"Sons of the Fathers" is the eighth episode of Static Shock. It first aired on December 9, 2000.
Shortly thereafter, Richie is hanging out at Virgil's house. Virgil points out that Richie spends a lot of time at his house and with his family, but the reverse has never happened – Virgil hasn't even met Richie's family, despite the two being best friends. Richie seems evasive, but agrees to a day when Virgil can come over. But when the day comes, it turns out that it was a day when Richie thought his dad would have to work in the evening, and it just so happens that he had the night off after all. Richie is not happy, and Mr. Foley seems to take an instant dislike of Virgil.
As Virgil has dinner with Richie's family, things feel rather awkward as the family eats in silence. Virgil attempts to start a conversation, but when he mentions rap music, Mr. Foley instantly criticizes it. Still, when the two boys go upstairs, Virgil continues to assume the best, pointing out it's normal for older generations to be disapproving of newer music. However, when Virgil walks down the hall, he overhears Mr. Foley talking with his wife, a conversation that makes it clear that Mr. Foley is explicitly racist toward black people. Disheartened, Virgil realizes that he's not willing to continue the sleepover. He communicates this to Richie and goes home. After this, Richie expresses his anger towards his dad, and shortly thereafter runs away from home.
The next day Virgil has a heart-to-heart with his dad about the strangeness of the fact that someone as good-hearted and open-minded as Richie can have a father who's a bigot. His father points out that there's no logic to racism and that what matters is that Richie has made up his own mind. Shortly thereafter, Richie's mom calls Virgil and asks if he has any idea where he is, cluing Virgil into the fact that he's ran away.
Richie is on the streets of Dakota, and narrowly escapes Carmen Dillo and Chompus. Meanwhile, Mr. Foley talks with Mr. Hawkins at the Freeman Community Center, trying to find out information about Richie's whereabouts. Foley is rather hostile to Hawkins, but Hawkins challenges him on his assumptions of racism and manages to get through to him somewhat, at least to the extent that he's actually willing to receive Hawkins’ help. Meanwhile, Virgil is searching for Richie as Static, and manages to find him. The two talk and Virgil convinces him that going home is the right thing to do. Unbeknownst to them, however, Ebon is watching and thus realizes that Richie is Static's best friend. Thus, when Static leaves, he takes advantage of the opportunity by kidnapping Richie.
Meanwhile, Mr. Foley and Mr. Hawkins are searching for Richie, and the Meta Breed are keeping the kidnapped Richie in their hideout. Their plan is to only let Richie go if Static breaks Talon out of jail. The Meta Breed try to get Richie to tell them how to contact Static, but Richie plays dumb, pretending that he and Static aren't actually that close. However, he secretly turns on his Shock Box and begins to repeatedly mention his location in order to communicate it to Static.
The fathers are continuing their search, but they follow a bad tip given to them by a troublemaker and end up right at the Meta-Breed's hideout. They confront the Meta-Breed to ask them to free Richie, but they're not able to overpower them. However, Static zooms in just in time to fight them. At one point Ebon has the advantage over Static, but Mr. Foley helps by distracting the supervillain. Finally, the foes are defeated and Mr. Foley tearfully apologizes and hugs his son.
Virgil is at the community center and Richie and his dad come up to him since Mr. Foley is giving the two boys a ride to the local comic-con, signifying a more positive relationship has developed between Mr. Foley and the two boys.
Home video releases
- In the scene where where Richie suggests new catchphrases to Virgil, his bed has two sides that have some space between the bed and the wall. However, in the next scene, Richie's bed and the wall touch.
- On the news broadcast, Talon appears to be bruised when the police took her to jail despite the fact that Static was not very violent with her during their battle.
- This episode's title comes from the phrase "Sins of the Fathers", which derives from Biblical concepts of the sins (or iniquities) of one generation passing to another. It was also used for the The New Batman Adventures episode "Sins of the Father".
Ebon: (to Richie) I heard you two. You're best friends.
Robert: (to Mr. Foley) You've got a terrific son.... And 'cause of the way you are, you'll never really know him. Richie ran away from you a long time ago, Foley. And who can blame him?