The Racialicious Roundtable For Heroes 4.8

Hosted by special correspondent Arturo R. García

The Algonquin SnarkTable continues to grow this week, with the addition of Jen* and the return of Hexy to our ranks! Did they pick the right week to come back? Well, let’s talk about that …

What’s more improbable: that Nathan & Claire made it from the U.S. to a tourist town in central Mexico unscathed (if broke), or that seemingly the only Mexicans they managed to interact with were a hotel clerk and (presumably) whoever got them the tequila shots?

Mahsino: Just to be devil’s advocate, Heroes never has had a good grasp on geography (see Africa, Somewhere In). That being said they could have easily avoided this mess by sticking to the formula of leaving the location broad- they already set the bar low with the Botswana and Haiti fiascoes. Hell I would’ve bought somewhere near a college campus in southern Texas for believability. And I mean, let’s be honest, having actual Mexicans in Mexico is irrelevant: how else do you measure the quality of a place if not by it’s white-western occupants?

Diana: At first it bothered me that they went to Mexico and only interacted with one Mexican –the hotel clerk–in a country full of PoC. I will say it was priceless when the hotel guy assumed Nathan and Claire were there for some nookie. Gross, but priceless.

Jen*: K, so Nathan flew them to Mexico, with enough cash for 1 night at an hourly motel? Their relationship has always skeeved me out, but now, I roll my eyes with the hotel clerk. Blech. What else would anyone think? That does look like Elle’s hair, though. But wait…Nathan was in the Navy, stationed in the Philippines? That’s a reveal I wasn’t expecting. I also wasn’t really expecting any Mexicans in Mexico. Oh, and I was kinda ticked about how Claire had to take off her shirt to start drinking. How old is she again?

Erica: Heroes showed Patzcuaro as Tijuana (dry dusty streets), or at least what I think Tijuana looks like based on Hollywood’s perception. Doubtless the pictures on the Patzcuaro tourist information website are the “best” of Patzcuaro, but it does NOT look like a desert.

Hexy: Anyone remember when this show not only had a range of POC in it, but had a range of POC as well developed central characters? I’ve never been to Mexico. I would imagine, though, that it does actually contain Mexicans.

Andrea: I’m surprised good ol’ Nathan didn’t have any cash on him. But then again I shouldn’t be, I suppose, considering how deeply he effed up this whole “Get the Powers People” campaign. I was actually more shocked at his ‘do this week. The front looked like it was in perma-windgust. As for the show’s representation of Patzcuaro: the words “lawsuit from the town’s chamber of commerce” comes to mind.

On the flip side, would you call the lack of script interactions (aside from that damn “La Cucaracha” horn) with the native populace “good news”? I mean, at least Nathan didn’t try to seduce anybody like he did in Haiti, right?
clairecrunk
Jen*: Shoot, I’m just glad there are no characters known as “the Mexican,” or that they didn’t just happen to stay with Maya’s family – since she’s Latina, and Mexico = South America, right?

Erica: Perhaps we should be happy that Heroes’ stereotypes are expanding beyond people and including whole countrysides — “All of Mexico is dry and full of ‘La Cucaracha’ horns, right?” It’s depressing how much we need to lower our standards to find “good news” on this show :)

Andrea: I’m *still* pissed off about that **(^*%&% horn.

Hexy: I don’t think I could have handled a second bout of “I’m a US Senator and I can save you!” But then, perhaps the implied offer to rescue Mexicans by taking them back to the US would have hit a different note than rescuing Haitians.

Mahsino: As soon as I heard that damn horn, I knew we were in for a doozy. Actually we don’t know that he didn’t try and “seduce a native”- Claire was asleep for part of that trip. Jussayin’. Also, I sort of took the same attitude I have whenever I see a horrible movie when a POC role is given to a white actor (cough *21* cough). Yeah it sucks, but did we really need to attach an actor of color to such a horrible vehicle?

And as for the assumption of Claire being a hooker, I’m going to have to disagree. Let’s look at the whole situation with a “beginner’s eye”. You have a young girl with a preference for plastered (80′s day glow) make-up and a cheap wig checking into a hotel with a disheveled, slightly-older looking gentleman to whom she bares no familial resemblance… Call me a bad feminist, but I know my hooker-sense would have been a-tinglin’.

Diana: The less interaction the Benetrellis have with random PoC the better. If Nathan or Claire had more significant interaction with the locals, I am sure some stupid nonsense would have gone down.

What did you think about Peter & Angela’s turn toward the spiritual?

Erica: Like my reaction to Nathan’s “deep spiritual experience” last season, I was annoyed by Peter. “Hmmm, my mom is sad, I’ll go argue with this statue” — that scene lacked conviction, and felt contrived and therefore intrusive. In contrast, I was not bothered by Angela’s opinions; she described her relationship to religion (and that cathedral) as long-term, a place where she had often sought solace and tried to reconcile her sins. There was depth there, not just prayer as a last resort.

angelapeter2Jen*: Angela’s lines were thoughtful and interesting. I could believe it. Peter’s angry-at-everybody speech seemed rather childish. And his request for Jesus to “show up” reminded me of church when I was a kid. Peter better watch out. When Jesus shows up – He shows out.

Andrea: The whole sequence screamed of “Acting with Jesus Will Get Me an Emmy Nod/Win.” I’m not going to say that Jesus hung up from the mainline, but I believe He definitely wept at the pathetic ploy.

Diana: I buy that Angela would seek refuge in a Catholic church. It’s sort of gangster. But Peter? Not so much. His character just seems more and more contrived to me. But now that this spiritual edge has been thrown in, there’s more of a good v. evil paradigm.

Hexy: I thought Angela’s Catholicism rang true, and I actually really like the concept of Peter as a lapse Catholic. It makes his guilt complex and desire to be a saviour to the world and to his loved ones a bit less random. I don’t know, however, if I bought his prayer. It seemed a bit contrived and unlikely. And the “hiding in the confession booth while Angela confesses to Peter” thing bordered on slapstick.

Mahsino: Simply put, I don’t. It was there, it wasn’t horrible. As you said in the recap, it was a filler episode so I can only judge it against other useless episodes (most of season 2 for instance). The only thing that bothered me was Peter’s whole attitude of “God owes me”. Now, I’m admittedly not religious at all, but I’m pretty sure that’s not how the whole faith thing works. Really dude? You asked to be extraordinary, and you were. With that extraordinary ability you did the right thing (mixed up with horrible decisions) a few times- do you want a gold-star? That attitude in real people annoys me, so yeah, it kinda irked me when Peter pulled that ish. Now if it were Angela, after her eloquent explanation of her faith, I could have bought it, it just seemed arrogant and forced.

Speaking of Peter, he’s the star of this week’s Caption This Picture!

Andrea: Hugging Chewbacca won’t improve your acting skills, son.

Diana: Peter: Take that Han Solo! The Wookie’s my sidekick now, B-tch!
Chewbacca: Waaaaghhhh! (Help me.)

Mahsino: I know it’s the angle of his body, but I find the position of his hand (parallel to his chin, which one would logically assume to be the center of his body) to be a little problematic. And the face … it’s like everyone in the cast got a lesson on the first day on how to try-and fail- to do sexyface. Scratch that, sexyface generally tends to fail 60% of the time every time, so I won’t single out the Gentlemen of Heroes (a decent calendar idea for a collection of average to awesome-looking guys).

Jen*: “I met a wookie in Rome and we’re getting married!”

Hexy: I want to photoshop in the little red sparklies around his hand that indicate he’s stealing someone’s power.

Erica: Trust Peter to attempt the ultimate fashion faux-pas: wearing real fur. (At least he didn’t kill Chewbacca first.)

Really, could Sylar do a worse job as Top Cop if/when he replaces Danko, and would anybody notice?

dankocrunkErica: NOBODY could do a worse job than Danko. (Except maybe Claire, who seems bad at everything.) I was rolling on the floor when Danko challenged Bennett with, “You need a win much more than I do.” REALLY?!?

Jen*: I hate Danko. Not cuz he’s a bad guy … just cuz he seems so … flat. Sylar does his homework, so I think he could fool HRG for a couple episodes. Everybody else would be clueless.

Diana: The whole Danko-Sylar cop thing in the nightclub reminded me of a bad episode of Miami Vice, except I don’t know which one’s Crockett and which one’s Tubbs. But you’ve brought up a good point, letting Sylar get that shape-shifting power was probably a bad move on Danko’s part. There’s no reason for Sylar to keep Danko once he gets access to the others.

Mahsino: Sylar already has the pouty-brooding look down, all he needs to do is add a Napoleonic complex and he’ll be set. I actually forgot about the game, I don’t drink, but I totes would’ve downed and Icee in the spirit of the game. I’ll keep it in mind for next episode.

Andrea: The Bad Dude/Worse Dude thing added nothing to this week’s episode, though I do think Sylar would run a tighter ship than “I Ain’t Getting None and Look It” Danko, and without the faux-motivational speeches. Bless Sylar’s hungry-caterpillar eyebrows.

Hexy: Everything in this episode involving Danko and Sylar was awful. Sylar was out of character (or rather, out of whatever little character consistency he’s managed to retain) and Danko’s actions just made no sense at all.

Open Mic!
Diana: Claire’s wig looks better with bangs. That’s the best thing I can say about this episode. BIG YAWN.

Erica: Did Claire have Elle’s hair this week or am I crazy? Also, I hope everyone was playing the Heroes’ Drinking Game along with us this week — as once again somebody has the ultimate opportunity to take out Sylar, but instead decides to have a nice chat.

dawsonsHexy: I am glad that someone in the costume department finally figured out that wigs with fringes look a lot more realistic than wigs without. I’m occasionally a blonde for work, and without the fringe my wig would look as ridiculous as Claire’s old one. Also, while I would have accepted Claire’s inability to get drunk simply on the basis that it works for Wolverine, her explanation was stupid. I’d love, however, to see a scene where her mum demands to know when exactly she discovered this side effect of her power :)

Jen*: I have become a Quinto convert. Need more close-ups! Dude is hot.

Andrea: Who won the NCAA finals, again?

Otherwise, I’m waiting to see Rebel/Micah reveal that he’s been living with his cousin Monica, who’s making a living as a yoga instructor. And she’s about to become famous for doing a perfect copy of Beyonce’s Single Ladies video that Micah posted on YouTube. How many placeholder episodes do we have before another good one?

Mahsino: Elle’s hair was wavier, Claire’s looked more like mine when I try and do that on a humid day. Also for Claire, was it just me or was her drunk acting way more convincing than her normal acting? I know this upcoming episode is supposed to be th episode that explains it all, but don’t they tease us with that every season? I already checked out the spoilers and I’m gonna hope for sunshine and prepare for a downpour of rain.
***********
One final note before we depart for the week: I Just wanted to share this neat little (SFW) video Zach Quinto and some of the cast took part in as part of the New Year’s festivities for the city of Bordeaux, France.

Images Courtesy of HeroesWiki, except for the Peter/Chewbacca pic; I don’t remember where I dug that up (but I do know it wasn’t a furry site. No offense meant to anybody out there who likes to get their Crash Bandicoot on.)

Previously: Racialicious Heroes Archive