Series 2 Episode 5: Pascalle’s Triangle
March 29, 2012 § 6 Comments
It’s increasingly rare to watch a television show where you laugh for a solid hour and walk away not only with a smile but with enough depth of story that’s worth discussing and pondering and chewing upon after. I think this was probably my favorite episode of the Almighty Johnsons ever.
The plot was deceptively straightforward. Axl wakes up one day as Pascalle from Outrageous Fortune so he can learn how much he hurt Gaia by cutting her out of his godlife while pursuing her romantically, regardless of her vulnerability. At the same time, Ingrid gradually moves in with Ty and both Dawn and Colin remain convinced that Ty killed Eva.
Very simple, very minimal, yes?
Perhaps it’s a truism that the good episodes are much harder to write about than the bad ones. With the bad ones, you can pick and poke at all the inconsistencies, bad writing, etc. But when you’re simply entertained, all the process seems to melt away and you look up and, hey, the show’s over. And there’s another week to go (at least) before you get more.
So please forgive me for the brevity of this write-up.
Girl Axl was written brilliantly. I could easily see Boy Axl saying many if not most of the same lines, and Marshall’s delivery was perfect. I loved the way she moved and talked, and even sat like a boy while delivering a series of hilarious punch lines throughout the episode. From “I’m not a slut by the way…” to her premenstural “Oh, the fun never ends!” I was laughing out loud.
That doesn’t even mention Axl’s ongoing reaction gags to Mike, Olaf, and Zeb and her final “solution” with Dr. Sjöfn Michelle. I love particularly that that final sequence took place offscreen, with just a few flickering lights to add weight to the action. God abilities work best with a light touch and the offscreen transformations left more to the imagination than any onscreen FX could ever have.
As for Zeb, he ruled the day. The entire TAJ ensemble is fabulous, but Zeb keeps popping out in scene after scene after scene with amazing comic relief mixed with actual touching performance that stops well short of buffoonery. How could anyone with a heart not react to his horribly awkward propositioning of Axl?
That’s not to undermine the terrific work that Stacey, Mike, Colin, and Agnetha delivered this week. I know I use the phrase “pitch perfect” too often in these writeups but that was what we got. Every bit of humor was served with exquisite timing. Even Ty’s pain as he acknowledged that Ingrid moving in was a foregone conclusion was hilarious. (And the touch where she put together “lasagna curry” from things lying around the fridge made me stop playback for a few seconds to catch my breath from all the giggling.)
From Stacey’s joining the Oracle Surfing and Drinking Society as an honorary member to “He smells like fish” (we need more Anders!) to Agnetha’s description of the infestation of goddesses (once they move in, they’re difficult to remove), I just road the wave of fun.
And yes, in the end Strong!Gaia, gave She!Axl the talking to he/she needed to hear and Axl responded with a simple poignancy that has become the hallmark of writing on Griffin/Lang shows. “I’m not the one you should be apologizing to” “Yeah, you are”.
Loved it, loved it, loved it.