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Observing The BlackGuard Entry 4: Mercer And Odan

27 Mar 12
Jerrod Smith
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This entry covers the mentor/student relationship that seems to have formed between Odan and Eli Mercer.

Whenever I see Odan and Mercer interact with one another, I think of a “black sitcom”. I could picture Mercer as the once famous professional athlete who returns to his former high school as a no-nonsense coach. Upon returning to the neighborhood that he worked so hard to escape as a youth, he sees that the current generation of students are disturbingly content with the less-than-desirable conditions of their education system. Among these students is the knuckle-headed Odan. Odan is that student who is far from “book smart”, but still has much talent and potential.

In most sitcoms, the relationship between these two would slowly develop from rebellious student and strict teacher to the young protege and his mentor. I don’t quite see things happening that way with these two. If Mercer really were Odan’s high school coach, I get the feeling his highest hopes would be just to get the boy to graduate school and earn a minimum wage job. I’m certain Mercer sees a ton of skill in Odan, but what he does not see is a hero deep down in him (This is the part where Odan would say “pause”). If he can just prevent Odan from becoming a menace to society, then he will consider his job done.

There’s probbly even less respect coming from Odan’s end, though. It’s apparent that the young ninja has issues with authority. I think this may be anger that stems from the absence of his father in his life. Many boys that grow up without a father gravitate towards father figures. Odan does the opposite. He has no interest in gaining Mercer’s approval. The only reason he puts any effort into executing Mercer’s commands is to show everyone he’s as good as he says he is.

You know, the more I discuss the relationship between these two, the more I’m convinced this would make a great TV show…

– Dr. Hugo Cranium

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