The Great North S1E3: “Avocado Barter Adventure”

All images used in this review are from FOXFLASH, Fox’s press release site. The Great North ©2021 by Twentieth Television and Fox Media LLC. They are used with their permission, as they are publicity images.

Episode summary (spoilers): Wolf and Honeybee are about to celebrate their six-month anniversary, so the Tobin family all share their dreams. Earlier at the table, Honeybee shared her dreams about guacamole, so Wolf decides to get her some avocados, as he thinks his couple massage certificates aren’t a good enough gift. The problem is there is a lack of avocados in Alaska due to the cold weather. He goes down to the docks to trade his couples massage coupons for some avocados, but he isn’t able to get any avocados, only pears. Moon pays a visit to his friend, whose mother who has connections with someone who has avocados in Anchorage. The problem, he wants a motorcycle seat for them that Wolf doesn’t have. From there their adventure begins. They trade the pear to Judy’s boss Alyson for some wigs. Then they trade the wigs for bait, which they then use to catch a fish. They then trade the fish for a sign. The sign is traded for some magazines, which is traded for an old chair. The chair is traded for a defibrillator which is then traded for the seat. But they need to fly to Anchorage. Luckily Wolf’s ex-girlfriend Lara Silverblatt, who just got her pilot’s license arrives on the docks. On the flight, his ex-girlfriend tells him that he likes to do crazy stuff like this to prove something to himself rather than what his partner wants. In Anchorage, Wolf trades the seat for avocados, but they went bad.

Beef and Ham are setting up Honeybee and Wolf’s anniversary party based around Shrek, but Ham thinks they can’t do it without Judy, since she is the one who is the true party expert, and since she went to interview Honeybee. Beef reassures him that they can do it without her. They first try to watch the movie, but the wi-fi is out. So they just make it up as they go.

Judy decides to interview Honeybee for the school newspaper as she is a new resident of Lone Moose. Honeybee starts her story by telling Judy about her hometown in Fresno and why she moved up to Alaska. Her parents wanted her to take over their store when they retire, but she had no interest in it. Her dad tells her that when he came to Fresno, he had nothing, and he was able to make a living off his passions, so she should be able to follow her own dreams. Honeybee’s mother then sets her up on a date with Calvin, a boy she doesn’t have any interest in. On their “date”, Calvin says that he’s not interested in her either. Honeybee then tells Judy she met Wolf on a forum site about famous movie quotes. From there, everything was perfect, as a montage is shown of her texting Wolf constantly. One day, while working at her parents’ store, Calvin comes in to propose. He changed his mind and now thinks that they should spend the rest of their lives together. This is when Honeybee decides to move to Alaska. Her parents are worried, but they ultimately support her decision. Honeybee decides to meet Wolf at a coffeehouse where Terry dies in the Final Destination film and as soon as they pulled up together, they knew they were meant for each other.

Wolf apologizes for not getting Honeybee a great gift, but she loves him no matter what and she loves his romantic gesture and all the trouble he went to get through to get the bad avocados. And Honeybee tells him they can use the bad avocado seeds to grow avocado trees. When they see the anniversary party the Tobin’s planned for them, they kiss under a bunch of fireworks.

My thoughts: I was not very happy when Fox decided to show recaps of previous NASCAR games instead of Animation Domination while the 2021 Daytona 500 was delayed due to heavy rain, but I did see the episode on iTunes on February 14. And by the time you’re reading this review, you would have already seen the episode for yourself, and I really enjoyed this one, like I really did. Out of the three episodes I’ve seen, it’s easily my favorite so far.

It’s nice to see that The Great North is quickly picking up and finding itself. There’s always an adventure in every episode, hence why all the episodes are titled with “Adventure” at the end. And while Avocado Barter Adventure takes place in the present, it’s really a flashback into the past as well, like Bless the Harts‘ Black Friday episodes. While the first Black Friday episode was a culmination of how Jenny and Wayne first met, “Avocado Barter Adventure” wants to shed light how Wolf and Honeybee meant and why they are meant to be.

First off, I like how the episode was able to juggle all these situations and none of them were boring or annoying to watch. There were three plots going on at the same time and it was so much fun to watch all of them. First, seeing Ham and Beef know nothing about Shrek and just winging it for the party was silly and funny. I can relate because there are TV shows and movies I know nothing about, yet everyone talks about them all the time.

Second, I liked the journey that Wolf and Moon had. For many of us who live on the main forty-eight, buying avocados is easy as going to the grocery store. For those in the cold Arctic though, they have to trade, travel, and barter just to get some. It’s really an adventure up there. Moon was probably my favorite part of this plot. I like his “face blindness” joke, to the point where Wolf’s ex-girlfriend still remembers that he does that. Now that must be memorable!

The best part though is for last, with Honeybee telling Judy her story on how she got to Alaska. It’s also good character development too. We learn a lot about Wolf and Honeybee in one episode. Like for instance, when Honeybee tells Judy she met Wolf on a forum site. From there, their love over movies got them talking everyday and eventually interested in each other. I’ve been wondering how Honeybee met Wolf, but this like Bless the Harts‘ Black Friday episode with Jenny and Wayne meeting over a microwave purchase is something only The Great North can uniquely tackle. And they did well with it. Honeybee loving Wolf for being uniquely him was sweet to watch and she even appreciated his gesture of doing all of this just to get her some avocados.

It’s nice to see other characters get the spotlight for a change, and for Judy take a step aside, as she’s had major focus in the first two episodes. She’s really the main character on this show, not Beef, and it’s nice to focus on other characters on the family.

That’s one of the main problems I had with Duncanville. While I did enjoy the first season, all 11 episodes either focused either on Annie or Duncan, and the other three members of the family don’t get many episodes focused on them at all. Jack only had the pipe dream episode and Kimberly had the video game episode and that was it. And even then, they were only co-stars. But with an upcoming episode in season 2 focused on Kimberly, I think the show is going to be a lot better and dig deeper into its characters and relationships.

But going back to The Great North, the next episode is going to focus on Beef, as he starts to get himself back into the dating game following the divorce, so that should be nice to see. Episodes 5 and 6 will be Judy focused again. We need a Moon episode soon too!

The only problem, I have with this episode is that it’s emotional core moment ends a little bit too quickly. That’s totally fine, but going back to Bless the Harts‘ first Black Friday episode (I know sorry. I keep referencing it so many times, but it’s so good!), the core moments of the episode not only don’t end immediately after Wayne and Jenny met, but also, they continue when the story goes back to the present day. And that’s why it packs more of a punch, for me at least.

“Avocado Barter Adventure” is, by far, the best episode of the show so far. It’s nice to see the show build its world and characters so quickly too, and to take a step back from typical sitcom plots. It’s also great to see the Bob’s Burgers team’s experience is leading to this show hitting right out of the gate, as the lack of experience in animated comedy when Bob’s was in season 1 was clearly there. Most of season 1 of Bob’s Burgers wasn’t very good, and while it did have some great ones, the season was mostly forgettable to me. But with Central Park and The Great North, the writers and producers are using their experience with Bob’s to learn from their early mistakes, and that is a good sign for a new comedy series. With this show quickly picking up, I think it will easily be a staple for me within the next season or so. This episode won the night for me.

Overall rating: 9/10