Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Almighty Johnsons, Season Two, Episode Five: A Damn Fine Woman

Axl, Zeb, and Gaia return home completely drunk, dressed in clothing of the opposite sex.  Axl carries Gaia to her bed and Zeb places a puke bucket under her arm.  Axl asks if Zeb has noticed how weird Gaia has been since she has been back.  We get a flash to Gaia playing videos instead of going to work.  In another scene, she is frying weird food.  Zeb says that he likes the new Gaia and the two head off to their separate rooms. The next morning, Axl wakes up as a girl, still wearing the same dress he wore to bed.  He does not realise that a transformation has taken place until he attempts to use the bathroom. Yeah, something is vital is missing.

Axl opens the door and tells Zeb to look at him.  Axl has to tell Zeb that he is Axl, but Zeb does not believe him.  Axl points out that he slept in the dress and then God shit happened.  He is disgusted that Zeb is checking him out.  When Gaia stumbles out of her room, Zeb introduces Axl as Mia - a friend from the party last night. Axl drags Zeb into his room and wants to know why he woke up as a woman and Zeb says that he has no idea.  Zeb keeps checking him out and says that it's hard not to. Body switching is such a classic desperate trope in this genre.  Considering that The Almighty Johnsons has been an interesting show to date, I don't understand the need to use this boorish plot devise.

Ty is in his freezer re-carving the angel when he hears a voice.  Ingrid has come to see him with a container of lasagna curry. Can you imagine anything so inedible?  She says that if there is anything that needs to be done she can help.  Ty respond that he is pretty self sufficient, but this does not dissuade Ingrid from promising to make herself useful.

Mike is busy kicking Olaf out of his bar and says, "you cannot sleep in my bar whenever it pleases you." Axl walks between them and enters the bar.  Mike tells Axl that they are not open and that he doesn't know him. Axl points to Olaf and says that he is Baldr and then points at Mike and says that he is Ullr. Axl then goes on to add that he is a woman now and he fell asleep in the dress he is currently wearing. Mike and Olaf both look confused and Olaf says, "Axl you make a damn fine woman." Frustrated, Axl asks Olaf to be a useful oracle for once and explain how this happened.  When he catches Mike looking at his legs, he demands Mike stop and points out that he is Mike's brother.  Olaf says that this is not unusual in the sense of Odin, because Odin is a well known team shifter. Olaf points out that gender shifting takes some serious God power and something is clearly stirring within him.  Axl wants to know what happens if he never changes back and Olaf responds, "the thing about Odin getting in touch with his feminine side is that there's inevitably a reason."   When Axl asks what this reason is, Olaf answers, "usually it's to spy on whatever needs spying on."  Olaf tells him that he is quite bitchy as a woman, but there's one person they know who has managed the art of changing form at will, and Axl says, "mum."

As Olaf and Axl leave Mike's bar, Olaf suggests that Axl get out of the dress he is wearing because it makes him look cheap and that his lack of "lady support garments" are distracting enough to almost give him an erection.  Axl says that this is the only dress that has and Olaf responds that he knows where they can find more.  Axl storms across the street with Olaf staring at him, causing Axl to say, "stop staring at my ass grandpa."

At Ty's, Ingrid is busy polishing the glasses and Ty tells her that she does not have to do this.  When Ty says he was planning to go for a run, Ingrid smiles and tells him to just go and that she would join him but she doesn't really run.  Ingrid asks if he wants her to clean the shower for when he gets back and Ty quickly says no.

Ty and Olaf head off to Anders apartment and they go through clothing items left behind by Anders former lovers. Okay, who keeps a bin filled with the bras of former lovers and why does Anders have a closet full of women's clothing? Even for Anders, I find that bizarre. Axl sits down at the table complaining about how much his feet still hurt and when he looks on the table, he finds Dawn's notes about Eva's death.  Dawn knows that all of Anders brothers have keys to his place and so for the life of me, I cannot imagine why she would leave something like that lying around.  She does after all have her own apartment to put stuff like this in. Before Axl can show Olaf the papers, Dawn shows up asking what Axl is doing in Anders apartment.  Dawn notices that Axl is wearing her clothing, but Olaf says that as a gentleman he is not at liberty to answer that.  On the way out, Axl tells Dawn that he is not a slut. Wow, now that Axl is a woman, he suddenly seems to care about what people think about his sexual behaviour, whereas when he was a man sleeping with anything that moved was pretty much his goal.

When Ty returns, he finds Stacey and Ingrid having a drink and sharing a laugh on the couch. Olaf walks in the room with Axl and he is forced to admit that he shape shifted in his sleep. Axl pulls Ty aside to talk to him about the notes that Dawn has written about him and his freezer.  Ty tells Axl about the time that Eva locked Dawn in the freezer. Axl suggests that this is the reason he turned into a chick - to spy on Dawn and find out this stuff. When Axl asks Ty what he is going to do, Ty says he has no idea. Ty reveals that Colin holds him responsible for  Eva's death.

In the other room, Olaf is encouraging Ingrid to tell Ty that she got kicked out of her house and needs a place to live. Axl storms out and Olaf gets up to follow. The two of them show up at Colin's and he laughs. Olaf points out that Loki has been known to go the fairer side but Colin answers angrily, "other Loki's, not this Loki.  This Loki is all about the cock."  Axl announces that he is there because he has learned that Colin believes that Ty is responsible for Eva's death.  He goes on to say that Colin is wrong and if Colin should do anything to Ty that he will punish him. Colin answers, "I hear you m'lord Odin," and Olaf and Axl leave.

Ty shows up at Anders and he tells Dawn that he knows what she is thinking about the clippings and all of that.  He swears that he has nothing to do with Eva's death.  Dawn asks him if he swears on his mothers grave - the mother who walked into a forest one day and died. Ty suggests that maybe Eva was making a point to him and that she liked a spot of trauma. Dawn points out that it is weird that she almost froze to death twice and that Eva froze to death. Ty says that he wasn't the one who looked Dawn in and he wouldn't do something like that. Dawn responds that she wouldn't blame him because if anyone was begging for a killing it was Eva.  Dawn goes on to ask about the first time she almost froze and Ty says that she sleep walked, which causes Dawn to point out that she has never done it before, and has not done it since. Ty again asserts he didn't kill Eva and would never harm her. When Dawn asks for Ty's keys, Ty says that he loves her and the police are happy with the idea that Eva killed herself, but Dawn asks insistently for the key.

Axl and Olaf show up at Agnetha's to find Ty and her having a tea.  She tells Ty to leave and promises to take are of things.  Agnetha tells Axl that she likes the new look, which shocks Axl.  Of course Axl wants to know how to shift back but Agnetha is not at all helpful on this matter. Axl wants to know if it's want or need that will spur the change.  Agnetha simply says that if Axl truly is Odin that he will find a way to deal with this.  Axl returns home and when Gaia enters, he says that there is no beer.  Gaia offers to share a bottle of wine with him.

When Ty shows up, Olaf, Stacey and Olaf are camped out in his living room.  When Ty looks around, he realises that Ingrid has placed some of her things around the house. Stacey points out that Ingrid is in no state to drive, and Ingrid adds, "not that there is anywhere to drive to, bastard landlords." Ty asks if she needs somewhere to stay and Olaf says for a night or two.  Ty asks if anyone would like food.

Michele goes to see Mike at the bar.  Michele comments that it's impressive that Axl can change gender now and asks if this means that they are close to finding Frigg.  Mike responds that if it turns out that Frigg is a lesbian, they will invite her to the civil union. I am not at all pleased with how cavalierly this line was said.  Michele offers him a hand and reminds Mike that her job is hooking people up, because she is Sjöfn.  Clearly Michele has set her sights on Mike. I guess he is a trade up from Loki.

Gaia and Axl sit down to have a talk and Gaia admits that she is a nurse but claims not to be that into it. Axl tries to point out how great he was at putting Gaia to bed the night of the party but she is not impressed, saying that he is just never around. Zeb walks into the room and says that he needs to talk to Mia about their mutual friend (note: that is the fake name that Axl is using for the duration) Axl tries to beg off, but Zeb is determined so Gaia tells him to go and leaves the room. In Axl's room he admits that he is trying to find out what Gaia thinks about him.  Zeb points out that in all of the films the protagonist changes so that they can see the world through another's eye. Axl asks to be left alone to talk with Gaia, but when he heads to the living room, she is dressed for bed.

Zeb leaves his room and decides to proposition Axl.  "It would be a huge honour for me if my first time was my best friend in the world," he says.  Axl is suitably horrified, pulls his arm back and closes the door on Zeb's face. Continuing to whine Zeb says, "it wouldn't have to be serious, your know, friends with benefits." Axl gets undressed puts on his own clothes and lies in bed.

The next morning Ty wakes to find his house a mess, a naked Olaf in his kitchen and a snoring Stacey on his couch.  He leaves in disgust and goes for a run.  At the office, Anders is on the net with Agnetha complaining about  the weather.  In frustration, Dawn asks what he wants and so replies that he is shutting the company down until he gets back.  Dawn is shocked and points out that the company is doing great. Agnetha comes in and disconnects the call and tells her that they need to shut down the company for awhile.  Agnetha says that Dawn is not losing her job and they are in fact sending her on a paid vacation.  I guess getting Dawn out of the country is meant to distract her from the idea that Ty is a murderer. 

In the morning, Gaia asks if Axl came home last night, and we hear a scream from the bedroom.  Axl is still a woman and he storms out of his room to the bathroom. Gaia enters the bathroom and tells him that if he is hanging around waiting for Axl that it's lost cause. Gaia advises that when it comes to women that Axl will hurt her and says that he can hang around there like a doormat but she knows Axl and he will lead her on and then disappear. This is clearly a comment on Axl's interaction with Eva last season.

Axl goes to see Mike and he says he knows why he is now a woman.  He says that the only thing he has learned is that he is a tool.  Axl says that everything is pissing him off today and Mike suggests that Axl is premenstrual.

Agnetha arrives at Ty's and says that she spoke to Dawn.  When Agnetha looks around she sees Eva's things she suggests that Ty should move on.  Ty refuses to be distracted and asks again about Dawn and so Agnetha assures him that Dawn is just fine and is going on a wee holiday. Agnetha suggests that if Dawn comes back and has not changed that she will have Anders speak to her.  Ty is not happy because he does not like Anders using his powers on Dawn, but Agnetha tells him to be happy because things are sorted and she does not like Dawn thinking the worst of her boy. As Agnetha is leaving, she sees that Stacey and Ingrid have made themselves quite at home.  She offers Ty a hand in getting rid of them but he answers that she has done quite enough. She tells him to cheer up and kisses him on the cheek. What neither of them know is that Dawn is watching them from the car.

Michele shows up at the bar and Mike tells her that he has a test for her.  Michele instructs Axl go with her and they head upstairs.  Olaf says that there is no better way to show Axl the way of the woman than with a Goddess.  Upstairs, Michele tells Axl he needs to learn what a woman likes and then kisses Axl.  Downstairs, the lights start to flicker and Olaf suggests that he should check on Axl, but Mike tells him that he cannot watch.

Later that night, Zeb gets into Axl's bed and grabs his chest, but Axl is back to himself.  When Zeb asks how it happened, Axl tells him that he had sex with Michele at Mike's bar and when he woke up,  he was himself again.  Axl orders Zeb out of his bed.  Axl heads into the living room and sees Gaia.  She asks about Mia and wants to know if they are likely to see her again.  Axl says that he was doing family stuff and is sorry for being a dick.  Gaia answers that she is not the one he should be apologizing to and leaves the room.

I know that the writers were really trying to play this one for laughs but I didn't find it funny. None of the men could stop sexually objectifying Axl as a woman.  There has been a lot of sexist language and behaviour in this show but this is the first episode in which it was actively called out.  To have Axl be the one to tell Olaf about his sexism didn't work for me in the least. I hope in the future that the writers will stay away from these typical plots because they really don't add anything new and are tiresome to watch.