Wooby wooby woo where are you?
September 6, 2013 § 27 Comments
Dear TAJ writers,
Please would you consider keeping Dawn permanently stoned? Like, forever? Because stoned!Dawn is pretty awesome. She can become besties with Olaf, Stacey, and Ingrid until the inevitable lightning bolt smites her from the story and Ty forever.
The KG Blog
Seriously, there is nothing better than stoned-out-of-her-head Dawn where we finally got to see some internal character. We still don’t know much about her beyond the fact that she likes the West Wing and rap music, but Ep 10 did more to develop her as an actual human being with flaws, fears, and dreams than the two and a half series that preceded it.
There was a lot of great stuff happening in this episode, but finally giving Dawn an actual voice and a viewpoint was pretty much its strongest element. I loved how vulnerable she was, and how she was thinking and doing her research, not just acting as a passive participant in the story.
I also loved clingy!wooby!Ty’s concern for deeply!stoned!Dawn despite his relative lack of screen time. Now, I can’t wait for the wedding and Colin’s violent revenge, which has yet to be fully expressed. I’ll be all “Bye Dawn” but now I’ll actually miss the character.
In less drugged-out parts of the story, Axl’s quest hummed along to the point where he’s nearly found his Frigg. He, Zeb, and Ingrid track down Honir to a nearby rest home. On the one hand, the story is still being told as a three stooges episode with the typical comedy beats, and yet at the same time Skilton is doing some superb glowering, especially as he reassesses Mike.
I love the knowing looks and the sly digs, he’s delivering so Odin-ly, especially the pizza delivery scene. Axl has just had a big wake-up call. Sadly, he’s viewing this through mythic terms instead of reaching out to Mike, who gods know, is in a particularly bad place right now.
The real weakness of this story is, sadly, Mike. We’ve had too much telling, not enough showing here. Instead of seeing Mike struggle with the Ullr-derived gameplaying and ambition, we haven’t had enough moments where the story developed his growing imbalance with his onboard god. We haven’t been getting into Mike’s head enough.
Although all the external components of his story have been going well — his conflicts with Axl, Michelle, Anders, and Ty — we really could have used some Mike time as he slowly gave into those irrational internal demands. While his break-up with Michelle worked great for her character, on his part it felt unearned.
I know that the groundwork has been laid over time, gambling with Olaf and losing control, talking with Karen about her father, that superb non-communication with Michelle a few eps back after she came back from her first healing, but the story feels incomplete to me. It’s more a sense of “Oh, that’s where they were going” instead of being led there by what we’ve seen, what we’ve felt, what we’ve experienced.
Mike is Axl’s “real” father in most ways. Their relationship fail right now falls right into place with the Campbell Hero’s Journey, just as the goal is in sight. Yes, Axl needs to grow up and become the man, but this was too abrupt. When Axl went all one-eyed-Odin last week, he should have finally seen what we’ve all been picking up. Instead, it came as a big shock out of nowhere, and instead of empathizing with his Eureka moment, us viewers were left picking up the pieces. It’s one of the few disappointments for this year’s series, because everything else has been so strong.
Michelle is really getting her moment in the sun, though. As Anders did in earlier eps, in limited amounts, she’s growing and changing. On her part, this is a lot more profound because she’s actually trying to move past her normal cynical bitchiness to something of meaning. With the woodchipper, Mike destroyed more than a Macguffin, he attacked the one thing she found meaning and pride in. Hopefully the ripples from that unforgivable act will keep playing forward in the upcoming episodes. I’m now actually rooting (American sense, not NZ sense) for a Mike and Michelle resolution after this.
Ingrid was the “hero” of the episode with her psychic nosebleed trope and Norse-varient Sherlock visuals. It was good to see her take an active role even though we didn’t really get to see any real emotions from her — from her triumphs, from her pain and the cost of that triumph, or anything else.
So in the end, I’m giving this ep a mixed review. I think the bits I loved outweigh the bits I didn’t. There were some spectacular moments, and the shock of that ending was truly jawdropping.
Long live the Master Baker (heh).
- I guess Rich Guy was a one-shot spot, then? Do they get to keep the 200k?
- I hope someone had a lawn bag to pick up the Yggdrasil mulch.
- Mike is going after Frigg on his own. Why? What is motivating him at this point?
- I felt bad for Honir. No healing then. We need more geriatric Gods.
- Friederic Larsen looks about 60-odd years old. It would be a hoot if Friggy Larsen is in her mid 40’s.
- There’s a brother in that photograph. Martin aka Heimdallr? After all, his DNA sequence seemed to tie Frigg, Honir, and Heimdall together.
- (Also, are those kids actually the children of someone in the production staff?)
- I hate that Michelle doesn’t get custody of that cool new apartment — after all she did a lot of the work.
- Anyone zapruder the whole Ingrid scene for funny clues and Easter Eggs?