At the beginning of “Game Over,” we are treated to an interspersion of two thrilling interrogation sequences. Noah mercilessly tortures Mr. Harris, submerging him again and again in the pool until he finds a satisfying answer. Meanwhile, Carlos in California is enacting the same treatment with Captain Dearing, only this time with his fists. This sequence is dripping with suspense and solidly shows the tense, knife-sharp state of our cast at this point. Unfortunately before you know it, the cold opening is over as quickly as it started. You are left dissatisfied, especially by so much promise scenes like this hold. It ultimately sets the tone for this episode and arguably the series so far – just wasted potential.
In this episode, we mainly focus on Noah’s party as they infiltrate a Renataus facility, hoping to finally find Heroes-veteran Hiro Nakamura. Meanwhile, Miko continues her EverNow quest to find her father only to realize that her goal is in common with Noah after both her and Ren bump into them in the same facility. As they venture further into the facility, we are given startling revelations and more questions. Miko’s true nature and existence is completely unfolded, while Noah’s interactions with Harris warn him of an unknown consequence to reclaiming his old acquaintance.
The rest of the cast is also busy with their own affairs. Tommy takes Emily on a short-lived and troublesome date in Paris. Carlos demands Captain Dearing take him to Sunset Manor, an Evo-filled facility – a possible lead to his nephew’s location. Also, Taylor finally confirms the worst fears of her mother’s activities in terms of Evo exploitation. Finally, Malina and Luke cross paths with each other.
In regards to this episode’s main course involving the Renetaus facility, it holds so much promise on paper. It’s an opportunity for exciting climaxes and escalating desperation for its characters. To the episode’s credit, it sufficiently delivers the former. Miko in particular steals the show, injecting much needed action both in reality and in her video-game sequences (even though those are incredibly awkward to watch). Also, Noah never fails to deliver his hardened secret agent shenanigans; be it drowning captives or unflinchingly shooting people in the foot.
However, this episode – and arguably this series so far overall – fumbles at everything else that matters. As mentioned in a previous review, the show seems more invested in trying to immerse us into its conspiracy than quality character drama. This problem just becomes more blatant in this episode. For example, big moments like Hiro’s return and not one, but TWO significant character deaths are quickly ‘handwaved’ in and out of the story. Key information revealed in this episode, specifically pertaining to Miko’s true identity, are very hastily covered. Thus, they lack the emotional weight and consequence tied into them.
Like the interrogation sequence above, these are story elements a show should languish in more. Yet, they are simply just thrown at us; the episode exclaiming “HERE IT IS!” before tossing them immediately after. As a result, it’s hard to take the grand Renetaus mystery seriously when the show fails to treat its characters similarly.
Just as problematic is when characters run into extremely peculiar conveniences and inconveniences to drive the plot forward. Carlos in particular does something incredibly gullible at the very end of the episode for the sake of a good cliffhanger. Instead, it leaves us with the feeling that the show writers underestimate their viewers’ intelligence. The writing is especially becoming troublesome with Tommy. Even with his resolution by the end of the episode, his angst-ridden, self-hating stance on being an Evo is already at its tired, annoying threshold. Additionally, lines like “I’d rather have a zit than these powers” are as cheesy as they are incredibly cliche.
This episode only proves to be a bad emphasis on the numerous problems of Heroes Reborn. With the cringe-worthy video game sequences, the B-movie comic book tone (a far cry from the original series) and the outright shoddy writing, it does not bode well for the rest of this mini-series run. Being already six episodes in, it’s hard to believe in a possible turnaround.