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'The Almighty Johnsons' premiere recap: Shot through the heart

Season 1 | Episode 1 | “It’s a Kind of Birthday Present” | Aired July 11, 2014

The Almighty Johnsons‘ premiere episode tells the tale of Axl Johnson’s (Emmett Skilton) 21st birthday, which is not all booze, girls and a good time—oh no. Brothers Mike (Timothy Balme), Anders (Dean O’Gorman) and Ty (Jared Turner), along with grandpa Olaf (Ben Barrington), drop a huge family secret on Axl: They are all living incarnations of Norse gods!

Sure, there is no Chris Hemsworth in sight, but these sweet-talking New Zealand brothers will fill your Thor void.

Back to the gods at hand. The brothers, along with Olaf, take to the woods to inform Axl about their family secret and to perform the ritual of finding out which god Axl is. Olaf, after explaining why he does not look like he is in his ’90s, explains that the Norse gods left Scandinavia and traveled to New Zealand for their own protection.

Each brother then shares which god they are. Older brother Mike is Ullr, god of hunt and duel; Anders is Bragi, god of poetry; Ty is Hodor, god of winter and darkness; and grandpa Olaf is Baldr, god of rebirth.

Axl then strips, steps into a circle of rocks, holds a sword in the air and gets hit by a lighting bolt. After the blast, the brothers look to grandpa to find out what god Axl has inherited. Olaf utters the most powerful Norse god name ever: Odin! Cue everyone’s mind being blown!

Olaf then blacks out and leaves the brothers wondering if Axl really is Odin, and what does this mean if he is? Mike drops off Axl at his flat and leaves the family sword in Axl’s procession. Mike also warns Axl that no one can find out about their family secret, revealing that not even his wife knows.

On the other side of town are a group of four women; I am assuming these are the goddesses. They seem very interested in the fate of young Axl. Since Stacey (Eve Gordon) was unable to kill Axl, they now have to wait it out. Though Michele (Michelle Langstone) is all for still killing the young Johnson.

At the party, things seem to be going well. The brothers are waiting for Olaf to wake up to inform them if Axl really is Odin. In the meantime, rebel brother Anders begins to suck up to Axl. It seems like being Odin has its perks. Olaf wakes up and informs the brothers that Axl is only Odin if five significant signs take place: Falling stars, earthquake, dead fish and the sign of Odin have all already happened. The only thing that is missing is Axl having two hearts.

Feeling completely deflated, Axl rejoins the party, believing that he is no longer Odin. There he makes eye contact with one of the “vodka girls” Anders brought to the party, who is actually Michele. Axl follows Michele through a park. Michele then draws an arrow at Axl (she is dressed like some kind of cupid) and lets it fly. Axl is able to catch the first one with no problem.

Meanwhile, Mike, Anders and Ty have put the pieces together that Axl might be in some kind of trouble and run after him. Just as Michele lets the second arrow fly, Ty screams out to Axl, who is distracted and gets hit with the arrow through the hand and into the chest.

At the hospital, a nurse reveals that Axl is very lucky and will be fine. Though a piece of the arrow is now wedged in between Axl’s ribs. When shown the X-ray, it is Zeb (Hayden Frost), Axl’s best friend, that points out that it looks like a little heart. This means Axl now has two hearts and is the almighty Odin!

The brothers and Olaf visit Axl to share the good news that he is Odin, but with the good comes the bad. See, being Odin is not all that kickass. In fact, it is kind of a big deal. For all Norse gods everywhere to regain their full god powers, Odin must find his true love, Frigg. That doesn’t sound too difficult, right? Well, the other catch is … if Axl dies before he has completed his quest, then his whole family will die too! Talk about pressure.

The Almighty Johnsons airs Fridays at 10/9C on Syfy.