‘American Gods’ Highlights: S1E5: “Lemon Scented You”

Last week on American Gods, we departed with the usual “Coming to America” intro showing how humans interacted with their Gods in the new world of America.  Instead, we focused on Shadow’s ex-wife Laura, showing when they first met and fell in love, to the breakup of their marriage when he went to prison and she cheated on him with his best friend Robbie.  The episode also showed her death when she gave Robbie fellatio, leading to a car accident and then her confrontation with Mr. Jacquel in the afterlife.  Before she could even go on to the black nothingness of non-belief, Mad Sweeny’s coin resurrected her back into the real world where she saved Shadow from the Technical Boy’s drones and then he confronting her love.  Tonight’s episode continued from when Shadow and Laura reunited and was the first episode that significantly moved the plot of the show forward as he finally me the leader of the New Gods, Mr. World (Crispin Glover).

Here are a few highlights from tonight’s episode “Git Gone.”

1. The Return of Coming to America

Last week we did not have the “Coming to America” or “Departing America” introduction as the episode primarily focused on Laura Moon.  This week it returned showcasing a new tale of travelers coming to the new world.  This week told the story of a group of travelers in 14,000 B.C. as they made their way to America.  Instead of using life action, Brian Fuller whose visuals on this show and others like Hannibal were awesome, opted to go the route of using animation to tell the tell.  The travelers made their way to the New World and carried their belief in their God Nunyunnini.  However, when they made it to America, they didn’t get all the good fortune they prayed for.  As they interacted with tribes already existing here, they adopted their beliefs, and soon no longer worshiped Nunyunnini.  This laid out the central premise for the show.  Gods don’t have power if no one doesn’t believe in them.  The reason Wednesday is recruiting his Old Gods, is because everyone has stopped worshipping them and instead are worshipping New Gods.  If the Old Gods don’t try to take the New Gods out, they will become as irrelevant as Nunyunnini.

2. Laura and Shadow Confront Each Other

I’m not a fan of Laura.  As a married man, the idea of cheating by either spouse repulses me.  She right now is the villain for the simple fact that she not only cheated on him, but cheated on him with his best friend.  That’s the ultimate betrayal on two fronts.  It’s also good that Shadow didn’t let her off the hook for her actions, resurrection or not.  While she will probably go through a character arc where she is redeemed, right now she’s sill in “bad guy” territory as she’s not 100% remorseful for her actions.  They continue to show Shadow as a blinding light to Laura and we get to see why.  When the two finally embrace and share a kiss together, her dead body comes alive.  It seems like Shadow will be the key to her regaining her humanity towards the end of the season.

3. Wednesday and Shadow Get Arrested

A few weeks ago, Wednesday and Shadow robbed a bank.  Well, not really robbing a bank, more like scamming those that wanted to make a deposit at the bank’s ATM machine.  The plan was rather genius, and one we could expect from the Norse God, and it worked.  Which is why it was a surprise that the police showed up and arrested the two for the robbery.  Turns out, the police had help.  Someone with significant resources provided the police with drone footage and GPS coordinates for the two.  It was no coincidence that they were caught by some small town sheriffs, as the New Gods eventually showed up to confront Wednesday.

4. Media Makes Her Return Twice

Gillian Anderson seems to be having a blast on this show.  We all know her primarily as Agent Diana Scully from The X-Files where she played the no-nonsense FBI agent.  American Gods allows her to let loose and really chew some scenery in the many representations of Media.  This week she exemplifies David Bowie and Marilyn Monroe in her two appearances.  When she’s David Bowie, she confronts the Technical Boy for his actions in attempting to lynch Shadow in the pilot episode.  The Technical Boy came across as a whiney brat, but when Media speaks, he listens, especially when she’s giving orders from Mr. World.  Later on, she makes her appearance as Marilyn Monroe literally floating on air when she meets up with Shadow and Wednesday.  Both her and Aubrey Plaza (for her role on Legion) are having the times of their lives playing very eccentric characters and dialing it up 100 percent.

5. Introduction of Mr. World

Actor Crispin Glover has made a career playing creepy characters, but his portrayal of all-powerful New God Mr. World takes the cake.  Mr. World is the personification of globalization, knowledge, the financial market, war, literally the entire world.  He’s incredibly powerful.  In his introduction, he’s literally lighting tiles with each step “Billie Jean” style.  Mr. World comes across as pragmatic as in his eyes, he’s not at war with Wednesday and the Old Gods.  He even offers a partnership with them, offering to help rebrand the Old Gods so that they fit the paradigm of the New World.  He, Media, and the Technical Boy offer to allow Wednesday to be on the newest “Odin Satellite” that will be used to wipe out North Korea (Trump better not start a nuclear war) within a month.  The idea intrigues Wednesday a little as well.  Mr. World also has respect for the Old Gods, even if they want to go to war with him.  When the arrogant Technical Boy tells his leader to kill Wednesday, he scolds the younger god that Wednesday is older and wiser than he will ever be and to show his elders some respect.  That doesn’t mean he’s a pushover, as he wiped out the entire police station with some sort of tree monster that would make Groot run away.  If he can’t get his way with diplomacy, he can use straight terror.  We’ll find out how it goes as this war intensified.