Series Debut

Photo Courtesy Of Hulu

Photo Courtesy Of Hulu

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Many pundits have stated over the years that America lost its innocence the day that President John F. Kennedy got assassinated. While that statement’s debatable, I can attest as a seven-year-old President Kennedy’s execution affected me greatly and is still the seminal world-event of my life. I’ve always perceived that moment as knocking the planet from its axis and over 50-years later we still have yet to recover. The thought of traveling through time and stopping Kennedy’s assassination has intrigued me since childhood, hence my excitement and enjoyment when author Stephen King released his novel “11.22.63,” earlier this decade.

Last year the streaming service Hulu announced that they’d present King’s novel as an eight-part miniseries and I have to admit to being less than enthusiastic after reading the announcement. The news that the production chose James Franco to bring protagonist Jake Epping failed to excite me, as I couldn’t imagine him using the distinctive Maine accent that the character spoke with.

Whether Franco could fool someone into thinking he’s from Bar Harbor isn’t at issue in the miniseries, as just one character in the first chapter entitled “The Rabbit Hole,” sounded like a New England native and he appeared briefly in one scene. However the act of stripping away any regional accents North of the Mason-Dixon line’s commonplace on the small screen and if that’s this series biggest sin, I can easily live with that. While condensing King’s original story significantly in the two-hour premiere, it still proved to be an entertaining story that remained faithful to the tone of the book.

Our story starts out in the present-day in Lisbon Falls, Maine as we watch a man in his late fifties read his report in front of his adult-education classmates. The man’s named Harry Dunning and he’s the custodian at Lisbon Falls High and is trying to get his high school diploma to gain a promotion. The assignment’s the most significant day in the writer’s life and Dunning stuns his classmates with his recounting of Halloween night in 1960. Dunning’s father killed his mother, sister and brother and hurt young Harry badly attacking them all with a hammer. The custodian suffered brain-damage as a result of his beating but he persevered and made a life for himself.

Teacher Jake Epping’s blown away by the story and how open Harry was in relating his tale and gives him an A+ as a grade and the class spontaneously applauds for their classmate. After the class lets out Dunning asks Epping to write a letter of recommendation for him which the teacher gladly agrees to do.

We head to Al’s Diner, a restaurant that most of the townspeople stay away from as the prices are far too low to be serving real beef. However Epping’s a regular and loves the food as well as having a good relationship with the proprietor Al Templeton. This will not go down however as a happy memory for Jake as his soon to be ex-wife Christy shows up for Epping to sign their divorce papers. When Christy pulls out the papers Templeton goes into his storage closet. Jake signs the papers and they both wish each other the best in the future.

Christy leaves the restaurant and Al emerges from the closet looking like he’s aged ten-years in the past two-minutes. His hair which was dark with gray-temples is now steel-gray and he looks gaunt and sickly, Epping asks what happened and Templeton tells him that he’s fine and for Jake to leave. However Al passes out and Epping helps him back to his home. He tells Jake to come back the following day and he’ll clue him in on what’s going on.

We watch Epping try to keep his class of high-school students occupied with a video, however they’ve all zoned-out and one teen laughs as he watches a video on his cellphone. Jake realizing he’s lost his students shuts off the monitor and asks why the video of people in the past suffering from disease should mean any thing to them and gets met with silence. He responds that all people’s lives matter, not just important people.

Jake heads over to Templeton’s after school and they head down to the diner. Al asks Jake to go into his storage closet and spend as much time in there as he wants. Epping looks at him as if Templeton had gone insane but reluctantly agrees to walk as far back into the closet as he can go. He suddenly finds himself outside in the street but in a far earlier era. Two-Toned American Muscle Cars dominate the streets a huge billboard for Moxie’s dominating the horizon and bobbysoxers and working men are bustling around the area. Epping’s trying to get his bearings when an elderly guy walks up to him and says he’s not supposed to be there. Jake gets spooked and runs out of the closet asking Al what the Hell he just went through.

Al refers to it as “The Rabbit Hole” but the closet’s a time portal to October 28, 1960. Each time someone from our era goes through the portal the era resets and it’s once again that day in late October of 1960. He also tells Epping that if someone spends three-minutes or three-years in the past they return to the present exactly two minutes after they departed. Templeton spent two-years in the past while Jake signed his divorce papers and during that time he contracted lung cancer.

He asks Epping to continue the mission he started, preventing Kennedy’s assassination on November 22, 1963, as he’s dying and won’t be able to do it himself. Al theorizes if Jake can prevent JFK’s assassination than Robert Kennedy would also live a full life and Vietnam would never have escalated as it did under President Lyndon B. Johnson. Jake asks how can Templeton prove that any changes in the past would remain in place once he returned to the present. Al gives him his switchblade and tells him to go back to 1960 and carve something in the tree outside the diner. Jake does as he’s instructed and when he returns he sees his carving of the initials JFK on the tree. However Jake says he needs time to think it over.

Jake attends Harry Dunning’s graduation ceremony and he’s told by his boss the school’s principal, that Dunning’s not qualified for the promotion. That decision results in sitting down and talking with Templeton in-depth about his plans to prevent Kennedy’s assassination. Al takes Epping into his study in his home and it looks like a detective’s office during a stakeout. Maps, photos and articles cover all the space on the walls along with a library of books on the assassination.

He asks Jake what he knows of the shooting that took place more than two-decades before Epping was born and the teacher mentions Lee Harvey Oswald and assorted crime organizations and intelligence agencies. Templeton informs him that he met Oswald the day he returned from the Soviet Union in 1962. The former US Marine had defected to the Soviet Union the year before, but returned back to the States a year later. When Jake asks why Al didn’t kill Oswald then, Templeton replies because Oswald might have been innocent. He has no proof that Oswald indeed killed the President.

After hours of information and Al showing Jake the false identification cards he acquired for Epping back in the past, the teacher says he doesn’t think he’s the right guy for the job. The pair argue and finally Templeton curses at Jake and throws him out of his house. Epping goes home but he can’t sleep, he realizes he needs to complete Al’s mission. He goes to Templeton’s the next morning but Al died during the night, deprived of seeing what the world looks like after Jake stopped Kennedy’s assassination. He then suddenly notices all the photos of Al during his tours-of-duty in Vietnam and realizes Al had a stake in different outcome as well. But he packs up the money and credit cards and the journal Al gave him and leaps back into the past determined to finish what Templeton began.

Wearing jeans and a t-shirt with a musician on it, along with his scruffy hair and moustache and goatee Jake sticks out like a sore-thumb and so he gets himself a haircut and shave, a new suit and a fedora as well as a 1955 yellow and white convertible. However that depletes his savings so he asks the car dealer where he can find a betting parlor. Jake or James Amberson as his identification cards list him has a book of sports results that can keep him solvent for years.

He goes to the outskirts of town to a little shack with a plate on the door that says Men Only. He tells an older guy he’s looking to place a wager on that night’s prize-fight. He asks what odds the house will give him on the underdog and he’s told he’d get 3-1 odds. Then he says what if he bet the underdog would knock out his opponent in the sixth round and the guy says he’d give him 35-1 odds. The teacher says he’d like to bet $100 and there’s a murmur in the room, than the man in charge says he’ll cover it. The boss tells James Amberson he’ll buy him a beer and they’ll listen to the fight together.

The group sit a table listening to the fight on a transistor radio and things don’t look bright for the challenger in the sixth as his opponent’s pummeling him. Suddenly the crowd starts to cheer and the announcer becomes animated as the challenger takes control and finally knocks out his opponent with seconds left in the sixth. Suddenly the air inside the shack grows heavy with tension as the boss goes to get the winnings. He insists that Amberson count it in front of him and then the head guy and his enforcer walk him outside and the big guy compliments his car. Jake can’t leave the parking lot fast enough and travels to a nearby motor-court to spend the night. However he’s concerned that the bookie might be after him. After trying to convince himself he’s just paranoid, the enforcer pulls into the parking lot and heads for Jake’s door.

The big guy finds the door’s ajar and though the room’s dark he hears some strange music and sees something lit-up on the bed. When the guy bends over to take a closer look at the I-Phone, Epping knocks him out from behind using a blunt object. He grabs his belongings and high-tales it out-of-town, when he feels he’s driven sufficiently far away he stops his car and throws his I-Phone into a river with a swift current. Then he jumps back into his convertible and drives to Dallas.

Jake drives up to right in front of Texas School Book Depository, the building that Oswald allegedly shot JFK from three-years later. He’s comparing his notes to the structure he seeds when he suddenly collides of Catholic school-girls accompanied by a nun and his papers scatter all over the sidewalk. A pretty blonde young woman kind of chuckles over his predicament and says he’d been outnumbered. She starts to walk away from the bench she’d sat on but leaves her purse behind. The woman thanks him for being so gallant and he introduces himself as James Amberson, she responds her names Sadie Dunhill. Suddenly she sees her husband waiting across the street from them by their car and Mrs. Dunhill thanks him again.

Jake gets himself a room at a boarding room outside of Dallas run by a mother and her 14-year-old son Henry who wants to join the army as soon he turns 18 as he wants to serve his country. Jake’s impressed with the teen’s attitude, although joining a branch of the Armed Forces likely never crossed teen Jake’s mind. Jake opens up Al’s journals as soon as he’s set-up, this is the homework Al told him he must keep current with in order to succeed.

Epping takes an evening walk when he’s suddenly to try to call his father on a payphone. He’s connected to his father but the lights begin to sizzle and crackle and the two parties can’t  hear each other’s voices. Jake gets freaked out by the experience and leaves the phone booth, but seconds later he turns around to go back inside, but he’s two late. A woman driving a cherry red car strikes the booth shattering it into pieces and her car to flip over in the street. Epping goes to the front of the car and sees the woman with her head sticking outside the window and appearing dead. However she opens her eyes and stares straight into Jake’s and says he’s not supposed to be there.

Jake freaks out over the experience and runs up the stairs and straight to his room in the boardinghouse and proceeds to vomit in the waste basket in his bedroom. The Landlady asks Amberson if she can get anything for him and he thanks her but says he’ll be fine.

We flash back to the hours the pair spent together going over the material and Al’s talking about a Russian expat that lives in Dallas named George de Mohrenschildt. He knows that the Russian got recruited by the CIA but he never found out if de Mohrenschildt recruited Oswald to kill Kennedy. Templeton tried to trail the Russian to an event where he may have been first approached by the CIA, but following George de Mohrenschildt down a flight of stairs his arm caught on fire and he received some massive burns. Al tells Epping that the past doesn’t like to be changed and will often fight back if you try to alter it too much.

Jake decides to trail the Russian on the same day and follows to a JFK campaign rally in Dallas. Jake waits to see where George sits then chooses a seat a few rows behind. He’s engrossed in Kennedy’s speech but suddenly sees the Russian leave the rally and out the door. Epping follows him and watches as de Mohrenschildt, goes through a velvet-rope in a high-rollers section that will engage with the President and Mrs. Kennedy. Jake scams his way though by saying he works for George and his boss doesn’t like his name on lists.

He bribes the maître-de with some greenbacks and gets a table for one next to the table George and his two companions are sitting at. However the past strikes back again making most of the conversation indecipherable, but Jake hears George say Lee Harvey Oswald. That ends the conversation and Epping tries to follow de Mohrenschildt, when the security guards realize he’s a phony and Epping starts running. He thinks he’s found a safe-haven but soon he sees cockroaches the size of tennis-balls starting to climb up his legs. He runs out of the room and immediately gets knocked unconscious.

When he comes to, the guards want questions and Epping plays it smart. He comes off as a half-crazed JFK zealot who drove all the way from Maine to shake the hand he thinks will be the greatest president ever. The guards let him go thinking he’s harmless but Epping realizes he saw the meeting between George and The Agency take place.

He’s elated as he starts to drive back to the boardinghouse but his mood changes radically when he gets a few blocks way. The boardinghouse went up in flames and the Landlady’s son Harry died in the blaze. The following morning when the fire’s out, Jake goes through his possessions and realized all the information Al gave him got destroyed. He decides he can’t do this any longer and starts driving back to Maine.

He makes it to Kentucky and starts looking at a map and suddenly he realizes he can’t be that far away from Harry Dunning’s home in Holden, Kentucky. He gets directions from a kid at a service station who asks the teacher why he wants to go to Holden and Jake responds because this one thing he can do.

Epping drives up to Dunning home just before the father Frank Dunning stops by his estranged-wife’s home to take his children out for ice-cream. Can Jake stop Dunning from killing three members of his family and badly damaging his son Harry. We’ll find out the answer to that next Monday.

Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The Cheerleader’s Gone But The World Still Needs Saving!

Tim Kring’s pulled off what many fans thought was impossible. Expectations heading into the premiere of the NBC Miniseries “Heroes Reborn,” were incredibly high for fans of the original series that got cancelled by the network five-years ago. At least in the eyes of this viewer the show succeeded in fulfilling those expectations, opening with a two-hour tale that helped to start to fill in the blanks of the events of the last five-years and introducing viewers to some new and charismatic characters.

Even though most of the cast we met in these first hours were new characters in the Heroes Universe, much of the story still revolves our old friend Noah Bennett, the man that became known as “HRG” in the original series. Bennett’s the first character we encounter and we watch the past play-out from his perspective, starting on a park bench in Odessa, Texas. Bennett’s eating an apple on the bench, when we hear the voicemail greeting of his daughter Claire Bennett, who informed the planet of the existence of “EVOS” in the final episode of the original series. We then hear the message Bennett left for his daughter.

“Hi, it’s your dad. It’s been several years since we talked, I don’t know if you’re still mad. I really don’t now anything, I just know I miss you. I’m sure there’s plenty of apologies to go around on both sides, but to be honest with you I don’t care who was right or wrong anymore.

So much has changed since I saw you last. I don’t know if these changes are good or bad, but I really think this has a chance to all work out. And knowing how important you’ve been in all this to so many people out there, it’s made me proud.

I’m just calling to tell you how excited I am that we might be seeing each other. When you look back at all the things you’ve done, the decisions you made, the last thing you want to feel is regret. I’ll see you soon Claire-Bear.”

While we hear Noah’s message we watch a festival being held at Primeatech Corporation. We see a flower arrangement and signs reading “EVOS and Humans United.” Odessa Unity Summit. The expo’s filled with an overflow crowd as we watch humans and  EVOS interacting, even though there’s a small group of protesters clutching Anti-EVOS signs. We watch shape-shifters, teleporters and a toddler who can fly, among the crowd along with humans Luke and Joanne Collins and their nine-year-old son Dennis. Bennett’s walking through the crowd looking for his daughter.

Suddenly the festive air turns deadly as the sky starts to darken because something’s blocking the sun, then an explosion occurs and fire engulfs the entire complex. Bennett somehow survives the explosion and wakes up to nothing but rubble surrounding him, his glasses near him but one of the lenses are cracked. He then screams out Claire’s name, which only he hears. We see a graphic reading Odessa, Texas June 13, one-year-ago. We hear snippets of commentators and world leaders talking about the tragedy, including the voice of President Obama. The dialogue becomes increasingly darker and ends with a man screaming kill them all.

We then witness a montage of vigilantes and some governments try to either kill or imprison EVOS over the next year. A man’s chased by two carloads of vigilantes in his underwear in Quebec. A man trying to escape from a detention camp in China’s dragging a large circular weight that’s chained to his right hand. We see three vehicles approach him and watch him cut off his hand and then he rockets into the air, fleeing his captors. A teenage boy and his mom attempt to go through a border-check at the U.S./Canadian border, when they see a young EVO woman get shot to death as she tries to run from the officers. The mother smashes the car behind them and turns their car in the other direction and speed-off, a collection of “9th Wonder Comics” slips on the backseat.

A graphic informs us that this is Chapter One: Awakening and that we’ve reached the present, which is June 13, one year later in Chicago. Luke Collins is in a car clutching a piece of paper which has the word Cockroach written on it. We watch about a dozen people approach a hall, an elderly man asks them each the password, Cockroach.

There’s a TV on broadcasting a memorial documentary entitled June 13, A Remembrance. The narrator blames EVO extremist leader Mohinder Suresh for the attack on Odessa, claiming Suresh took credit for the bombing. A middle-aged guy growls it’s a lie and shuts off the set. We realize the folks are all EVOS looking to band together and the turnouts far short of impressive. The teenager from the car’s in the room, but says he needs to leave when he receives a text from his mother. He drops a punch-card for an ice-cream shop in Carbondale, Illinois called Moe’s, Luke picks it up and pockets it. The group say they have to strike back and stop being victims, they have the powers. The old guy says Suresh’s right, we are the future and Luke Collins laughs derisively.

Collins tells the folks that he attended the unity summit in Odessa with his wife and son to watch history take place and they were strong supporters of the movement. That’s until his son Dennis died in his arms and he realized how dangerous and unnatural these abilities are for humanity. At that point Luke’s wife bursts in chasing another EVO and the two of them shoot them all dead, then set the bodies aflame and leave the hall. This is the state of the planet in the Heroes Universe in 2015, people terrified of those different from themselves.

Bennett’s not wearing glasses and going by a fake name, he’s selling cars in Austin, Texas. We soon learn that “Ted’s” got a pretty young fiancée named Anne whose obsessed with their upcoming wedding. She says that if they have more than 75-guests they’ll need to rent a tent and Ted suggests they elope.

Next stop’s Linderman Junior High where former student Carlos Gutierrez, awarded the Medal Of Honor for saving three fellow soldiers in the Middle-East, addresses the current students. His nephew Jose’s among the students and he smiles broadly when he tells the kids that anybody can be a hero.

Heading to the Midwest we land at Pinehearst High School in Carbondale, Illinois and we see the teenage boy who left the meeting just before the shooting occurred. There’s a couple a few lockers down a jock named Brad and his girlfriend Emily who the teenager has a crush on and he stares at her when she walks away. Brad roughs the kid Tommy up and he falls to the ground, he starts to look like he’s going to use his ability but defers. Brad calls him a wuss and walks away.

A graphic tells us we’re in Tokyo and we watch as a young man looks for an apartment he’s got the address of. He finds the apartment and knocks on the door and finds it open, he enters the apartment and calls out hello. He hears music and opens a door to find a young woman making origami swans and he startles her when he gets her attention. He tells the young woman Miko, that he’s Ren Shimosowa and he’s a gamer and quite well-known. He says he’s been playing a game called “Ever-Now” and he’s reached the next to last level and he received her address. Miko repeats the name as if it has some significance to her but tells him to leave. As he’s walking out of the apartment he stops in amazement as he sees a Japanese screen that looks like the game. She tells him to get out and don’t come back.

Bennett looks out his apartment window and sees a car that he’s noticed parked at the auto dealership he works at. He tells Anne he’ll be right back and leaves the apartment and starts walking down the street. The guy from the car starts to follow him, but Noah grabs the guy and asks him what he wants. The man’s Quentin Frady, a character from the six-part online series Dark Matters, which revealed a lot of the new storyline. Frady tells Bennett he knows his background at Primeatech and wants to know the truth about June 13. However Bennett’s memories are fragmented, he believes due to the blast he survived.

Frady tells Noah that he believes the attack came from Renautus, the company that bought Primeatech. Bennett calls him a Truther and a conspiracy theorist and suddenly a cruiser arrives, as Anne alerted the police. Quentin’s taken into custody as Bennett heads back inside. However he can’t sleep that night and he removes a painting from a wall, revealing a section cutout from the wallboard. He reaches in and pulls out a bag that contains cash, weapons and an address book. He finds a card for a Lumiere Ophthalmology, it strikes a chord but he doesn’t remember it. He looks it up online and finds it relocated from Odessa to Dallas.

Carlos Gutierrez watches the city from his rooftop, then goes to a liquor store and buys a bottle. He sees a news report on TV about a local hero who saved a man. The hero’s known as El Vengador and wears a Mexican wrestling mask when doing his good deeds guarding the Latino community. They show a police sketch and Carlos recognizes the eyes and realizes it’s his brother Oscar, Jose’s father.

We see El Vengador standing on a rooftop watching two men chase a woman down an alley, he jumps from the roof onto the roof of a car and proceeds to kick both guys’ tails. Gunshots ring out and we watch as El Vengador slumps to the ground, he got set up and the woman shot him twice and aimed to fire again when he threw a blade into her neck killing her. The police arrive and El Vengador bleeding gets away before they arrive at the alley.

Later that evening Carlos goes to the garage that his brother operates and finds Oscar on the floor bleeding. Oscar tells Carlos that he needs him to be a hero for Jose as he’s dying. Carlos says he doesn’t know how to be a hero. He doesn’t even know how he saved the three soldiers in Afghanistan. Oscar dies and we realize that Carlos is the Peter Petrelli character of the new series.

Luke and Joanne Collins sit in Moe’s ice-cream shop trying to find Tommy, who’s interviewing in the office for a job as a scooper at the shop. His crush Emily’s conducting the interview and gives him the job after asking if he can scoop ice-cream. They head out to the floor so Tommy can get a uniform when he sees Luke at a table and walks over to find out how he survived the fire in Chicago. Tommy catches on that Luke set the fire once Joanne comes out of the restroom holding a gun, they take him out back but Emily follows them.

Joanne aims to fire at Emily when Tommy touches her and she vanishes, he then touches Luke and he disappears as well. He suddenly realizes he’s revealed he’s an EVO to Emily and runs home. She follows him in her car and tells him he saved her life and his secret’s safe with her.

Bennett goes to Lumiere Ophthalmology and asks the receptionist if he looks familiar and she replies he doesn’t. He then asks her to look him up by name and she says no records exist. He says he really thinks he’s been there before and says he has a card that reads See More Clearly written on the back of it. She says they don’t have a doctor named Seymour, then she pulls a gun on him. The Haitian comes out of the backroom and says he’s a friend. Rene tells Noah to wait for him at a bench across the street.

Ren Shimosowa returns to Miko’s apartment saying he’s got proof she’s Katana Girl a character from the game. He says that Katana Girl’s father got kidnapped and he hid a sword under the floorboards of his study, which Katana Girl finds and uses to rescue her father. She tells him to leave immediately and he leaves the book he brought about Katana Girl for her to read. She realizes the story’s about her and goes into her father’s study and opens the board on the floor, finding the sword and a note from her father. It reads the sword is key, save me. She unsheathes the sword and turns into a digital character and she’s in the game. She slaughter’s the soldiers trying to attack her, the last one saying you’ll never find him before he dies.

Rene comes out to the bench and hands Noah an envelope, saying the last time he saw them Bennett left him these, it’s Noah’s glasses. He puts them on and says they make a world of difference and Rene stands behind him and starts strangling HRG with a wire cord. Bennett fights back and the two wrestle to the ground and Bennett grabs his pistol. They struggle over the gun and there’s a shot and blood spurts from The Haitian’s chest.

Noah asks Rene why he tried to kill him and he replies Bennett told him to, he had the perfect plan so he’d never remember. Noah realizes The Haitian removed his memories and asks what he can’t remember. Rene says it’s coming and dies, ending the first hour.

The second hour begins with a voiceover provided by Mohinder Suresh, asking why people fear the unknown and the strange. We then see Malina, the first character we glimpsed from the new series in an ad that aired on the Super Bowl. She controls the Northern Lights, as she’s dressed in a fur parka and says it’s happening too quickly and she doesn’t know long she can control it.

Back at Pinehearst High, Tommy tells Emily that EVOS are the modern equivalent to the witches in Salem, everybody hates them and wants them dead. She asks if he can make a flower she’s holding disappear and he does, unaware that Brad’s watching them through a window. When Tommy comes out Brad calls him a freak and says he’s turning him in.

Luke and Joanne Collins are trapped in a room filled with kids toys and covered in space themed wallpaper. There’s no doors windows or even a light switch for the lights that illuminate the room. Joanne tries to shoot through the walls but the bullets do no damage.

Ren shows up at Miko’s to apologize but she’s not in the apartment, he goes into her father’s study and sees Ever-Now on the computer screen. He logs in and realizes that Miko’s now part of the game and he starts playing to help her win. She almost saves her father when a force pulls him away and then she’s knocked out by a soldier, she rematerializes in the study.

Noah bails out Quentin Frady and tells him about his visit with Rene. He tells Frady to get in his car they’re going for a ride.

Carlos Gutierrez and his nephew Jose are sitting in Oscar’s garage after the funeral. Jose says he’s glad lots of people paid their respects. The priest comes in and tells Jose that his mother wants him home, after he leaves he talks to Carlos about how good a man Oscar was and that he loved Carlos very much. He then said that Oscar did his best to watch out for his own.

Tommy tells Brad he could make him vanish but he doesn’t want to hurt anybody. Brad says that if Tommy does something for him, he’ll keep his secret and Tommy agrees. He then attempts to back out when he realizes Brad wants him to make his stepfather disappear as he beats him. Brad goes out to get batteries for his stepfather’s remote control while Tommy stays in the house. Tommy tries to work up the nerve to touch the stepfather but when the man asks what he’s doing Tommy runs out of the house.

A short while later an older man who wears a fedora and has kept tabs on Tommy knocks at the stepfather’s door. The man’s an EVO and can erase memories by giving someone a penny for their thoughts. The man tells him he’s got a business proposition for the stepfather and gives him a penny.

We meet some new characters in a bar, an attractive redhead and brunette and a guy whose likely an EVO as he keeps winning at craps. The guy tells the redhead she’s his good-luck charm and has her blow on his dice and he keeps winning. The proprietors start giving him the stink-eye and he suggest to the redhead that they cash out and leave.

Noah and Quentin drive to Primeatech and are met buy signs warning of toxic material on the site. Bennett says it’s just a scarecrow and drives through the gates. They enter the rubble and Noah finds the trapdoor hiding level five, they go down through the door and Bennett tells Quentin to look for any documents with the name Molly Walker on them. Molly’s the little girl who Matt Parkman adopted after her parents got murdered, she’s an EVO that can find anybody on the planet just by thinking about them.

Ren nurses Miko back to health and she tells him she has to reenter the game to save her father. He says it’s too dangerous but she says with his help she can save her father. He’s in a tower in the game and asks Ren to direct her from the PC when she goes back into the game.

The redhead and the craps player are back in his hotel room and she says she wants another drink. He tries to kiss her and we find out her real intentions, she knows he’s an EVO and threatens to turn him in unless he gives her all the money. He tries to fake his way out of it, but she throws a knife at him and he stops it with his ability. She tries taking the money and running, but he uses his ability to pin her high up on a wall and starts choking her. A couple walk into the hallway and the guy knocks out the crap-shooter with a metal trophy. Just then the brunette from the bar walks in and hustles the redhead out of the hotel.

Luke realizes that maybe the reason they can’t find an exit in the room’s due to the light’s being on. He shoots out the lights and the couple see a plate-glass window in front of them. Luke breaks the window by repeatedly whacking it and the couple escape.

Carlos find the name of the cop that set Oscar up and threatens to kill him if he doesn’t tell him his boss’ name. The cop tells him the name of a superior officer on the force. Carlos goes to see the priest at the church and asks him if he was trying to allude to the fact that Oscar was El Vengador. The priest tells Carlos that Oscar ran the underground railroad to give EVOS safe passage to Canada, he also reveals that he’s an EVO, able to turn himself into smoke and asks Carlos to help him transport a mother and her son.

Luke and Joanne find an elevator and it takes them to the fifth floor of Primeatech, with employees working under the ground. They shoot all the employees and security guards and then take the elevator to floor one and escape. Bennett hears the gunfire and tells Quentin to head to the car as he investigates.

The brunette and redhead are back at the bar, the redhead says her name’s Zoe and the brunette introduces herself as Taylor. Zoe said she needs to disappear and was counting on that money to make it happen. Taylor says she’s a trust-fund baby and can write her a check.

Noah takes the elevator to the fifth floor and finds all the dead employees, but one man clings to life. Bennett asks him where Molly Walker’s at and the man says that Renautus plans to use her to power their new project which will get introduced the following day. The man dies before he can tell Noah anything else.

Miko’s back in the game and enters the tower but Ren tells her it’s a trap. She puts the sheath back on the sword and rematerializes in the tower in reality and she takes out all the security guards with the sword.

Carlos helps the priest get the mother and son safe passage to Canada. She picks up a small object and it turns to gold, she gives it to Carlos as a token of her appreciation and tells him it’s 24-karat. Carlos looks at Oscar’s costume and mask when he’s alone and it looks like he’s ready to take up Oscar’s fight.

Luke and Joanne shot Quentin in the shoulder and stole Noah’s car. It’s filled with files on EVOS across the planet, Luke’s not sure that’s a good thing. He seems to be questioning their mission. Noah tells Quentin that he’ll get him patched up, but they need to find Molly Walker.

Zoe’s been drugged and wakes up handcuffed in the crap-player’s room, it turns out that Taylor’s actually Dahlia and she’s the crap-player’s girlfriend. The guy says he thinks he suffered a concussion from the blow he took from the man in the hall. He then gets on a cellphone and tells the person on the other end they’re holding Molly Walker prisoner, it’s Zoe.

The Story Continues Next Thursday Night at 8:00 pm on NBC.

Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Photo Courtesy Of NBC

“Warning: Spoiler Alert

Back in June of 1938, when Superman debuted in Action Comics the native of the planet Krypton found himself embraced by the people of Earth, hailed as a hero without any hesitation. Nobody thought that he had a secret agenda, or that he would do anything to harm the citizens of our planet. After all he came to Earth as an infant and was raised by a couple from the American Heartland. In a very scary world, with Adolph Hitler telling the planet that the Third Reich would soon begin a thousand-year reign with the Aryan Race ruling all, having Superman on our side comforted many.

Slightly less than 80-years later, Superman’s actions, morals and motivation will undergo great scrutiny when “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” debuts on the big screen next March. If you’ve seen any of the previews, you might have even heard the Kryptonian referred to as the devil. Although director Zack Snyder broke continuity with the DC Universe, by having Superman kill General Zod in self-defense, he still saved the planet and humanity from destruction.

The plotline of the upcoming movie doesn’t reflect any difference in “The Strange Visitor From Another Planet.” It’s our society that’s changed, we live in era in which we don’t trust our leaders and many of us question everything we witness. It’s a far different society than the one dominated by FDR and any mention of “Happy Days Are Here Again,” in 2015,would be met with a best a cynical laugh.

There’s a vocal-minority in this nation that’s promoting fear and hatred of all outsiders and anyone who deviates from the norm. The race to the White House in 2016, already reflects that, we’ve seen some candidates for President urge citizens to break the law and withhold marriage licenses to LGBT couples. We’ve got another candidate whose proposed not only building a border wall between the United States and Mexico, but that we round-up 11.1 million illegal aliens living in this country and deport them.

Consider how these same politicians would deal with the revelation that living among us are people with superhuman abilities. Just how quickly would those same politicians call for these folks to get rounded up and put away to eliminate any danger they could cause?

This is the society that Tim Kring and NBC introduce in the series “Heroes Reborn,” a sequel to the show the network aired a few years ago. It’s been five-years since Claire Bennett revealed to the world that people with abilities exist and the world hasn’t received the “Evos” with open arms. Just the opposite in fact as all Evos have to register with the Government and many of them hunted and killed, after an incident in Odessa, Texas a year-ago.

The new series which debuts for a 13-episode run on Thursday September 24, will combine familiar faces with new characters, but the story revolves around “HRG,” Noah Bennett. Bennett’s a former Primeatech employee and the father of Claire Bennett and when we first encounter him,  his memories were erased by his old friend known as “The Haitian.” Soon with his memory restored Bennett starts trying to help a band of Evos and find out what happened in Odessa.

Among fan favorites returning for the sequel, Hiro Nakamura, the self-proclaimed Master Of Time and Space. Matt Parkman who discovered he could read minds in the original show and scientist Mohinder Suresh, whose father’s involvement with Primeatech in the Sixties inspired him to continue his father’s research after his death.

We’ll also meet a new group of Evos from around the globe, who try to cope with their new-found powers while trying to remain free and alive. Eventually, just as in the first season of the original show the characters will all meet and join together to defeat a common enemy.

Kring and his cast created a story for the ages in the first season of the original series, hopes are high that this sequel can met those same heights.

The Story Begins Thursday September 24, at 8:00 pm on NBC.

Photo Courtesy Of CBS

Photo Courtesy Of CBS

When the announcement came down that Stephen Colbert would replace the retiring David Letterman as host of The Late Show on CBS, many asked if Colbert could be entertaining in his own skin. Stephen built a substantial fan-base hosting The Colbert Report on Comedy Central for nearly ten-years, however he portrayed a character. The Washington, D.C. native took on the persona of a Conservative TV Talk-Show Host, a mashup of Bill O’Reilly and Ted Baxter and it didn’t take long before he became a household name.

That character ceased to exist on the last episode of The Colbert Report. Stephen left the safe and comfortable home he built on Comedy Central, finding himself staring into the giant spotlight of CBS, hoping that viewers would enjoy the Real Stephen Colbert. That question got answered with an unqualified yes, as Colbert took over as the new host of The Late Show and proved he’s ready to take on the Big Boys and become a vibrant component of late night TV.

Stephen didn’t reinvent the wheel or even build a better mousetrap on Tuesday night. Nothing in the show stood out as being innovative, variations on the same routines that emanate from Television’s Stone-Age, when Steve Allen hosted The Tonight Show in the fifties. The show began with the host singing the National Anthem at a variety of venues (a little-league game, a bowling alley, some manufacturing plant) with a different singing partner at each stop. While far from being roll on the floor funny, the low-key sketch told the audience that they’re not above being silly. All the great late-night talk show hosts, realized silliness was part of the equation of an entertaining show. Even Jack Paar got silly sometimes, especially if Jonathan Winters was on the show that night.

Colbert played to his demographic (young, politically conscious and news savvy) in his first bit at his desk, taking aim at the 800-pound gorilla of the summer Donald Trump. Likely chomping at the bit while he sat on the sidelines over the last few months, the comedian referenced Trump’s vow to stop eating Oreos to campaign audiences in recent days as Nabisco’s closed a plant in Chicago and are relocating to Mexico. Colbert produced a package of America’s favorite sandwich-cookie and started chowing down cookies with every clip of Trump they showed. The sketch concluded with Trump repeating nonsensical sounds (bing-bing-bing, bong-bong-bong) and Stephen nearly comatose in his chair his face covered in cookies.

He and first guest George Clooney, kept going back to the point that Clooney came on the series debut without a project of his to promote. When the two found they had little to talk about, the discussion shifted to a nonexistent project that Clooney wrote, directed and starred in, playing the Secretary-General of the United Nations, whose trying to save the planet from a nuclear holocaust. This nonexistent project even had film clips, some stock-footage of Manhattan than a knock at the door for the Secretary-General. Clooney’s wearing a tux and opens the door with a scowl on his face growling leave me alone I’m disarming a nuclear-bomb.

Colbert handled himself well with his first political guest, former Florida Governor turned Presidential Candidate Jeb Bush. Stephen asked Jeb if the former Governor had been a little peeved at his mother for saying that there have been enough people named Bush and Clinton in the White House. (he admitted he was.) He also said that he believed his brother George didn’t act with enough fiscal responsibility in his final years as President.

The show’s house band, John Batiste and Stay Human come complete with two melodica players and a tuba player, performing a tasty-version of the Sly Stone Classic Everyday People, that included Mavis Staples, Buddy Guy and Derek Trucks among others. Colbert seems to enjoy singing on stage and while James Taylor and Paul McCartney aren’t quaking in their boots, he’s got a pleasant voice.

Jimmy Kimmel’s always left me cold, he’s a bit too cruel and snarky for my tastes. While I’ve enjoyed some of the viral clips that have emanated from The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon as the host, I’ve never been drawn to the show. Now this was just one episode and Colbert and his staff had over nine-months to prepare for their debut, can The Late Show With Stephen Colbert maintain the quality they displayed in their first outing. I don’t know, but I’m willing to stick around for now and find out.

The Late Show With Stephen Colbert Airs Weekday Nights at 11:35 pm on CBS.