Hammer of the Gods
September 19, 2013 § 55 Comments
There are so many things I want to say about this episode, and it’s hard to know where to begin, so please forgive my run-on thoughts and general incoherence. One quick note, first:
PLEASE NO SPOILERS. THIS INCLUDES ANYTHING ABOUT THE FINAL EP FROM THE APPLICATION AND FROM COMING ATTRACTIONS. THANK YOU.
Let me start with Mike and Hannah. The two of them, to my shock, are perfect for each other. They are perfect in a way that an Axl/Hannah relationship could never match.
Case in point? Axl is so callow and self-centered that he can’t even understand why he’d want to be nice to the brother of a potential girlfriend, He’s like a very big puppy dog playing with a bone, not recognizing that the bone has a life, feelings, and responsibilities.
It’s no surprise then that Hannah ended up sleeping with Mike while relegating Axl to a playdate.
Mike has all the things Hanna wants and needs: a serious but self deprecating demeanor, real world experience in love and relationships, maturity and grounding. I felt it. They zzzzinged in a way Mike’s character never zzzzinged with Michelle.
From a writing point of view, Hannah arrived to the story fully fleshed. She wasn’t just “Frigg”. She had a full inner life, a tough backstory, an emotionally abusive father, two failed marriages, the weight of caretaking a needy sibling. She’s everything, in fact, that Dawn has never been. (More about that later.)
I was as surprised as Mike to find out how well they fit as human beings thrust into the ridiculous soap opera dramatics of the god world. In fact, if Mike and Hannah didn’t have the Ullr/Frigga stuff hanging over them, they’d be perfect soul mates.
Instead, we had the team of merry idiots all trying to engineer some perfect destiny without realizing how easy all the other solutions were.
You don’t need to wait to go to the fridge to realize that if the Frigg/Odin/Gar thing doesn’t go forward, then everyone can move on and live happily ever after. Sure, if Axl dies, everyone else dies — that’s been the story from the start. So everyone takes care of their little (so to speak) idiot brother and no one has to return to the Bad Old Days, which is what no one except Anders and now Axl ever wanted in the first place.
In fact, Axl only wants it so bad because he’s got an extra-human parasite possessing him. The same can be said for Mike’s benighted quest. Both of them need to move past that and get on with the living bit.
If they can, perhaps it would get Dawn to finally shut up. She has been what I now call kwanned. Poor Zeb came down with a bad case of this form of expositionitis earlier this series, when he couldn’t open his mouth without some rot about Mrs. Kwan and rent payments coming out. For Dawn, her pathology includes “My Boyfriend. The God of Dark and Cold.” Repeated ad infinitim. It gets old.
Sadly, while Zeb has been fleshed out by way of his ever-tested friendship with Axl, Dawn remains as much a character enigma as ever. She likes baked goods. She likes weddings. She likes Ty and the West Wing. Both about the same. It’s a sad disappointment.
Stacey, another supporting character, also has grown far from her origins of the conspiring handmaiden. A businesswoman now, she’s torn away from her calling by her unwanted godliness to serve a woman who neither needs nor appreciates her. She was forced to leave her work in the hands of the utterly (and hilariously) incompetent Olaf. (Barrington is, as always, the best).
Stacey didn’t even get the comfort of a warm welcome. Hannah is over this god thing and the last thing she wants or needs is a handmaiden.
Unlike Olaf, who offered Stacey respect and admiration for her service, Stacey is treated horrendously by Hannah. Her need to serve overwhelms all her superb business skills and management and for thanks, she got dismissed by the utterly oblivious Frigg.
Stacey got very little screen time this episode but her story really resonated.
For Michelle, seeing Mike in bed with Hannah drove her back to her original quest. Ruthlessly logical but emotionally out of control, she conceptualized a way to keep Odin from ascending and the Bad Days from returning. Plus (bonus!) no earthquakes or other catastrophes: kill Frigg and the quest becomes moot, or folkmoot, or something like that.
But Michelle didn’t count on this Frigg being as world weary — and just plain fed up with the god thing — as she was. While Michelle was being torn between boiling bunnies and making besties with Hannah, Martin popped in and settled the question entirely.
At least I think he did, because I didn’t see any godbarfing of large shimmery green clouds, which might have been a budget thing or a timing thing for finishing the scene.
And with Martin, I suspect that “hiding the body” is probably easier done than said.
Once again the Almighty Johnsons has surprised me. Even more so, now that Mike found someone so well suited, I’m not sure there is any way in Hel that the two of them can continue forward. Between Axl’s immaturity, Martin’s little Sjofncide, and Olaf’s overly complicated plans for involving everyone in a gar (normally Lepisosteidae, but not here), Mike’s one really good chance for an excellent plotline is over before it even started.
What a pity.
Great episode. This show better be renewed because it would be horrible if next week was the last TAJ ever.
- End of Series 1: Hod finds his Hel. End of Series 2: Bragi is reunited with his Idunn. End of Series 3: Ullr hooks up with Frigga?
- Michelle had a really interesting reference to Sjofn-as-Frigg in her dialog. Wikipedia writes, “Lindow states that some scholars theorize that Sjöfn may be the goddess Frigg under another name.”
- Given the birthrates and deathrates of the Norse Gods, it’s a wonder they even exist any more. Surely the god + goddess = godsprog equation is wrong and godding is controlled by a much more wide-spread recessive gene? Paging Dr. Julie to the white courtesy genetics phone!