Saturday, July 13, 2013

Almighty Johnsons, Season 3, Episode 2: This Thing Inside

Awkward morning after – Anders and Gaia. While Gaia takes a shower and tries not to look at Anders, he enters her phone number in his phone as “Idun”.

Gaia goes home and Zeb, used to the god talk, leaves her alone with Axl and the shorn apple tree. He asks her where she was last night, pretty aggressively, and Gaia says she was walking, completely overwhelmed by all the newly revealed god stuff – and she’s decided to marry Axl ASAP as a way of coping with it

This? Is not going to end well.

Mike is also closing the bar it seems, for reasons I didn’t catch even rewinding 3 times, either way, free booze is now being cut off for the godlings. This is a catastrophe roughly on par with Ragnarok. And Mike gets to tell the hung over oracles how badly they failed at breaking up Gaia and Axl; and Michele knocks out the power by knocking down a wall.

Grumpy Anders goes to work and is grumpy at Dawn, who now wants to know all about Ty after Anders’s interference last week and her flashback. Anders is decidedly unhelpful (of course) and instead talks about Ty’s penis and its supposed gargantuan size; Dawn you should have known better than to expect sense from Anders.

And he texts Gaia saying he can’t stop thinking about her – which rather interrupts the wedding planning and Axl asking Zeb to be his next man, but she says it’s work calling her – and she leaves. She just manages to avoid the oracles who descend on Axl; Olaf and Ingrid try to sow doubts about Gaia’s faithfulness but Axl is adamant that he trusts Gaia. As they push he calls Anders and Anders swears up and down and on their mother’s… tree, ashes, whatever that he wasn’t with Gaia. Axl repeats again how much he’s sick of all the god stuff – and insists that they’re Axl and Gaia – not Odin and Idun.

Gaia hasn’t gone to Anders – she’s gone to see Stacey, the goddess who was kindest to her, at her bike messenger office. Of course, Stacey was nice because she’s Fulla, the Handmaiden and kind of forced to be – at least, when she thought Gaia was Frigg. But she seems a little nonplussed with the sobbing Gaia confessing everything and saying how awful she is.

They have coffee and Gaia describes how the voice in her head is screaming her to go back to Anders for the worst sex ever – and Anders has been sexting her. While Stacey thinks they’re all kind of ew, the voice in Gaia’s head doesn’t agree. Stacey tells her to say no

Anders goes to see big brother Mike (and Michele breaking stuff which she enjoys to a disturbing extent). Clearly troubled and pretty obvious to Mike – but he doesn’t reveal anything, possibly because Michele is there; Mike does poke the elephant in the room “it’s not the humans we’re worried about, it’s the gods”.

After repeatedly ignoring his calls, Gaia finally picks up and tells Anders to stop – Anders wants to meet to try and stop what happened happening again. Yeah, I think that conversation needs to happen at a distance.

At the bar (Michele is still breaking things), Ingrid and Olaf still insist, even with Mike actually defending Anders, Axel and Gaia, that no matter how well intentioned everyone is – Idun and Bragi will always get together. Mike isn’t all that impressed – sure they have god power pulling them together, but it’s not like they’re actually THAT powerful. Olaf protests they’re actually extremely powerful – they just don’t know how to access that power, to prove the point Michele injures herself and uses Yggdrasil’s branch to seal the wound. I actually think Olaf’s immortality is a pretty damn nifty power, myself.

At least Gaia and Anders meet somewhere public to say how much they would ever hate to be with each other while their body language screams otherwise. Them going back to his place to have sex screams it far far louder – causing Gaia to miss the call from Axl asking if she wants to go to his stag night.

Anders goes back to the office to find Stacey sat in his chair revealing she knows about him and Gaia – though she’s surprised at the second time. This is actually her clumsy attempt to blackmail Anders (she’s not very good at it), though Anders, after pointing out how very bad she is at blackmail, says he doesn’t care if it’s her company who delivers her mail so long as she gets out of his chair and doesn’t employ white guys with dreadlocks. Showing that, even without his power, Anders can still take over a negotiation when he wants to.

Gaia gets to go home to something less fun – Axl so geekily joyful about the wedding and trying so hard. Gaia tearfully – and incredibly well acted – confesses; that the goddess inside her is just too powerful. Axl turns and leaves, yelling at her to stay there, not follow him.

Olaf, Ty and Ingrid learn of the disaster from Stacey celebrating her new contract – as Axl descends on Anders with the wrath of, well, Odin I guess. Anders has sensibly run away, leaving Dawn to tell Axl she doesn’t know where he’s gone. Axl moves on to Mike (with Michele still destroying things) asking him to use his Ullr powers to track Anders down. Mike things one brother murdering the other is a bad idea and refuses – insisting on having a big family meeting, a Thing, because it is arcane god stuff not just unpleasant personal stuff. Michele is also happy to let Axl destroy something. Does it say something about the writers that the goddess of love enjoys destroying things? Is this a bitter comment on relationships?

While Zeb commiserates with Gaia, Mike tracks down Anders who isn’t happy with himself either. He repeats again that he doesn’t actually like Gaia – Helen was fun but Gaia is so not for him – but his god powers are forcing him. Even making a point that he hopes when Axl does find Frigg he fancies her because it’s so awful otherwise (and he gets a smack for making a crack about the awesome sex, because he is Anders after all).

Ty, Axl, Stacey and Ingrid have retired to Ty’s place to do more drinking (the Norse gods drink a lot all the time), while Stacey and Ingrid discuss the potential sexual prowess of the various gods and Olaf reminds Ty that Dawn was once locked in his ice carving room which is why Dawn probably freaked out. Mike arrives and isn’t amused by their party shenanigans – they may not be able to stop the inevitable but at least you can help the victims. Good point from Mike – accepting the inevitable can make the Oracles callous (that and the fact they are always, always drunk).

Time for a Thing in the bar – and a brief attempt from Axl to murder Anders is stopped by the other Johnsons. Axl accuses Anders of using his Bragi powers to get Gaia to have sex with him, but no-one believes that ; Olaf again repeats that Idun and Bragi cannot resist each other even if they both find each other physically repugnant (he says Anders would be drawn to Gaia even if she had advanced leprosy). Mike promises whatever support the family can offer Axl in a really bad situation and Anders promises to do whatever he can to resist – and then goes far to TMI about the sex and Axl uses Odin strength to throw him across the room into some rubble left by Michele. He cuts his neck – badly, pouring blood. He staggers to his feet but quickly passes out from blood loss. Axl is horrified and shocked, and runs out of the bar while Ty, Olaf and Mike try to get Anders to wake up.

Michele runs down holding the branch of Yggdrasil and heals Ander’s neck without leaving even a slight mark. His suit is pretty ruined from all the blood though, Yggdrasil does not come with dry cleaning. Mike has another reason to be stunned – Michele’s power with Yggdrasil. He asks her how long she’s been able to heal and she considers that she has saved all of Mike’s brother’s now – Anders, Axl when he was ill (which also saved Olaf from old age), and Ty when he gave up the powers of Hodr.

While Anders passes out from blood loss and getting up too quickly (and yes, Ty and Olaf so should laugh) Mike hunts for Axl and finds him hiding; he reassures him he didn’t kill Anders but Axl is worried – he can’t control his Odin powers, what if he tries to kill Anders again? Which, Mike points out, is kind of how Anders and Gaia are feeling

At the bar Anders demands his stick (Yggdrasil) back since he froze in Norway to get it, no-one is on his side and when he gets up he passes out again – everyone laughs, again. Normally I’d disapprove of this mocking the fainting of the man with severe blood loss but I laughed too.

And Axl and Mike go back to Axl’s flat to see Gaia (and Zeb, who Axl asks to stay for once). Axl acknowledges that what happened isn’t Gaia’s fault (though he’s not a happy bunny still, naturally). Gaia has a solution – just leave, go travelling; take Idun out of the picture. Axl offers to come with her – but she just wants to get as far away from gods as she can. Including Axl. Gaia asks him to spend one last night with her before she goes to London and Zeb and Mike leave.


Mike goes back to Michele and asks about Yggdrasil, but she puts it down as female energy – and the same reason she didn’t tell him. Mike is happy to put it aside as her stick, not his – but try to use it for good.

Gaia packs and makes her poignant goodbyes

Damn that was a lot of tragedy really well maintained (except for Anders passing out for comic relief all the time which was a nice moment of lightening up the dour mood). Of course Axl and Gaia are the focus of this truly epic tragedy but there’s some inclusion for Anders as well. I’m impressed that they avoided making this Anders preying on Gaia, this is woo-woo inflicted on both of them; made more tragic by Gaia and Axl being so truly in love.

But this solution needs to be a temporary one. I’m not happy with losing Gaia, I like Gaia as a character and she represents the totality of the POC inclusion on this show. She needs to swap Idun for Frigg or something, I really don’t like losing her as a character. I’m leery where this is going

I’m also glad to see Mike not freaking out about Michele being so powerful with Yggdrasil, it’s nice to see him accepting it – and the fact she could be a more powerful deity than him.