Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I Will Make You Hurt: Arturo v. Heroes 4.9!

Cross-posted to Racialicious!


Like a bad '80s thriller or the opening of any “CSI: Miami” episode, “Heroes” wasn't about business this week. Instead – pause for Caruso Pose – it was personal.

At the center of the grudge matches was the show's new Dastardly Duo, Sylar and Danko – who, it turns out, does have some game with the ladies. Seems America's Top Lawn Gnome, besides being married to his job, had himself a girlfriend on the side, a former call girl named Alena (Blonde #2,560,742, if you're keeping score).

At least, he did until Matt Sr., seeking revenge for the death of Daphne, outed the "Hunter," a confrontation that leaves both men emotionally broken. Lucky for Matt, not only is he rescued from the wrong end of the gun by Hiro (with an assist from Mohinder), but his mood brightens considerably when Hiro introduces him to a new reason to keep going – his own flesh and blood. The shot of the two Matts in the park, with Hiro and Ando, provided a smile-worthy moment.

While Matt rediscovered his sense of family, Noah saw his start to unravel in earnest, thanks to Sylar, who set out not to kill HRG, but “to destroy him,” personally and professionally. The cat-and-mouse game between the nouveau shape-shifter and the professional paranoid seemed to bring out more sincere evil in Gabriel than even the showdown with his dad a few weeks back.

Credit here should go to the cast members (Jack Coleman, Ashley Crow and Zeljko Ivanek) who aped the Big Bad's Sylarisms when the occasion called for it, as Sylar's powers pushed Noah into both a marriage-ending confrontation with Sandra (further props here to Coleman and Crow during a wince-inducing scene) and a career-killing showdown with Danko and some of his shock troops – HRG turns out to be right, but at the cost of the political capital he'd been building for the past few months.

In the end, the former spook is forced to turn to his own family for support, as he joins Angela and the rest of the Benetrellis in bumfu-k Egypt Coyote Sands, Ariz., where, it's hinted, some heavy ish went down back in the day involving herself and, presumably, the original group of SuperFriends. And as the family digs for answers out in the desert, Mohinder is doing some digging of his own back in New York – it appears his own father was entangled in this web, as well.

Next Week: Everybody into the TARDIS, 'cause we're going back to 1961!

The Racialicious Scorecard:
Mohinder: Speaking of being involved in stuff that actually matters on the show, the younger Suresh got a couple of nice moments: he not only seemed to finally mend his friendship with Big Matt, but his off-screen phone tip enabled Hiro's last-second rescue. And his burgeoning quest to find out the extent of Chandra's involvement with the metahumans of the past promises to make him – I hope – a player in whatever events close out this season.

Hiro & Ando: On the bright side, it was nice (if a bit implausible) to see Team Yatta make its' way from literally the middle of nowhere to the right place at the right time. At least they mattered again in the proceedings. But their continued politeness just annoyed me this week. It's one thing for them to be cordial to the “Asian Redneck” they encountered on the road, but after all this time, you'd think they felt comfortable enough to refer to their friends as “Mohinder” or just “Matt.” BTW, about said Redneck? I place him in the same category as the “La Cucaracha” horn and the name-dropping of Harriet Tubman – the less said, the better.

Micah: I want to talk about Micah here because his lack of involvement since being outed as Rebel a couple of weeks back only confirms a lot of folks' worst fears. One of the season's most-touted mysteries has seemingly been tossed aside, when it wouldn't take more than a line or two since then (like Mohinder saying,: “Rebel arranged a flight for me.”) to establish that he is still acting as the Heroes' agent. After all the emphasis on Micah's spiriting metahumans to safety via members of the core cast – like, say, Baby Parkman – to not even mention him lately smacks of creative laziness.

Previously: Racialicious Heroes Archive
Images courtesy of HeroesWiki


Hour 42 said...

Interesting. I find your comments about the Texan Trucker intriguing.

Here's why:
It was a part that was non-descript: Texan trucker. He happened to be played by an actor of asian decent. Why is this an issue?

Also, what made him a redneck exactly? He seemed very Texan to me with none of the prejudice that one might find with those normally associated with the term 'redneck.'

ABoyNamedArt said...

Here's the thing: I know more than a few Texans -- born-and-raised Texans -- and none of them had a big ol' twang like this character. By this same creative rationale, shouldn't the Petrellis sound like the Sopranos?

Furthermore, the idea that Hiro and Ando could meet a (possibly) 2nd or 3rd generation immigrant, who grew up in a Japanese family but didn't know the language, is harmless enough. But to stick the good ol' boy pastiche on the immigrant stinks of a bad joke. The "punchline" is that he's not just Americanized, but "sounds really white." That's just clueless writing.

Hour 42 said...

sounds really white?...?

so the rules then for casting a texan with a heavy drawl is only white people?

this ep was co-written by verheiden and I've never seen him go for a cheap joke like that. I understand how it could be interpretted as such, but would you admit that is ONE interpretation amoung many - to include the fact that a. not all Texans/truckers are white and b. its possible to have a texan who is not a 'redneck?'

ABoyNamedArt said...

Who says the rule is to cast a heavy drawl on a Texan at all? It's not the Old West anymore, for goodness' sakes. That's about as viable an "interpretation" as having a car with a "La Cucaracha" horn when the scene is set in Mexico.

Hour 42 said...

so, you are saying that there are no texans with a heavy drawl? and if there is, do they not have the right to be on TV as well?

And again I ask about the redneck question? This guy stops and helps them out showing 'texan hospitality' he happens to have a drawl. At what point does this make him a redneck?

I will give you the point that it is unusual. but to say that 'because they cast an asian actor' its wrong is, in my opinion, merely building stereotypes of white people.

ABoyNamedArt said...

I'm not saying that there's no Texans with a heavy drawl -- only that TV's fondness for seemingly giving them all a heavy drawl has worn thin with me.

I also question your use of the phrase "texan hospitality." It looked like the guy was just doing the right thing -- courtesy transcends time zones, after all. And I wasn't opposed as much to an Asian being the character they ran into -- I was objecting to the "good ol' boy" (to use a perhaps more amenable term) pastiche being grafted onto said character, seemingly as a punchline. For him to be an immigrant is one thing; for him to embody a different stereotypical persona than "most Asians" is quite another.

AJ Plaid said...

If I may jump in?

That, ahem, "Texan twang" coming out of the Asian-American trucker's mouth was just awful. The accent missed the mark of a Texan accent and even a Southern accent. It's as if the director just gave the actor the direction of, "Give me your best Southern! No, more "hick." Nooooo, more "trucker." NO!!!! More Southern Hick Trucker!" So it wound up sounding like the horrendously caricatured mess that insulted my ears when I watched the ep. And out of that, it was another Asian character to be laughed out, the butt of a joke. Sorta like Hiro (98% of the time) and Ando (60% of the time, 100% of the time this week.)

Hour 42 said...

I am happy to admit it SOUNDED horrible. But I wonder if we would be having this conversation if the trucker was a white male?

Also, while it is their roles to play schtick, I will be happy when they move on and let Hiro and Ando be real people.

AJ Plaid said...

@Hour 42--
Actually, yes. Bad accents, like car horns blowing "La Cucuracha", need to be dissected...nay, brought down!!

Hour 42 said...

LOL well OK then. :D If the accent is really the issue, then we are all in agreement. A more natural texan accent would have been preferable.

I was reading a comic last night - and about time too! - Battle for the cowl: Barbara Gordon, and the accents they were writing in for the people throughout the building as the power went out was interesting. It made me think of the asian cowboy trucker. :)