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The Almighty Johnsons season 2

November 9, 2013

One big happy family.

I really enjoyed the first season of The Almighty Johnsons but I thought season two was even better as I feel the show really found its footing starting with the very first episode.  I’ll have to apologize for the delay in getting this review out.  Any review of a series beyond its first season is generally going to have spoilers but, given that SyFy will be airing this show in the coming year, I wanted to try and avoid them.  I think I have mostly succeeded in doing that here but, there will be minor spoilers here and there as I discuss various aspects of the second season.

The season opens with Mike, the older brother and default patriarch of the siblings, recovering from a major life changing event from the end of the first season.  Unfortunately, he is doing this in a rather immature way which is somewhat off-putting to Axl.  Actually, the brother’s relationships are all more dysfunctional than we saw in the previous season.  Mike’s situation is only part of the problem.  The other part is caused by the recent marriage of Ty or, more specifically, his wife who also happens to be a goddess.  I have to say that I really like her character as she really takes the whole goddess thing and goes into serious overdrive with her lifestyle.  It struck me as totally believable as I’m not sure under similar circumstances whether I would be able to hold back myself which is probably revealing more about the inner workings of my mind than I comfortably should.

Anders ends up taking off to Norway on some cryptic assignment for his mother who, for better or worse, he leaves in charge of his advertising agency.  While this was probably done to accommodate Dean O’Gorman’s filming schedule for The Hobbit, where he plays Fili, I have to give the writers some pretty massive props here as it worked into the story far better than I feared it would at first.  All of this has the effect of forcing Axl to have to step up and take on more of a leadership role within the family as he seems to be the only one whose life is comparatively stable at the moment.  That is until he runs into Kvasir the god of wisdom who apparently must answer any question put to him and who leaves Axl with even more questions than answers.  Then Gaia returns.

There is a lot of stuff that happens in this season but, unlike American Horror Story, it all fits together quite seamlessly with none of it feeling out of place or forced.  Going into detail would make this review insanely long and, as I’m trying to avoid spoilers in the first place, I’ll just touch upon some of the stuff that stood out for me this season.  One thing we learn is just how much the Johnson brother’s powers are tied to Axl.  Something happens that demonstrates this which, in the long run, also has the effect of causing Ty to take a rather extreme life-changing course of action.  Ty’s acting on this decision also has a rather huge consequence that, while a total surprise to me, actually makes perfect sense within the context of the universe established by the show.  Mike also undergoes a good deal of life changing events although none of them are quite as extreme as Ty’s although that may be more of a matter of opinion now that I think about it.

Some of the other things that I like include Michele taking on a more significant role, to the point that she could almost be considered a main character at this point.   It seems to me that we see more of Olaf which is always a good thing as far as I am concerned.  Then there are these other (as in non-Norse) deities that show up and, speaking of other religions, Anders’ carelessness on his northern jaunt brings down a character that would be called a hunter or slayer in another series.  This was great because it was, to me at least, a hint as to why the Norse gods ended up in New Zealand in the first place.  Also, it was nice to see a character type that would normally be cast as a hero in those other series being role reversed into a villain instead.

Overall, though, this season is really about Axl growing into his role as Odin.  He is forced into stepping up his game on a number of occasions and rises surprisingly well to the challenge I might add.  This is especially the case given that he has to deal with Loki who barely recognizes his leadership and takes every opportunity to side step it when he can much to Axl chagrin in one particular case.  I’m sure none of that will end badly.

Overall, I have no real complaints about the second season.  Like I said the whole Anders off-set bit was a little obvious to me having gone through it before with the second season of Leverage but, it ended up not only working well but being quite instrumental to a couple of the season’s story arcs.  I guess the only real complaint I have is how soon will season three be available on DVD?


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