Portrait of a Character – Herbie Shapiro

Portrait of a Character – Herbie Shapiro

Origins

Shapiro was written specifically for the Tripp Tucker end of life story, Day of the Dead.

Portrayal

Herbie is played by Jesse Eisenberg (although Herbie would be wearing glasses, this is how I see him).

Portrait of a Character – Herbie Shapiro
Jesse Eisenberg as Herbie Shapiro

It’s important to me that Herbie be played by a Jewish actor. Further, I think Eisenberg could convincingly be the voice of reason during a lot of the weirder changes that occur during Day of the Dead.

Personality

Intelligent and compassionate, when Herbie sees Milena Chelenska, her sister Noemy, and Mrs. Klinghofer while liberating Dachau, he immediately decides to try to help them. It’s possible that Herbie’s actions help Milena to survive long enough to meet Richard Daniels, thereby making him vital to the integrity of the timeline.

Relationships

Herbie says he has a girl, but she is never actually mentioned by name. But he marries someone (and not necessarily her), as he is an ancestor to Ethan – and, by definition, Rebecca.

Mirror Universe

Portrait of a Character – Herbie Shapiro
Jesse Eisenberg as Mirror Herbie

There are no impediments to Herbie existing in the Mirror Universe. For the Mirror, prior to First Contact, life had to be even shorter, more brutal, and nastier. For Jews in the Mirror, as I write them, if Herbie was to practice his faith at all, he would have to do so in secret, much like the Mirror Universe version of Leah Benson. I doubt he would be called Herbie, either. He might even change his first name in order to fit in better (but not his last name, as he is an ancestor to the Mirror Ethan, who is one of Doug‘s kills). Perhaps he’d be Henry.

Quote

“No, that’s not true. I got a letter from my mother. She saw on the newsreel when Auschwitz was liberated, back in January. …

“Nothing much, Tony. But we had heard rumors, you know? I got a cousin who got out in ’37 and he said he heard they was burning bodies in these places. My mother just wrote that it was, it was confirmed, y’see. Arbeit macht frei. I bet that’s a big old Nazi laugh.”

Upshot

For a somewhat throwaway character, I feel Herbie packs a punch. He’s memorable, and not just for his place within the overall timeline.

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