Every show teaches you something. Something about the creative process. Something about the human condition. Something about the TV business. And sometimes, it’s about what not to do. Heroes Reborn is a master-class in this.
This might be an old refrain, but world building matters. It matters more than pithy dialogue, casting, location scouting or any other part of the creative process. It is the stage on which all other things are set. And it’s something that Kring and cohorts have never figured out.
If the plot involved “digitizing” Molly Walker’s powers then there are certain in-side world facts which need to have been determined. We’ll ignore, for the moment, how they were able to get the names of the individuals they targeted with Epic and why there needs to be a visor to display something which was pretty well illustrated on a screen. Such information could have been displayed on something as non-invasive as google-glasses.
To digitize the powers, you need to know a lot more about the origin of the powers than we/they do. You need to know the source, or as close to the source as possible. You simply can’t plug a wire into a person and expect results... or, well, you can... depending on how the powers operate.
Moreover, the Epic system requires some sort of feedback, which is to say the capacity to use the power; to send commands into the Molly “mainframe” and get signals back. This, again, requires knowledge of how the powers work. They said they have spent years researching this process... but that’s just hanging a lantern on it. They don’t actually tell us how the powers work.
This isn’t just a gripe; this is a genuine question about world building and how the story will unfold into the future. If the writers have no concrete way the powers work, then they need to spend time explaining each individual power and then explain how they have a solution for it, instead of seeding in the powers and weaknesses ahead of schedule and including the audience in the process.
For example, if all the powers had a weakness which had something to do with the opposite of the power, then the audience would be involved in figuring out how to stop the guy who can create fire out of thin air. They don’t have to be right, they don’t even have to be close to being right, but by making the weakness relatable to the power, then the explanation of the success/victory is much shorter and the result much better.
It would also open up the doors to creating actual science fiction and not the mysticism-laced bullshit that the Heroes Mythos is. This is one of the lessons one can take from this, and one of the reasons I go back to watch this tripe; it inspires. I genuinely does.
Take the position that powers exist and the human race is connected on a hitherto unexplained level (or one which is hinted at by Eastern philosophy). Take that, and run with it. What powers would you create? Enhanced healing and resistance? Sure. But, how will that power manifest itself? Is it accessing the collective unconscious and taking a small bit of healing energy from every one who is not currently using it? That they are literally connected to the central nervous system of the human race? Okay; then there is a method and a meaning to that power. It also means, should the individual with that power discover that by over using the power, they are actually hurting the people of the world. That character now has an arc, pathos, and an emotional connection forged between him/her and the planet... isn’t that the very core of your premise?
Each other power can be added in and can be conformed to that premise. Some will be more difficult than orders. Flight, for instance. In the ten minutes I’ve been considering this, I haven’t come up with a good reason for its’ including in the available powers... not that a good reason can’t be found. As I said, I’ve been on this for ten minutes.
Powers can be stolen, via this collective unconscious connection. When the serial killer removes the EVOs brain, for example, it is a physical act to symbolize the spiritual severing of the power from that body and transferring it to them. Think about the powers long enough through the lens of your premise and not only will you build characters and plots and reasons, you will build your world... something that Kring and co haven’t done.
But, back to the episode and there were plenty of things to give out about. but it was Molly running from Noah was the most moronic. She apparently had reason for not trusting Noah. Okay. But, is that reason strong enough to not believe that he had his memory wiped and has no idea what that reason could be AND he’s here to help you get away from there people who want to experiment on you? I will lay odds right the fuck now that it isn’t.
In order for the Epic system to be readied, then they needed to experiment on Molly. She would know the sort of pain and suffering they will put her through so not trusting Noah just to help get her out of the building was utterly stupid.
Other stupid stuff was the Harold’s hand being hacked off. Why stupid? Because such actions only happen IF there is an explanation as to why its’ okay. A normal person will never have their hand chopped off by a hero, ‘cause its’ a horrible barbaric act. But, it’s okay here because Harold maybe needs that for replication (Also having a replicator as a villain’s assistant? It’s cheap as fuck and has been overused a fuck ton).
It’s curious they chose the world “epic” to describe their system. The definition of “epic” I find most apropos is a “long and arduous journey”... and by fuck it will be.