Dark Matters: The Heroes Reborn Prequel Webseries

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By Shannon Fox, @shannonfox

 

My name is Shannon Fox, and this is attempt number one.

 

At writing a recap for “Heroes Reborn”, that is!

 

“Hang on,” you might be saying.  “I thought ‘Heroes Reborn’ didn’t premiere until the fall?” Well, while we still have two months (to the day, actually) until the 13-episode miniseries premieres on NBC, the “Heroes” team has launched an official “Heroes Reborn” app with exclusive content, trailers, and character summaries, as well as the entirety of the prequel series, called “Dark Matters”.  It’s “Heroes” Christmas in July!

 

The webseries serves as the link between the original “Heroes”, which ended in February 2010, and the reboot (premiering on September 24th).  While five years of story seems like a lot to cover in a six 7-minute episodes, remember: with a few exceptions (I’m looking at you in particular, H.R.G.), the cast of “Heroes Reborn” is made up of completely new characters.  “Dark Matters” doesn’t give us much information about the fates of the characters from the original series, but rather delves into the effects of the events of the first series and the attitude towards evolved humans (now called “evo’s”) in society as a whole.  But most importantly, it also introduces an incident that will have a major influence on the characters and storylines in “Heroes Reborn”, if the information that’s been released by NBC and the show’s cast and creators gives us any indication.   OH MY GOD, I’M SO EXCITED.  Let’s break it down.

 

WARNING: Lots of spoilers ahead!

 

While I honestly don’t think it’s necessary to have seen any of the original series to understand the prequel (after all, I’ve only seen the first season of it myself), there ARE a few familiar names and/or faces that pop up that may be of interest…

 

Characters That You May Want to Brush Up On Before Watching “Dark Matters”:

 

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  • Micah Sanders:  Evolved human, with the power of technopathy (ability to control technology/electricity).  Son to Niki Sanders and D.L. Hawkins, both evolved humans, and both deceased.  After the death of his parents, Micah became “Rebel” and made it his mission to fight for the protection and rights of evolved humans.

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  • Mohinder Suresh: A genetics professor and parapsychologist.  Moved to New York from India to continue the work of his deceased father: the research and study of evolved humans.  After discovering an antidote for a fatal virus that affected only evolved humans, he worked for Primatech and subsequently created a formula that could synthesize evolved abilities.  Having tested the formula on himself, Mohinder was granted super-human strength and agility.

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  • Noah Bennet:  Also known as “H.R.G.”- Horn-Rimmed Glasses.  A former employee of Primatech, his job was to locate, capture, and evaluate evolved humans- a desire that was fueled by the murder of his first wife by an evolved human.  However, once he discovered that his adopted daughter, Claire, had abilities, his loyalties to Primatech changed.  His moral compass is extremely flexible, and he has proven on many occasions that he will do whatever it takes to keep Claire safe.

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  • Claire Bennet: Noah’s adopted daughter and an evolved human.  Has regenerative healing abilities.  Claire is the reason that the existence of evolved humans became public, after jumping off a ferris wheel and healing herself on camera for the news.

 

Onto the recap!

 

Chapter One: Where Are The Heroes?– 2 Years Ago

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Okay, so fair warning, you have to watch an ad for a company called “Renautas” before this episode, but it’s quickly interrupted by some weird insignia and a mysterious, hooded figure speaking through a voice changer.  It’s all very Anonymous-esque.  He’s here to bring us up to speed on the effects of Claire Bennet going public five years ago, and things aren’t looking too good.  While Claire originally inspired evolved humans across the world to reveal themselves and their abilities, there’s also been some violence and terrorism acted out by evo’s that has led to a general sense of fear in society.  Laws are being passed that are restricting rights and privacy for evolved humans, and Mysterious Hooded Guy thinks that this is only the beginning.  He feels that the lives of “evo’s” everywhere are in danger.

We are then introduced to Phoebe Frady, a young girl who decides to come out about her evolved abilities.  She has her guardian and brother, Quentin, film her as she proves that she is able to manipulate shadows.  Quentin’s shocked about this new development, but basically thinks it’s THE COOLEST THING EVER (as he should, because it’s pretty freakin’ cool).  The siblings have a nice discussion about the origin of Phoebe’s powers, and Quentin continues to be nothing but supportive. D’aawww.

 

Chapter Two: Phoebe– 2 Years Ago

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It’s Phoebe’s first day of college, and Quentin helps her move in (to the BIGGEST COLLEGE DORM ROOM I’VE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE, MIND YOU.  It’s like the “Monica’s Apartment” of dorms).  He presents her with her very own fancy camcorder to continue recording  her “evo thing”, as he calls it.  SUPPORTIVE BROTHER IS SUPPORTIVE.  Phoebe’s all like, “Who’s gonna care that I can mess with light and shadow?” Um, EVERYBODY, Pheebs- your abilities are creepily awesome.  Anyway, she meets her new roommate, Aly, who’s totally fine with Phoebe’s evo-ness.  This leads to the best line of the episode, from Quentin, after Aly mentions a boy from her hometown who could breathe underwater: “So everybody’s cool with Fish Boy, then?” QUENTIN, THAT IS SO NOT PC.

Phoebe settles into life at college and it seems like things are going well- she’s practicing her abilities, getting closer with Aly, and playfully shorting out the lights in a lecture hall (and probably giving everyone in the room a heart attack in the process.  It’s all fun and games until somebody pees their pants), as you do.  But it seems that Phoebe’s abilities are getting a little out of control.  She’s having recurring, panic-inducing nightmares ,complete with shadow tentacles creeping across the walls.  THAT CAN’T BE GOOD.  Better-Than-Most-College-Roommates Aly lets Quentin know about the nightmares and he tries to talk to Phoebe about it, since apparently she’s had them since their mom died.  Phoebe kind of freaks on him, and insists that they’re actually real and that she feels “darkness, watching and waiting”.  Annoyed at Quentin’s suggestion that maybe she talk to “someone” (sensitive-speak for “get thee to a therapist”), Phoebe mentions her mom’s accident and insists it wasn’t her fault, whatever THAT mysterious piece of information means.  The siblings both admit they miss their mother, and have a cuddle-cryfest in their kitchen together.  Aw.  Afterwards, Phoebe agrees to slow her roll with her powers a little… which is totally a big, fat lie, as we close on a glowing-eyed Phoebe, saying she’s “getting stronger”, and filming herself “absorbing light” and “channeling darkness”, which is basically her holding a bowling ball of light and dark in her hands.  Her pants, however, never catch on fire.

… GET IT?!?

 

Chapter Three: Registered  – 1 Year Ago

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Our mysterious, hooded figure informs us that, for now, registry for evolved humans is voluntary, but it doesn’t seem to be remaining that way for long.  Some institutions and companies have already made genetic testing mandatory, which he sees as discriminatory and dangerous.  He invites us to join “the revolution”.

It’s a year later, and Quentin shows up at a small, peaceful protest that Phoebe helped to put together to challenge her school’s denial of scholarship funds for evo’s (RAGE, GIRL- COLLEGE IS EXPENSIVE ENOUGH!).  Quentin’s a bit nervous about the whole thing, and it turns out he has reason to be- some anti-evo protesters crash the party.  Things start to get a bit heated (NO, LITERALLY, ‘CAUSE A JOHNNY-STORM-WANNABE SETS FIRE TO AN ANTI-EVO SIGN SO IT’S FUNNY, YOU SEE), but Phoebe’s all like, “not in my house” and shuts it down.  Not only does she take out the lights, but she seems to short out the powers of the other evo’s in the group, too.  Wuh-oh.  Quentin and Aly are all like, “Whuuuu??” but then the cops show up and cuff Phoebe, ordering Quentin to turn off his camera.

Next, we cut to Phoebe registering as an evo with the Department of Homeland Security, with Quentin in tow.   The experience seems like a hellish hybrid between a DMV and a doctor’s office, so definitely NOT a fun experience.  She’s asked a bunch of questions about her abilities and her parents, and we find out that Quentin is her half-brother and that she doesn’t know much about her dad’s whereabouts.  It seems that registration has now become mandatory, and Quentin is VERY worried, particularly about how evolved humans are being treated in other countries (they’re being sent to camps and “sterilized”- sound familiar? Yikes. “Heroes Reborn” is NOT messing around with their reflection of historical/current events).  He warns Phoebe to be more careful.

We then cut to Phoebe at an ol’ college staple: the internship fair.  Nothing like working hard for no money to prepare someone for adulthood!  But Phoebe’s in for a far bigger reality check: a company she was interested in won’t accept her application once she shows her “Evolved Human Registration Card”.  But then she’s approached by a man who represents a company called “Renautas” (WAIT A MINUTE, ISN’T THAT THE AD WE SAW IN THE BEGINNING OF THE FIRST EPISODE?!?!  Oh-ho-ho, “Heroes”, you sneaky bunny!), who tells her that they’re a non-discriminatory, pro-evo environment that believes that she is meant to “do something extraordinary”.  Quentin, who tagged along to the fair, finds the dude super creepy, but Phoebe seems interested.

Another scene change to brother-sister dinner night with Quentin and Phoebe.  Things are light-hearted and fun at first, but the conversation turns serious when Phoebe mentions that she wants to go to something called “The Odessa Summit”, to show support for evolved humans.  Quentin is dead-set against it, but for a good reason: he wants to protect his sister after what happened at the protest.  Phoebe is furious with him, and storms off.

 

Chapter Four: June 13th – 1 Year Ago

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As Mr. Hooded Mystery Man calls for all evo’s to gather at the “Odessa Summit” at Primatech, Quentin hasn’t heard from Phoebe in awhile, and it’s freaking him out hardcore.  He finally goes to her dorm room to find her, but is greeted by a confused Aly, who hasn’t seen Phoebe since right before her interview with Renautas.  Suddenly, Quentin gets a voicemail from a random Texas number.  It’s Phoebe, and she’s clearly scared, saying that she wants to come home.  TOTALLY not ominous at all, right?  Protective Papa Bar Quentin and Aly  jump into action, tracking the number and seeing that it came from a gas station just outside of Odessa.  Yep, like I said: not ominous in the slightest.

It’s road trip time for Quentin and Aly, and they head to the gas station to try and find out more information about Phoebe’s whereabouts.  Quentin interrogates the station attendant, but is interrupted by news coverage on the TV about the Odessa Summit, and as he watches, he catches a glimpse of Phoebe with the Renautas recruiter from the internship fair.  Quentin and Aly take off for Odessa, but since every evo and their mother is trying to get there at the same time, they are stuck in a long line of traffic to get into the city.  And here’s where it gets serious, folks.

The sky suddenly darkens above them.  Quentin jumps out of the car and starts running towards the city, feeling like Phoebe has something to do with it.  As Aly follows him, we’re left in the car with the camera, and all we can heard is rumbling, then a bright burst of light followed by a gigantic explosion.  Quentin and Aly climb back in the car amid a cloud of debris, and they drive towards the explosion.  There’s a large plume of smoke on the horizon ahead of them.

We cut to a crowded emergency room.  People are injured and bleeding, and the televisions in the waiting room are blaring news about the worst terrorist attack in American history with thousands of casualties.  Quentin is frantically looking for his sister, but as he watches the news, her picture appears along with Mohinder Suresh (who is described as a “radical evo supremacist terrorist leader” and the mastermind of the attack) in the list of “suspected suicide bombers”.

 

Chapter Five: Renautas – 9 Months Ago

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Quentin is in serious grief mode, replaying Phoebe’s videos and trying to find clues towards what happened to her.  Aly stops by to drop off some of Phoebe’s stuff, and two argue.  Quentin is convinced of Phoebe’s innocence, but Aly remembers her nightmares and thinks something was wrong with her.  As Quentin defends his sister (and Mohinder Suresh), it becomes clear that he’s been spending his time getting lost in conspiracy theories from a website called “Hero Truther”, and working on a Conspiracy Theory Corkboard™(with Colored Yarn Included!).  He thinks that Renautas and Primatech are connected in some way, and wants to clear his sister’s name.  Aly storms out after her suggestions to let Phoebe go go unheard.

But what’s this? Our favorite hooded mystery man appears on Quentin’s computer, telling him that taking on Renautas would be a losing battle.  His efforts to expose the truth are being stifled by society’s fear of evolved humans since the terrorist attack.  But he tells Quentin he can get him inside Renautas. Armed with a fake identity and a super-cool camera pen, Quentin gets hired by the company and begins to work with “Hero Truther” to find out what they’re up to, and how they’re connected to Primatech.  He tries to recruit Aly, but she wants nothing to do with it and peaces out for good.

We fast forward to only “six weeks ago”.  Quentin and “Hero Truther” come up with a plan to hack into Renautas’ files by having Quentin perform some breaking and entering… which he’s able to do FAR too easily (and with his employee username and password, of all things!).  But he comes across three terms that seem to be of importance: “Coyote Sands”, “Noah Bennet”, and “Walker System”.  He downloads the Primatech Files and runs, posing as a pyrokinetic evo to escape one of the security guards (WAY TO NOT HELP THE GENERAL FEAR TOWARDS EVO’S, QUENTIN).

 

Chapter Six: Where the Truth Lies – 3 Weeks Ago

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Quentin is finally meeting Hero Truther in person to go over evidence that clears Phoebe’s name and proves that Renautas was the culprit behind the terrorist attack, and that they’re just as dangerous to evo’s as Primatech was.  He goes to an abandoned laundromat, and gives us another great line: “It’s no Hoth, but it’ll do”.  Quentin is the nerd that we both need and deserve.

Hero Truther” arrives and finally reveals himself… to be Micah Sanders, from the original “Heroes” series! I know, guys, I totally squealed, too.  Micah, taking the phrase “rebellious teenager” to a whole new level, shows Quentin security footage of his sister, not only alive, but being held captive at a Renautas facility.  Micah believes that the company is planning something bigger and worse than the attack on June 13th, and he wants to stop it from happening.  He’s going to send in a team to rescue Phoebe (“SAVE THE SISTER, SAVE THE WORLD”??!?) and others being held captive.

BUT HOLD ON TO YOUR BUTTS BECAUSE SUDDENLY, THEY’RE UNDER ATTACK! The rebel base has been found by Renautas, seemingly thanks to Quentin.  Before he’s tased and captured, Micah tells Quentin to find Noah Bennet.  Quentin runs for his life, only to be grabbed by the Renautas recruiter from the internship fair.  He narrowly escapes being killed with some help from an evo with invisibility powers, and takes off.

Finally, we cut to “Today”.  Quentin is still on the run from Renautas, and still determined to expose them and find a way to rescue both his sister and Micah.  He has followed Noah Bennet’s trail to a car salesman named “Ted Barnes”.  It’s clearly a false identity for Noah, who apparently left Primatech after the terrorist attack on June 13th.  Quentin is hoping his experience with the company will help take Renautas down.  But will Noah help him?

We’ll have to wait until September 24th to find out.

 

You can find the “Heroes Reborn” prequel series exclusively on the “Heroes Reborn” app, available on iOS and Google Play.


    One Comment

  1. JayneJuly 28th, 2015 at 8:44 am

    Thanks for the recap Shannon, unfortunately we can’t see the prequel information yet outside US, so this was a nice taster …
    Now, who do we petition to make sure the actual Heroes Reborn is shown on UK TV at or near the same time as in USA???

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