“Tusk in the Wind Adventure” has Judy getting obsessive, which is always a plus, while the Tobin men are confronted with their hero — J.K. Simmons.
This recap of The Great North season 1, episode 9, “Tusk in the Wind Adventure”, contains spoilers.
The Great North episode 9 has a secret weapon. As ever, the show’s all about family, understanding, and togetherness, which in a cynical pop-culture landscape is a secret enough trait on its own, but that’s not what I’m referring to. No, “Tusk in the Wind Adventure” has the most potent weapon of all — J.K. Simmons.
Well, and Dynasty.
The Dynasty thing makes for one or two good gags, but it isn’t the kind of fleshed-out B-plot that the show usually has. It’s largely just an excuse to keep most of the cast out of the way so that Beef, Wolf, and J.K. Simmons, here playing legendary TV outdoorsman Tusk Johnson, can dominate proceedings.
And this is a good thing since Simmons’ Tusk in The Great North season 1, episode 9 is a riot, a burned-out has-been clearly trying to manipulate his way back to his lost success. Beef and Wolf are easy marks since they’re mega-fans from back in the day, so when they realize Tusk is in town, they leave everyone else to choose their own VHS for the evening — hence the Dynasty obsession — and set out looking for him. They find him in a bar where he cons them into picking up the tab, letting them stay at their home, and starring in his new TV show, which he’s filming himself on an iPhone with help from a strung-out assistant/girlfriend.
During an outdoorsman competition in which Beef and Wolf compete in felling trees, building shelters, and starting fires, Tusk lays eyes on some golden eagle eggs that might fetch a few hundred dollars apiece on the black market — this becomes his endgame and the moment when Beef begins to suspect his credentials. A risky fishing trip on Beef’s boat only solidifies the idea, and Beef sends him packing, though crucially lies to Wolf about where he went.
The Great North season 1, episode 9 reaches a turning point when the Tobins go out for dinner — Beef tapes over Season 6 of Dynasty with Freight Trains of America, so they have no choice — and Tusk, who’s lingering outside, tells Wolf that Beef lied to him because he didn’t want Wolf to become his new Dan, an ill-fated assistant who almost certainly died in one of Tusk’s harebrained schemes. Feeling betrayed, Wolf argues with Beef, and the next morning he goes to be a part of Tusk’s new, secret show, which turns out to be stealing those eagle eggs.
Naturally, it all goes wrong, and Beef has to save the day. In the process, Wolf earnestly apologizes for doubting his father, and Beef proves that the stoic outdoorsman Wolf has always admired isn’t really Tusk Johnson at all — it’s him. He also buys Dynasty Season 6.