Son of Zorn: Defender of Teen Love Review

In its second episode, Zorn settles into more confident territory, in both plotting and humor!

This Son of Zorn  review contains spoilers.

Son of Zorn: Season 1, Episode 2

“Zorn, I’m starting to think that you have no idea what you’re doing.”

Now this Zorn I can get into.

Ad – content continues below

Right off the top everything feels a lot more natural this episode. The petty arguing between Zorn and Craig, with Edie caught in the middle, during the cold open had me laughing nearly as much as I did during the entire pilot. It’s amazing what an episode can do for characterization after all the necessary baggage is out of the way. The same can be said for Alan, who even though I thought he was one of the stronger parts of the premiere, still comes across with his sense of purpose and awkwardness cranked up to a delightful degree. The series wastes no time getting Alan and Nancy close together, where his infatuation—not stalking—with her ends up becoming the trigger for the episode’s main plot.

“Defender of Teen Love” provides a much better idea of how random episodes of this show will work and how relics from Zorn’s world will integrate and influence the storytelling. I can’t help but think of Rick and Morty a little as this parental figure uses their respective magic to help their offspring in some way. This isn’t a bad thing and it’s more of a slight resemblance between shows that will make you smile rather than a full-on retread. The Stone of Sight is a great primer for instance, with it crossing over with the everyday world of Alan in high school beautifully. It’s also a much smaller moment, but seeing Zorn use the tip of his sword to spread cream cheese on his bagel also really made me happy.

Fresh off the progress made from the premiere, Zorn is having trouble making a sale at work. Tear-stained severed hands are not quite the equalizer that he seems to think they are, go figure. Things heat up and if Zorn doesn’t make a sale soon he’ll lose his job, not to mention he’s having trouble sticking to the company’s all-powerful Script while on calls. However, Zorn’s lady advice towards Nancy (always go with corn nuts) ends up working in Alan’s favor. With Zorn being such a master of “feminality,” Alan is all too eager to get more tips and suddenly Zorn is feeling a whole lot less useless. That being said, Zorn’s advice isn’t really advice. Rather than telling him to listen to women or something actually helpful, he lends his son the Stone of Sight, which is essentially a stalker’s super tool. It allows you to spy on whoever you want, ie. Nancy. One of my favorite moments of the episode is when Alan slowly rationalizes Zorn’s spying on Nancy and his father comments upon seeing so much of himself in his son. Their relationship still might be strained, but watching them together is a whole lot more fun this episode.

While there’s not a whole lot for Craig to do this week, once again every line he gets is a winner and had me laughing. His confused exasperation over Edie giving him a P-8 (“A C?”) from his grading system is so good. Meadows’ timing is working perfectly with this show and I can’t wait until he’s actually given something significant to play with here. He does manage to point out that you can’t force someone to move on, whether it’s Zorn with Edie or Alan with Nancy. That moment of symmetry between Zorn and Alan is a strong one in an episode full of instances that tie them together. I hope that the series is plenty more of that dynamic. It’s liable to be a little on the nose at times, but when the script’s this good it doesn’t matter (that “0006” safe combination joke is wonderful stuff).

Also, we briefly get to meet Todd from Zorn’s office this episode, which wouldn’t be a big deal other than the fact that Mark Proksch (Better Call Saul, Decker: Unclassified) is playing the role. Hopefully he’ll also get more to do sooner rather than later because Proksch is awkward gold.

Just as Zorn frequently mentions that the Stone of Sight is dangerous in the hands of evil, he does a valiant job at demonstrating why. Curiosity runs amok in Zorn and soon his spying gets out of control. Likewise, Alan lays it on pretty thick with Nancy and if what he was doing wasn’t so ordinarily impossible, she’d surely be suspicious of all of these coincidences. Soon their actions get the better of both of them in perfect sitcom fashion, and while none of this is groundbreaking storytelling, it is very funny and very entertaining to watch. And really, from a show titled “Son of Zorn” you really shouldn’t be expecting much more.

Ad – content continues below

Finally, there’s an ominous beat that the episode closes on that I pray is the hint at some sort of serialization in this series rather than just some non sequitur gag to end on. I’m enjoying this show plenty (and looking forward to next week’s episode a lot more than I was this week’s), but adding some sort of arc or greater story at hand is exactly the thing this show needs to push it to the next level. If only I had the Stone of Sight to see what the writers were planning…

Elfish waifish Asian maiden.

Elfish waifish Asian maiden.

Elfish waifish Asian maiden.


3.5 out of 5