Call To Action
Most shows tackling the superhero genre or big mythological ideas tend to get off to a bit of a rocky start. That much is absolutely apparent with Ragnarok, delivering an episode chock full of exposition, some clumsy narrative work and light charaterisation. Thankfully the intriguing ending to the episode and a good foundation for an action-packed season to follow does help but Ragnarok certainly gets off to a rocky start.
Episode 1 of Ragnarok begins with an introduction to the beautiful town of Edda in Norway. Brothers Laurits and Magne arrive to their new home, driven by their Mother, Turid. A man in an eye-patch called Wotan is helped by Magne across the road, who’s subsequently touched by a strange old lady called Wenche and thunderbolts manifest in his eyes. As Magne gets back in the car, he comments that it’s going to rain and just like that – rain falls from the sky.
The next scene the brothers arrive at their new house and it’s not raining. After getting settled, our brothers arrive at school where the teacher begins talking about Norse Gods and we receive a good dose of exposition about Ragnarok; the final clash between Gods and giants. It’s here we’re also introduced to Ilsode who Magne helps, fixing her bike and befriending her as they team up with fellow student Gry for a group assignment about the local community.
The next day, Vidar arrives, meeting the boys while Magne notices the man’s undead-looking dog. At home, Vidar speaks to his son Fjor and tasks him with keeping an eye on Magne.
Magne meanwhile checks out Isolde’s YouTube page and it gives him inspiration to write the assignment about the government. Isolde invites him over to her house but en-route, Wenche happens to be working in Spar and tells Magne that he may be needed in the future. It turns out Isolde’s father is their teacher, Eric, and she invites Magne up to the top of the mountain with her the following day. Here, she reveals she’s actually a lesbian and in love with Saxa, a girl from their class.
Magne heads off alone while Vidar strips and stalks animals in the fjords nearby. As he does, Isolde heads underground and finds a strange hidden bunker with a sign on the front for Jutul Industries. This, as it turns out, is Vidar’s business.
As the episode closes out, Magne bears witness to Isolde paragliding down from the mountain and landing in the electrified power-lines. As thunder booms overhead, Vidar arrives and tries in vain to resuscitate her. That evening, Magne picks up a hammer in the pouring rain and throws it into the sky in rage as electricity surges and a blackout consumes the town.
The first episode of Ragnarok gets off to an okay start, introducing our main players and setting up the conflict to come. There’s a lot of commentary here about climate change but given this is something pointed out in the plot summary, it’s easy to look past. The ominous musical score is a nice touch and there’s some really gorgeous imagery too. The story however, is something that will either make or break this show. Whether Ragnarok can build on the foundations and deliver a worthwhile narrative to match its gorgeous imagery though remains to be seen.
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