Series 2 Episode 12: Hodviction

May 16, 2012 § 43 Comments

This was a lovely, slow-paced, laid back episode giving us a breather before this year’s finale. (And yes, as much as I’m looking forward to next week, I’m dreading it as well. I’m going to miss this show.)

Gaia and Axl took off to spend time on their own, to be together, and to work through things: finally turning subtext into text with her declaration of love. Anders saw his control spinning away, with Helen taking charge of his life in unexpected ways. He parted from Dawn poorly — his conscience and in some ways his human soul. Mike discovered how easily he’s been played by an all-seeing Loki. And Ty finally had his wish granted, although I suspect that easy answers will carry an unexpected price.

This week split itself between two main stories: Anders’ and Gaia/Axl’s. I’m not sure which of the two stories I liked better: both were excellent. We saw Anders’ running up against his own moral barriers — and passing through them. His hesitation at manipulating his way out of the restaurant tab and his reluctance to choose Helen over Dawn, which he did in the end, showed more character depth than we’ve seen from him in a long time.

He’s being drawn into the Helen vortex, with her emphasis on easy answers, god powers, and so on. If anything, Helen is being more Anders than Anders is — and he’s going to have to face up to that if he’s going to regain his identity as a Johnson.Β Even now, he’s starting to wear her colors, as well as do her bidding. Who expected Helen to emerge as a potential villainess after her sweet story with Ty last year? Not I.

Firing Dawn (for her “own good”, of course) means that Anders will be parting with his most tangible connection to humanity. Throughout it all, Dawn has always been there to nag him, ground him, and give him accountability. With her gone, he has little else to keep him from falling into the narcissitic abyss of the minor god.

Of course, Natalie is hanging in the wings of this story, but I somehow think that for her Anders is a way in, not her goal — that she’s hoping he’ll lead her to the heart of the Auckland deities.

As much as I loved Anders’ story this week, it was Skilton and Castle Hughes in their series of quiet moments that really defined the episode. They drove, they ate, they drank, they sauna’ed and they finally had those relationship conversations they needed in order to move forward. Axl’s rather one-sided adoration of her has finally paid off as she forgave him for abandoning her and welcomed him back into her heart.

There was more texture than plot line in their scenes together. With silly costuming, conflicted B&B owners, and so forth only the charisma of the two actors kept it all grounded when it so easily could have slid into farce.

Neither character was suddenly matured or deep, rather both remained accessible, warm, and likeable. We simply got time to spend with them as the full weight of destiny had time to sink in.

On the home front, we learned that Colin’s been Loki, and Ty learned how to get what he believes he wants. Of course, I’m hoping now that he’s an unoccupied vessel that he becomes lightning bait for a passing god of any pantheon. Heck, let Dawn get goddessblasted too — it would give her a good arc moving forward into a third series.

All told, not all that much happened this week, and it was a great pleasure to let it not happen while we got to watch along.

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§ 43 Responses to Series 2 Episode 12: Hodviction

  • Sean says:

    Called the Loki-Kvasir connection. πŸ™‚

    Just a crazy theory: Mike says he wants to kill Colin. Shane Cortese will be focused on his new series, so maybe they write Colin out, Mike kills him, his spirit enters Ty and Ty becomes the new Loki. Too farfetched?

  • kiwigods says:

    A new series on *top* of TAJ and Nothing Trivial?

  • nzninja says:

    Loved Anders’ indecision at the restaurant, hated him caving to Helen. Soon he’ll be carrying her purse…

    Unfortunately, I wasn’t quite sure whether Michele was meant to be quietly furious or silently suppressing panic after she discovered Loki’s spy games – I wasn’t really sold on either emotion. Of course,

    I did have to ask why Loki would not have also installed microphones and cameras at Ty and Eva’s house; if he had, he would have known about Agnetha from the outset. Unless he DID know, and was just threatening Ty to make sure that no-one knew that he knew – which would not be out of character for Loki; after all, he is the “god of tricky f***ers”.
    Don’t think about that last part too much; it leads to some circular logic and a very deep rabbit hole…

    • Sean Denys says:

      Maybe he just didn’t want to hear and see Ty and his daughter rooting all over the place. And he probably figured that those two weren’t exactly knee-deep in god info anyway.

    • Starbug says:

      Colin/Loki could very well have learned about how Agnetha killed Eva without having planted any bugs at Ty’s and Eva’s house. Ty told Mike the whole story of Eva’s death — at Mike’s place — after Agnetha made an only slightly veiled threat to kill Dawn.

      I’d always wondered why Colin was so calm when he woke up and found Ty in his bedroom pointing a very large knife at him — and why he was so willing to believe the story Ty told him. He acted almost like he was expecting Ty to drop in. He could have eavesdropped on the entire conversation that Ty and Mike had a few hours earlier.

  • Starbug says:

    That was ten and a half levels of awesome.

    I didn’t expect Ty to get rid of Hod so soon. Wonder if there’s any particular baggage attached to being an ex-god. I suppose we’ll find out!

    I concur that the most shocking turn of events has been Helen’s metamorphosis from kindly party girl to ruthless predator. You’re right — even Anders seems at least transiently ashamed by the cruel things he does under Helen’s influence.

    Ty obviously realized that Helen engineered Dawn’s firing. And that Helen is to Anders what Eva was to Ty. Look for either some tough love or some knockdown warfare between the two middle brothers over this one.

    I’m assuming that Colin/Loki got hold of Agnetha’s money simply by making Mike the fool in the market while the latter was down on his luck? Will have to watch ep 8 again to find out just how much they discussed Axl’s illness and his family’s ensuing god-power brownouts from within the confines of the bar. (The history of the wood paneling was a nice touch, too.)

    As for Axl and Gaia: Perfect. Just perfect. And Mike even arrived in time to pay the tab!

  • Susannah says:

    Strangely, this episode didn’t feel at all slow-paced to me, because lots of stuff happened – just in fairly low-key (oops, pun) ways. (Hello! I’m new! UK-er, just got caught up on the show and also very apprehensive about next week being the last for a while – particularly since I have just marathoned my way through 22 episodes in a week…)

    Ty getting rid of Hod: wow, that was easy. But I think I prefer that to having him spend ages on some kind of quest for answers – we’ve got enough ongoing quests. And the possibilities for what comes next are definitely much more interesting – is he still a god vessel just waiting for the next time he stands around in a forest holding a sword? Or is he now forever a mortal part of a godly family? (If they play it right, we could get both of those storylines eventually.)

    I knew there had to be a catch to Mike winning the bar from Colin, so that was rather fun to watch (and Mike in suppressed-rage mode is probably my favourite Mike). I am somewhat in love with the new twist in Anders’ story – it slightly saddens me that Helen is such an unambiguously bad influence, but on the other hand seeing Anders struggling with any moral qualms whatsoever is definitely worth it. Interested to see where that goes, but I’m still rather bored with Natalie. I assume she’s going to be an important reveal at the end of the finale to open up a new story, but in that case I wish they’d left it a little later to introduce her rather than have her just hanging around doing nothing here.

    Axl and Gaia – just sweet, and necessary for a bit of breathing space in that story. I kept waiting for Axl to share some of his own Odin story (has he even explained why he abandoned her because he thought he had to marry Eva?), but other than that it was a fun and silly excursion. (Sidebar: did the reference to Ross the sheep guy mean we were near Thor’s stomping grounds?)

    Generally, very excited for the finale. Though as every main character has a major storyline going on right now, how they will cram all the loose ends into one episode remains to be seen…

  • Starbug says:

    Oh, and BTW: When the B&B folks loaned the theater costumes to Axl and Gaia, did anyone notice their reference to Ross The Shear Milker having been in one of the plays? The unseen Ross is Delphine’s lover — and presumably the father of Thor’s grandchild!

  • Starbug says:

    Oh, and while we’re speculating about other gods that might possibly want dibs on the newly unattached Ty: How about Njord? Keep it in the family and all that; Dad could conveniently show up and then inconveniently die. Or not — we know from the Odin experience that a deceased god isn’t necessarily reincarnated right away. There was about a 60-year gap between the Hawkes Bay tractor rollover victim and the birth of Axl.

    That would certainly torment Ty to everyone’s satisfaction. πŸ™‚ He obviously wasn’t fond of his father.

  • Sophie says:

    I’m wondering whether Ty’s de-deification is handy timing to foil Natalie’s dastardly plans (whatever they may be). If she thinks that Helen plus all those brothers Anders told her about are also gods, then meets a non-god bro like Ty.. perhaps the plan will be brought to an abrupt holt?

    Of course, I don’t think she’s actually done a test to prove that Anders is a god.. but if she sees Ty wooing Dawn again (who I’m guessing she has pegged as mortal), maybe she’ll do a double-take?

    I would like him to be re-deified though, hopefully as someone much happier than Hod the Cold. Maybe not Tyr though, that would bring almost as many daddy-issues as Njord (and Odin, in a way!). How about Forseto, god of justice? Or Freyr, god of fertility *lol*

    …as a sideline.. he may need to find a new line of work?!

  • Sophie says:

    Also, I reckon Gaia will turn out to be some other goddess entirely. Norse or Maori, I don’t mind. And Odin was always good at sleeping around in Asgard, so I don’t see why one solid relationship in Auckland while waiting for Frigg could harm πŸ™‚

  • Kate says:

    Of course the whole de-Hodification thing not only leaves Ty as an ’empty vessel’ but surely it also leaves the spirit of Hod floating around needing a new host? And whaddya know, here’s someone about to turn 21 and get new god-powers. Could Gaia be the new Hod? Or if there are gender issues there, then there’s always Hel, who has presumably been homeless since Eva’s death.

    Right back at Ep1 of S1, no-one knew which god Axl would become on his 21st, so why is everyone so sure that Gaia will be Frigg? How do they all know before the event? I am sure the writers will have more surprises and revelations in store for us next week…

    Oh and as an aside, my pet-hate of all things televisual is characters wielding, and drinking from, empty coffee cups. Dawn seems to have had more than her fair share of empties to deliver to Anders’ office. Dear producers, how hard would it be to at least fill said coffee cups with water so that they have the right weight?

    • Sean Denys says:

      The only reason why everybody thinks Gaia is Frigg, IIRC, is because the giants and dwarfs believed so.

      • Susannah says:

        And that was only because there was a prophecy that leaving her alive would lead to ‘a new dark age’ for giants and dwarfs. I think Bryn believes that’s because she’ll be Frigg and lead to Norse god domination of the world, but if she’s Papatuanuku and leads to Maori god domination of the world, surely the same thing could happen? (Then again, we have no idea why everyone thinks Gaia is Papatuanuku, either. How did they even find her?)

      • Sean Denys says:

        The Maori prophecy was (paraphrasing) “A god from the north with an arm lost to a wolf will father Papatuanuku”. With Gaia’s father being Tyr, it’s hard to interpret that any other way.

        You make a decent point though; the Norse gods had a roughly equal; if turbulent, relationship with the giants, dwarves and other races. Maori god world domination would surely be worse for them than Norse god world domination.

      • Susannah says:

        Oh yeah, good point, I was forgetting the exact wording. Unless, as Starbug says downstream, Gaia has other siblings born of Tyr and a Maori goddess, then she has to be Papatuanuku. (I guess there could be an older sibling who happened to be elsewhere when Bryn came, but it seems like it’d be a stretch.)

        But I still don’t know how they knew to snatch her up from outside the bar. They don’t seem to have an equivalent of Ullr to hunt her – and even if they did she’s not a goddess yet so they’d probably have as much success as Mike had previously – and since they didn’t know who Bryn was, they can’t have tracked her to Auckland that way. So… how?

        (Is there any chance she could be Frigg and Papatuanuku? Because I think that might be the only satisfying solution here.)

      • Starbug says:

        Susannah, I’ve been wondering the same thing. Some possibilities for Gaia include combining both goddesses under one avatar — or else having the potential to become either, and having the ability to choose which one.

      • Sean Denys says:

        Susannah, if I had to hedge my bets, I’d say that Colin tipped the Maori gods off as to Gaia’s location.

      • Susannah says:

        …oh, that’s a reasonable guess, yes. Dammit, Colin. πŸ™‚

    • Starbug says:

      There were prophecies about the return of Odin, though — the shooting stars, the earthquake, the bloody sea, and so forth. The goddesses anticipated it correctly. It’s just that the Johnson brothers themselves weren’t aware of any of it because no one told them. Their parents were long gone, Olaf was rarely in their lives, and the younger boys were raised by an older brother who preferred to avoid his heritage.

  • James says:

    I definitely don’t think Ty’s going to get his happy ending that easily. It would change so much about his character. Ty always gets the short end of the stick.
    Btw what did Olaf have written on his arm? I could make out the word Bar….

    • Susannah says:

      I think he had all the locations of bugs written on his arm so he didn’t forget them between being in the cellar and coming upstairs. He kept checking his arm before going to the next location. It seemed a most Olaf-y thing to do.

      • Sophie says:

        Yup. Not sure why he kept telling Mike to shush while collecting the bugs though. It’s not like Colin could send a SWAT team in to stop them! Well maybe he could, but it would have been stupid πŸ™‚

  • Sarah says:

    I don’t think Ty will get off that easy either… There will be side effects. Hilarious side effects, I am sure. Did anyone else notice the birds? That was odd.. I did wonder if it was significant that they only attacked Axl and not Gaia? Brilliant episode though, really brilliant. I hope Mike succeeds in killing Colin – his trickery drives me crazy. It would be completely awesome if Ty does become a new god.. I hope he does! There were signs, apparently, marking Axl as Odin; the goddesses knew. I do have to admit, though, that I thought the owners of Brigadoon were going to be revealed as something.. or there would be something more significant to it.. or then again, maybe I just have an overactive imagination!

    • Sean Denys says:

      Inversely, I’d be shattered if Colin is killed off. He’s probably my favourite character, and as someone who actually follows the Norse religion (don’t judge me), he’s a phenomenally accurate interpretation of Loki. He’s a character who appears on screen and when you see him, you get a huge boost of energy just by virtue of him being there.

      • Sarah says:

        True – I’m not up to play with the mythology (although I do find it very interesting), and I agree with you – he is outstanding.. but he is just so damn infuriating!

  • Starbug says:

    Gaia’s parents were hardly lifelong monogamists. She just found a long-lost half-brother — same mother, different fathers. Could she have another long-lost full or half sister who was the daughter of Tyr? Several possibilities here:

    1. Gaia = Frigg, has sister who is Papatuanuku.
    2. Gaia = Papatuanuku, has sister who is Frigg.
    3. Something else entirely.

    And why do I have the sneaking suspicion that the season will end just BEFORE we find out?

    (Every time someone uses the term “happy ending” in this thread, I keep thinking of Anders harrassing the poor masseuse at the airport.) πŸ™‚

    • Sophie says:

      I was mulling over genetics after ep10 in the sense that perhaps Gaia will be more the incarnation of the worldwide matriarch deity than Frigg or Papatuanuku (or any other mother goddess), and that perhaps the vessel’s heritage determines how that deity manifests and is referred to. In her case.. split personality?? She’s half n half.

      This may be me overthinking a fictional tv show :)) and probably overcomplicating the issue, but as far as the other gods go we haven’t seen any incarnations who are gods of the same thing. Rangi’s nowhere to be seen, and you’d think he’d be the one seeking Papa rather than Maui, who has very little do with her mythologically speaking.

      As for the cliffhanger part.. I really hope not. Wouldn’t put it past them though!

      • kiwigods says:

        This is the same show that has Thor as the god of war, and Loki of fire.

        Don’t sweat the details, lest you invoke the Mystery Science Theater law, i.e. “If you’re wondering how he eats and breathes; And other science facts; Just repeat to yourself “It’s just a show; I should really just relax”

      • Sophie says:

        LOL – I need “like” button!

    • Starbug says:

      Not to mention Hod as the god of ice and darkness. I don’t think any of that traces back to actual Norse myth. As far as I can tell, the original Hod didn’t have much of anything to do, except being tricked into smacking down Baldur with mistletoe.

  • justanothermortal says:

    Am a bit late to the party, but goodness this was great, wasn’t it? I absolutely loved it.

    The Gaia/Axl story was adorable, even if (like Axl) I was worried the whole time that the B&B couple were going to turn into serial killing weirdos or something. It was braver and smarter of the writers that they didn’t – the story was lovely without that kind of unnecessary horror story schtick.

    The Loki/Kvasir stuff was brilliantly plotted and very funny, tying together the permanently open door etc and various other threads.

    But the Anders story was my favourite, I think. As has been said upthread, his qualms at the restaurant and over Dawn showed Anders does have a conscience, and Evil Helen was only able to persuade him when she told him both Dawn and the restaurant would be better off in the long run. Oh, ANDERS. You’re breaking my heart.

    Interesting point from Starbug that Helen is Anders’s Eva and Ty will need to do something about it – I wonder if that’ll be what means Ty has to get his god powers back, rather than anything to do with Dawn?

    • kiwigods says:

      I’m totally thinking that Ty has to get an Idunnapple in order to get re-deified. And if an apple can work on him, maybe it could work on a generic mortal… (Of course, Zeb would be awesome as a god, but I hope he stays human forever.)

      • Sophie says:

        Hmm.. I like this idea, but what could an Idun apple be??

        Helen seems like the type to have slept around a bit (again with the female!Anders), so the metaphorical apple can’t be as simple as a good snog or bedroom golf.. Hopefully not her apple martinis either – we’d have gods popping up all over the place!

        Yddrasil + apple + Helen = redeified Ty?

  • Starbug says:

    The other simmering Ty-related issue is that Mike previously ordered him to tell the family before attempting to become mortal. As far as we’ve seen, Olaf is the only one of Ty’s relatives who knows what went on. And Olaf was still knocked out cold at the moment when Ty woke up Hod-free. Could be a big shock if the family suddenly needs Hod-power only now that Hod has gone to the big freezer in the Asgard sky.

    Ty sharing an apple with Dawn is an intriguing possibility. It’s hard to figure whether a deified Dawn would be comic relief or a train wreck, though. Hmmmm, maybe she’d even get a chance to kick Anders around. But we already have Helen for that purpose.

    KG, didn’t you speculate earlier that the little boy in Ingrid’s desk photo looked like a younger Zeb? (Ick, I hope Zeb isn’t the love child of Ingrid and Danny!)

    Last season ended with Ty in serious goddess-related jeopardy. For symmetry, maybe we’ll see the same kind of cliffhanger this time — only with Anders? Or (yikes!) Axl?

    • kiwigods says:

      He wouldn’t be — assuming what we’ve seen before is canon. Ingrid’s husband took custody and locked her up in the bin. She met Denny/Danny there.

      • Starbug says:

        Ah… Thanks. Didn’t actually remember Ingrid’s reference to being once married (or having children) before being hospitalized — will re-watch. Has Zeb ever said anything about his family? He did have a somewhat touching scene with Ingrid a few weeks back.

      • kiwigods says:

        Ingrid has had at least two husbands if I recall correctly, and I don’t think we’ve ever heard anything about Zeb’s family.

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