Heroes Reborn, Reflected

A year from now, this will all feel like a dream.

A dream Angela Petrelli didn’t think was important enough to share.

It will seem as if Heroes: Reborn, the 13-episode continuation of a show that saw its best days a decade ago, had never happened.

Weeks before Robert Greenblatt more or less announced the second death of Heroes, we should have known it was over.

And no amount of hashtags or other social media campaigns will save the day.

It was over the instant the promo following “11:53 to Odessa” announced the season’s final three episodes wouldn’t begin airing until a month later.

The final three episodes of a 13 episode “event series.”

It doesn’t matter what kind of show it is, “event” or not, you don’t go on hiatus before the final three episodes of season.

That is unless you cared more about “The Wiz: Live!” airing on Dec. 3.

When that episode awkwardly ended on a crane shot of CGI clones of a character with zero backstory swarming towards characters that hadn’t yet encountered ANY of the series’ main protagonists through 10 chapters and it was deemed a worthy enough moment to consider a cliffhanger, it was obvious.

NBC, and possibly the show’s brain trust, had lost interest in Heroes Reborn.

Sadly, so had I.

After 10 episodes, watching Heroes – a weekly activity I was considered a Godsend – had mutated into a chore. Outside four key episodes, it felt like I wrote about the same thing every week.

Not once was has there been a moment that transcended the show’s core fan base and lit up social media and launched a thousand think pieces.

I barely cared about characters, and when I did, they were the characters I had become invested in as a sophomore in high school 10 years ago. Even then, those characters never stayed for more than two episodes and their fates were ambiguously sealed off screen.

For a 13-episode season, anything rarely felt at stake.

Whether through writing, editing or a complete lack of an engaging score, nothing made me care about the awkwardly named “H.E.L.E..” It wasn’t until the final scene of “Send in the Clones” – an episode where its namesake was killed off by a character that didn’t actually exist – as three cars drove through the night toward Odessa with mileage totals placed on them that the show’s endgame had the slightest sense of genuine importance.

It’s a feeling Heroes hadn’t evoked properly since Sylar stood atop a building at the end of “Landslide,” the penultimate episode of Volume 1, and whispered “Boom.”

I don’t believe my attitude toward Heroes’ demise is because I’ve become cynical. The season’s first two episodes and the “June 13th” two-parter, directed by Matt Shakman and series veterans Greg Beeman and Allan Arkush respectively, had everything a great episode of Heroes could ask for.

But then there’s the rest.

While Noah Bennett, the absolute best choice to anchor the show’s rebirth around, carried the show, we found out that Tommy (AKA Nathan) was a far more interesting character before his mind was wiped.

Casper, the show’s only other interesting new creation, along with his pennies, was shot in the head before we learned anything of note about him. The same can be said about Harris, who lost his head.

We were given characters with powers that didn’t make any sense within the universe that had been presented to us through four previous seasons.

We were given a villain in Erica Kravid that with two episodes left we still don’t know what’s truly fueling her master plan.

Truthfully, there were too many characters to care about and depending on how the final two hours play out, more episodes than the story asked for.

But then I have to step back for a moment.

Heroes isn’t unique anymore. When it debuted in 2006, the only real competition it had was Smallville, which was in its sixth season on a smaller network and had already carved out the audience that would carry it through to its conclusion five years later.

When Heroes originally ended in 2010, all of its current competition: Arrow, The Flash, Agents of SHIELD, Agent Carter, Gotham, Daredevil, Supergirl and Jessica Jones, were still years away. Marvel’s cinematic universe was only two movies old.

Now it’s 2016 and this feeling of finality we’ve been given is one I would have done a lot to have five years ago. We watched Claire Bennett jump off a Ferris wheel and out what we now call EVO’s to the world. Then the screen cut to black and its familiar “To Be Continued” graphic.

We waited to know if the story would continue for weeks. Then hope fizzled out.

There will be no toying with our emotions come next Thursday. I will be prepared and ready for “The End” to come on screen and declare Heroes over and done with.

I won’t be bitter. Hopefully, it will be sweet.

However, in a world where Netflix, Amazon or Hulu exist and regularly save once failed shows from extinction, finality, natural or not, is never a given.

But I’m still glad we were given Heroes Reborn.

Disclaimer: The thoughts and opinions of Daniel McFadin are his own and do not necessarily represent everyone involved with HeroSite.net.