American Gods: Season 1, Episode 8 Recap and Review

Unfortunately, good things have to end.  They can never last forever.

Good meals, good vacations, good sex…

And good television shows end as well.  Well, at least for the season.

This weekend, I experienced one of these endings.  Actually, I experienced an ending to a few of the above mentioned things, although only one of them is a relevant blog topic.

In other words, I watched the last episode of the season for American Gods last night.

Yep, sniff, gulp.  The last episode.

Now, I may get to experience a *good meal* or two between now and next spring, but I am still trying to come to terms with the fact that I will probably not see a new episode of American Gods for almost another full year.

But, I feel an empty spot in my heart already.  There is now a free hour on Sundays that I will have to fill with something else.

Whatever that something else, it won’t be American Gods.  And that is a weird feeling, almost like I am missing a tooth or something, like my favorite technical douche…

But, even though it was the last episode, it was still a blast.  I mean, go big or go home, right?  Well, American Gods chose the former.  And it did the “going big” part really well.

The season finale, titled Come to Jesus, was everything a season finale should be:  it advanced the story arc, introduced potential future story arcs, introduced new characters and ended on a bit of a cliffhanger.

Perfect, in other words, just like most of the rest of the season.

So, come join me one last time (at least until next spring), as we review and dissect Come to Jesus.

And, as always:

Synopsis

The episode begins with Shadow and Wednesday visiting Mr. Nancy, who is busy tailoring suits for the men.  While he is busy making clothes for his friends, Mr. Nancy insists upon telling them a story.

The story is one about Bilquis, otherwise known as the Queen of Sheba.  At one time, Bilquis did not lack for followers, and was even able to adapt over time, and still retain a large number of worshipers.

However, some men felt threatened by the power Bilquis held over her worshipers, and her power gradually diminished.  Bilquis moves to America, but begins to lose friends and lovers to AIDS, and lives her life out on the streets.  She watches news reports that show her temples being destroyed by ISIS soldiers.

One night, Bilquis encounters Technical Boy on the streets.  Technical Boy notes that Bilquis has lost followers, and that her temples are being destroyed.  He hands her a cell phone, introducing her to the world of online dating.  This is far from the worship Bilquis received in ancient times, but it allows her to rejuvenate and survive.

We meet Bilquis again some time later.  She is wandering in a museum, viewing old relics of a time long ago.  She encounters Technical Boy again, who reminds her that she owes him a favor.  Bilquis is reluctant, and attempts to seduce Technical Boy.  He refuses her advances. and Bilquis resigns to helping Technical Boy and the New Gods in their quest.

In the meantime, Shadow and Wednesday head for Kentucky, as Wednesday has one more Old God that he wishes to recruit to his side:  Ostara, the goddess of spring.

Wednesday explains to Shadow the meaning of Easter and how the holiday is actually Ostara’s holiday, even though people in modern times tend to associate the celebration of Easter with Christianity, as opposed to the beginning of spring.

Shadow and Wednesday arrive at Ostara’s house, where people seem to be celebrating Easter with a lavish spring brunch.  However, Shadow realizes there is something familiar in regards to the guests at Ostara’s house:  nearly every party attendee is a version of Jesus Christ, who shares the Easter holiday with Ostara.  Suddenly, things begin to click into place for Shadow.

Ostara is not pleased to see Wednesday, but takes an instant liking to Shadow.  Wednesday tries to sway her to his side, but Ostara is reluctant, arguing that she still receives worship, as Easter is an important holiday in America.

While Ostara and Wednesday are arguing, Shadow encounters one of the incarnations of Jesus in Ostara’s pool.  Jesus is sitting on top of the water, and changes water to wine.  Jesus also tells Shadow that it’s okay if he does not understand everything that is happening to him, but that he must complete his quest, no matter the cost.

In the meantime, Laura and Mad Sweeney pull up to Ostara’s house.  Laura is in an advanced state of decay, and it shows.  Mad Sweeney speaks to Ostara, and asks her to resurrect Laura.

Ostara examines Laura, but tells her that she cannot resurrect her, as Laura’s death was caused by a god.  Laura is shocked and angered by this revelation, and turns to Mad Sweeney for answers.  Mad Sweeney then admits to causing her death, but Laura knows that there is more to it, as Sweeney is not a god.

Laura tortures Mad Sweeney, and threatens to kill him if he does not answer her questions.  Mad Sweeney confesses that Wednesday was responsible for Laura’s death, as well as Shadow’s incarceration.  Sweeney tells Laura that Wednesday’s plan was to break Shadow, so that he would have nothing to live for and have no choice but to accompany Wednesday on his quest.

Media and the New Gods’ goons then show up at Ostara’s house, in an effort to sway Ostara to the side of the New Gods.  Media reminds Ostara that she has actually played a large part in the popularization of the Easter holiday, and that Ostara would be even more forgotten if not for that popularization.

Wednesday then shows up and confronts Media and her goons.  He reminds Ostara that she is actually the goddess of spring, and a formidable goddess at that.  He states that things happen because gods make them happen, and that the relationship between gods and people is a symbiotic one.

Wednesday then summons forth a flash of thunder and lightening, which kills Media’s goons.  He dedicates these deaths to Ostara, and reveals his true self to Shadow:  he is the Norse god Odin.  Wednesday also encourages Ostara to accept her true nature and reveal her powers.

Ostara does just that, and makes spring appear.  At first it is beautiful, but she then takes spring away, and winter takes over the land.  Wednesday says the if the people want spring back, they can pray for it.

Laura then appears, and demands to speak to Shadow.

Bilquis is seen on a bus, heading to some place called The House on the Rock.

My Thoughts

And trust me, there was plenty of that to go around in this episode!

So, the recipient of the “ermagerd award” this week is…

Everyone!

That’s right…

All involved in this episode, including the gods (old and new), certain unlucky leprechauns, asshole dead wives and even the humans win the “ermahgerd award” this week, as everyone was just that awesome in this episode!

And we got to meet so many new faces, along with reconnecting with some familiar faces as well.

First of all, Ostara.

She may have been my favorite part of this finale, although it is certainly hard to choose a favorite (see above paragraphs, duh.)

I mean, Ostara hanging on Shadow’s arm, and the look on Shadow’s face?  What would I give to have Ricky Whittle look at me like that?

I mean, hash tag life goals, amirite?

And Ostara and Media walking arm in arm, just like two old friends?

Which they are, since Easter has been commercialized since…well…forever, pretty much.  In fact, I half expected to see a bunny lay a chocolate egg at some point in this episode.  It would not have been out of place, in fact.

Well, they did lay candy that looked like jelly beans.  Guess the Cadbury bunny has the rights to that yumminess…

And Ostara’s army of…bunny rabbits?

Actually, those bunny rabbits were kind of disturbing.  And somewhere out that, there are knights laughing at us and saying I told you so…it turns out the need for a holy hand grenade is nothing to laugh about!

Finally, we also got to meet Jesus.

This is a story in regards to America, religion and immigration.  So it makes sense that Dickie Bennett Jesus has been thrown into the mix.  Hey, the more the merrier, right?

Seriously, I did love all the different depictions of Jesus.  After all, America is a melting pot, and it makes sense that we would have a variety of Jesuses (or is it Jesi?), since he would look different, depending on his followers, as Wednesday so eloquently reminded us.

I also loved the juxtaposition of Jesus with Easter.  After all, Easter and Christianity have been associated with each other even longer than media and Easter.

The fact that the Jesuses (or Jesi, depending on the correct pluralization of that word) seem apologetic over Ostara’s anger with them taking over her holiday is another little bonus.

The fact that one of Jesuses (okay Jesi is starting to make more sense at this point) actually has Easter candy coming out of one of his wounds is creepy and blasphemous and just so goddamn perfect.

This episode also gifted us with more Bilquis.  And more Bilquis is never a bad thing.  In fact, more Bilquis is just what the world needs right now!

Seeing the story of Bilquis unfold was fascinating, and it helped drive the story home of what happens to gods if they are not worshiped.

Bilquis is an old god, and she tries to adapt to the times.  However, as Anansi reminds us, kings become threatened by queens, and she falls upon hard times.  The AIDS epidemic and the formation of groups such as ISIS do not do Bilquis any favors either, and she eventually ends up living out her days as a homeless woman on the streets.

But, there came a savior.

And no, that savior was not one of the many faces of Jesus that Wednesday spoke so eloquently about.

No, this savior’s face is a tad on the douchey side, actually.

That’s right, Technical Boy offered his aid to Bilquis, in the form of an online dating site named after her.  Now, people could just swipe right, and Bilquis’ need for worshipers, would be satisfied, at least somewhat.  It wasn’t a massive orgy, but it was better than living as a homeless woman in the streets, watching her temples get destroyed by ISIS on national television.

Helpful hint:  if you do not wish to be devoured by the snapping vulva, swipe left…just trust me on this one, okay?  Otherwise, swipe right at your own risk, potential meal!

Bilquis did what she had to do, in order to survive.  And now it appears that she has become a double agent of sorts, and I think we are in for an interesting character arc over the next several seasons.

Oh, and that ending though.

The first (of hopefully many) clashes between the new and old gods.

Media and Technical Boy’s goons, in their Judy Garland and Fred Astaire attire.  They even treated us to their version of a dance.  I was expecting them to break out into song, but alas, I didn’t get my wish.

And speaking of Technical Boy…

He vapes.  Check.

He wears a man bun.  Check.

And now…wait for it…

A grill?

I know that an errant blown kiss knocked out those pretty teeth, but a grill?

Really?

What a joker!

But, back to the finale…

Finally, Shadow is no longer in the dark!

And if the asshole dead wife has her way, he may become even more enlightened!

We finally got to Wednesday in all his Odin glory, along with all the other names he has gone by (although I don’t think anyone has ever called him late to dinner!)

And Easter…

That’s right girl…take that scrunchie outta your hair, and let your bad self shine through!

But, back to the asshole dead wife, who just happened to finish punching a certain unlucky leprechaun right in the scrotum…

She has demanded to speak to Shadow, threatening to blow Wednesday’s cover.

Odin was glorious, but I don’t think even he is a match for an asshole dead wife with a gift for punching leprechauns in the scrotum.

So, this should be fun…I will bring the popcorn!

Well, that’s it for Come to Jesus.  And that’s it for a fantastic, fun first season of the awesomeness known as American Gods!

And hopefully time flies, so that we are back to reviewing and dissecting more American Gods before you know it!

 

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