House on the Rock – | Review Score – 4/5
The Beguiling Man – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Muninn – | Review Score – 3.5/5
The Greatest Story Ever Told – | Review Score – 3.5/5
The Ways of the Dead – | Review Score – 3/5
Donar the Great – | Review Score – 2.5/5
Treasure of the Sun – | Review Score – 4/5
Moon Shadow – | Review Score – 3.5/5
After its cliffhanger ending and tumultuous time off-screen before the second season, many people wondered quite what the future held for this highly anticipated series. With a methodically slow pace and a story meandering between interesting monologues and drawn out dreamy sequences, American Gods continues the stylistic feel of the first season but fails to really deliver on its promise of a satisfying war between the New and Old Gods.
The story picks up with Shadow Moon and Wednesday continuing their hunt to recruit the Old Gods to their cause. With the war looming, a surprise attack at a cafe causing chaos as the New Gods flex their newfound muscles and kidnap Shadow. After rescuing him from his fate, the Old Gods band together and prepare for the upcoming war while Media sheds her old skin to become New Media and Mad Sweeney meets his prophetic fate.
All of this leads to a final showdown inside a funeral parlour as our Old Gods band together to fend off an ensuing police assault, orchestrated by the invigorated force of Mr. World, Technical Boy and New Media which ultimately leads to nothing in a somewhat anticlimactic finale.
Although the story hasn’t quite lived up to expectations this year, stylistically at least American Gods has never looked better. At times, this does hinder the plot and some of the early ideas around an interactive map and Gods in their original form which eventually fizzles out for more monologes from our characters. The hedonistic use of colour and the jazz score help to add to the allure of the show and at least visually, American Gods has never looked so good.
Much like the first season, Shadow Moon continues to be one of the more uninteresting characters of the show. With a cast chock full of interesting, dynamic Gods with backstory and rich lore, Shadow feels like the weak link here, devoid of any real motivation beyond following Wednesday’s guidance. There’s still some interesting material here, and his interactions with Laura throughout the season are pretty strong but beyond that, there’s just not much to his persona worth investing in.
Of course, with a third season on the horizon and the finale leaving many plot threads unresolved, quite where American Gods goes from here is anyone’s guess. The plot has oftentimes meandered around monologues and drawn out dream sequences, failing to inject any sort of urgency into the upcoming war between the New and Old Gods. Hopefully American Gods can improve going forward, with the inconsistency off-screen clearly affecting the on-screen content this year too. There’s certainly some good moments here but they feel few and far between, hurting the overall appeal of a once promising show.
Verdict - 6/10