American Gods 102 - The Secret of Spoons
PREMIERED SUN, MAY 7 at 9PM ET/PT
Official Synopsis: Beginning recruitment for the coming battle, Mr. Wednesday travels with Shadow Moon to Chicago, where he agrees to a very high stakes game of checkers with the old Slavic god, Czernobog.
“The world is either crazy or you are. They are both solid options.”
Welcome back to the world of old versus new.
The opening credits hint at the amazing nature of the story. The images of old gods altered to incorporate the new. As the images of the individual gods pulls back the modern-day totem pole is revealed. Who are we as a people, and what do we believe in?
Once again, the episode starts with an introduction to an old god and its people. This time aboard a slave ship we meet Anansi (Orlando Jones). The West African God answers the call of his enslaved people and gives quite the rousing speech.
If you’re an arachnophobe like me this scene is going to bother you for days, but Jones plays the character with quite a bit of heart. Weaving the story of slavery, and oppression into a call to arms. Ending with him alone making it to the new world.
Still…I think ran through a can of raid in my apartment after that opening. Which reminds me; can I crash on someone’s couch while my place airs out?
Back to the modern day. Shadow, fresh out of nearly getting lynched must still deal with cleaning out his house and his wife’s infidelity.
I want to give Ricky Whittle a lot of credit. I’m loving his portrayal of Shadow. What’s more important than the way he delivers the dialogue is when he’s silent. Whittle knows how to balance the sadness of the character with his strength.
Last episode Shadow is confronted by “technical boy” as he tries to find out what Wednesday’s plan is. This time around we’re given a better look at the New Gods by one of the first to really exemplify the term: Lucille Ball (Gillian Anderson).
“The screen is the alter. I’m the one they sacrifice to…They sit side-by-side, ignore each other and give it up to me. Now they hold a smaller screen in their lap, or in the palm of their hand so they don’t get bored watching the big one.”
Who are we, and what do we believe in?
Shadow is begging to see the world beneath the world. The veil is slowly slipping and as he attempts to reconcile this, we question our own sanity.
We finish the episode with a game of checkers in Chicago. A game where Shadow’s life becomes a prize. A lose at the game means he’ll have to kneel and have his brain smashed in. A win gives Wednesday the hammer he says he needs.
In a perfect world Shadow would win and we’d be on our way.
But this isn’t a perfect world. It’s our world, or theirs, if we’re being honest in this series.
Shadow’s is once again hanging near death as the credits rolls.