When news surfaced that MTV’s newest reality show was filmed in Washington Heights, it more or less broke the Latin Internet. Or the Latinternet, as we like to call it. Newsfeeds and Twitter timelines were flooded with opinions: it was authentic or it wasn’t authentic enough. It was white-washing The Heights or it was providing a refreshing break from stereotypes. Etc. Et al. Even Remezcla’s own Joel Moya weighed in on the premiere. Here at Remezcla, we intend to keep the dialogue going with weekly recaps of the episodes from people best positioned to comment on the show: Washington Heights residents. First up: writer Roz Baron recaps episode 4 (for an episode 3 recap, check out the summary by our friends at Uptown Collective).
The Love Birds
Could one have counted their chickens before they’ve hatched? Well, that’s the question we viewers ponder during this week’s episode of Washington Heights. In episode 4, we see a post conspicuous make-out session between Ludwin and Frankie – and despite having genuine feelings for each other, one must ask: will this last? As Sara Martinez writing on Uptown Collective pointed out – will this become the Latin equivalent to Ross and Rachel from Friends?
In comparison to Ludwin’s prior relationship, this new situation with Frankie is a complete 180. Both seem to be hitting it off well; both are social butterflies; both seem to be goal oriented, so what’s the problem?
During the course of the show, both Ludwin and Frankie play with the idea of the relationship becoming more serious – but then analyze it to death. Ludwin has a lot on his plate with his portfolio and his brother’s pending prison sentence; Frankie doesn’t want to revert to past relationship mistakes (diving into a relationship too quickly). However, we viewers can sense that she harbors deeper feelings than she leds on – oh, to be twenty again.
Cain and Abel
Fred and Rico also go through their own fits of drama this week. The two go at it when discussing Ludwin’s personal life. Rico doesn’t feel it necessary to be committed much like his friend Ludwin and younger brother Fred – but Fred is convinced that that’s how his older brother sees everything – especially is future acting career. A heated fight between the two ensues; cheap shots and low blows are thrown, leaving Rico feeling disenchanted about the acting classes Fred paid for.
On the opposite spectrum, we see Ludwin’s inner turmoil and guilt about his younger brother’s future prison sentence. Both express their fears and concerns for Alexis – and ponder what life would be like post incarceration.
Love, Peace and Bochinche
Audubon being the show’s peacemaker, takes the initiative to set things right between the two bothers – and surprisingly enough, is successful. The brothers make amends and everything goes back to the same ol’ bochinche on Audobon’s stoop. For some reason, everyone on this show seems to always crowd outside of Audbon’s building like a bunch of viejas sin oficio, discussing the whole Ludwin/Frankie situation. Audubon is convinced that both parties should just keep it casual because of Ludwin’s ‘free spirited’ nature. Reyna believes that they should keep it casual too, but knowing Frankie, she knows she’s going to want a serious relationship down the road. Taylor has reservations about the couple as well, but offers this interesting insight: “Sometimes you can meet the right person at the wrong the time.” And the plot thickens…
In between all the drama, we see these beautiful shots of the neighborhood, and see how family life is ingrained into the lives of these individuals. There’s this one particular scene that really resonates with me – in this one particular scene, we see Ludwin visiting his mom (I’m assuming, because he referred to her as his mother) selling frozen icies at her usual street corner, in unbearable hot weather. In previous episodes, we’ve seen family life from the home aspect; here we see how dedicated the parents are to the work ethic and how they will withstand obstacles (like horrible wretched weather) to provide for their children. These instances of family life is what makes this show relatable to me as a viewer – and is what truly separates the show from regular MTV programming. Okay, that’s all. I’m off my soapbox.
Back to the #Drama
The episode ends with the gang meeting up at Altus Cafe – a swanky local bar & lounge. Everyone seems to be all hunky-dory until we see Ludwin pulling the typical guy move: flirting with other girls in front of Frankie. She sees his shenanigans and decides to remove herself from the situation. Does this spell the end for these two? Does Ludwin prefer tumultuous relationships to healthy ones? Are Ludwin and Frankie simply better off as friends? Stay tuned…