The Almighty Johnsons: Series 1, Episode 6: ‘Goddesses, Axl, Come in All Forms’. Aired Syfy UK, Thursday 8 March 2012, 10pm
The drama The Almighty Johnsons about the reincarnations of the Norse Gods in New Zealand is a really fun show. Into its sixth episode now, we meet Thor, a mental goat farmer. Forget about Kenneth Branagh’s film, forget about Chris Hemsworth or Anthony Hopkins or the upcoming Avengers film; this is a totally different beast and imagining of the Norse God mythology.
The Almighty Johnsons are four brothers – mortals – (Mike, Anders, Ty and Axl) who upon their 21st birthdays embody Norse Gods. This series starts when the youngest, Axl, turns 21 and finds out that he is Odin, God of all things. (Mike is the God of Games, Anders is Bragi the God of Poetry, and Ty is the God of Cold). Not only is Axl faced with this sudden news about his mythical descent, he also finds out that as Odin he has to follow a quest to find his Frigg, his goddess partner. If he finds her, then all the gods will get their full powers (at the moment, they have a limited amount of their powers), but if he doesn’t then they will all die.
So it’s a quest story, and also a coming of age story I guess, and a family story. But it’s basically a comedy, a bawdy comedy. It does annoy me a little that the four brothers don’t look alike AT ALL, but I can roll with it. It’s important to note that Oscar-nominated actress Keisha Castle-Hughes (from Whale Rider) is in it as Axl’s flatmate called Gaia. She’s also in love with him. And it seems like she is end-game. Can she be the Frigg as well? There are also a band of four goddesses, in opposition to the Johnsons gods, who don’t want Odin to find Frigg and are constantly trying to thwart Axl’s quest. But it’s not just about Axl. It’s about Mike and his wife Valerie’s attempts to have a baby. It’s about the way in which Anders and Ty hate each other. It’s about all their relationship dramas.
So the sixth episode allows Axl, Anders and Olaf (their Grandfather who doesn’t age so they pretend he’s their cousin) to journey into the countryside on their continued quest to find Frigg. There’s been a meteor and an elderly lady has been hit by it and died. Olaf, the Oracle, thinks this is a sign to find the Frigg. Ingrid/Snotra, the Goddesses’s Oracle, thinks the same and so she and Michele, the goddess of love and kind of Anders’ perfect nemesis, go to the same funeral as the Johnsons. At the wake, they meet Thor. He’s in charge of the bbq and likes to hammer the meat down. He also likes to walk around with an ordinary domestic hammer. When he throws it he can hit rabbits. He’s big, built and hairy, but does not have the golden flowing locks of the Marvel Thor. He’s also a bit unhinged – he is the God of War after all. He knows about the prophecy and thinks his daughter is the Frigg. He wants Axl/Odin to have sex with his daughter, Delphine, so the prophecy can come true and he can get his full gamut of powers. But Delphine is not a goddess, because her mother was not a goddess; she’s not Frigg; and she’s pregnant and in love with someone else. She’s also not Axl’s type. Thor suggests that they should just do it in front of him. Following various hijinks involving the very normal-sized hammer and a surf board, Axl is able to let Thor down gently and return back to Auckland.
The episode subplot is about Ty and Anders’ PA, Dawn. He likes her, but she keeps on calling him her ‘friend’. He doesn’t want to just be friends. It doesn’t help that Anders, with his sweet words (he can manipulate women when he speaks to them – it’s his power of poetry), not only overworks Dawn but also told her that Ty was gay. Ty convinces her that he is very much straight and they get it on. And in revenge against Anders, he replaces his broken down cool, stainless steel fridge-freezer (Ty is also a fridge repair man) with one of those small white fridges. Anders’ tropical fish have also died and Ty replaces them with a box of fish fingers. It’s cruel but it’s funny. Now when are we going to meet Loki?
- TV REVIEW: The Almighty Johnsons Season 1 Episode 6 – Goddesses, Axl, Come In All Forms (geeksyndicate.wordpress.com)