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.

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§ 6 Responses to Series 2 Episode 5: Pascalle’s Triangle

  • CJ Cregg says:

    Lovely write-up e and I second every word. What a fab ep – I laughed and laughed and then laughed some more. Just a joy from start to finish.

  • Starbug says:

    Some of the best food I’ve ever had was made by people who cook like Ingrid!

    Ingrid’s presence is intriguing. Are she and Olaf and Stacey protecting Ty from the wrath of Colin/Loki? Or are the goddesses merely there to observe and report? If so, for whom?

    Incidentally, regarding Michele’s bisexuality: Back in Season 1, I thought that it led to one of the funniest subverted tropes I’ve seen in this series. At the MMORPG party, when she has that wild sword fight with Axl, she interrupts the battle to plant a huge kiss on Sonja’s lips before re-swashbuckling into the remainder of the fray. Errol Flynn would have been proud!

    • Sean Denys says:

      I never even thought of Ingrid-Stacey-Olaf that way. None of them are very deep, devious characters like Michele, Colin and Agnetha. I just assumed that they were mooching.

  • Mark says:

    Far and away the best episode. My wife is determined to hate TAJ, and nothing I can say can convince her otherwise, but this episode even had her laughing off the sofa.

  • Amanda says:

    Here in the UK series 1 has just finished and already having a “there’s nothing worth watching now” moment. So thank you for the great write-up on the series especially 2. It will keep me going until we get it on tv over here.

    Once upon a time I studied Old Norse at uni, and have been quite impressed with the pretty accurate background myth & history stuff – as the say in Voluspa – vitud er enn eda hvat?

  • Belle says:

    Still catching up on the episodes, so a few late comments on this one. Some very funny moments: the house guests from hell, taking over Ty’s house and life; another glimpse of Anders, so we don’t forget him or forget that he is Up To Something while he is in Norway, and in cahoots with Agnetha to boot. Love Mike’s bar; it’s just that Third Place that the story needed. Not any one person’s work or home, but a place where any or all of them can cross paths. Love the detail of fire god Loki always wearing at least a little bit of red. It’s those little details that make all the difference, eh? Love the show, looking forward to continuing my crash course to finish the series not too long after the Kiwis do. Season 3, come on!

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