Only two episodes in and I can already say American Gods is one of a kind. In terms of aesthetic, subject matter and also how it deals with the current political climate. There have been interviews where Fuller and Green discussed how relevant the show is when it comes to how the world is nowadays and I was curious to see how they would approach it.
“Once upon a time, a man got fucked. Now, how’s that for a story?”
I wasn’t expecting anything like this. This episode begins again with a scene of Mr. Ibis writing in his book (if all episodes start this way I’ll be a happy camper) and that scene was one of the highlights of the episode to me. All because of Orlando Jones. I thought he was a strange choice for Mr. Nancy (I imagined his character much older) but in less than one minute I was sold.
No words I can say about that scene, or the speech he gives in, will make it justice. It leaves me hoping that at some point we get an adaptation of Anansi Boys, because that would be really cool! I’m really looking forward to seeing more of Mr. Nancy in this show.
“I’m going to tell you something, and you’re going to want to hurt me.”
In this episode, Shadow and Wednesday begin their road trip. But before that we see a bit of how Shadow is feeling between his grief and almost dying the previous episode. He doesn’t say much in those scenes but he doesn’t have to. It’s something that Mr. Wednesday points over as well, he mentions Shadow’s apparent lack of charisma but it’s not really that. Shadow has no idea what he’s getting into, so in that way he’s the gateway for the audience as well.
We finally got a glimpse of Gillian Anderson as Media. Or to be more accurate, Gillian Anderson as Media as Lucille Ball. The scene where Media is introduced happens in slightly different circumstances than in the book, which makes it creepier and more effective. It was simply amazing. It looks like in each of her appearances she’s going to be doing a different TV character and I’m looking forward to that just to see her that. Especially her as Marilyn Monroe, that’s going to be great for sure.
This seems to be a natural follow-up to what Fuller did to her in Hannibal. Apparently he used to write long, run-in sentences for her on purpose. His aim was just to see how she’d do those, so having her play a character embodying different actors and characters feels like the next step.
“-What’s in Chicago? -My hammer”
We also see how Bilquis is doing, it’s a very short scene but it shows how her character arc might go. Despite her obtaining many “worshippers” she feels unhappy, and yearns from the past. Her scene at the museum, while short, shows a lot about that.
And we get introduced to more characters, two of the Zoryas (because the other one is sleeping) and Czernobog. Czernobog is terrifying and Peter Stormare is yet another example about how perfect this casting is. There are a couple of scenes in this episode, directed again by David Slade, involving him that gave me the creeps. And the music doesn’t help, because it can get very creepy.
Really, this episode makes checkers look like a nerve-wracking game. I’ve read the book multiple times over the years, and still this scene made me feel very uneasy. Especially all the cutaways to the bleeding hammer and the way Czernobog describes his job at the slaughterhouse.
This episode also made me realise something. Janice Poon is working on the show too! She was the food stylist for Hannibal and after seeing the food in the previous scene I thought about her blog, which I visited regularly back in the day. And turns out she’s the food stylist for American Gods too! That honestly made me happy because reading her blog week by week gave a different dimension to Hannibal, and the same will happen here.
And this is all I have to say about this week’s episode. I’ll see you in a week for the next episode of American Gods!
Angry Spaniard, adoptive Irishman. Writer, reader, tea drinker and video game player/designer.