Hosted by Special Correspondent Arturo R. García
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
Even excluding the episode’s surprisingly good ending, “Better Angels” shouldn’t have worked: an ad-hoc team journeys into Hollywood Somalia looking for a plot device? Forget Red Panda; this had Red Flag written all over it.
Case in point: Abdi, the unfriendly neighborhood warlord of the (fake) Somalian village where Dyson Frost/D. Gibbons and company beta-tested the GBO. All the signals were there for the character to become a caricature: blind religious faith; a flashforward that fed further delusions of grandeur; and seemingly the itchiest trigger-finger this side of Yosemite Sam.
Fortunately, writers Scott M. Gimple and Ian Goldberg took care to give Abdi not only a backstory, but a sense of hurt to balance out his more venomous traits, and even more fortunately, Owiso Odera was able to fashion a performance that actually generated some emotion. I actually felt sad when Vogel gunned him down. Let’s see what the Roundtable thought:
Andrea: *Sigh* I thought Odera did a good job in a bad role, namely playing a “Somali warlord.” Of course, “Somalia” is stereotyped as only a war-torn place full of superstitious people with delusions of grandeur. Whether it’s ruling with the gun or the olive branch, they will be great with the CIA’s help. Of course, the CIA will shoot that notion down–in Abdi’s case, literally.
Diana: Meh. I didn’t really like the whole black on black violence vibe.
jen*: Um … yeah. I was definitely sad to see him die. I wasn’t super-thrilled with Janis’ convenient savior moments, but the story moved along well enough that I didn’t have to dwell on it. Come to think of it, I was actually a little pissed that Abdi was killed like that.
Mahsino: They really took that to an unfortunate place. I dunno, I feel they could’ve gone someplace really great with that and just phoned it in once they realized how much work it would be to create a whole subplot around helping Abdi achieve his destiny. Read the Post Diamond In The Rough?: The Racialicious Roundtable For FlashForward 1.14