The Racialicious Roundtable For Flash Forward 1.5

Hosted by Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

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Two weeks without Heroes and yours truly still feels great. But as the Roundtable will explain, watching “Gimme Some Truth,” it’s becoming more apparent that Flash Forward is beating Heroes at some of its’ own strengths – even if Mark Bedford there looks like a bit of a weenie in the pic above. Still, in a show made of WIN, as the kidz say, one moment shone above the rest:

John Cho doing Karaoke: Awesome or REALLY Awesome?

Diana: REALLY AWESOME. I forget what ’80s song he was singing, but it was tugging at my nostalgia heartstrings. I’m even more in love. [sigh]

Andrea: Neither. John Cho sings harmonizes better than the angels; he shoots like a gunslinger; he shut down some kyriarchal shenanigans with a single snap; he helped counter the balderdash regarding Black women’s hair; he gives good glow. Naw, Cho’s not Awesome or REALLY Awesome—he’s Ultimate. So Ultimate there’s a mini-movement to make Cho the patron hottie of Racialicious, right?

jen*: Barry Henley and John Cho together on Sister Christian? Who says that’s not gold? And he’s right – with 5 months to live – karaoke has got to be part of it.

Building on that a little bit, it hit me: this is the first time in awhile I’ve seen a sci-fi program show a bunch of boys – POC men, even – being … well, Boys. Not in that Spike TV Lowest Common Denominator sense of the word, either. There was a real camaraderie shown here in the karaoke scene, and especially in the gunfight in the parking structure; Stan’s nod to Mark – a moment of “Dude, we’re in this together” – was a really nice touch.

Diana: Definitely there was a big bromance going on, especially in the karaoke bar. And I wasn’t hatin’. It’s much like anytime you go out of town with a bunch of colleagues. I wasn’t feeling the gun battle quite so much, but that was because it was a bit out of nowhere for me. But it was nice seeing dudes willing to go into the trenches for each other. Very Machismo.

Andrea: Maybe I’m clueless to the inner workings of male relationships, but I didn’t get “bromance”—when I think of “bromances,” I think David and Jonathan-levels of friendship, not some Judd Apatow/Paul Rudd smirky-snark bullshit. I just saw co-workers who got along well enough to josh and hang together. What I gleaned is the unit got along for a while before we entered the story; the Flashforward/Mosiac project—because it’s so supernatural—fortified the working relationships. The gun scene just showed how well they functioned as an FBI unit, especially after watching one of them twist in the wind at the Senate hearing.

jen*: Feel you on David and Jonathan, Andrea – these guys are just a good team. But I still see myself here for the story – not so much for the characters, yet.

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Speaking of Stan, the revelations of his past were really welcome from a storytelling standpoint. Funny thing: this show is already drubbing Heroes in its ensemble work; now it looks like they’ve created their own Gray Man.

Diana: I’m ecstatic to see Stan getting some depth. He’s a political power broker, playing with the big boys and girls. This is what Heroes lost ignoring and doing away with their strong POC characters. I hope it continues.

Andrea: Couldn’t agree more, Diana.

jen*:I loved the reveal that Stan’s tight with the Prez. I want to see more of his background story – maybe I’ll get into his character. And I wouldn’t mind seeing Gina Torres again, either…

After all the pre-season hype from Heroes about a same-sex romance, the relationship between Janis and Maya (O HAI Navi Rawat), short-lived as it was, just outclassed the more-ballyhooed Cletchen.

Diana: If I was Janis, I don’t know if I would have gotten bent out of shape about someone looking up my flashforward–she made it public after all. Maybe Maya shouldn’t have asked if she also liked dudes. There are ways to get pregnant without having an actual man involved. Quite frankly, I was hoping Janis got pregnant during the blackout–that would be a freaky twist that could go all kind of ways–alien abduction, impregnation by Suspect Zero, wacky science experiment,etc.

Andrea: Yes, Diana, yes! I was reeeeeeeally put off by that whole Janice-Maya confrontation for the exact same reasons. I got the impression the writers are implying Janis never considered children because she’s a (cis) lesbian or a (cis) bi women who leans more toward other (cis) women–sexual identity has nothing to do with wanting or parenting children. (She never heard of adoption?) Janis’ reaction–that whole argument–as written also reflects a stereotyping about these women because sexual attraction can be also in flux—same-gender-loving people may very well find themselves attracted to people of other genders, cis, trans, and nonbinaries and integrate that into their sexual identities. A (cis) woman who’s a lesbian can (and do) sleep with (cis) men and may still be considered a lesbian in some communities just like the women who don’t. And the ones who do get pregnant via penile-vaginal penetration as well as via artificial insemination. Also, has Janis thought to investigate what the “child” could mean? Like the white guy in last week’s episode who thought he was literally going to get his “Black Like Me” on, Janis’ fetus may not be a literal human offspring, but a symbol of her giving herself to something outside of her immediate world, like becoming a self-defense class instructor or give birth to a religious movement or something. Oh one more thing: I don’t watch FF on TV. So someone pleeeeeeease tell me Janis survived the shootout. ‘Cause it would bite if FF did to (cis) LGB characters what Heroes does to characters of color: kill them off on the regular.

jen*: Um – I dunno how long she’s gonna make it, but Janis was still moaning and groaning at the end of the ep. I’m gonna be majorly pissed if she dies – why get us invested to just yank her away? I was thinking though – if she can die, Demetri can live!

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Open Mic!

Diana: What did Stan do to that senator? Her palpable hostility towards him gave me flashbacks to the 2008 presidential debates. Yikes! Also thought it was pretty badass how Janis responded to the attack–she went down fighting. I was like, go on, girl!

Andrea: See, I was thinking what the hey did the senator do to Stan? And I wanna know what deal was brokered to make Ms. Hostile the VP, especially since Stan is the show’s Michael Clayton. I’m glad that Janis got her very own shootout, but it also brings into high relief what these flash-forwards really mean. Are they literally everyone’s future that some folks seem hell-bent in preventing? Are they manifested symbols of deep fears/aspirations? Or are they all an elaborate prop to let John Cho be great?

jen*: I just need to see how this dude from Lost figures into this puzzle. And if Janis lives.