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S01.E05: The Way We Were

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JAIL BREAK - Keisha (Ireon Roach) hears the truth about the day she lost her sister, moving her to take a chance. Shanice (Brittany Adebumola) and Andre (TL Thompson) enjoy a day out, meanwhile, Hayden (AMARR) and Mariah (guest star Sophia Echendu) grow closer. The series also stars Joseph David-Jones, Jaye Ladymore, Khailah Johnson, Cory Jeacoma, and Autumn Best. Avi Youabian directed the episode written by Ashley Sims. 

Original Airdate: 11/22/2021     (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET)   CW

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So is every white male in this series going to be a stereotypical villain?  The nefarious Mr. Greene hatching an evil scheme, the belligerent drunk at the bar, the guard raiding Hayden's room, even Shanice's husband is being a hard-ass compared to the new wife.  The CW has never been known for subtlety when it addresses social issues but this is cartoonishly bad in its heavy-handedness.

Edited by cdnalor · Reason: Used the wrong name
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1 hour ago, cdnalor said:

So is every white male in this series going to be a stereotypical villain?  The nefarious Mr. Greene hatching an evil scheme, the belligerent drunk at the bar, the guard raiding Hayden's room, even Shanice's husband is being a hard-ass compared to the new wife.  The CW has never been known for subtlety when it addresses social issues but this is cartoonishly bad in its heavy-handedness.

Logan is far from a stereotypical villain. He has every reason to be a hard-ass. His 16-year-old daughter was interrogated by the government as being responsible for an embarrassing leak. No father worth his salt would be happy about that or about the prospect that it was potentially the tip of the iceberg in terms of the chaos that Shanice being back in their lives might bring. 

The one thing that  he did this episode that seemed unfair was when he was nasty to Doc about their having been at the Pride party. 

That said, his decision to open his home up to Hayden makes little sense, because having any of the 4400 living with them would invite similar chaos.

Noah is a white male who is not a stereotypical villain as well. 

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6 hours ago, Chicago Redshirt said:

Noah is a white male who is not a stereotypical villain as well. 

Gee, I wonder why?  Hmm, what could it be, what could it be...

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Anybody know what year Hayden is from, I thought it was from a long time ago, but he doesn't seemed to be concerned about dating a white woman, especially with all the hatred he is experiencing from the guards.

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2 hours ago, AnimeMania said:

Anybody know what year Hayden is from, I thought it was from a long time ago, but he doesn't seemed to be concerned about dating a white woman, especially with all the hatred he is experiencing from the guards.

He presumably was born in 1930 or thereabouts because he just celebrated his 91st birthday. It's possible that Hayden grew up in a rare community where the interracial dating taboo wasn't as strong. Or it could be that the writers just haven't laid out very well the potential conflict over his dating a white girl. It also seemed like they were potentially setting up a triangle with Mariah-Hayden-Mildred.

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I can't imagine how someone of Doc's era would feel upon stumbling across a modern-day Pride event. It had to be mindblowing.

Does anyone else have trouble hearing the dialogue on this show? I rely on CC, which I rarely use, but for this show, it's essential. This week, for some reason, the CC wasn't working, and I missed several lines of dialogue because it was too garbled to make out. I don't have this issue with any other show. It's very frustrating. 

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37 minutes ago, DXD526 said:

I can't imagine how someone of Doc's era would feel upon stumbling across a modern-day Pride event. It had to be mindblowing.

I actually thought they did a good job with having someone from the past encounter a modern Pride event:
First they showed us in a previous episode that Doc hung out at an underground club with "crossdressers" in early 20th century Harlem. 
And then in this episode Doc has the line of: "This is just like my and Cynthia's little corner of Harlem, but... all out in the open."
--which is just enough. 

 

42 minutes ago, DXD526 said:

I can't imagine how someone of Doc's era would feel upon stumbling across a modern-day Pride event. It had to be mindblowing.

Does anyone else have trouble hearing the dialogue on this show? I rely on CC, which I rarely use, but for this show, it's essential. This week, for some reason, the CC wasn't working, and I missed several lines of dialogue because it was too garbled to make out. I don't have this issue with any other show. It's very frustrating. 

No, but lately on the Roku TV I inherited, for a lot of NBC/Peacock shows I have to turn the volume up to max.
I think with all of these platforms and streams and devices, there's bound to be times when stuff doesn't work together as planned.
I always have captions on, but if they aren't available and the sound is terrible, earphones have worked.
Add-on speakers might be an option.

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On 11/24/2021 at 12:06 AM, Chicago Redshirt said:

He presumably was born in 1930 or thereabouts because he just celebrated his 91st birthday. It's possible that Hayden grew up in a rare community where the interracial dating taboo wasn't as strong. Or it could be that the writers just haven't laid out very well the potential conflict over his dating a white girl. It also seemed like they were potentially setting up a triangle with Mariah-Hayden-Mildred.

No, that's unrealistic. Hayden could never date a white girl in his timeline. There's no way. White people didn't even allow black people to live in the same neighborhoods as them. This is the closest he has ever been to a white girl and it is being glossed over. Even though Mildred is from the '70s. Unless her parents were hippies, they wouldn't be fine with it either. Hayden and Mildred are young but them liking each other should have involved conversations. Keisha must be bisexual or pansexual because I know I'm not the only one who believes TPTB are going to hook her up with Jharrel. If she's a lesbian,  she's going to stop anything before it happens. 

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34 minutes ago, Simba122504 said:

No, that's unrealistic. Hayden could never date a white girl in his timeline. There's no way. White people didn't even allow black people to live in the same neighborhoods as them. This is the closest he has ever been to a white girl and it is being glossed over. Even though Mildred is from the '70s. Unless her parents were hippies, they wouldn't be fine with it either.

Not necessarily.  It depends on where they are from.  If he was a gens de couleur libres from New Orleans or the Caribbean then IR relationships were commonplace. In the 70s in the Western part of the country the out-marriage rate between black males and white females was 2%.  So not necessarily unheard of. 

And people are going to people. While publicly there were anti-miscegenation laws on the books until Loving v. Virginia, all sorts of common law marriages and long-term IR relationships existed, even in the Antebellum south.  Most prominently among working and yeoman class.  And then you have the nightclub culture where white women/men often would go to black clubs in Harlem or Detroit and get their swirl on.

Sure two teenagers probably wouldn't have gone on dates as we know them back then, but IR romantic and sexual relations have existed in many iterations throughout history.

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1 hour ago, Simba122504 said:

Even though Mildred is from the '70s. Unless her parents were hippies, they wouldn't be fine with it either.

True but

46 minutes ago, DearEvette said:

people are going to people

heh, yeah (love “people are going to people”) like me and my only HS bf.   
It did wind up being a Romeo-Juliet tragedy by 1970——but mostly because of other forces besides race.

But in-show it seems they’re depicting the Mildred-Hayden pairing as 2 “misfits” bonding over their outsider status——trying to demonstrate perhaps that race isn’t always the biggest thing——in contrast with Shaunice and Logan.

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2 hours ago, DearEvette said:

Not necessarily.  It depends on where they are from.  If he was a gens de couleur libres from New Orleans or the Caribbean then IR relationships were commonplace. In the 70s in the Western part of the country the out-marriage rate between black males and white females was 2%.  So not necessarily unheard of. 

And people are going to people. While publicly there were anti-miscegenation laws on the books until Loving v. Virginia, all sorts of common law marriages and long-term IR relationships existed, even in the Antebellum south.  Most prominently among working and yeoman class.  And then you have the nightclub culture where white women/men often would go to black clubs in Harlem or Detroit and get their swirl on.

Sure two teenagers probably wouldn't have gone on dates as we know them back then, but IR romantic and sexual relations have existed in many iterations throughout history.

Of course it has always existed. LGBT relationships have always existed but it doesn't change the past. America is as racist as the sun is hot. Interracial relationships especially doing their eras were not like it is in 2021. Black men and boys were either killed or put in prison over false accusations of relationships with white women. There's a high amount of biracals who never even met their white side because the family disowned their white mother when she took up with a black man. You're not going to tell me black boys in the '30s could easily take up with a white girl or a '70s white family would be open to it to. When a television show in the '50s was cancelled because Frankie Lymon danced with a white girl on television. This young black boy from the '30s would be afraid to even talk to her. Given they're now in 2021 and has experienced what they have. They would bond over that like they are now, but that would have to adjust given their time frames. 

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8 hours ago, Simba122504 said:

No, that's unrealistic. Hayden could never date a white girl in his timeline. There's no way. White people didn't even allow black people to live in the same neighborhoods as them. This is the closest he has ever been to a white girl and it is being glossed over. Even though Mildred is from the '70s. Unless her parents were hippies, they wouldn't be fine with it either. Hayden and Mildred are young but them liking each other should have involved conversations. Keisha must be bisexual or pansexual because I know I'm not the only one who believes TPTB are going to hook her up with Jharrel. If she's a lesbian,  she's going to stop anything before it happens. 

It would likely be rare that a black boy would date a white girl in the 1930s, but that does not make it inherently "unrealistic" that a particular black boy would be interested in dating a particular white girl, or that, after learning that in 2021 there were no longer the same obstacles in place to prevent interracial dating, that he wouldn't seek to do so. 

We would be jumping to conclusions as to what his actual experiences were before getting green-lit, and those jumps may not be well founded. But to jump away anyway....part of the point of the show is that the 4400 are atypical in some way. As of this episode, we only have hints of Hayden's background. They have hinted that he does not like doctors because he has been institutionalized. That could either reflect or cause him to have atypical experiences/thoughts about interracial dating for someone of his era. I don't think they have established where exactly he was from, which could make a difference in how experienced he was with interracial dating and how his immediate surroundings treated interracial dating. For all we know, he was snogging/shagging white girls left and right in the 1930s (though this is of course doubtful). 

From the next episode, it is made clearer that Hayden is neurodivergent. So it makes sense that he might not have the same response about interracial dating as a typical 1930s black teen. His ability to pick up social cues about how taboo it was would be limited, his mom wouldn't necessarily have brought dating up, and he could potentially get hyper-focused on what he wants and needs even if she did. As we see in that episode, he perceives that he needs Mildred not so much because he loves her as a friend, is romantically interested in her, or wants her sexually. Rather, he thinks he needs her because she was nice to him and made him a chess set and he loves chess. 

Again, although the average white parents from the 1970s would not be fine with their daughter dating a black boy, there certainly were some parents who would be. And of course, we don't know which category Mildred's parents might fall in. And double of course, Mildred doesn't particularly have to worry about what her parents might think about her dating a black boy because they are not immediately in her life, and very possibly dead. 

As to Keisha/Jharrel, the OG 4400 had a male/female lead and managed to avoid pretty much even a whiff of the will-they-or-won't-they dynamic over its four seasons beyond Tom having to confess that he'd fantasized about Diana when under the influence of a 4400 who could force people to tell the truth. So it certainly can be that a show won't throw its male/female leads together romantically. Then again, this is the CW, which loves its romantic triangles and rectangles. Keisha/Jharrel have little to no romantic or other chemistry IMO. But the CW also loves low-chemistry romantic pairings. Nevertheless, I think TPTB would be wise to not take a character that they have defined as a lesbian and make her bi in order to pair her with him. Especially since they have included Soraya as someone who is interested in Keisha and who IMO would be an upgrade from Keisha's current girlfriend and Jharrel. I think that Soraya would help bring back the fun Keisha we saw prior to her sister's murder. 

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12 hours ago, Chicago Redshirt said:

It would likely be rare that a black boy would date a white girl in the 1930s, but that does not make it inherently "unrealistic" that a particular black boy would be interested in dating a particular white girl, or that, after learning that in 2021 there were no longer the same obstacles in place to prevent interracial dating, that he wouldn't seek to do so. 

We would be jumping to conclusions as to what his actual experiences were before getting green-lit, and those jumps may not be well founded. But to jump away anyway....part of the point of the show is that the 4400 are atypical in some way. As of this episode, we only have hints of Hayden's background. They have hinted that he does not like doctors because he has been institutionalized. That could either reflect or cause him to have atypical experiences/thoughts about interracial dating for someone of his era. I don't think they have established where exactly he was from, which could make a difference in how experienced he was with interracial dating and how his immediate surroundings treated interracial dating. For all we know, he was snogging/shagging white girls left and right in the 1930s (though this is of course doubtful). 

 

  Reveal spoiler

From the next episode, it is made clearer that Hayden is neurodivergent. So it makes sense that he might not have the same response about interracial dating as a typical 1930s black teen. His ability to pick up social cues about how taboo it was would be limited, his mom wouldn't necessarily have brought dating up, and he could potentially get hyper-focused on what he wants and needs even if she did. As we see in that episode, he perceives that he needs Mildred not so much because he loves her as a friend, is romantically interested in her, or wants her sexually. Rather, he thinks he needs her because she was nice to him and made him a chess set and he loves chess. 

 

Again, although the average white parents from the 1970s would not be fine with their daughter dating a black boy, there certainly were some parents who would be. And of course, we don't know which category Mildred's parents might fall in. And double of course, Mildred doesn't particularly have to worry about what her parents might think about her dating a black boy because they are not immediately in her life, and very possibly dead. 

As to Keisha/Jharrel, the OG 4400 had a male/female lead and managed to avoid pretty much even a whiff of the will-they-or-won't-they dynamic over its four seasons beyond Tom having to confess that he'd fantasized about Diana when under the influence of a 4400 who could force people to tell the truth. So it certainly can be that a show won't throw its male/female leads together romantically. Then again, this is the CW, which loves its romantic triangles and rectangles. Keisha/Jharrel have little to no romantic or other chemistry IMO. But the CW also loves low-chemistry romantic pairings. Nevertheless, I think TPTB would be wise to not take a character that they have defined as a lesbian and make her bi in order to pair her with him. EspLoltoo, unlessially since they have included Soraya as someone who is interested in Keisha and who IMO would be an upgrade from Keisha's current girlfriend and Jharrel. I think that Soraya would help bring back the fun Keisha we saw prior to her sister's murder. 

I respect your opinion, but Hayden is black and from the '30s. He would be dead or locked up. Mildred's parents have a very high chance of being racist too unless they were hippies, but we're going to agree to disagree. I don't think they ever said which umbrella she falls under? I don't even ship them. lol But these writers follow the same patterns and I agree. The CW has a pattern. But if she's a lesbian. They will remain friends. 

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