Series 2 Episode 8: Ty’s happy day

April 19, 2012 § 9 Comments

Anders Johnson is back, people.

The family is once again reunited. And with his return, the show felt more solidly realized than it has since the start of the second series. Yes, we all knew we missed our dwarf-boy (especially you CJ — and no, he didn’t bring Mitchell back home with him. Sorry). How much Anders plays into the family dynamics really shows in his “triumphant” return.

From the moment the entire family sat in the bar to the well-deserved right hook that started the action for the week, everything felt tighter, more in-sync, and better focused. Anders as foil works in a way that Agnetha and Colin don’t. There’s more backstory, more loyalty, more dependence, and more frustration. The Almighty Johnsons needs Anders.

And so do we. And CJ. Even Dawn is more interesting with Anders in the mix.

With his godpowers on the blink, Anders heroically managed to overcome obstacles (sidestepping the care of his sick relatives and making end-runs around office workers who failed to respond to his charm) and retrieve his Yggdrasil branch (for “Stacey” values of “retrieve”). But somehow as much as one might cheer for such an ending, the stick completely avoided rectal insertion.

Surprising, that.

As for his condensed adventure sequence recap, I defy anyone to watch that while drinking soda. It was brilliant. Cheesy green screens for the win!

Still, Anders got to hit Mike back at the end, because what goes around comes around. Axl summarized it, “Family, eh? Can’t you just feel the warmth?” A bit of ice on the knuckles might help with the swelling, there. Now who could he go to for that?

Speaking of Mike, of course the man never loses his keys. How perfect was it, then, when he did? It was a sit up and take notice moment, following as it did the melty-Ty and strike-out-Anders reveals. It was the perfect lead into the Ty plot, as our man-of-ice finally thawed out and had a really good day. When the highlight of a person’s life is to finally taste Ingrid’s curry, it only emphasizes how deeply awful it is to be Ty.

Throughout the whole hour, his deep gratitude for the most tiny pleasures — basic warmth, bad wine, bad curry, and the smell of cheap perfume — highlighted the an utter pit of hell he lives in (cold hell in Norse legend, Hel notwithstanding). What  shame then, that Axl had to suffer in turn. There’s never going to be a happy life for Ty — his choices here were that Axl got better and he was booted back into hodhell or that Axl died, taking Ty, the rest of the family, and a goodly part of New Zealand with him.

So…yay! Back to the Ty misery status quo. And better yet, he gave Dawn the “let’s be friends” speech. YAY!

(So, yes, maybe I am a sadist about the Ty story.)

For you Starbug:

Olaf got a bit of extra time this week, aging ungracefully yet gaining wisdom — and shagging Stacey in the end. For those like me who worried that Stacey has been put into a number of nonconsentual situations this series, fear not. Word from above is that she’s more flexible than the first series might have led us to believe. Regard:

In a way that’s a pity because she’s become such a strong and capable character over the last few episodes, that it would have been groundbreaking TV-wise where they’re taking her.

Of all Agnetha’s potential heirs, of course, it’s Stacey who now has her eye on a future plan, who has thought seriously and capably about where she wants to go, and who masterminds the rescue of the Yggdrasil branch. More than that, she is also the one who shows compassion for Olaf, takes responsibility for his care, and begins the realization that being a “handmaiden” has its own strengths and dignity.

I really loved her standing up to Anders and remaining firm about her desires. Stacey’s really become a stand-out in this series. Kudos to both Gordon and to the writers.

Great ep!

  • There wasn’t much for Axl to do this week, but Skilton does a mean fit. And I loved the bloody vicious croquet game.
  • Loved Zeb’s end-of-the-world planning strategy.
  • Whoever did the paint job in Anders’ bedroom needs to be fired.
  • Did we get an explanation of Ingrid’s Near Death Experience collage?
  • It can’t be easy to bike with an 8-foot staff on your back.
  • Fetch, Anders, fetch! But speaking as a professional in these matters, the iPhone 4 (possibly S) wasn’t needed to illuminate the already well-lit container. I can, however, recommend any number of flashlight apps.
  • No, I just didn’t quite get the whole Michelle has to struggle to remove the Yggdrasil branch then starts drawing on his forehead. Anyone able to explain? “It gives and takes from those who give life”? So Michelle being a doctor mattered? She’s not a very good doctor.
  • Agnetha’s money is pretty much gone. YAY! So glad that was wrapped up quickly.
  • I may be a wee bit excited about next week’s preview.

§ 9 Responses to Series 2 Episode 8: Ty’s happy day

  • Starbug says:

    For some reason I found the script and performances a bit clunkier than usual. But good story progress, for sure!

    Funniest moment: Mike samples Ingrid’s thermonuclear curry.

    The more and more I watch the Ty/Dawn story, the more I see the Nerds’ Journey. Two extremely repressed and introverted people, lots of social awkwardness, and even more unspoken tension. I think the friend zone thing was a great move. Maybe not a happy one in the short term, but possibly a good investment. I predict we haven’t seen the last of this. (I also foresee Ty and Ingrid in a friends-with-benefits situation in the near future.)

    Please, please, Olaf, do NOT knock up Stacey. I’m sure babies are great for those what wants ’em, but they can ruin a TV series faster than the Fonz can jump a shark.

    Strangest moment: Mike trying to figure out how to properly clobber his poor sick kid brother with a stick before figuring out he should just put it into Axl’s hands. And we still don’t know whether the stick had power. Yes, Axl was really very ill, but not with anything that couldn’t go away spontaneously sans Yggdrasil.

    Nice last minute answer to the nagging question “But what powers did Mike lose?”

  • kiwigods says:

    I think Stacey is smart enough to look around for protection. It’s Anders’ flat after all.

    I’m pretty sure the sequence is healer takes stick, gets energized, passes energy to ailing god, who wakes up upon being kissed by his girl. I just am struggling to see why it works that way, and how it was depicted.

  • Starbug says:

    Anders is such a great character. I see him as being what he is because in many ways he got the easiest draw in the family. He doesn’t have to constantly run from his past like Olaf, he wasn’t saddled much too young with both earthly and unearthly responsibilities like Mike, he doesn’t host a gloomy and troublesome god like Ty, and he isn’t faced with a terrifying and overwhelming quest like Axl. All he has to do is speak up, and he gets a successful business and a rather astounding amount of sex. It’s no wonder he’s a cad and an opportunist. He’s just having so damn much fun with it all!

    But even Anders has limits — f’rinstance, he quickly unloaded Michele when she hinted that he should let Mike die. I’m really hoping we get a lot of Anders throughout the rest of the season — he has many infuriating ways of solving family problems, but he does solve them, since it’s in his own well-developed self-interest to keep his brothers safe. His foiling of Michele’s drug-planting plot last season was pure win!

    • kiwigods says:

      Without those family ties, Anders would be a boring self-interested jerk. But with them, that’s where the character takes off — where he takes on the goddesses to save Mike (ep 10) or Axl (ep 5). He’s abrasive, he’s annoying, but he’s family. And family comes first.

      I love you take on how he’s had an easy ride to date — good insight that!

      • Starbug says:

        Ta! 🙂

        Anders and Olaf seem to be the two Johnsons whose gods line up best with their mortal personalities. Despite the difficulties of failing to age, being a permanent surf bum suits Olaf. And after Mike’s sword ceremony, Elizabeth jokes about how Anders — still unseen and underage — is “SO going to be Bragi!”

        Mike = god of games and the hunt, but doesn’t get to have much fun in life until he’s crowding forty. In fact, through much of the first series, people kept gaming Mike instead of the other way around.

        Ty = quiet romantic, gets stuck with ice god. Actually something of a relief to see him finally whining about it — without some way to let off steam, he might have to become the god of inexplicably taking an ax to the entire neighborhood.

        Axl is still the unknown quantity. He could go either way. I think he’s going to turn out to be the least conflicted, but only after a lot of the opposite. I’m hoping the show returns to more of Axl’s story soon — he hasn’t been front and center in a while.

  • *sighs contentedly*

    Anders is indeed, back. Heh. I loved this. (Even if he didn’t bring Mitchell back with him 😦 – maybe next season?) It wasn’t as laugh-a-minute as it can be, but there was still plenty of humour – Mike staring at Zeb as he mentioned Gandalf and then trying to work out how to “zap” Axl was wildly funny – and it was unusually serious in parts too and good with it too. There were also some genuinely upsetting scenes I thought – I was really disturbed by Axl’s very realistic convulsions. Although I felt like I was more worried for him than any of his brothers were, except perhaps Mike. They all seemed more concerned about how Axl’s suffering might affect them, as opposed to concern for Axl himself. I know they were in mortal danger too, but I almost hi-fived the screen when Mike said to Ty “About here is where I suggest you get over yourself.” WORD.

    I agree Ty has a terrible life, but OH THE WHINING. Picking Dawn up only to dump her again was cruel. Mind you, she’s clearly all about the more fun Anders anyway, even if she doesn’t know it yet. Who wouldn’t be ;-)?

    Agreed on the gory croquet. Can we see that realised, writers/producers? Pretty please?

    And I loved the condensed quest sequence too – an LOTR/Hobbit homage? Anders standing on a crate to do, um, that, was hilarious. Anders climbing the fence was hilarious. Anders… did I mention I love Anders?

    *sighs contentedly, again*


    • kiwigods says:

      I enjoyed Happy!Ty so much, I have completely overlooked any issues of Dawnwhinage. And yes, so agree that she sparks better with Anders, who is now completely unattached.

      Fingers crossed!

  • James says:

    I LOVED how Ty kept saying everything was “The best” just as he did way back in the 3rd episode of last season with the apple martini.

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