The mid-season break is over and shows are returning. Unfortunately, it’s a slow return. There’s not much to discuss yet. Heroes Reborn was the first the come back, and it’s also the first to go. There are only 3 episodes in the second part of this mini series, which is really a weird way to break up the story. It actually returned early in January, but there wasn’t anything else new. So hold on to your seats for a double dose.
Heroes Reborn – Send in the Clones
This episode starts with a hell of a lot of exposition and considering the fact that Heroes is known for not making sense, it was necessary. Nothing makes any more sense, but at least it helped me remember all the chaotic events. That being said, I still don’t care about any of these characters. The forced drama and horrible overacting trumps any sense of story development. This episode did start the final act of the story, so most of the main characters are all interacting. That means fight scenes, almost all of which sadly boil down to people making angry jazz hands at each other while insanely bad computer graphics happen. At this point in the story, the “good guys” are still ill-defined. Everyone is still acting in their own best interests. They all talk about either saving the world or stopping the corporation that is working to save some of the population, but none of their actions are really working towards these goals. And the big bad corporation doesn’t seem that bad, even if they are accomplishing their goals via terrible methods. To correct that, this episode takes a lot of time to amp up the negative actions of the corporation. Actually, everything in this episode feels like it’s been cranked up to 11 but since the show has been so slow and confusing up to this point, it’s very jarring. This episode is the first time an actual statement of what is happening with the solar flares, the threat that has been looming since episode one, has been made. That’s bad planning. It’s all due to freeing the one guy who knows everything and this is the show’s deus ex machina. This makes the past ten episodes all feel like an ill-defined and cheap McGuffin hunt. What’s worse is that this character (Micha, if you care at all) is one of the few characters returning from the original series. Even with being recast, featuring another main character would’ve given the show some extra help. But as it stands, he was always “that guy that the bad lady is holding in her evil corporate headquarters”. He is even revealed to be “Hero Truther” a character who’s been mentioned a lot but never actually given any substance. This feels like a complete waste. The climactic fight scene was one of the most poorly choreographed and scripted things I’ve even watched. It was intended to be big and dramatic, but was just stupid. Thankfully, mister “hold my gun in the worst way possible” is gone. So I guess the fight accomplished something positive. In general, this episode really did nothing but remind viewers what happened, who’s good and bad, and that there’s a big finale right around the corner. The ending montage practically screamed “wait and see”.
Heroes Reborn – Company Woman
Putting plywood over windows when there is a solar flare that is stated as powerful enough to kill billions is the dumbest thing ever. So that’s just a bad way to start the second to last episode. Also, the random radio broadcast serving as quasi-narrator would’ve been a great idea if it had been there consistently since the beginning. But since it hasn’t, it’s not. The big reveal of this episode is Erica’s true motivation. Unfortunately, it was delivered far too late to have any real impact or meaning. What it did instead is take away all the power of the villain, which is an unfortunate trend of modern media. This is the typical last act reveal that the bad guy is really acting out of love and just got confused along the way. I hate this. It ruins everything that happened and is a cheap trick to manipulate the audience’s emotions. Ultimately, this demonstrates everything wrong with Heroes Reborn. The show skipped the opportunity to dig into the difficult philosophical debate behind morality and motivation and instead focused on cheap thrills that aren’t thrilling at all. The show throws around terms like prophecy and destiny, and deals with the choice of saving few versus saving many, but these are all just part of the background. Everything else that happened in this episode felt like it was just filler to waste time until the final episode. I just watched the episode and while writing this article mere moments later, I can’t really recall what happened. There was a showdown in the gym. The gamer guy ran around doing stuff. Matt got a really sorry send off (which was another lost opportunity to dig into the story of what it means to be a hero). Tommy learned more powers and got stuck in a video game. I know that Heroes likes to keep things confusing, but I really expected some sense of logical plot progression by this point. I guess the best thing I can say about this episode is that with clone guy gone, there’s casting opportunity for random security guys.
iZombie – Method Head
I’m still not sure about this episode. The majority of the show was devoted to making fun of itself. I respect any program that can pull it off smartly, and iZombie did just that. It was obviously a joke, and it was still entertaining. More importantly, it still factored into the primary plot of the episode. It also let Ravi express a sentiment that I share in the real world about a certain TV series that is getting rebooted as a movie. But the show also hasn’t recovered from the low points of last year. I don’t think that this season is as good as season one. I think the story is dragged down with needles drama. I think some characters have been weakened and the plot is suffering from it. But I’m still entertained by iZombie and I still enjoy watching it. Steven Weber has taken the spotlight as the best part of the show. I think he knows that he’s overacting and it serves the character well. And his crazy is not being overused at this point, which is a smart move. I still love the sharp quips and jokes between all the characters. It’s the one trend that iZombie has maintained since episode one. The opening montage that skipped viewers through the holiday season bothered me. Not because it wasn’t entertaining but it fast-forwarded the resolution of Liv and Babineaux. I wanted to see that happen. I wanted to see a reason for them to team up again. Lastly, I’ve mentioned in the past how much I enjoy the cooking scenes. In this episode, however, Liv slapped some brains into a microwave dinner. I feel like this is an omen for how the show will proceed. The good bits are there, but foundation is a reheated mess.