It’s been a good, long while since I’ve written on Fangirl. Not because I ran out of things to say, but it’s truly a labor of love, as I have not had much free time as of late. However, I simply had to write about Hernan Shades Alvarez.
I haven’t felt this strongly about a character in years. And he’s a bad guy, so there’s a good level of conflict when I say that. But he’s been so incredibly developed, delicately nuanced, and incredibly well acted by Theo Rossi that I simply could not ignore dissecting and digesting the brilliance of Shades on Luke Cage.
I mean honestly, he’s really the best character that they have.
I have yet to finish season 2, which, is the superior season I have to say, and may be my most favorite season of the Netflix section of MCU (I’d have to rewatch season 1 of Jessica Jones to be certain), but I sincerely hope that this character sees the end of it, and gets to move on to something more. He’s more than a villain (er, not to say that Miranda Dillard is not). His heart complicates things for me as a viewer, and for him as a character.
Learning of his relationship with Darius Comanche Jones was shocking. I was already enthralled with Hernan, his dedication to Miranda, his love of his job, and his precision in execution, but then the writers threw a curve ball. It was quiet and not played up, and it made sense. That quiet scene between Shades and Comanche…it made me want to see more. What was it like for them on the inside? What other quiet moments did they share? What sorrow and pain was exchanged?
When we first see Comanche interact with both Miranda and Shades, it’s clear that he’s new, but it was unclear why he was given so much slack. Comanche was able to get away with saying things to Miranda in front of Shades that no one else ever could. I knew they had a deep bond before this job — they would have had to. But to learn that they were in prison together, and even grew up together…All I can say is, well played.
So yes, there is so much more to Shades, who is starting to tatter around the ends. I don’t know what will become of him by the end of this season, but I do know that if there were ever to be a bottle ep, or something that is just an ode to this masterful character, well, I wouldn’t be upset about it.
I must give a hearty bravo to Theo Rossi for his performance and brilliance, and hope that he gets some legit recognition for the role he has played in Luke Cage overall, but particularly this season.
What shows are you watching? What shows should I watch next? Drop a comment and let me know!
– La Manta
– Luke Cage
– Fear the Walking Dead
– and…perhaps something else?
ETA: If Comanche was in season 1 or in The Defenders, I don’t recall. Also, I don’t read the comics and I wrote this at 4:30 in the morning. Full transparency.