Series 2 Episode 10: “No touching the giant, okay?”
May 3, 2012 § 8 Comments
This week was a lot quieter, a lot talkier, and I feel terrible for not liking it nearly as much as it probably deserves. It wasn’t a bad episode but here’s where an imaginary ghost of a creative writing teacher long since gone is tapping on my shoulder, whispering “show don’t tell”, and reaching over to my bowl of pretzels and stealing the last one.
Basically, there were some terrific bits, especially the Derrick jokes (“He’s a friend of Odin”/”Oh you’re that kind of Odin” “This is Ty, who is Hodr”/”Sorry to hear about that, mate”/”Tell me about it”), but there wasn’t enough real plot development, there was too much milling about, and I missed conversations that brought characters into conflict or resolved into emotional truths. Those bits are usually what I really like about this show.
Even BRYN! felt off, repeating his mantra about “I am your father no matter what” several times and Derrick was all “Kill Giants, kill!” and Gaia was all “This is too much”. Some of the strongest actors in the ensemble, and they just felt underused, even though they had lots of screen time. (In the interests of full disclosure, I could watch Derrick–with his tiny Mjollnir–offering to rip people to pieces for hours on end, but I expect more from Gaia and Bryn.)
Compare and contrast with last week, with Bryn expressing his love as we flashed back to him holding a bloody knife over baby Gaia’s low-rent cradle, with Ty and Anders ripping on each other, getting drunk, and questing for Ander’s destiny. This week just didn’t feel as fully fleshed in terms of twisted character detail. And Zeb’s “reverse Stockholm solution” and “choose the chicken, not the stick” guru speech felt like a huge reach.
Okay, whining over. Let’s talk about what I liked. For one thing Giants vs Asgardians plotline. Thumbs up on that! Very Jotunheimish, even if the whole Loki story had to be ejected to make way for Bryn, the short giant fill-in.
Then, there was Ty, expressing what it’s like to meet your soul mate, saying, “[It’s as] if your soul is given wings,” obviously referring to Hel. (Update: Or, oh no, Dawn? Or — better yet — Helen!, Thanks Dave!) Oh you sweet romantic. This was, of course, in contrast to Anders, er, more prosaic description of his Idunn encounter. Which was pretty hilarious.
I’m not sure what’s going on with the Ty/Helen/Apples plot — is he going to try some hod-emesis through rotten apples (shades of Snow White?) or something like that? (Update: Or force some God-ness into Dawn? Gefjun or Weth? Heh.) Or is there something else. Bah, it will probably take another episode or two and we’ll find out then. In any case, Olaf had a couple of really good lines in this one, especially the one when meeting Helen.
I enjoyed the opportunity for Mike and Gaia to experience some one-on-one time. He’s back to responsible eldest this week, and was the solid support she needed to start confronting her forthcoming change in status. Then Gaia went off to walk with the goddesses, who started briefing her on her expected new role and it was back to exposition blah blah exposition. Sorry.
Speaking of goddesses, finally Michelle is getting a plot line! YAY! She’s had so little to do this series and I’ve been waiting for a good story to land in her lap. Of course, being Michelle, she’s far more proactive than just waiting for a plot so she helped herself to the Ygdrassil branch, started experimenting on Mike, and things look like they’re on track. I seriously hope this isn’t just an excuse to turn her into a resurection machine, especially for Ty’s antideification plot line. (I really do not want him to succeed at happiness.) Michelle’s a really good character and I’ve missed her machiavellian take on the world. From Colin’s passive girlfriend to Mike’s default love interest, the show hasn’t done enough with her. Remember last year with all the scheming? I want that back.
In the end, not much happened but you know what? I’ll still take a talky unfocused episode of TAJ over most other shows airing right now. There was plenty to enjoy even if the hour as a whole wasn’t as good as some of the other episodes this year. And the coming attractions show that we’re heading off to meet the in-laws (so to speak) as the long-awaited Maori gods enter stage-right. (I called it as soon as I saw the van, by the way.)