The Wrath Of Odin
When it comes to American Gods, the story off-screen has been almost as turbulent as that depicted on-screen. With a changed show runner, a reduced episode count and delays, many doubted this much-anticipated series would even return. Well return it has, picking up where it left off from before. American Gods mixes its blend of unique stylistic ticks with methodically paced storytelling to make for an interesting first episode.
We begin with the new gods retreating amid Wednesday’s reveal as Odin, the Norse God of war. With an angsty Technical Boy eager to get his revenge and Mr World continuing to pull the strings for the new Gods, the final climax of the episode sees them make their move.
Before we get there though we cut back to Wednesday, Shadow, Laura and Mad Sweeney who all travel across the vast expanse of America to gather the troops for their upcoming fight. With Easter flying off the handle, the forces are in disarray until they arrive at a secret location, greeted by Mr Nancy, the trickster. Once inside, they’re joined by a few returning faces from last year including Bilquis, the Goddess of Love.
In true American Gods fashion, things are never quite as simple as they seem, with the mundane usually becoming the fantastical. Wednesday and the others all use a coin to reveal their fortune and while Wednesday laughs his off, Shadow ponders over what his means. Laura on the other hand, has no fortune which throws even more questions for us to chew over.
As Wednesday rallies the Gods together, Shadow joins him in the carousel room where, after a dizzying array of hedonistic imagery, he wakes up in Wednesday’s mind. As Odin pleads with the old Gods to heed his call, it’s ultimately Shadow who convinces them to join together, at least for now.
When he awakens, all four main characters find themselves in a sleepy cafe with no knowledge of their prior meeting in Wednesday’s mind. It’s here where the new Gods make their aforementioned move and through a series of slow-motion action shots, the cafe is thrown into disarray. Shadow tries to stop the sniper outside but in doing so, winds up captured. As the old Gods recover from their losses, the door is left wide open, with numerous question marks hanging over the direction of the plot.
For the most part, the first episode does well to keep the same aesthetic flair and methodical pacing evident in the first season. Although it does feel a little anticlimactic at points, it’s still far too early in the season to cast judgment over the direction of the entire story. Visually, the show looks great though and tonally everything still feels very consistent with the first season. It’s not perfect, but it is a very strong start and something that hopefully continues through to the finale.
Expect A Full Season Write Up When This Season Concludes!