Welcome back, norms! We had a stay of execution for the holidays, but in case you forgot, the world is still ending, and a genocidal maniac is still trying to catch 'em all (evos, that is).
But what would Armageddon be without some completely nonsensical gun-violence commentary? At least that's what I assume the Heroes Reborn writers were attempting when Malina and Luke, who lost Noah and are trying to find Tommy/Nathan, arrive in a Walmart-esque superstore to buy guns. "I have a 24-hour power," Malina proudly announces when Luke, whose solar-powered abilities only work in the daytime, offers to buy her a gun. Is this … a "say no to drugs" kind of scenario? Is this supposed to be in favor of easily buying guns at Walmart (with no background checks, or else Luke would be hella refused) for survival reasons? I have no idea, just as I have no idea why this scene would have been otherwise necessary.
Unfortunately, Phoebe is still an angsty teen goth, much to Quentin's dismay; he's officially on Erica's side, by the way, but only because his sister is, well, an angsty teen goth who seems like she's just holding out to save face. ("I can't wait to kill that little bitch!" seems … compensatory, no?) They chase Luke and Malina into an arbitrary midwestern cornfield and corner the latter with Phoebe's … darkness tentacles? Q hesitates just long enough for Luke to show up, knock Phoebe out, kill the Harris clone, and take the siblings hostage. Do they have Tommy intel?
In the future, Tommy and Katana Girl figure out two things, thanks to the conveniently placed 9th Wonder comic still stuffed in Tommy's back pocket: (1) KG's time in the physical world is inexplicably running out, and (2) her destiny is to fight a whole horde of Harrises on the front lawn of Sunstone Manor. Tommy zaps her back to complete that mission, then tells Erica he zapped her into oblivion.
Meanwhile, Erica has been busy threatening Otomo to get rid of Katana Girl — "That's the thing about constructs: They're single-minded," he shrugs, apparently still bent on using sociological terms to describe video-game characters — and she also wants him to rebuild his Eternal Fortress (presumably to trap Tommy, since Hiro is now gone, sniff). She has Tommy take them back to the present, where she shows him that she saved his mother and Emily — mysteriously enough, they're the only two people to survive an "electrical fire" at the hospital. Then she explains that she's modeled her future city, Gateway, on Renautas's Google-esque campus in Odessa to placate the fear of her "employees," a.k.a. the people whose genomes she mapped and determined ripe for post-apocalypse survival. She also reveals the watches that her inventor designed to channel Tommy's power, which will send the chosen survivors to Gateway. Doesn't Erica's plan sound a little like William Bell's from Fringe?
Back at Sunstone Manor, the evos are all still under the spell of Matt Parkman's voice — that is, a recording of his voice. This seems like a sloppy cheat, even by superhero TV-show standards. If Matt could control large groups of people with recordings of his voice, why wasn't his power ever recorded and stolen before? (Another question: Why do his powers work on Harris's clones, which are essentially walking piles of chalk dust?) Anyway, Carlos and Farah, who split up from René and Taylor, quickly dispose of a handful of Harrises, the control-room operator, and the PA system, then get Carlos's super-luchador suit and free Cloud Priest. This all happens in about 60 seconds. Sexy teamwork is the best teamwork, clearly.
René and Taylor chase after Matt himself, but make the mistake of trying to appeal to his good nature. It's a mistake not because Matt is difficult to manipulate, but because it prompts a whiny Nice Guy monologue; he complains about his telepathic abilities, crowing that he's "created a place where everyone's happy" and "they all appreciate me." He's obviously pissed when they point out Erica isn't interested in taking him to the future, as she promised. Before they can react, he shoots René in the ear, disabling his power-dampening abilities and restoring his powers of persuasion. He orders René to leave and takes Taylor hostage to bargain with Erica. Then he finds out about Taylor's boyfriend, and their pregnancy! Taylor is pregnant, apparently. I'll take that out-of-the-blue twist, if only because her over-the-top boyfriend angst makes a little more sense now.
As foretold by Isaac Mendez's comics, still-glitching Katana Girl finds herself surrounded by roughly 20 Harris clones on the Sunstone front lawn. However, Harris Prime arrives before his clones attack, declaring, "This battle is mine." Why does he want to fight her alone? For no other reason than to get rid of his character with a dramatic plot point. I mean, he might be trained, but she's a computer program cranked up to the highest difficulty settings. All he has is an ax. She dominates until he sneaks in a few blows to her head. As he holds the ax blade against her throat, he begins to monologue — it seems like this fight is done. But then, in perhaps the single coolest moment Heroes Reborn will concoct, she thrusts her sword through her own stomach into his chest, killing him. As Carlos and the gang roll up, she proclaims, "I was Katana Girl!" and shimmers out of existence. Tenacious little construct!
With the help of newly freed Jose and Cloud Priest, Carlos and Farah free Micah with a few glass-punches powered by Carlos's man rage — but not before a Sunstone Manor employee surprises them and shoots Cloud Priest dead. It's a nice touch that Carlos makes Jose hide behind a filing cabinet to shield him from the violence. Too few shows do this with kids, in my opinion.
Micah explains that Erica used him as a propaganda machine to disseminate lies. Remember that video of Suresh taking responsibility for the June 13 bomb? As Micah reveals to the entire world, the shape-shifter Truther was held captive, forced to impersonate the doctor. He also had to hide key information about impending world disasters — yes, two solar flares are going to hit Earth. The first will destroy North America, and the second will wipe out the rest of the planet. It seems convenient that a solar flare would only devastate North America, but hey, this is Hollywood.
That also explains this exchange, at the episode's end:
Joanne, to Renautas: You killed my little boy!
Joanne: Oh, okay!
Erica: Now go kill your husband and this little girl.
At this point, every character is either in Odessa, or furiously driving there from all directions. Where else would the world end than the place where it all began? Get your survival kits together, kids, because if two teens can't stop these major cosmic events — the consequences of which, might I point out, could be even worse than human extinction — we'll need to find a heavy-duty bunker.