Series 2 Episode 6: Oh good lord Zeb, what was Mike thinking?

April 4, 2012 § 7 Comments

I love both Zeb and Stacey as characters and think both actors offer an amazing sense of comic timing. Got that? But I hated where this week took them.

In particular, I did not like their Sjöfn-induced fling. Yes, sure, I know what the show was going for — a bit of levity to offset the Loki/Freja dramatics, but no, it didn’t work for me. Nor did much else this episode other than a few really good Olaf bits and a terrific swordfight, I’m afraid. The Zeb/Stacey thing just squicked me out.

Before jumping in further, let me summarize the high and low points of this ep.

Things I didn’t like:

  • Zeb and Stacey.
  • That awful maroon suit.
  • Zeb and Stacey.
  • The heavy-handed breakup between Michelle and Colin.
  • Michelle and Mike on a romantic collision course.
  • Zeb and Stacey.
  • The whole attempted Ty Roast and Barbeque.
  • Zeb and Stacey.
  • Dawn and Ty’s strung out “I don’t believe you, don’t stalk me” chat. Been there, done that, nothing new.
  • Zeb and Stacey.

Things I liked:

  • Olaf, my darling crazy fourth-rate Oracle.
  • The magnificent sword fight.
  • Ty’s behind-the-scenes negotiation with Colin.
  • Closing off the Agnetha story for once and for all.
  • Colin’s clearing of left over dead wood from that plot.

That said, let me start with Zeb and Stacey. I didn’t buy Mike’s motivation in arranging this at all. Why exactly did he pull in a favor from Michelle to help Zeb find his inner Cassanova? I don’t get it.

I consider Mike and Michelle to be an unlikely pairing — regardless of her need to cling to the most alpha power broker —  and I find nothing narratively to motivate the twosome. Yes sure, she’s visited the bar a few times, and yes she helped Axl put the Y back into his chromosonal make-up, but the match-up leaves me cold. Whereas Michelle and Anders spark, and Michelle and Colin was vaguely understandable as a rebound from Anders, Michelle and Mike leaves me utterly flat.

At least flat is better than Zeb and Stacey, because didn’t we establish last season that she was a vegetarian lesbian? I was offended that Eva forced the meat issue a few episodes ago — clearly abusive even before the rotting set in. And now, Michelle is playing with her mind to pair up “a cycle courier of curious sexual persuasion” with Zeb?

This wasn’t fun or cute or adorable. It was nonconsensual and it was ugly. I found it a horrible way to play out the “Zeb finally gets some” story and a complete betrayal of who Stacey is supposed to be as a character. The explicit stuff didn’t bother me — c’mon, the show is called “The Almighty Johnsons”; it’s what it says on the tin — but the lack of consent did. Quite a lot. Your mileage may vary.

Turner delivered a good performance this week in spite of a number of hamfisted scripting decisions. I thought his interaction with Dawn and his “Don’t kill her because I wuv her” pleading was lame. I did like the behind the scenes deal with Colin, however –and Colin’s amateur forestry management even more so.

So what did I love? Well, Olaf. In a world of sub-par Oracles, Olaf is king. I also loved the Colin-Axl smackdown. Great sword-fight, really nicely filmed, and it felt earned by Axl’s character. And…that’s about it.

There are worse ways to have spent an hour, and I will take a subpar ep of TAJ over most other stuff out there, but I really wasn’t feeling  the fun this week.


§ 7 Responses to Series 2 Episode 6: Oh good lord Zeb, what was Mike thinking?

  • Hart Reynolds says:

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion I suppose.

    But last night’s episode has to have been one of my favorite episodes to date. I suppose Michelle and Mike isn’t that plausible. But I really enjoyed this weeks episode

  • Sean Denys says:

    A lot of the stuff that you found objectionable, I thought worked. Zeb and Stacey were meant to be awful, slightly disgusting couple (butter? :D). Also, when Stacey and Michele met Eva, Stacey said “I hate labels”, which kind of leaves her open to interpretation. I actually pictured Stacey going well with a minor god, although there aren’t any good candidates in the show yet.

    The thing with Eva serving Stacey meat was just perfect. Totally in character for an angry Hel, and of course, Eva would eat a LOT of meat, as a butcher and a goddess who just destroys plant food by being near it.

    I agree that I’m not sure about Mike and Michele. On a purely logical level, it makes sense for Michele to seek out the alpha male, and Mike is still bouncing off the walls after his divorce. But I still don’t see it working. Anders and Michele is the only way for me.

  • Nylver says:

    I agree with your recap. For me it was way too much Zeb and Stacy. It shot right past funny and straight into eewww, gross and way, way, way too much. Cartoony sidekicks should never be given too much screen time, they just work better in the background.

    Also it brought back the haha date rape is so funny angle. I was so happy when Anders stopped with that (despite never receiving any punishment for it) and went for Michelle, who had, at that point, a strong personality. Also they had loads of chemistry together.

    But now Anders is gone, Mike is turning into the new Anders and the goddesses have lost all girl power and are flinging themselves at every alpha male available (Michelle) or at a god who just happens to have a place to stay (Ingrid) and being forced into sex while under the influence is back to something that is worth making fun of.

    So this wasn’t my favourite episode. I hope everybody gets a purpose and a plot again soon.

    I like where Axl is going though, he showed Loki who was boss in a very nicely filmed swordfight and came up with a proper punishment for Freya without compromising his morals.
    It will be interesting to see if there will be a follow up to the fire.

  • Grace says:

    I don’t see Mike and Michelle as illogical, when you consider their god-sides, and the ever-missing Frigg. Yes, we know that Axl needs to become a man to be Odin, to get Frigg, but it surely can’t hurt to have a love goddess and the god of the hunt pairing up.

  • I don’t think it was a brilliant episode, but I think I liked it a bit more than you, kiwigods. Having said that, I was troubled by the glee with which Mike and Michelle used Stacey as a pawn in their power games, knowing she’d hate herself when it wore off. Completely in character for Michelle, yes, but not at all cool and not very Mike either: completely inconsistent with his usual moral standards, I thought, even taking into account the change in him this season.

    Mind you, I think I spotted in the credits that the ep was written by Tim Balme himself, who probably knows a bit more about Mike’s current moral stance than me, so maybe Mike’s changed more than I thoguht since the split with Val.

    Having said that, I’m glad Michelle has kicked Colin to the kerb (and to the elsewhere, too)- their abusive relationship was pretty troubling itself. None of these people (except perhaps Axl, maybe) seem to be able to have healthy relationships with each other: Ty whining and whining about Dawn just made me want to slap him and tell him to snap out of it.

    I’m kind of sorry to see the back of Agnetha, but Axl did well, I agree. He’s my second favourite Johnson. Can my favourite Johnson please come back from The Shire/The Land of the Giants now, though? No phone call this week, so I missed him more than usual 😦

  • Starbug says:

    Weighing in a bit late: I’m female and wasn’t really squicked by Zeb/Stacey; I saw it more as an obsessive infatuation than as truly nonconsensual. After all, that’s what Cupid was all about too. The squickier part was their doing the deed everywhere but in private, but I found that funny in a gross-out kind of way.

    And was it ever established that Stacey is a lesbian? She’s an androgynous waif with an attitude, but we’ve never seen her in either love or lust before. I thought she’d flirted with Zeb while tending Mike’s bar in an earlier episode. (I don’t count her making out with Axl on the trampoline, since she was only trying to distract him long enough to kill him.) But otherwise there’s not much evidence either way. We’ve seen both men and women use Stacey in the most callous ways imaginable, but it’s always been for work, not sex. When she was with Zeb, they were both being used, but by someone else and for an ultimately non-sexual reason. And, it was plausible that they were both having fun in the moment.

  • Belle says:

    Had read the review and comments before watching the episode on catch-up. Thought all the aspects of ill-advised love were interesting en masse. Zeb-Stacy the most outrageous, they both will be very unhappy when the sex-craziness spell “wears off.” Mike-Michelle, both playing their relationship as a game. Ty-Dawn, star-crossed and into self denial and angst on both sides. All doomed, it seems to me.

    Thought we would see Freya’s charm again, the one she gave Ty when he was a boy and she was Elizabetta. Although he put it away carefully with his wedding ring, I think it may yet have a role to play in the story.

    Do we know that Agnetta planted herself in tree form in that particular forest that was fire-blasted? No sign of her Up To Something in Norway partner Anders in this ep, btw.

    Funniest moment: Agnetta tells Axl he will be advised at the Folkmoot by his oracle. Axl: ” My oracle is Olaf.” Agnetta: (_______) (could hear the crickets chirping there for a second or two.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

What’s this?

You are currently reading Series 2 Episode 6: Oh good lord Zeb, what was Mike thinking? at kiwigods: an almighty johnsons fan blog with reviews.


%d bloggers like this: