Stealin’ Dad’s Car Keys and Hittin’ the Road
August 2, 2013 § 27 Comments
Another absolutely wonderful ep. Whoever decided to put Mr. Turner into the Indian outfit, we’re collecting a beer fund on your behalf. Thank you.
I keep wishing this was the 2nd year of a promising new series rather than the just-saved-by-the-bell 3rd year that’s outperforming all my expectations. I keep hearing that the NZ viewer numbers are terrible and I can’t stand it. This is one of the best, most original, most cleverly written, most resonant shows this year and no one knows about it or is watching it.
This show deserves a fourth year and a fifth. It deserves an audience worthy of it. It deserves…better.
As you’ve probably figured out by now, episode 5 was another show stopper giving some fine dramatic conflict, some hilarious dialog, and avoiding many comfortable tropes that would have been both easy and wrong. Instead, we got to spend time with a far more interesting Joe, and a much better fussing family.
And damned if I don’t rather like Njord — a charming loser of a man — and damned if I didn’t end up feeling rather sympathetic for Karen, a woman who ambitions outweighs her sense or maternal abilities.
From start to end, the ep focused on family and familial love. Never comfortable, endearingly awkward, always worthy of pursuing, often painful. By the time the sun was setting with a game of cricket, they had once again grown closer together despite and because of their dysfunction. Nothing much happened and everything happened and it was a sheer pleasure to spend time with this family. Even the outliers, Zeb and Ingrid, focused the story on family — being on the outs, and having that unwavering bond of brotherhood.
Poor, poor Ingrid — she needed Ty to keep her close and he left her without a second glance. Her scenes, sitting lonely as Axl made plans and Zeb attempted a date with psychogirl, were so piercingly sad and such a contrast to the big messy love and angerfest over at the party. So much else was happening in the story; Ingrid’s presence provided a constant underlying mournful, awkward note, one that should not be overlooked, especially as Olaf (with Stacey in hand) took his rightful place as the honored patriarch of the assembly.
And then there’s Zeb. From our viewpoint, Axl more than proved his undying love — brotherly, perhaps, rather than romantic, but no less true — on Zeb’s behalf. And in return, Axl got stabbed for his pains (that came out a little more oddly phrased than I intended) and the two are on the outs. It was a second harmony of tragedy, doing what was right, yet hurting Zeb in the process of fixing the unreasonable situation.
On the party end of things, the sons confronted and were confounded by their slippery father — a man who apparently was not as black-and-white as painted by memory or story, and who gave as good as got. Joe’s smackdown on Mike was as painful as it was true. Mike was shafted but it wasn’t entirely a punishment. Oddly enough, it was Anders who delivered the purest message, righteously smacking Joe with a well deserved right hook.
For all that Ty intended to make the party into a story about domestic abuse, he failed. Instead, we were once again reminded that his heart is still broken for Dawn and Anders wasn’t above tweaking him a few times in the name of brotherly abuse. Fortunately, Ty gives as well as he gets, and the two devolved into a conflict so intense that a cricket game broke out.
I’ve never been a huge Mikechelle fan, as you probably know, but once again the story really served these two well, moving their relationship along and giving them a basis for finding comfort in one another. Two focused, unsentimental beings surrounded by drama.
In the end, the episode was about a bunch of people who got together for an afternoon, talking, bickering, and growing. It left us with several mysteries — about Joe’s intentions (which are as slippery as the sea) and about the mysterious man in the car.
What wasn’t left a mystery were Karen, Zeb, and Ingrid. Poor Karen has once again led with her heart and strolled down the garden path alone. Zeb believes he’s been betrayed by his most passionate defender. Ingrid never even made it to the garden.
- The notes mention Loki, Odin going to Norsewood, and show a picture of a church.
- Of course, Axl was going to end up as a cowboy. Of course.