Series 2 Episode 13: Zeb begoned!

May 24, 2012 § 39 Comments

Isn’t it funny that in a show about New Zealand gods and goddesses that it took nearly two years for there to be smitage? And what a brilliant smiting it was! With an outstretched arm and a mighty hand, Colin lay waste to Natalie, crisping her and saving Mike at the same time. Zap. Pow. Sizzle.

Gods: 1. Godhunters: 0.

Of course, it would be better if Mike didn’t have to be grateful to Colin. He did save his life. In fact, with this episode, the score’s more at:

Loki:1. Godhunters:0. Maori Gods: 0. Mike:-1. Anders:-5. Ty:-20. Axl:-infinity.

Not the best of days for the Johnson boys, but probably the best use of special effects so far this entire series. (Second runner up? The beach bird attacks. With all the godbarfing in a close third.) It was an awesome smiting, and a fabulous way to bring Colin back front and center.

The Natalie resolution was not exactly where Mike, with lokicide on his mind wanted to be. Still stuck on the whole “Colin sold me a bugged bar and watched me like an in-house premium channel”, Mike seems to be focused on revenge.

(I’d go off for a few paragraphs tangent on how, after an entire second series, we still don’t know who Mike is and what he wants, and what motivates him, but I won’t. I enjoyed everything too much to waste the time, and hopefully, he’ll get a coherent plot line next series.) (There will be a next series, right?)

Natalie’s off the gameboard for now. I did enjoy her stay and I hope there are other zealots ready to swarm into position once her team mates back in Norway get a sense that she’s not returning home anytime soon.

Her killing off Helen was the core surprise of this episode, and bringing Idunn back it’s brilliant twist. Making Helen as broken as she was, as clingy, needy, and demanding, was a great gift from the writers.

I was happy to say goodbye to her although she really did bring out some amazing O’Gorman scenes over the last few episodes. And now, I can’t wait to see what comes between Bragi and his Idunn, especially since Anders has always placed family first. I can’t see him ignoring Axl’s pain.

Axl’s hurt and dismay were just beautifully delivered, and Anders’ deer-in-the-headlights look as everything descended on him really sold the scene.

As for meek Gaiadunn, I don’t think there ever was a meek goddess ever. I shouldn’t expect this whole Bragigreetings to go smoothly going forward. And so long as Michelle and Yggdrasil are on-hand, while we might theoretically play pop-the-god(dess) ad infinitim to bodyswap everyone into place, I just hope it isn’t that easy.

Carrying the “B” story, Ty had his dream come true — and it’s terrible. YAY! Finally cured of his godhead affliction, there were no happy endings on offer. And what made me very, very happy is that he’s got a big long narrative path sitting in front of him that doesn’t depend on him being re-deified at all.

He’s got family peace to make, and a girl to woo and win, and as always, the beautiful wonderful lovely TAJ writers have thrown a billion hurdles, keeping his story relevant, interesting, and compelling.

Interestingly, we got to peek inside Dawn’s perfectly ordered world. With any luck, she’ll either discover SSRIs or Ty will be able to steer her away from that need for control and show her that a man doesn’t have to be a god to be worthy of love and interest.

Here’s hoping she’ll develop more of a personality as that happens and, of course, their plot really needs to continue to tie into the “there are Norse Gods in New Zealand” reality that forms the backbone of this show. Fingers crossed this happens in a fun way.

Finally, there’s Zeb. Wonderful, human Zeb who’s been ignored, dismissed, and overlooked. Please give him a big big plotline next year. Frost deserves it.

Okay, I know I said that was “finally”, but one more request. Dear TAJ writers, please license and create that Maori/Norse God video game. It sounds brilliant.

Thank you TAJ creators for a second amazing year. Please keep making more. Sending you all gratitude, applause, and virtual roses. Bravo, guys! Well done.


§ 39 Responses to Series 2 Episode 13: Zeb begoned!

  • Starbug says:

    Just watched it. The minute Ingrid said “… Constant goddess ” after finding out Helen was dead, it was horrifyingly clear what the final outcome would be. (I think my husband is going to be depressed until the start of Season 3.)

    Me, I thought it was brilliant.

    • Valentine Wiggin says:

      Unfortunately, my hopes of Gaia being Frigg were dashed as soon as Bryn confirmed that she was going to be Frigg. The giants & dwarves don’t seem to be able to get much right, so this had to be wrong, too.

  • agc173 says:

    It was amazingly good – loved it and cannot wait for season 3. Pretty please!

  • Sean says:

    Agreed, a phenomenal final ep to finish off a fantastic season.

    A few things to note:

    – Olaf was right; it really did end badly for Helen.
    – The Maori gods seemed to be the biggest losers out of this; I think that their prophecy was correct, but they got shafted by Idunn.
    – Shane Cortese steals the show again, IMO, even with the limited screen time he has. His Loki is written and acted perfectly.

  • nzninja says:

    I hate to say it, but I can see Mike continuing to provoke Colin throughout the next season (I hope) as the Norse and Maori contingents unite to deal with the impending threat of the god hunters – with Natalie killed, they’re bound to be out for vengeance.
    And once the god hunters are no longer a clear and present danger, Colin and MIke can have it out, with Mike the undergod. Which brings the re-Hodification of Ty back on the table – I still think Idunn’s apples were mentioned by Olaf as a seemingly irrelevant detail that will end up being the key to happiness for the Johnsons.

    And while I’m thinking about Olaf; I was struck by a random thought recently. Olaf was born in “the twenties” (I can’t remember anything more specific than that, unfortunately) which would put his ascendancy somewhere in the forties, right around the time of the WW2 draft, so Olaf could be an ANZAC, from a timeline perspective at least. And what better God-out-of-water story than the avatar of the “God of light, joy, purity, beauty, innocence, and reconciliation” ascending in the mud, blood and guts of a WW2 battle?
    There are so many unexplored options in Olaf’s backstory; as a character it would not be difficult to torture him as much as (or even more than!) Ty – and the Gaiadunn reveal shows that the writers are more than happy to torture Axl and Anders as well.
    I guess Ben Barrington is just too damn likeable to torture in the same way as Jared Turner, and who can fault him for that?

    • Starbug says:

      Given Olaf’s age at the start of the series, I figure he was born in the 1918-1919 range. So it’s reasonable to assume he’s a WWII vet, and that’s where the Charlie Truman story came from.

    • Starbug says:

      On the subject of god-torture: Aside from Eva’s enthusiasm for headbutting as foreplay when she was married to Ty, is there any character who gets beaten up as regularly as Anders does? Axl once threw him across his own kitchen. Three angry mortal women drugged him, tied him up, and prepared to mutilate him with stolen veterinary implements. Mike and Olaf once had to physically restrain Ty from beating the crap out of him. When he got back from Norway, Mike punched him in the face within minutes of their reunion. There was also that little matter involving Thor, Thor’s hammer, and Olaf’s surfboard. And Natalie was ready to kill him with a crossbow until Helen distracted her.

      Either Anders leads a charmed life — or else anything but!

      • Susannah says:

        I think it’s both, and that’s why it works. He has the most useful powers of any of them (possibly – it’s close between him and Mike), he leads a pretty charmed life in many ways and is used to getting what he wants. Which is why it’s just so damn satisfying to watch him get punched in the face every so often. On any other character, it would be an excessive amount of getting beaten up, but for Anders it feels just right…

        Incidentally, I also felt this worked on a wider scale this season – when Anders returned from Norway the whole show felt more in balance, and I think that’s because I was suddenly okay with people not liking the Johnsons because I remembered that Anders was one of them. Because when people like, say, Loki target Ty, or Axl, or even Mike – it’s like kicking puppies, really. But put Anders the thinks-he’s-god’s-gift-to-the-world in their midst and I’m suddenly quite okay with a god hunter showing up who feels the whole lot of them should be eradicated.

        (And I love Anders. But he’s just begging for people to point crossbows at him, really.)

  • Alan says:

    They left us on a real cliffhanger. Quite annoying as with the much lower ratings this season a third season is hardly a lock. I’m feeling resigned to it just stopping as it gets interesting, like TSSC or Jericho.
    Also “Godhunters: 0”? They killed Idunn, so it’s a draw. Why the crossbow? It’s a bit “Buffy” to think that supernatural creatures can’t be killed by boring old guns. As Kvasir said, the vessels are just weak humans, can be killed by a bad seafood dinner. Or a gun. And Olaf not showing any oracular ability to warn them, again.

    • nzninja says:

      It’s been a while, but as I recall, in New Zealand one requires a firearms license to purchase a boring old gun, but a crossbow only requires the presentation of a driver’s license to prove that the purchaser is over 18. Actually, I just found the following:

      **Buyer must be over 18 and show proof of ID or be aged 16 & 17 and hold a NZ firearms licence. No firearms license is required for purchasers over 18**
      Source –

      So the explanation for the crossbow may not be supernatural but rather logistical. And of course you can’t use ballistic fingerprinting on a crossbow bolt in the same way you can a bullet.

    • Starbug says:

      BTW, cliffhanger-wise: Has anyone yet noticed that Anders presumably has the body of a murder victim in his apartment? A murder victim who was likely last seen in the presence of Anders? Unless Natalie disposed of poor ex-Helen in Anders’ absence, he’s going to have some ‘splainin’ to do.

  • Starbug says:

    It needs one more season. I can’t see the writers carrying the story for four or five years — not because they’re not up to the task, but because so much of the tale’s unfinished business is definitively finishable. The writers are spectacularly good at resolving the interesting conflicts in a time frame that keeps us hooked on the story but never tired of it. But, once they’re resolved, they have to be replaced with different issues, and once the big questions are answered, what would those issues be? I don’t think it would work to watch Axl chase his powers, Ty chase Dawn, or Ullr chase Loki for years with no resolution. At some point, they all have to either get what they want or move on — the central quests aren’t really open-ended.

    It does need that third season desperately. The lure of a good continuing story like TAJ is that faithful viewers do at some point want to see how it ends, but aren’t in a hurry for that end to come. It would be a terrible disappointment to lose it now. Wrapping up the story in 10 to 13 more episodes would be masterful, and no sharks would ever have to be jumped.

  • Sarah says:

    Just out of curiosity, has anyone said anywhere that Kvasir must answer the question honestly, or just answer the question?

  • Starbug says:

    I’m still processing the end of the season — haven’t been so affected by a TV series in years. I loved the last episode’s opening montage of each brother paired up with his presumed mate, though one pair wasn’t real and two of the other three were heading for disaster before the end of the day. And everyone’s frustrations were surfacing — Mike enraged by Colin/Loki, Dawn finally expressing her frustration with Anders — and notice how Olaf and Mike allowed Ty the satisfaction of throttling Kvasir for a quite some time before they finally intervened?

    Of all the interpersonal relationships of all kinds that we’ve seen on the show, my favorite has to be the one between Anders and Ty. I don’t know whether it’s the dialogue or the way that Dean O’Gorman and Jared Turner interact, but put just the two of them in a scene and you can really believe the family dynamics. You get this great sense of two middle brothers, probably the closest pair in age, with completely different temperaments, who have been taking the piss out of each other for thirty years and still can’t decide at any moment whether they’d prefer to be best buddies or kill each other. You also get the sense that anyone outside the family who messed with one of them would face the ferocious wrath of the other. And when they’re funny together, they really are damned funny.

    I would so buy that Norse vs. Maori video game. And I really love George. More Kirk Torrance, please!

  • Susannah says:

    Just watched that ending and my brain is still a bit frozen. Loved the character work that everyone (except Axl and Gaia, but they had last week) got this episode, especially the inter-brother dynamics around Ty. The Natalie storyline ended up impressing me more than I expected, particularly the usage of her to dispatch Helen (who was a good plot device, but was getting tiresome quickly) and mess up the whole Frigg/Papatuanuku thing.

    I don’t know where the Maori prophecy goes from here. Have they just lost their only chance for Papatuanuku to appear? It seemed to be quite specific about who her parents had to be. The dwarf/giant prophecy, on the other hand, could still be true without any need for Frigg – if the Bragi/Idunn pairing can be as powerful as Helen claimed, then with or without Frigg around this could potentially spell trouble for ‘lesser’ races if the power is wielded badly (like, say, by an arrogant Bragi who cares nothing about them).

    Anyway, that was pretty great. Need more! I know nothing about the ratings so will just sit here in hope and wait for news…

    • dragonzflame says:

      All they need to do is find another goddess who’s about to come of age, send Idunn flying again like they did with Hod, let the new goddess take Idunn, and…um. Figure out some way to get Frigg into Gaia? I don’t think there’s any question that’s how the series needs to end, it’s just a question of how it happens. I’d like to see one more season to wrap it up. Any more than that and they’ll just be spinning their wheels.

      • Sarah says:

        Just rewatching season 1.. Agnetha took the body of a recently departed person, who didn’t appear to be any goddess. How would that work? Any thoughts?

      • Starbug says:

        It looks like our gods are capable of inhabiting and reanimating a freshly dead mortal, but maybe (to paraphrase Agnetha) the opportunity has to present itself. Shapeshifted goddess concealed in remote woods + gang-related murder + female victim = welcome back, Freya!

  • Lulu says:

    And one more thing . . . please shave off Anders beard!

  • phatboi says:

    Does anyone know why Michelle knocked out Olaf to heal Ty. Olaf was asking her to use the stick, so I assume he was fully aware of what was going to happen. But she said she wanted to test a theory and didn’t want him seeing. I thought perhaps she was instilling another god essense. Ty woke up feeling warmth, so all that meant is he wasn’t Hod. Every human forgot him, but that could have been tied to Hod specifically.
    If so, that makes it possible for Gaia to become Frig, by going through a similar process.

    • Susannah says:

      When did Olaf tell her to use the stick? I only remember him telling her to revive him – which would make sense as she’s the doctor and had a defibrillator standing by. I don’t think he knew she could use yggdrasil to heal Ty. And therefore I simply thought Michelle was doing the same as previously, hiding from the male gods the power that yggdrasil gives the goddesses. (Except, unfortunately, Loki knows thanks to secret cameras, so I’m not sure that plan’s got a point any more.)

      • phatboi says:

        Sorry, your right. Olaf was there when pee-,man was describing what Ty needed, and Ty asked “What do we do with yggdrasil”, so I just assumed he told them with Olaf standing right there. I think it was just wishful thinking on my part 🙂

      • Susannah says:

        Ah, I think that was specifically drinking the yggdrasil-tea, which somehow allows the spirit to stay separate from the body even if the body is brought back to life? That’s how I understood it anyway. So they needed yggdrasil to get Hod out permanently even if Michelle had revived Ty just by being a doctor – using it to bring him back to life as well was just her little extra experiment on top of that.

  • justanothermortal says:

    *punches air*

    I’ve just had the BEST time watching the finale. What an absolute joy it was – I’m in love with just about everything about it. Full of surprises I did not see coming, hilarious and smart and and a complete delight. I was shocked when Helen died, and then I thought “could they? nah” but then they did! Anders and Axl’s faces were perfect, Natalie and Helen were both dispatched just when she was in danger of outstaying their welcome, and everything else was just so much fun. I can barely even bear the idea of waiting months for a third season let alone the thought that there might not be one. Noooooo!

    Whatever happens, I have to second what kg said to the TAJ creators – bravo, thank you and a huge well done (the Johnsons 😉 ). Love to you all and to cast and crew too!

  • Starbug says:

    I think the key to the whole Hodviction process was that it had to be done supernaturally, and Yggdrasil was the key on both ends. Although it could have killed Ty, it wasn’t exactly the same as a human death. We don’t have any reason to believe that Yggdrasil bark is uniformly poisonous. But that’s what Ty had to use to “kill” himself — he couldn’t, for example, do it successfully by taking an overdose of sleeping pills. And he had to be reanimated by a supernatural process, not by medical means. We didn’t see or hear all of Kvasir’s instructions, so we’ll never know unless there’s either a flashback or a further explanation in the next season.

  • Macburp says:

    Does anyone know when a decision on a third series will be made?

  • Rachel says:

    Loved the finale but left me very upset. Mostly because I wanted the long anticipated Frigg and Odin union. I think that the plot for next season (if there is a next season) will portray Indunn as the needy goddess she is. I think that was apparent when immediately after Gaia received the power she came straight out of the water and bowed down to Anders. I think it will be a battle of Anders trying to push Gaia away for Axil’s sake but going to end with them in bed because that is their nature. Either way bravo to the writers, the middle of the season did seem to drag but the last 3 episodes were spectacular.
    TAJ, I send you love from the states.

  • Starbug says:

    Since Gaia is now Idunn, she will be in charge of those (metaphorical?) apples. She also seems to have her head together more than Helen did, but then again our first view of Helen gave us no warning of the clingy and power-drunk character she became in Anders’ presence. It would be interesting to see what kind of Idunn she becomes.

    Also, Anders doesn’t sleep with every “doable” woman he meets. Case in point: Dawn. She’s cute, she’s single, she’s always around, and as a bonus, wouldn’t that piss off Ty? With his powers, Anders could easily seduce her and then talk her out of the harassment suit. He’s done equally callous things to other mortal women. But he doesn’t touch Dawn. He once called her a “plain biscuit”, implying he just wasn’t interested. But also, (a) she may be worth more to him if he keeps it strictly business, (b) we now know that he does care about her on some level, and (c) maybe there’s a part of Anders that doesn’t really want to hurt Ty that much. Anders also once called Gaia “Axl’s drippy girlfriend,” and has never shown any interest in her before. With the Bragi+Idunn situation restored, we’d expect a torrid Anders-Gaia affair — but maybe not. Maybe it depends on how much besides sex is in it for Anders, and on how much conscience he has regarding Axl.

    Two possible twists: One, does Axl-Odin actually have to marry Frigg, or fall in love with her, to get his powers? Or is it sufficient for him to just have sex with her once? And, two: Could we be heading for a resolution where most or all of our deities choose to simplify their lives by voluntarily losing their godhood? Could Odin make that decision on behalf of the whole South Asgard contingent if he decided that enough was enough? Maybe now that Ty is the pioneer and Michele the go-to person, Gaia’s new powers could make this feasible.

    • Christina says:

      the one problem with odin getting rid of his powers is that he would have to die….odin/axl dying is bad news for everyone regardless of if axl is that twist wouldnt make sense.

      there is also the slight possibility that she is both frigg and iddun. ingrid is not the best oracle and she did say that gaia was iddun until she saw her go after anders. unlike olaf who “knows” who each of the gods are when hes at their god-ceremony. so she could both and still have to make her choice. cos they were clearly making her the vessel for frigg(talking of marriage etc) but they never said a vessel couldnt have two gods in it…

      • Starbug says:

        It would definitely be bad news if Axl died before achieving his full Odin-hood — that would kill off every member of his family, god and mortal. (Presumably including not only Ty, but all of the little aunts and uncles fathered along the way by Olaf.) But it would be interesting if a fully realized Odin could safely (non-lethally) say: Okay, that’s enough — no more god stuff. You have one day to win a bundle at the casino, seduce an entire netball team, set the opposing counsel on fire, or cure your rich great-aunt’s arthritis before she rewrites her will. After that, go back to your day jobs so that we can get those @&%$@# god-hunters off our backs!

        Of course, it would really, really suck to be Olaf under those circumstances, unless his biological clock merely started ticking in real time instead of trying to catch up. So probably a highly unlikely resolution.

      • Sean Denys says:

        Why would fully powered up Odin do that, though? He could kill the god hunters by sneezing.

  • Starbug says:

    …hehehe … or by setting Thor loose on them, which would be much more fun!

  • Starbug says:

    I’m going to have a bit of after-work time on my hands for a while, starting this weekend. Have been thinking about putting together a TAJ quote list for fellow fans in withdrawal. Would folks find this an interesting read?

    • nzninja says:

      I’m sure Olaf said it in season one, or maybe it came from the now-defunct #olafswisdombox Twitter account, but either way, it’s still a great line:

      You can’t stop the waves but you can learn how to surf.

      In case that’s not clear, that’s a big YES PLEASE on the quotes.

  • Starbug says:

    Cool! I’ll plan on getting started this weekend. I’m going to do a marathon re-watch and will put that effort to good use.

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