Title: Come To Jesus
Director: Floria Sigismondi
Writers: based on the novel by Neil Gaiman, created by Bryan Fuller and Michael Green, written by Bekah Brustetter, Maria Melnik
Starring: Ricky Whittle, Ian McShane, Emily Browning, Crispin Glover, Bruce Langley, Yetide Badaki, Pablo Schreiber, Jonathan Tucker, Demore Barnes, Betty Gilpin, Siobhan Fallon Mogan, Beth Grant
Episode length: 60 minutes
Like the series, the season finale was entertaining, engaging, amusing and unconventional.
It’s hard to believe we’ve already come to the finale of American Gods rookie season. I felt like I was just starting to grasp and more thoroughly enjoy everything this unique show does. Every time I thought I knew what to expect from the next episode the series would shift gears again, and I would have to adjust to something new. That certainly helped keep it interesting and while entertaining me also kept me on my mental toes.
The series finale had some big moments regarding developments in its narrative. The episode left us with the mystery intact of exactly who or what is Shadow Moon and why he is such an important part of Mr. Wednesday’s plan. Wednesday plays the long game in whatever he does, he already knows what’s going to happen two or three moves ahead of what the rest of us see, so it’s not surprising it’s difficult to figure out what he’s up to next.
Ultimately we are left with a lot of the same questions we had when the season began, but somehow I don’t mind being left in the dark and not knowing more about what’s coming next. It’s been fun to arrive where we are, and I look forward to seeing more at whatever pace the show’s creators choose.
Here’s a recap with some comments (*Warning, spoilers follow*):
Come To Jesus told a two part story. The first told us more of Bilquis (Yetide Badaki) backstory and how she came to America. We learn she has had dealings with the new gods specifically Technical Boy ( Bruce Langley)
In a story told by Mr. Nancy (Orlando Jones), we learn about Bilquis in her glory when she was worshiped by many and powerful. We witness an orgy held in her honor and how she consumed everyone that worshiped her in her unique manner.We follow through time until near the present day when she is has fallen on hard times and is close to being forgotten.
We follow her through time until near the present day when she is has fallen on hard times and is nearly forgotten, and as we know these gods require worship to thrive. She becomes a homeless person living on the street when she witnesses the destruction her old temple on the news through a store window. It looks like the end, and that’s when Technical Boy shows up and offers her a partial return to her former glory.
Indications are she is not happy with her situation and would willingly escape her bargain with the arrogant Technical Boy. I suspect this is only the tip of the iceberg that hints at the sort of behind the scenes finagling going on in preparation for the coming war. The new Gods are not above stacking the deck it seems.
The second half of the episode follows Shadow (Ricky Whittle) and Mr. Wednesday (Ian Mc Shane) as they finish their visit with Mr, Nancy for some new clothes. The pair continues to Kentucky to attend a party at the home of Easter (Kristin Chenoweth), another of the old gods Wednesday hopes to recruit.
The party is the embodiment of everything Easter including several versions of Jesus. The show uses the opportunity to poke fun at the situation and make some bad Jesus jokes, for example showing an aging Jesus unable to hold a hand full of jelly beans because of the holes in his hands from being crucified.
Shadow seems to be becoming adjusted to the idea that Wednesday and his acquaintances are not exactly from around here and seems less astonished when he see things he knows are not ordinary. Shadow is smitten by Easter when he meets her, and she finds him attractive too. Wednesday starts to create some unpleasantness as a distraction by telling the many Jesuses on hand they ruined Easter when they took it over from its original pagan roots.
Media (Gillian Anderson) shows up and tries to convince Easter she should be their side.
Meanwhile, Laura (Emily Browning) and Sweeney (Pablo Schreiber) arrive and in an amusing moment, she tosses the keys to the all-but-destroyed ice cream truck to the valet. Easter senses her presence immediately, and it looks like she may be able to restore Laura to living, but there’s a catch. It turns out a god caused Laura’s death, and so there’s nothing Easter can do.
Naturally, Laura is upset at this news and convinces Sweeney to tell her what god killed her by grabbing him by the crotch lifting him in the air and holding him there until he spills the beans that it was Wednesday. Laura suddenly realizes he’s been meddling all along all the way back to before the robbery and she is pissed.
While all this is going on a confrontation between Wednesday and Media has escalated she is accompanied by one of Technical Boys drone clones, and it begins to multiply until it becomes a faceless annoying crowd. Technical Boy arrives, and then even Mr.World’s face is superimposed on the face of one of the drones This could be taken as aggression and apparently that how Wednesday sees it. He picks the moment to reveal his true identity to Shadow, and flamboyantly announces he’s Odin. He calls down lightning and strikes them all down, so only Media is left standing. After that Easter who is apparently also the goddess of spring makes all signs of spring disappear and the whole countryside turns brown losing all signs of life. If people want spring they will have to pray for it The war is on, and Wednesday/Odin has fired the first volley. Shadow doesn’t seem all that surprised or shocked as you might expect he would be.
At that moment Laura makes an entrance. The show has her looking like crap and more corpse-like all the time; She quietly asks if she can have a word with their husband. Laura’s a loose cannon in all this, and with her super strength, there’s no telling how much damage she can do to ruin Odin’s plans. Shadow appeared happy and relieved to see her. The episode ends on that note. One last amusing moment in a smile-inducing episode.