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TV Review: American Gods (Season 1, Episode 8)

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The finale of American Gods manages to add to the tension that the series has built and ends with anticipation for what will come next.

The episode opens with a return from Mr Nancy, a character much adored (even if just by me) when he first appeared at the beginning of the series.

He’s as charismatic and eloquent as ever, and gives us the backstory to the mysterious Bilquis, the reverse birther that was first shown in the first ever episode. Although it seemed out of place in an already incoherent episode, it is in the eighth episode that her true identity is to be understood.

Mr Nancy speaks of the changing of power and the destroyed altar that led to a queen at rock bottom – and there, she is susceptible to the influences of the New Gods.

This is an instant which is paralleled with the introduction of Ostara, the Pagan Goddess of Spring, whom Wednesday manipulates and empowers to persuade her to his side in the upcoming war.

Ostara is an important character in this episode, despite the fact she hasn’t been mentioned before. It’s her happy, yet gaudy home that the majority of the episode is set in.

This backdrop of bright colours and sweetness stands as such a direct contrast between both the events of the series, events of previous episodes and even the characters that are there.

As always, the cinematography is beautiful. Bryan Fuller has a way with adding depths into his visual work and manages to turn scenes that might be considered obscene into something wonderfully artistic.

This is shown especially during Mr Nancy’s story about Bilquis, where music and fashion and time period pieces all work together to create a fantastic sense of place.

If you were expecting a god smack down, you might be disappointed.

Mr World, Media and the Technical Boy do return…to tell Wednesday what he already knew from the time in the police station episodes – that they don’t want to fight but if they do, Wednesday will lose.

Guess that’s a battle you’ll have to wait for Season 2 to experience.

Even though this finale doesn’t answer as many questions as we would have wanted, and it doesn’t give us the big battle that had been promised since the first episode, it does set up the final push to war and all those who will be fighting for their own power structures.

Now, there's just one last question: when is season 2 coming out?

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