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The Almighty Johnsons 3.04 "Like The Berserkers Of Old" REVIEW

TV REVIEW The Norse gods from New Zealand are on the war path

The Almighty Johnsons 3.04 "Like The Berserkers Of Old" TV REVIEW

Episode 3.04
Writers: Natalie Medlock & James Griffin
Director: Geoffrey Cawthorn

THE ONE WHERE Loki has an interesting job offer for Anders. The rest of the gods discover a religious group that wants to kill them all and there’s a new girl in Axl’s life.

VERDICT Another great episode from the down under deities. After the last three episodes dealt with the Gaia-shaped fallout from last season this episode picks up the Natalie/god killers thread. In a comedy montage we find that Stacy and Olaf have been doing a little detective work and have found the source of the religious group that Natalie was a member of. It’s great to see all the gods come together to deal with the problem and have each of the various gods play a part in resolving the problem. And as ever they deal with things in their own special way.

It’s comedy genius that Anders’ drinking and shagging his way round Norway last year was responsible for the religious group setting its sights on the Johnsons. A secret society formed to kill gods? No; just the angry father of a virginal girl that Anders had talked into bed wanting some revenge. Eminently believable in the Johnsons universe; great stuff.

To be honest we’d kind of forgotten about the Natalie story thread and it was a nice surprise to have it come back for this episode, although it did seem that things were resolved a little quickly. We have a sneaking suspicion this storyline might come back to bite.

Elsewhere Colin/Loki wants Ander’s help to run for mayor of Auckland which feeds into Anders growing distance from the family. We like this new plot and can’t help but think it’ll lead to some great comedy from Colin and added stress for Mike.

Speaking of Mike, we noticed a growing tension between him and Axl and wonder whether this is going to become a thing. Mike has always been the glue that holds the Johnson family and, to some extent, all the god together. We wonder if he might be coming to the end of his tether.

This episode also introduces us to a few new characters; Axl has a seemingly cathartic fling with new character Tanzi. We aren’t sure whether she’ll be back or not, but we liked the character straight off. We’re also introduced to Michele’s mum Karen in this episode which leads to a big shock ending as it turns out Karen is dating the Johnsons boy’s long lost dad Joe. We just know this revelation is going to lead to some interesting things in the future.

There’s some great misdirection when it comes to the last remaining member of the religious group as Mike tries to figure out who’s in danger and who the last threat is. We thought it was going to be Tanzi for a minute and were quite glad that it wasn’t.

We loved the irony that Ty, the only non-God in the family, was the target. It was nice that we didn’t see Ty at all until the last moments of the episode because we had been wondering where he was. When he finally showed up and was thrust straight into a danger which he knew nothing about we were genuinely worried for him. And after having him missing for most of the episode it was just nice to see his smiling face. Since his god power left him the character has had a lot of problems but he still seems happier as a mortal man.

All in all this was another very good episode. Even though we were dealing with another issue from last year the episode felt like it was heading in new directions and the whole thing had a reinvigorated air. As well as wrapping up some on-going plot threads the episode introduced the beginnings of some great new threads and the balance was well handled.

As we noted earlier in this review the idea of Loki/Colin as mayor is a fantastic one and we can’t wait to see the possibilities and problems this plot line could open up. The cliffhanger ending revelation of Daddy Johnson is also sure to lead to some fireworks as well. This is great stuff, with the promise of more great stuff to come. The Almighty Johnsons really is firing on all cylinders at the moment. More like this please.

BEST GOD Anders gets the nod this week. He uses the power of Bragi to stop the religious group and commands them to leave the Johnsons alone and he does it as only Anders can.

NEW GOD Michele’s mum Karen is revealed to be the goddess Lofn. Lofn is traditionally described as being gentle in nature and an arranger of marriages. Although Karen says she loves parties and works as a party planner.

IDIOT BOYFRIEND Dawn’s new boyfriend Lance continues to be set up as a bit of a dick. Why do TV shows always have a seemingly smart, decent person go out with someone who comes across as a bit of prat to others? It never seems to ring true. Especially here; we know Dawn is a smart girl who’s never seemed to suffer fools gladly and pairing her with Lance just smacks of obvious plotting to make Ty’s wooing of here even harder.

THE BIG QUESTION What’s going on with the water? Weird glowing lights in the sea that attack and injure Axl? You just know this is going to be some sort of god thing...

OLAF GETS HIS KIT OFF Mike appears in really teeny tiny underpants at the start of the episode. Axl and Tanzi go swimming in their undies and later do some naked sexing, as do Mike and Michele and Anders and his “gift” from Colin. All in all there’s quite a lot of flesh on show this week.

RANDOM LORD OF THE RINGS THOUGHT As the gang head off to take down the religious group Ingrid says it’s liking being on a quest in a fellowship. Anders says no. As the actor who plays Anders also plays the dwarf Fili in The Hobbit we guess he’d know...

BEST LINE

Stacy: “The thing that sucks is that they’re actually not bad people. It’s a pity we have to kill them.”

Olaf: “Smite Stacy. Smite is what we do to our enemies.”

Or

Mike: "Your mother is... er..."

Michele: “An over bearing, passive aggressive, social climbing, narcissistic, control freak, sexual predator, cougar with deep seated issues pertaining to her status as a minor goddess?”
Mike: "I was gunna say ‘interesting’."

Steven Ellis @Steven Ellis

• Episodes of The Almighty Johnsons season three are airing in the UK on Syfy, Wednesdays, 10pm
• Read our previous reviews of The Almighty Johnsons


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