The Almighty Johnsons 2.03 "Charlie Truman" REVIEW

TV REVIEW Between the return of Gaia and Eva’s crazy behaviour, it’s girl trouble all round for the Johnson boys this week.

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The Almighty Johnsons 2.03 "Charlie Truman" TV REVIEW

Episode 2.03
Writer: James Griffin
Director: Murray Keane

THE ONE WHERE Gaia’s dad tries to take her back to Waiheke, the brothers intervene in Ty’s relationship and Eva is even crazier than ever.

VERDICT This week’s episode is the best of the season so far. After a pretty lacklustre opening couple of episodes it seems like the show just might be returning to the excellent form of last year. There’s just so much going on here; the episode has action, comedy and drama and plenty of set-up for future storylines.

The Almighty Johnsons hosts its second party in three weeks; this one is to celebrate the reopening of the bar that Mike won off Loki last week. This party is far more convincing than the one in the opening episode and is the catalyst for pretty much everything that happens thereafter in the episode. Between the brothers deciding to intervene in Ty’s affairs, a kick-ass girl fight and Gaia’s new party girl attitude, there’s plenty of drama to goad the characters into various courses of action.

Gaia’s return and the story about her time on Waiheke spurs Axl to be more proactive than we’ve seen him previously this season and he finally shows a little bit of the character of the God that he might become. It’s nice to see him doing something other than moan about who or what The Frigg is and how he’s supposed to become Odin, although his fight with Gaia’s dad isn’t exactly Rocky versus Apollo Creed. The best fight of the episode goes to Eva and Michele in the bar although Gaia’s spot-on kick to Jacob’s man nuggets is worthy of mention too.

You have to love the fact that the Johnsons go and play miniature golf when they have a family crisis to deal with, but why don’t we see them playing golf every single week if this is the case?

The scenes of the brothers kidnapping Ty and taking him to play mini golf were great, thought. Some of the best moments in this show happen when all the brothers are together and this is no exception. Grandpa Olaf’s devil-may-care golfing technique is perfect for the character and Axl’s frustration at Mike’s playing is perfectly pitched. It’s also nice to see the brothers all rally around Ty over the Eva debacle.

Speaking of Eva, this week she goes off the deep end and gets her comeuppance. We know the Ty/Eva relationship is supposed to be bat’s-arse crazy and destructive, but the mad acting was really starting to get a bit tiring. Thank God this relationship seems to have run its course now. With Eva managing to piss off just about every female character in the show this week – locking Dawn in a freezer, fighting with Michele, and stabbing Stacy – it’ll be interesting to see just who it was that locked Eva in the freezer. Our money is on Michele or Agnetha.

There are plenty of other good things going on in the episode too. It’s great to see almost every character gets some quality action; Zeb shows his geeky side with Star Wars references (why are the sidekicks always geeks?) and he also proves just how lame he is by getting taken hostage by Gaia’s dad. Dawn gets to look cute in a blanket as she recovers from Eva’s attempt to kill her. Ander makes another brief appearance and also gets to make a few more comedy Hobbit references. We know he was off filming The Hobbit , but we can’t wait for him to be back in the show properly. The show misses his flippancy and cheeky mischief.

But, as we said, the real meat of this episode is Ty and Eva, and the fallout from events here are probably going to shape the rest of the season and have far-reaching effects for all the characters. The show is definitely stepping up a gear and next week can’t come round fast enough.

ANSWER TO LAST WEEK’S QUESTION Mike makes reference to Axl’s bar tab, so yes, the money Axl owed Loki is now owed to Mike. Axl shrugs it off though.

BEST GOD Mike sinks every ball he hits at the mini golf, much to Axl’s dismay. Eva performs some freaky knife juggling and Ty is freezing random mortals for giggles.

OLAF GETS HIS KIT OFF? Not this week but Zeb sports some interesting underwear.

Olaf: "On a scale of one to ten, how stoned are you right now?"
Ty: "Are you judging me grandpa? That’s rich coming from you."
Olaf: "No. It was an honest question. I’m currently about a four."

Steven Ellis

The Almighty Johnsons airs Mondays at 10pm on SyFy

• Read our previous The Almighty Johnsons reviews
Dean O’Gorman (Anders) interviewed