Last week on American Gods, we got our first real confrontation between the Old Gods and New Gods as Wednesday and Shadow came face to face with Mr. World. We got to see the full extent of his power as he literally has all the power of “the world.” Although he went to great lengths to ensure that Wednesday and Shadow could be in police custody for their meeting, he continued to reaffirm that the Old Gods were not the New Gods’ enemy (despite the Technical Boy wanting to kill Wednesday and Shadow), and they could help the Old Gods by way of rebranding. Despite the good intentions, the New Gods are not to be messed with as some sort of tree monster laid waste to all those in the police department, and even left a parting gift for Shadow.
We get the “Coming to America” intro once again. This time, instead of relying on something that happened in the past (or ancient past) we get to see folks coming to America and how their faith is intertwined in current times. A group of people are illegally crossing to enter the States and are heavily influenced by their Christianity. As they are crossing a river, if they can’t swim, they’ll drown. One of them immediately knows his days are numbered as he cannot swim. He prays to Jesus for assistance and just as he is about to drown, he is pulled up from drowning by Jesus himself. This Jesus was Mexican as Wednesday said before, “Well there’s a lot of need for Jesus, so there is a lot of Jesus.” While that scene of Jesus saving the man shows the best of Christianity, the next scene shows the worst. The border crossers are brutally gunned down by a group of Minute Men who are equally as devout Christians as the Mexicans are. Only they are content with gunning the Mexicans down. They also gun down Mexican Jesus and his wounds are similar to the wounds Jesus received when he was crucified. We’ll get to Jesus’ death later on.
Shadow is freaking out after meeting the New Gods (and being attacked by a tree monster that slaughtered the entire police department). It’s surprising that he’s not being flabbergasted by all the events happening to him (given that he’s been hanged by the Technical Boy’s drones, met Media in the form of two pop culture icons, seen a Jinn, fought a leprechaun, and met his zombie ex-wife) and starts to scream at Wednesday given all the current events. Wednesday reveals that Mr. Wood is the one who attacked him and has aligned himself with the New Gods (once again thanks to their rebranding efforts). When he attacked Shadow, Mr. Wood left a splinter in his side, one that’s attacking him from inside. As Wednesday performs roadside surgery, Shadow reveals to him that Laura has returned from the dead, to Wednesday’s surprise.
After helping Shadow, Wednesday and him get in their car and leave the hotel. Wednesday speeds away just as he sees Laura in the distance. Laura, eager to get back in contact with Shadow goes looking for her car. But since she was “murdered” by Mad Sweeny, the car was impounded. Lucky for her, he least favorite giant leprechaun shows up just at the same time and offers to give her a ride. After all, he needs his lucky coin and needs the “dead wife” to give it freely (or at least her body to rot away enough for it to come out of her body). He hot-wires a cab and just as they are about to leave the motel, Salim shows up. Listening to their otherworldly conversation, he knows that they might know where his newfound love Jinn is and the three of them go on a road trip. Now we have two consecutive road trips going on!
Wednesday and Shadow’s next stop in Vulcan, Virginia. Now there’s a town of Vulcan in West Virginia, but in American Gods, there’s a Vulcan, Virginia. This town is definitely a little different. As this town is in “Gun Country” much of their culture is devoted to the second amendment. He Old God in charge is Vulcan (Corbin Bernsen), the God of volcanos. Instead of it being literal volcanos, he’s the God of firepower: guns. Demanding an “accidental” sacrifice by the way of a death at the local gun factory, Vulcan has a great deal of devotion (as everyone loves their guns). He’s not even 100% sure he should join Wednesday as he’s not struggling for followers, but Wednesday is his old friend and he’ll join up with him just for the fun of it.
Shadow is clearly uncomfortable in Vulcan’s town. Not only is he the only person of color for miles, but it looks like he has an aversion to guns as well. Literally, everyone in town is packing heat. Their funeral for the sacrifice shows them blasting off in the air. Needless to say, it’s doubtful that Shadow likes guns. Him having visions to his lynching by the Technical Boy’s drones as he sees an old hanging tree in Vulcan’s front lawn isn’t too reassuring either. Vulcan assures him that no harm will come to him, but also slyly teases him about lynching.
As Vulcan and Wednesday are talking about the upcoming war with the New Gods, he willing joins his old friend, he even offers to make him a weapon. Wednesday doesn’t want a gun, he wants a specially built sword. However, Wednesday, being a leader of Old Gods, sees a ruse when there is one. He realizes that Vulcan has betrayed him to the New Gods. Thanks to their rebranding efforts, he has sided with them as they turned his evolution to guns into the gun industry (the new Gods rebranding efforts is paying off big time). With the sword already built, Wednesday put it to use as he uses it to kill Vulcan, slicing his head off. In Vulcan’s weapons factory, Wednesday decides to place a curse on Vulcan’s weapons factory and urinates into the fires, contaminating all the bullets.
This leads back to Mexican Jesus’ death as he was shot down by the minute men with Vulcan bullets. With the bullets being cursed, they are now capable of killing a God with. Not only did Wednesday strike a blow against the New Gods, but he also manufactured a way to kill them by using Vulcan’s bullets now cursed with his power to be able to kill a God. This week was a win for Wednesday.
American Gods airs Sunday nights on Starz at 9:00 PM EST.