by Racialicious guest contributor David Zhou
What is his name?!?
There is too much to be said about how a black character from Haiti, referred to as The Haitian and used as a weapon by dominating, white forces, still has yet to earn a name. Is his name too ethnic for us to pronounce? His history too dark for us to fathom? But most of all, how do you address someone who has no name?!? I’ve wondered how the screenwriters have avoided until now the instances where some higher agent has to say, “Haitian, go do this-and-that.” (Maybe they just use “you” the way Elle does when pursuing Peter and Adam.) Watching this episode, these exchanges between other characters and the one played by the talented Jimmy Jean-Louis become increasingly ridiculous. He rarely even speaks! Something really is wrong with this.
And remember the part where Elle refers to The Company’s power-negating medications as “Haitian pills,” a reference to one of his powers? Yeah, that was messed up.
To boot, does he have alliances or a personal agenda at all? In this last episode, temporally set between the first and second seasons, he works for the Company that he had been working to bring down in both seasons. This character just always seems to come in handy only when key characters require a partner who can suppress superpowers and erase memories. If I am just missing the logic behind this, someone inform me; all I see in this character is a lackey for the more crucial (ahem, white) people, and his story should be so much more than that.
Another item of note was a comment by Elle, the other cute (but crazy and dangerous) blonde girl to come by on this show. (Thanks to Elton for the tip.) She makes a speech worthy of a great, collective “aww”. She says, “I’m twenty-four years old and I’ve never gone on a date. Never been on a rollercoaster. Never been swimming. And now you know everything there is to know about me.” I feel so sorry for her, but question: what ideals must you impose upon yourself to feel bad about these things? If you said “Western” you may have been right, because as Elton pointed out, there are cultures where dating and amusement parks are just not on the adolescent agenda. Which is to say, the first-world innovation of amusement parks and the social construction of dates are not necessarily universal. Just pointing that out. (I still felt pretty bad for Elle, though.)
And also… so much for my crying out about how very Catholic Maya and Alejandro are. They are apparently really Catholic. So Catholic that Maya does a stint as a nun! (Well, she is also seeking redemption for killing about fifty people; maybe it’s justified.
But lastly, I must say that there were some nice things in this episode. The wedding was sweet – until the soapy, intruded-upon sex scene. And once again, I can’t help but say that Nikki and D.L. are really cute together, and if people see the problems in their marriage as a function of their racial difference, then… I just have no words.
To read past Heroes recaps, click here.