Previously on American Gods, “Lemon Scented You”
Not to keep beating a dead wife, but American Gods continues to go off book in the best possible ways. Last week, Shadow was stabbed by a tree growing out of a corpse in the police station. As Wednesday heals him with his hand, he explains that Mr. Wood was the god of the trees and forest, and he sacrificed them to become something else instead of fighting the incoming industrial age. With a jolt of electricity from Wednesday’s fingertips, a piece of living wood scurries out of Shadow’s body. I’m dying to see this “something else” Mr. Wood has become as this is not in the book.Having witnessed the unbelievable, Shadow has questions; the main being just who the hell is Wednesday? When he replies, “If I tell you, you wouldn’t believe me,” it may, at first, feel like a silly way to prolong what we already know (and what Shadow should know if he were paying attention in the interrogation room), but what if Wednesday is being literal? We know how strong the power of belief is, and perhaps Mr. Wednesday needs Shadow to be a 100% believer for whatever he has planned. And what could be blocking Shadow from fully converting to the church of Wednesday?
Stop me if you heard this one before: a dead girl, a leprechaun, and a cabbie walk into a bar…
Shadow’s nearly departed has hooked up with Mad Sweeney because he claims he can take her to be resurrected. If Laura’s a real live girl again, she won’t need his coin. They’re caught trying to steal a cab by its owner, Salim (Omid Abtahi), who agrees to take them where they need to go (Kentucky) in exchange for the location of the Jinn. Sweet Salim is turned out, y’all. This has the potential to be the best group quest since The Wizard of Oz.
American Gods doesn’t shy away from the ugly and dark parts of religion and worship. This week explored America’s love of guns — what prompts it and what people are willing to do to keep the security they bring. Vulcan, Virginia (a fictional location based on a real one) is the kind of town you’d think of when listening to Obama talk about people clinging to guns and religion. The heart and soul of the town is the Vulcan ammunitions factory, owned and ran by the god of fire and the forge himself, Vulcan (Corbin Bernsen).
When Wednesday comes seeking his allegiance, Vulcan early on mentions he has franchised his faith. The fire of volcanos now burn inside his bullets, and every time one is fired that’s a prayer in his name. It’s not hard to see that in this day and age of mass shootings, business is good for Vulcan. And the employees who find themselves falling into vats of molten lava several times a year don’t exactly hurt his bottom line either. Shadow is, understandably, uncomfortable in Vulcan, what with all the white folks with guns, stares, and lynching trees.
When Vulcan mentioned franchising his faith, that was a red flag to the audience. His rebranding and thriving sounds a lot like what Mr. World offered Wednesday in “Lemon Scented You.” Sure enough, after he forges a sword for Wednesday, Vulcan admits to selling them out to the new gods. Wednesday said he always knew who Vulcan was, and he proves this by having called the betrayal ahead of time. He kills Vulcan and plans on pinning it on the new gods. A martyr might be just what Wednesday needed to recruit more old gods to his cause.
Coming to America
This week’s vignette highlighted the very best and worst of Christianity. A group of Mexicans make the dangerous journey across the Rio Grande and reach America. One is saved by Jesus himself when he starts to drown. Once they reach land, they kiss the ground and thank their god for safe passage.
But then a group of armed American civilians open fire on them, killing several people and Jesus. Their guns have “Thy Kingdom Come” carved on the sides, they’re holding rosaries, and the bullets are Vulcans.
Is Good? (And Other Bits of Note)
So, Vulcan is the god of #AllLivesMatter, right? The god of “It’s Not Racist; It’s Southern Pride.” The god of “Get rid of that Obamacare, but leave my ACA alone!” The god of “If They Just Pull Up Their Pants, We’d Treat Them Like Human Beings.”
We saw the death of two gods in this episode, but it cannot be that simple. Where does a god go when the body is killed, but the belief remains?
Mr. Wednesday is not here for Laura Moon. It was hilarious watching him speed off knowing she was running behind them, trying to get Shadow’s attention. Also, it’s funny how he warned Shadow that driving is his job, but Wednesday does most of the driving.
Mad Sweeney, Laura, and Salim on a road trip is everything I didn’t know I wanted. Mad Sweeney’s reaction when Salim says someone did take a shit in the backseat of the taxi was funny because it mirrored Salim’s reaction when the Jinn said it.
How are there only two episodes left? I want more.
American Gods S1E6
"A Murder of Gods"
Starring: Ricky Whittle, Ian McShane, Emily Browning, Yetide Badaki, Bruce Langley, Pablo Schreiber, Crispin Glover, Gillian Anderson, Demore Barnes, Cloris Leachman, Peter Stormare, Kristin Chenoweth, Orlando Jones