed from his nonsensical prison and has taken HRG back to the events of June Whatever and the explosion that set all this crap in motion, we’ll get some kind of twist—or at least some modicum of information—that will at least pique our interest? Although having given this stupid show the benefit of the doubt once already, I don’t actually believe this.

I also don’t believe that, despite a ton of teases in the “next week on” preview, Heroes Reborn managed to get Hayden Panetierre to return for even a cameo as her own corpse. I’m guessing that trying to decide which is more unlikely—a real Claire cameo, or Heroes getting momentarily less dumb. I guess we’ll see next week.

Assorted Musings:

• If you want one final example of Heroes Reborn’s utter contempt for its audience and its source material and the art of storytelling, I give you the scene where Tommy tells Emily that he’d trade his powers for a big ol’ zit, and Emily says, “Oh no! You don’t want a zit!” Because they’re teens, you see.

• So it turns out Quentin’s sister Pheobe is the Shadow, and she kills Quentin because she buys into Renautes’ “save-the-world” plan and because she’s crazy. Not even HRG can muster up most concern for Quentin in his final moments, giving him only a half-assed “You did fine.”


Contact the author at rob@io9.com.