Hey, remember all that potential I said that Heroes Reborn had two weeks ago after the third episode? Well, I don’t think I was technically wrong, but I do think Heroes Reborn has managed to squander most of it over the last two episodes.

Almost nothing happened, and what little did occur wasn’t that interesting. In fact, “The Lion’s Den” was so boring that I don’t even feel like I can do my storyline interest rankings, as they were all so dull. The most meaningful bit of information we got was that the nebulous threat that will destroy the earth—and that Malina the Last Airbender and this new cadre of Heroes are going stop—is a massive solar flare. Renautas seems to be preparing to help some people survive the apocalypse—they have a seed bank—although I have no idea how abducting EVOs and stealing their powers helps this. Molly Walker seems to think Renautas is going to cause the deaths of 7 billion people, which seems pretty contradictory with the news that it’s a solar flare.

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(I would love for Heroes Reborn to have realized this is contradictory and doesn’t make sense and have an answer for it, but I honestly would be surprised if they have.)

So that’s the main conflict, and it’s exactly like season one of Heroes except you replace Sylar with Solar Flare. Now that it seems likely that Reborn has added nothing new to the Heroes formula, I can’t even bring myself to hope that the show has a better ending this time; nor do I think that anyone working on the Reborn writing staff has any decent plan to save the day that utilizes Malina the Last Airbender, Teleporting Kid, Luchador Batman, Chuck on Fire, and Rejected ‘90s Sega Mascot Samurai Girl—just like in Heroes season one, the only Hero that ended up saving anything was Nathan Petrelli, since he flew his exploding brother out to sea.

The tragedy is that even though I missed last week’s recap—I was sick, if you were wondering, and didn’t stop my recaps out of disgust (because this is still better than The Strain, tragically)—I can catch you up quite quickly.

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Malina (the Last Airbender)—Has left the arctic with her Obi-Wan to go save the world; Obi-Wan is wounded (maybe killed) and Malina has to travel alone.

Tommy (Teleporting Kid)—Was caught by the authorities after the car wreck and learned he was adopted, then the Fat Man tells him he’s destined to save the world. Tommy has a temper tantrum.

Carlos (Luchador Batman)—Dylan Bruce from Orphan Black captures the priest and maybe Carlos’ nephew. Dylan’s cops buddies get Epic glasses and discover he’s an EVO, and capture him. Carlos busts him out of custody in order to find out where his friends are.

Luke (Chuck on Fire)—Reveals to his crazy, murderous, and not-at-all-grieving wife that he’s an EVO; the wife leaves him in the middle of nowhere. Luke goes home, is sad then sets it on fire.

Miko (Rejected ‘90s Sega Mascot Samurai Girl)—Miko travels to America to get her sword. Things happen; Miko gets her sword.

Oh, I guess that leaves HRG and Quentin. They travel to Renautas to find Molly Walker for a second time. After turning Renautas CEO Erica’s daughter Taylor against her mother with total ease, they find Molly, but Molly blows her brains out without explaining anything. HRG, Quentin and Taylor later accost Erica at her house, but Erica also doesn’t explain anything and there’s a big fight and everyone leaves.

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Heroes Reborn has been refusing to answer any of the mysteries it has set up, and most of the characters are already in holding patterns—doing meaningless things that don’t advance the story, just delay it—which was the original Heroes’ trademark. Maybe the show is just in a little rut; maybe it has to delay a bit before things kick into the next gear; maybe the new season was a little longer than they had anticipated.

Or maybe Heroes has learned nothing, and they can’t tell an interesting story as much as they can draw a mediocre story out to excruciatingly boring lengths. Again, I won’t take back my previous assessment that first few episodes had potential; I stand by that. But I will say now Heroes Reborn is already squandering that potential in the exactly same way Heroes did for so long and so often.

Forget the cheerleader and the future. Just try and save the rest of the season, okay?

Assorted Musings:

It would be more accurate to say that Malina is basically Korra from The Legend of Korra, except, you know, a 10th-generation photocopy. I know calling her the Avatar would also technically be more correct, but I feel The Last Airbender somehow seems more fitting.

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• God this show looks cheap. I’m sure NBC wasn’t willing to spend a ton of money on a miniseries revival of a show that only tanked five years ago, but this is venturing into classic Doctor Who territory. Whatever that Renautas device was looks like it was made in an afternoon. The Flash looks significantly better in all aspects, and that’s a CW show, for goodness sake.

• After “The Lion’s Den” ended, I checked Wikipedia to see how long the miniseries was. I was very sad to discover that it’s 13 episodes, and not 10 or even 8. So… that’s pretty much where we’re at.


Contact the author at rob@io9.com.