Monday, January 3, 2022

REVIEW: 'The Great North' - Moon Hopes to Enlighten Wolf About Their Parents' Divorce in 'Dances With Wolfs Adventure'

FOX's The Great North - Episode 2.11 "Dances With Wolfs Adventure"

Moon helps Wolf deal with their parents' divorce. Honeybee encounters Lone Moose's most famous City Councilperson, who happens to be an eagle.

"Dances With Wolfs Adventure" was written by Charlie Kelly and directed by Tom King

Beef is a wonderful father. And yet, the Tobin children still have varying degrees of unprocessed trauma from their mother abandoning the family. Wolf is the eldest. And so, he had the most time with her. That means he feels the most personally betrayed by her actions. Meanwhile, Moon is the youngest. He had the least amount of time with her. He isn't hopeful about what she promises to be for the family as he never grew to have many expectations from her. That makes it notable when he is the one attending group therapy to cope as a child of divorce. He does it mostly to enjoy the banana splits offered at the end of each session. He doesn't really have much to process otherwise. He notes that he is growing up with two loving and caring parents. Wolf serves in that parental role alongside Beef. Even in the midst of his own existential crisis, Wolf is willing to drop everything in order to help Moon when he needs it. Moon has an ulterior motive in trying to convince Wolf that nothing he did was responsible for their parents' divorce. It just takes a lot more visual evidence for Wolf to accept that fact. Even if he was the one who first introduced Kathleen to the man she cheated on Beef with, it was still her decision. It didn't have anything to do with Wolf. The betrayal is still visceral. It stings for the children just as much as it does for Beef. It's helpful to process these feelings every once in awhile. It's not a storytelling impulse the show can indulge in too frequently. Kathleen still hits a raw nerve for many in this family. They can continually cope together. That's healthy and beneficial to all of them. For the audience, it's reassuring to see that a couple of times each year. Kathleen remains an offscreen presence who looms out there. She could potentially be brought into the proceedings at some point. Right now, it's just a stronger creative impulse to explore what this loss has meant for the core characters. The show already had a strong first season. That momentum has continued this year. The creative team has a distinct and strong understanding of every member of the Tobin family. They can each carry major stories that drive an episode. It's fun to see the show jump focus to explore the depths and humor of each of them too. They each have a lot of fun while exploring this strange place called Lone Moose, Alaska. It's amusing, for example, that a bald eagle serves on the city council. That backstory is outrageous while still fitting in with what can actually be quite common in the world. It's strange and peculiar. Honeybee questions it just like she does with so much of the oddities in this corner of the country. She accepts it as fact. It's serious to the family. They can't overcome it by their own individual impulses. Beef ran to defeat Toby and lost in a landslide. He notes the corruption that the bird's owner operates with in conducting the city's business. That's not important in the grand scheme of things though. Instead, it's just a lesson for Honeybee. She can't support crushing someone's dreams no matter how silly she perceives them to be. She is personally attacked by the bird. She is angry about that. Once she comes to see the humanity on the other side of the story though, she is completely supportive and is a champion for that cause. That actually makes her a great character. She is a perennial optimist. People can take advantage of her. The family loves her convertible even though it may not be that practical in this particular environment. But she too will adjust her perspective to support others without ever losing her sense of self along the way. These stories highlight the strength of Wolf and Honeybee as characters both individually and as a couple. They know when to provoke and when to support. It's a delicate balance but one that indicates such strong values as they serve as some of the adults caring for this family. They can be childish at times too. They aren't perfect. That's what makes them great ongoing sources for humor and story. And again, the show isn't so dependent on them for success. Every character operates as that. And so, the love is spread around where any character could be leading the show into its next chapter.