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Heroes Reborn

Created by Tom Kring

Premiered September 24

Thursdays at 8 p.m. on NBC

I was about 50 percent excited and 50 percent nervous about Heroes Reborn. I had watched the show here and there when it was in its first season back in 2006, but it wasn’t until sophomore year of college (when I bought my very own Netflix account) that I got hooked on the series. I spent a week binge-watching the first and second season, but I gave up on the third and fourth, understanding what people meant when they said the show was going downhill. I liked the comic-book feel to the show: overused tropes aside, who doesn’t like a story packed with superpowers?

Though the reboot premiered on Sept. 24 with the release of the season’s first two episodes, “Brave New World” and “Odessa,” the show creators released a six-part miniseries, Heroes Reborn: Dark Matters, in July 2015 to provide context for Heroes Reborn, which is set five years after the season four finale. So-called evolved humans, or Evos, begin to come out of the shadows and showcase their powers to the world — many of them were inspired to create videos following the example of Claire Bennet (Hayden Panettiere), a main character from the original series. Naturally, the humans without powers fear the Evos, and all over the world Evos are being registered, tracked, put into concentration camps, and generally discriminated against. Things get pretty heated between Evo leaders and those who seek to imprison them when what was supposed to be a peace summit in Odessa (a familiar location for returning Heroes fans) ends up being ground zero for a devastating terrorist attack.

I liked that Heroes Reborn keeps a handful of familiar characters — Noah Bennet (Jack Coleman) is one of the main characters we follow so far and there’s clear build up to a reunion with Hiro Nakamura (Masi Oka). We see Micah (Noah Gray-Cabey) and Moll I was about 50 percent excited and 50 percent nervous about Heroes Reborn. I had watched the show here and there when it was in its first season back in 2006, but it wasn’t until sophomore year of college (when I bought my very own Netflix account) that I got hooked on the series. I spent a week binge-watching the first and second season, but I gave up on the third and fourth, understanding what people meant when they said the show was going downhill. I liked the comic-book feel to the show: overused tropes aside, who doesn’t like a story packed with superpowers?

Though the reboot premiered on Sept. 24 with the release of the season’s first two episodes, “Brave New World” and “Odessa,” the show creators released a six-part miniseries, Heroes Reborn: Dark Matters, in July 2015 to provide context for Heroes Reborn, which is set five years after the season four finale. So-called evolved humans, or Evos, begin to come out of the shadows and showcase their powers to the world — many of them were inspired to create videos following the example of Claire Bennet (Hayden Panettiere), a main character from the original series. Naturally, the humans without powers fear the Evos, and all over the world Evos are being registered, tracked, put into concentration camps, and generally discriminated against. Things get pretty heated between Evo leaders and those who seek to imprison them when what was supposed to be a peace summit in Odessa (a familiar location for returning Heroes fans) ends up being ground zero for a devastating terrorist attack.

I liked that Heroes Reborn keeps a handful of familiar characters — Noah Bennet (Jack Coleman) is one of the main characters we follow so far and there’s clear build up to a reunion with Hiro Nakamura (Masi Oka). We see Micah (Noah Gray-Cabey) and Molly (Francesca Eastwood) from the original series, but this time around they’re all grown up. Of course, we meet a slew of new characters with exciting powers and compelling stories. One of my favorite new characters is Tommy (Robbie Kay), a teenage Evo with a tricky power that he doesn’t seem to understand quite yet, and his inability to control it has forced him and his mother into a life on the run. Another new character is Quentin (Henry Zebrowski), who doesn’t seem to have any Evo powers, but is an incredibly protective older brother. Both Tommy and Quentin are fairly naive, and just trying to do what they think is right. I like that they illustrate how Evos and non-Evos alike are affected by the danger of the tense fear-mongering climate surrounding those endowed with superpowers.

A part of the series I’ve always enjoyed is the way the writers manage to interweave so many of the characters’ storylines, and I always have a lot of fun trying to predict how two characters will eventually meet. The season opened with an interesting premise regarding Noah Bennett — something big happened in Odessa (apart from the obvious act of terrorism) and he can’t remember anything about it (and we are led to believe that Noah willingly had his memories erased). We experience the frustrating mystery of Noah’s amnesia, as he does, and I am eager to see what the big secret is.

The series has always been strong with creating complex characters and exploring compelling narratives. Though the show is entertaining for the casual viewer, more attentive and dedicated fans will have a more robust experience — details are important and with so many character arcs and subtle clues to keep track of, a careful and critical eye is needed for the full experience. The show is packed with mysteries, cliffhangers, and it can be difficult to gauge which characters are good or bad, but there’s a pretty consistent cycle of questions posed and answers discovered, so I didn’t feel too disappointed when I was left wanting for specific answers; the challenge is part of the fun.

I’m excited for tonight’s episode, and I encourage you to give the reboot a try, even if you agreed with the masses about the decline of Heroes in its later seasons of the original series. From what I’ve seen so far, Heroes Reborn looks like it has the potential to revitalize the series with an aura of intrigue reminiscent of the show’s first season.