Last week’s episode of American Gods was one of the weakest of the season. As stated before, it didn’t really feel like a penultimate episode and probably should have switched around with the previous week. Learning about Essie McGowan (who looked eerily similar to Laura Moon) and her devotion to Mad Sweeny didn’t add much overall, but it did deliver fine performances by Pablo Schreiber and Emily Browning as they were the central characters that episode. However, we still have the Cold War between the Old Gods and the New Gods. Thank goodness for this week!
We didn’t get a “Coming to America” monologue from Mr. Ibis. We did get a monologue from Mr. Nancy, who has been sorely missed since the second episode where he inspired slaves to revolt against their masters by telling them the future of black people in America. Nany had spent most of the season in his spider form when he interacted with Wednesday. In tonight’s episode, we see him in the flesh. With Nancy being Nancy, he’s got another story to tell. This time he talks of the Queen of Sheba in the form of Bilquis, another Old God we haven’t seen for a few episodes. Whenever we see her, we know we’re in for a bizarre sexual treat as she “consumes” those she has sex with. We see her when she was in her prime, having massive worshippers whom she consumes through sex in 864 BC. We also see Bilquis in the 1970s in the disco time on Tehran (before the Revolution). However, in both times, she has had to flee in order to not be attacked as Iran was becoming more militant. Off she goes to America. In America, she doesn’t capture the same power she once had as in the 80s the AIDS crisis was in full bloom. To even add to her misery, ISIS is destroying temples once dedicated to her. Lucky for her, she has an unexpected hero, the Technical Boy. Since the altar dedicated to her was destroyed, he offers her a new one, online dating. Through Tinder, she can once again gain power. Of course, a partnership with the New Gods can prove problematic as she eventually tries to avoid him, knowing it will mean going up against her fellow Old Gods.
Wednesday and Shadow are continuing their road trip. After getting a new suit from Nancy, they have another stop to make. They travel to Kentucky so that they can meet Easter. Easter, or Ostara is the God of the spring. Before Jesus’ resurrection was a holiday, people celebrated her on Easter Sunday as a celebration of the spring. Today just happens to be one of those celebrations. Just like Easter is now a holiday for Jesus, Easter and Jesus celebrate together at a dinner party. As Wednesday stated before, there’s a Jesus for everybody. At this party, there are hundreds of Jesuses in every ethnicity imaginable. In fact, Jesus seems to be the only other person at the party for the most part. This is when Shadow FINALLY gets it. Despite all the craziness that he has been going through since he got out of jail, he has been in the dark about what really is going on. He finally comes to the conclusion that all the characters he has been meeting ever since he ran into Wednesday on that plane are all Gods.
Wednesday of course, is all about business. He needs Easter for the upcoming war against the New Gods. Like most that he has tried to recruit, she needs some convincing. After all, she has a good relationship with Media and the New Gods like many of the other Old Gods. It looks like Wednesday seems to be one of the few Old Gods who has a bone to pick with them. Wednesday continues the lie that they killed Vulcan (even though he did) to help sway her to his side. One of Easter’s bunnies comes and whispers in her ear. They have a new guest.
Laura Moon (who is now seriously reeking) and Mad Sweeny have arrived in the hopes of getting a resurrection. It appears that Easter doesn’t really get along with Sweeny, but does tolerate him and will listen to Laura’s case to be resurrected. Before Easter decides to resurrect Laura or not, she wants to look into her eyes to see just how she died. Easter learns what we learned last week, that Sweeny is responsible for her death. Easter tells Laura that she cannot resurrect her as she was killed by a God. For a second it looks like Sweeny’s days are numbered and Laura and her super strength would tear him apart. She does get rough with him as she grabs him by his nether regions for information. Sweeny tells the truth, that Wednesday is responsible for her death, and also for Shadow’s incarceration. Wednesday has been interfering with their lives so that he can have Shadow by his side for the upcoming war against the New Gods.
Just when it couldn’t get any weirder, another guest arrives at the party. Media makes her appearance to the party. Easter friendly engages with her. At this point, she’s still neutral. It doesn’t take long however for Wednesday to show up and the Old and New Gods have their second confrontation with each other. The Technical Boy and Mr. World show up afterward as well. Media still wants to help upgrade the Old Gods. She even comments that Saint Nick took a deal with them and now he’s big because of Christmas. Wednesday coos in Easter’s ear telling her that she is the bringer of spring and deserves adulation and worship from humans.
As it looks like the two sides are about to finally have it out with each other, Wednesday shows his true power and with a lightning bold, he takes out all of the Technical Boy’s drones. At that point, Wednesday finally reveals who he really is to Shadow. Wednesday is Odin. Hats off to Ian McShane who it looks like has been having a blast playing the role. When he declares to Shadow who he really is, he’s full of power and might. Wednesday tells Easter to pick a side and show the New Gods her true power and show why she deserves worship. Easter uses her power to wipe out all the greenery that comes with spring and we see the world literally dying. Wednesday declares to the New Gods that they have taken spring away. If humans want it back, they will have to pray for it. The war between the Old and New Gods has officially started. The one thing he didn’t count on was Laura, who interrupts him demanding to speak with her husband. The post-credits stinger shows Bilquis getting on a bus heading to Kentucky and once again about to have sex with an unsuspecting person. At this point we don’t know if she will be with the Old Gods or the New Gods.
Overall, this has been a fascinating season for American Gods. Even though it was an 8 episode season, it did feel a little long (especially because of last week’s episode). For the most part, this was very exciting visually arresting, and very good. Shadow finally understanding that he was dealing with gods this whole time, was good, even if it was way late in the game. They still haven’t revealed why he’s so important to Wednesday. Book readers probably know the truth. If I was a betting man, I’d say that he’s Wednesday’s son Thor (which would explain him being able to change the weather) in human form. Laura is still the wild card. Although she wasn’t a character you could like in the beginning of the season, she has grown on us over the season. We still have to see if the Jinn and Salim will ever be united. Rest assured, there’s a second season already in motion for this show, so expect many more answers as well as a full-blown war between the Old and New Gods.
American Gods is currently available on Starz On Demand.