Sunday, September 25, 2022

REVIEW: 'The Great North' - Wolf Leads the Family Through Places They Were Banned From in 'A Knife to Remember Adventure'

FOX's The Great North - Episode 3.01 "A Knife to Remember Adventure"

Honeybee and Wolf discover an outback-themed restaurant they can't stop going to. Beef confronts his fear of small talk.

"A Knife to Remember Adventure" was written by Matt Lawton and directed by Neil Graf

For years now, the Tobin family has been trying to cope with the impact Kathleen had on all of their lives. It's especially difficult for Beef to embrace any kind of change. He doesn't want to put himself in a place to ever be heartbroken and betrayed ever again. That has left his children stunted in several ways. It's magical for them when they find out the places their mother once enjoyed are actually delightful. It clashes with what they've always been told from their father. Wolf is reluctant to go into Crocodile Rob's because it's on the forbidden list for the family. None of the Tobin kids can go to these places because it's where their mother once engaged in humiliating or shameful behavior. They know the stories as well. However, all of that showcased the wild nature of who she was. It wasn't actually indicative of the physical places. Those memories have been set in stone for a long time. The stories are infamous amongst the family. It's hard to reckon with them in comparison to the fun they have. It makes them feel like they are betraying their father. They don't want to cheat on him. That relationship is special. They don't want to hurt him in any way. Of course, it's not the most elegant way to describe what that dynamic means to each of them. However, this family loves deeply. Those bonds are special. It's what makes this family and the show itself so unique. They never purposefully want to bring each other down or make them feel uncomfortable. They celebrate each other for who they are. It's wonderfully uplifting. It makes these personal moments of going against expectations even more devastating. It's rather trivial and small in the grand scheme of things. No one expects Crocodile Rob's to carry the emotional scars of the past. And yet, this place means something to Beef. It represents the good memories he once had with Kathleen. Even then, they could all be seen as one-sided. He was madly in love with Kathleen even when she was an absolute mess. She was that way from the very beginning. The family could only handle that behavior for so long. It wasn't an evolution that got worse over time. It was a constant in their lives. That bonded them together in misery. They have escaped to a completely loving world. One where they can welcome each other into these new, happy experiences. They can form memories together that are even more powerful and overwhelming than all that has come before.

It still takes a moment for Beef to have some sense talked into him. For the longest time, he's just worried about his inability to make small talk. He fears that people can't read his stoic face. They believe he is miserable when he is actually having a blast. He wants to express himself freely. He wants people to understand him. Not everyone can do so as easily as his family. Even then, they are more than willing to keep secrets from him. Of course, they aren't smooth in doing so. They are literally caught on the driveway wearing memorabilia from Crocodile Rob's. That's how immediate this infatuation with a restaurant has become for each of them. They can't deny reality when it's staring Beef in the face. That too forces him to completely disassociate with everything else he is doing. He was putting an effort in to make small talk with the other members of his knife club. He wants to be more inviting. He sees the potential for great connections to be made. He must overcome some minor awkwardness in order to better enjoy it himself. He wants to be a welcoming member of society. It's difficult for him because he's been hurt so many times in the past. He can only rely on his family. They aren't always protective of him. They consider his feelings. It's still tantalizing to betray his orders. They are silly in the first place. These happy places shouldn't be denied from them because of Beef trying to protect himself. He can only share the truth with another adult. Londra was more than willing to help him overcome his fear of small talk. Even in that setting, it was obvious how wounded he remains over Kathleen leaving him. He loved her so much. They had four wonderful children together. That happiness should be enough to overcome all the disappointments and disasters elsewhere. It's still difficult to manage that. All of this plays alongside musical accompaniments. It's the most efficient way for the Tobins to express what they are truly feeling. It also provides them with some moments of introspection. They aren't responsible for carrying Kathleen's shame. She was the disaster in the community. They have forged their own identities. That's more important than anything that happened many years ago. The future is still so bright and full of potential. The family can enjoy Crocodile Rob's together. They don't have to hide away from the pain and possibilities of something just as fun. That fear has paralyzed them for too long. It's warranted in some situations. But Lone Moose as a community has so much to share. The Tobins can only deny that for so long. That avoidance doesn't lead to productive lives for anyone involved. It's simply a blast seeing them explore these environments with such gusto bonded as a family that loves and supports each other no matter what.