Sunday, May 22, 2022

REVIEW: 'The Great North' - The Tobins Try to Celebrate Beef During Father's Day Weekend in 'Papa Don't Fiend Adventure'

FOX's The Great North - Episode 2.22 "Papa Don't Fiend Adventure"

The Tobins spend Father's Day weekend at an RV park and uncover the identity of the Fiend of Family Land. Then, Moon meets a skunk, and Judy thinks she's found a new love.

"Papa Don't Fiend Adventure" was written by Matt Lawton and directed by Paul Scarlata

The Tobin family can always be trusted to heap tons of love and appreciation onto each other. That is their most consistent character trait as a family. It has become such an endearing quality as the show has developed across two seasons. It creates a certain expectation for how they will all react in various situations. Each weekly adventure depicts something new. The family can always rely on each other for support or be inspired by how great they view the various members of this family. It's then fun to see that expectation subverted. One would assume the Tobin siblings go all out for Father's Day. It's the one day of the year where they can celebrate Beef entirely. They can champion him as the greatest dad they know. This year, Wolf has the brilliant idea to recreate a fond memory from his youth. The only problem is that Beef has a completely different understanding of what happened all those years ago. Part of it was informed by the chaos Kathleen always brought into the family's lives. The story isn't completely dictated by her behavior. Instead, it truly does showcase Beef trying to be the best husband and father he could be. He wanted to showcase that for all to see. It only led to the destruction of this RV park. His actions made the place inaccessible for an entire summer. As such, the families that regularly visit during these months continue to hold this animosity against him. In their minds, they have built up this tragedy as the scariest story they can ever imagine. It's an invasion of their personal lives. It rings true because it happened to them. They will never forget it. They will never forgive the man who ruined their lives one summer. Of course, they've always consistently been able to come back to Family Land. Problems only come up when the Tobin family is there. That's a clear and recognizable pattern too. Beef destroyed the place one year. The entire family wants to redeem him in the eyes of these strangers. They want him to be free to engage in the activities of this park. They want to celebrate this time together and champion him as a father. The same outcome still occurs. The circumstances are different this time. In fact, no one from the Tobin family carries the flame that causes the septic tanks to explode. That's the actions of another entirely. Moon simply creates the circumstances in which the peaceful nature of this place is disrupted. What he cherishes most in the world isn't easily acceptable amongst everyone else. Yes, his behavior is strange and peculiar. It's still delightfully unique in the overall scope of the show.

No one in the Tobin family can particularly stand not being liked. They can sometimes hope to ignore the truth for a long time. However, they are always at their best when they recognize the reality of their situations. This episode sets out to have a fun adventure. The family still ultimately bonds. They see the problems at Family Land as being an extension of the incompetence of those who also came for the weekend. It's not the Tobins fault that the septic tanks are always uncovered. In fact, that may only prove how irresponsible these families are. They try their best to create a loving community that can celebrate together during this particular time. Ultimately, they are simply bonded over a past wrong and prove incapable of moving past it. Of course, they did for a moment. Wolf, Honeybee, Ham and Judy perform a skit hoping to showcase how great Beef is. He shouldn't be defined by one mistake he made several years ago. His actions that night still produced something good. It's also the story of how Moon was conceived. That's special even though it showcases how this family doesn't really have boundaries with anyone. That's a story Beef is willing to share. Moon is off on his own little adventure. He befriends skunks. He can see their majestic nature. They aren't native to this corner of the world. Instead, the actions of man have brought them to this environment. It's created a circumstance in which the local population has had to account for these newcomers to the ecosystem. It's a key disruption. One that is best solved by ignoring it. That's what all the warnings are about. Of course, nothing changes as a result. The same situations play out again. Yes, fun is still had during this weekend. Beef is fine just hearing about his family's adventures. They can detail the activities they've done. They will work to maintain his cover. It's also hiding what they feel necessary to celebrate. Beef is eventually found out. That can't be avoided. He is deserving of a good celebration during Father's Day. His family wants to give that to him. They know how public speaking is difficult for Beef. They want to save him the burden of apologizing. In the end, he's simply laughing about the whole situation. Again, it's not his personal responsibility for how others feel. He only has to do right by his family. He continues to go above and beyond in that regard. His children may still make mistakes from time to time. It's still a joyous time together. That's what counts after all of this. This isn't an epic season finale that goes all out to expand the comedic and narrative possibilities of these characters. It's still a solid version of what this family does best while championing their own. That consistency is appreciated as well.