September 26, 2013 § 44 Comments
The episode got off to a shocking start. Loss of life. Massive property damage. Anders’ poor little fishies. There is nothing nothing the other brothers have done that match up to Mike and Hanna’s little flagrante delicto. Generally the phrase “the earth moved” should not be applied literally. Also, the giant snake jokes wrote themselves.
It was a satisfying development — not just one that mirrored the earthquake in the original pilot, but one that lent gravitas to the reflective moments that followed. As each character struggled to come to grips with the inevitable, we were reminded that the gods were a little bit bigger than just an argumentative family. Their reach extended to the ends of the earth, and their power could move the world.
In this, Ty’s amnesia storyline from the start of this year actually steered around to provide an ending for the series.
Ty: An unfortunate side effect of my losing my godliness is that Dawn has wiped me from her memory banks.
Anders: Oh, that’s genius! And she has no idea who you are?
Ty: To her, I’m your brother she’s vaguely heard about, who turned up on her doorstep for the first time today and made a dick of himself.
Anders: Oh no. This is too good!
Without the gods, we move on from these people and the show. We get to say goodbye to the characters as they begin new, mortal lives. (Although keeping with good storytelling, Colin’s red stone of glowy bits offers a potential way back in should the opportunity offer itself.)
Dawn and Ty relentlessly worked through the eventuality, ensuring that he would have her to return to. In a series of clever moves, they planned for a re-mortalization through video tapes and naked-baked-baked-goods. (Was this a little Go Girls/Ben tribute by the way?) This led to a perfectly realized reconciliation, full of feels and tears. Loved it.
An all too brief moment with Anders had Colin teasing him about being a clientless PR man without the magic behind the PR. As I remember what happened to Ty’s fridge repair business, I suspect Anders will have some major adjustments to work through — fortunately there’s Dawn there to take charge and get things back on their feet, plus Mike’s casino work on the $200k they’d socked away. I really wish we had had more time with Anders but I know there was a lot of ground to cover in the ep.
The eternal love between Axl & Zeb was challenged and then re-affirmed through pizza and beer. Axl’s story ended up as sort of the anti-bildungsroman, returning as it did to the happy committed Spongebob/Patrick relationship. Gaia (now free from Idun) didn’t even rate a mention, but it was always Zeb that mattered. I’m rather pleased on this front. (And if there ever were a 4th series, those Zebisodes might have come in handy.)
Michelle died and lived again. (“You don’t seem very dead.” “I got better.”) As others mourned her forthcoming loss, Michelle “love is a bitch — that’s me” never lost her edge. Her line to Anders (“It’s not necrophilia if the corpse has a pulse”) showed she’d never stoop to being a woobie. I thought a particularly nice thing that Odin remembered his promise to her, even when deAxl’ed. Worldwide snark would never recover without Michelle.
Mike and Hannah will presumably start a new life as she deals with the loss of her brother off-screen. That’s a pretty big deal, even with so much else going on. Good thing Mike made sure to apply some Ullr at the casino and insurance at the bar to ensure the financial woes that plagued him in the past won’t be a problem in the future — assuming the insurance company even remembers he exists, that is.
As Mike, Anders, and Michelle gambled, Olaf, Stacey, and Ingrid caroused, Axl and Zeb gamed, Ty baked, Colin burned. Everyone prepared for the end in their own way. When the gods left, both the characters and we the audience had lost something magical, special, and unique.
Parting is, indeed, sweet sorrow. The Almighty Johnsons’ series finale mixed sadness, hopefulness, and gentle possibility to create a satisfying conclusion for a marvelous show. We will not soon see its like again.
Gonna miss you TAJ.