311 - We Can Be Heroes

I'm incredulous that you guys were defending Caputo's Nay-by Momma and Hank.  

I realize that Caputo made an unsolicited offer to stay and help provide for the woman, but once she accepts that offer, she has to be held accountable for her actions.  When you enter that type of situation, there is an implication that there will be a partnership.  If you accept a house, money, and a father for your child, all the while knowing Joe's motivations, you do your best to stay in a committed relationship.  And if you need to leave, do so in a better way than by saying you're going back to the guy you cheated with because he's become very successful. 

And don't even get me started on Hank.  Hank is scummier than pubic hair blowpop.  You don't sleep with your friend's girlfriends no matter what.  It'd be like you sleeping with Mad Brew's lady when they were on a break.  Nothing about that would be okay.  And then, Hank LET Caputo take care of his kid and miss their tour.  If he were a decent person, he'd step in and forbid it, and take care of things himself.  AND THEN, HE BREAKS THEM UP AGAIN KNOWING WHAT JOE'S DONE FOR HER! My head is about to explode!

I do, however, think that the point of this wasn't that Joe has outrageous expectations.  I think it's him not being able to recognize the red flags or negative possibilities in situations.  Just like privatizing the prison, he ONLY sees the positive, never preparing for the worst. 

Comments

  • Where did you listen to the podcast? I checked itunes and tried downloading it directly and there's no link on either. 
  • edited July 2015
    I definitely agree with you that Hank and Caputo's ex come off way way way more horrible as people from these flashbacks than does Caputo. 
    And that is a good take on Caputo not recognizing red flags.
  • AndrewAndrew New York

    Where did you listen to the podcast? I checked itunes and tried downloading it directly and there's no link on either. 

    I was able to find it when I logged in on the ad free feed. It wasn't working anywhere else.
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    Not sure what's up with the podcast feed, I see it on the website and on the feeds I have subscribed (I don't subscribe to any of the ad-free feeds myself).

    So, I guess I didn't mean to say that I thought Joe's girlfriend / ex-girlfriend was a saint or that Hank was a good person.  The thing is, Joe is not listening to what anyone is saying in these flashbacks, and is instead doing whatever he thinks is the right or decent thing to do, and then wanting to be angry about it when it blows up in his face. His girlfriend / ex is telling him, "Don't worry about me.  This isn't your kid.  This isn't your problem.  Go and live your life, I have support, I have a place to stay." And Joe is saying "No, we're going to be a family, and I'm going to sacrifice all my dreams and ambitions to make that happen."

    You can't control what other people in your life do.  All you can control is what you put out into the world, how you treat yourself, and the decisions you make.  Can Joe be dissappointed that his foolish gamble on supporting his ex and the child that's not even his didn't work out? Sure.  Can he call his ex a "whore", and carry that anger into the rest of his life, never letting it go, continually compounding his poor decisions and blaming them on others?  Well, sure, he can, but I'm critical of that. 

    I talk a little more about this in the feedback section for 312, but I used to live my life like Caputo, and now that I see that is a pretty gross and manipulative way to live one's live, I don't like seeing it on my screen, held up as a way to make a character sympathetic, if in fact that's what Kohan is wanting us to do.  I honestly have no idea what lesson we're suppose to take away from this, because it's likely that Jenji is kind of talking out both sides of her mouth narratively, as she is wont to do. 

    I don't want to spoiler anything, but I'd argue that where Joe ends up this season is essentially a repeat of this little vignette with his ex from his pre-Side Boob days, writ large.  He has once again chosen to play a heroic role in his own little drama, been dissatisfied with the ungrateful people in his life, and lashed out in an over the top, self-destructive manner.  If the guy had more  of a sense of balance in his self-sacrifice, and realistic expectations, he wouldn't be trapped in this yo-yo existence. 

    I mean, are you guys really saying that Joe should have taken his ex back after she cheated on him, and when she revealed that she was still cheating on him while she was being "faithful" to him, that he should have supported her and a child that wasn't his?  Don't you think THAT is the problem in his life, and not that some girl at some point cheated on him?  I'm sure drunk at a bar, he'd tell people the story of how some bitch ruined his life, how he could have been great.  But did she ruin his life, or did he ruin it himself?

    Also, further confusing things is what little Joe did wrestling the special needs kid was purely good and altruistic, and it went poorly for him in a way that he couldn't imagine or be held responsible for.  That was genuinely tragic, and a poor way to setup the rest of the story. 

    I guess I see Joe's backstory as the reason why he is kind of the hopeless asshole with a heart of fool's gold we know today, and less of a "redeeming" backstory that made me feel more sympathetic to him. 
    Andrew
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    Okay, weird.  I think I have the feed issue sorted.  Sorry it was horked for people!
  • AndrewAndrew New York


    I mean, are you guys really saying that Joe should have taken his ex back after she cheated on him, and when she revealed that she was still cheating on him while she was being "faithful" to him, that he should have supported her and a child that wasn't his?  Don't you think THAT is the problem in his life, and not that some girl at some point cheated on him?  I'm sure drunk at a bar, he'd tell people the story of how some bitch ruined his life, how he could have been great.  But did she ruin his life, or did he ruin it himself?

    I totally agree that Joe is the instrument of his own destruction.  But at the same time, they also ruined his life.  If she was decent human being, she would have flat out refused the help and Hank would've stepped in.  She wasn't coerced into the situation.  Honestly, I don't know why she even tells him right before he's supposed to go if she had no intentions of being with him.  She says that he can go and she'll move in with her parents, he says "I love you, I want to marry you, and have a family."  It's not on screen, but I'm pretty sure she didn't say "Okay, except I don't love you, and I'll take your support until something better comes along. She agrees to it all if she enters the situation!

    I just watched those scenes again and it's painful how much disdain I have for this woman.  She leaves the suitcases out so she doesn't have to break the news to him, and the first thing she mentions, when called out, is that Hank "made a good chunk of change" and "he's doing really well for himself."  Only afterwards, she claims she's always loved Hank. (Which, if true, is the reason you don't shack up and take mustache rides!)  Not to mention how incredibly devastating it must be for Joe to have formed a bond with the daughter only to have her taken away on a whim.  It's almost arguable that the wrestling thing could have been prevented too.  I mean, the coach from the other team should have a basic knowledge of his players and should have warned the other team not to take it easy/to be careful.

    I do think there was some kind of weird thing Kohan was doing there trying to juxtapose someone who is super confident that they don't owe somebody anything with Pensatucky, who has that exact opposite reaction.

    Also some kind of weird compare and contrast where Val Jean in Les Mis does the wrong thing for the right reasons and Joe does the right thing for the wrong reasons.
  • edited August 2015
    The whole story of Joe and his ex doesn't get a lot of screen time. We don't know all the details. It's easy to read stuff in that's not actually on screen because the story is just a few flashbacks and not fleshed out. 

    My thought was that she was never in love with Hank, before or after the pregnancy. First she used Hank because she was bored with Joe. Then she used Joe for helping her get through the pregnancy and a little while longer. Now Hank has more money so she's moving on to use him again. Definitely a bit of speculation involved there, but not particularly wild speculation. Hank, on the other hand, is apparently as poor a friend as one could hope for, and a really terrible father too.

    Yes, Joe caused his own destruction. And I do think that's the point of the story for Kohan; what she was going for. It's just so easy to get distracted by how much more sympathetic Joe is than the characters around him. No, he shouldn't call his ex a whore. That doesn't help anything. He needs to move on at that point. And he does need to take responsibility for his own actions moving forward. But I can't help but feel that the real message here, i.e. "Joe is his own worst enemy and needs to take responsibility for his actions and not blame others", would have been delivered more effectively and in a less confusing way if he hadn't been surrounded with such immoral characters. It seems just as easy to come up with "people are mostly assholes and you ought to just look out for number one and stop trying to help others" as the message here. And I don't think that is what was intended.

    Edit: Thought I would add that I am loving season 3 (I have one more episode to watch). Didn't want to give the impression that I don't have anything good to say about the show. This is overall a pretty minor complaint.
    Andrew
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