American Gods – Season 3 Episode 2 Recap & Review

Serious Moonlight

Episode 2 of American Gods Season 3 begins with a series of Native American Indians on the ground, blood spatters painting the inhospitable icy ground. The surviving villagers call out for help but it’s no good as they’re slaughtered.

Back in Lakeside, Shadow is held up at gunpoint as he calmly explains that he’s been sent there by Wednesday. Turning around, Shadow meets a young woman who simply goes by the title of “Property Manager”. As Shadow sits in her lounge, the lights begin flickering.

When Shadow awakens, he finds himself in another dream sequence – this time as a child and meeting a new God, one that confirms a lot is required of him. Buffalo Man manifests itself after and corners Shadow in a supermarket.

In the morning, Shadow finds a confidential letter, an invitation for the Festival Of Koliada by the family of Zorya Vecherhyaya. Zorya has passed away and this is Shadow’s personal invitation – he’s also told to bring the coin with him.

Walking up the road to town, Shadow’s picked up by Anne-Marie and taken back into town. Thanks to a big exposition dump, we learn about the town’s and how they give thanks to its history and Nordic heritage.

Mike eventually meets Property Manager again, intending to leave town and head to Chicago. He rents a beaten down car and heads out on the road. On the way though, he hits a fawn.

Meanwhile, Bilquis has another patron in the form of a man called Bill. He antagonizes Bilquis before telling her he knows who she is. As she sleeps with him, she consumes the man inside her again as another tribute. Only, this time she vomits after the act.

Wednesday meets another of his old Gods, Tyr The Warlord. He wants a donation and Tyr’s Nordic tongue hints back at that earlier flashback at the start of the episode.

Speaking of Old Gods, Shadows rocks up before Czernobog again with Wednesday. With Zorya dead, an enraged Czernobog brandishes his sledgehammer, warning Shadow away. While he heads up to pay his respects to the stars, Wednesday confronts his old friend and reminds him of his promised oath. After fighting together, they eventually toast and Czernobog agrees to go to war.

Along with Tyr, Salim also shows up and confronts Wednesday about the Jinn. When he leaves, Salim has some choice words for Shadow, words that are followed up by Shadow leaving and heading back to Lakeside.

When he returns, he’s greeted with a pretty icy reception. That manifests itself in the sheriff bringing Shadow in for questioning. Alison has gone missing and no one has seen her. Given the time period coincides with Shadow leaving town, you can understand why the townsfolk are suspicious.

After calmly answering the officer’s questions, Shadow grabs some firewood and settles in for the night. Property Manager apologizes and reveals she actually had the breaker turned off all this time; she was intentionally keeping the place cold. A brief conversation between the two eventually paves way for Shadow being left alone and with his thoughts.

The Episode Review

Comedy, exposition dumps and a more straight forward narrative – this is well and truly a new era for American Gods. For better or worse, this show is a pale imitation of the thought provoking novel it’s based on and the story here swings wildly away from how the book plays out.

While there’s nothing inherently wrong with that, what’s here instead is a far cry from the hedonistic beauty in the first – and to an extent- the second season. With no Sweeney, Laura, Anansi or Jinn, the story instead brings Czernobog back into proceedings and it looks like he’s not going to bash Shadow’s head in any time soon.

The teased war between the New Gods (who are noticeably absent this episode) and the Old Gods is still here though, lurking in the shadows. Whether we’ll actually see that come to fruition or not, is another matter.

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