TV Review: American Gods (Season 1, Episode 3)
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This new instalment of American Gods has Shadow questioning his new job when Mr Wednesday intends to rob a bank to fund an army – one, it seems, he wishes to use to restore the world to what it once was. From a visual aspect, Bryan Fuller continues to make American Gods a visual masterpiece. A scene that sticks out near the beginning of the episode – Mr Wednesday and Zorya Vechernyaya (played by Cloris Leachman) is standing in the rain, the droplets falling slow and vivid against a dark sky. Zorya says “I can taste you on the rain. What have you done?” and gets a simple and powerful answer from Wednesday, “War.” This scene is stunning and builds the tension towards what one hopes will be the apex of the series. At the same time that this scene is playing out, you have Shadow and Czernobog (played by Peter Stormare) who have continued their battle of life and death checkers. Whilst it’s not immediately obvious why this juxtaposition is so important, it is noticeable about the idea of old verse new. Before the rain scene, in Zorya’s bedroom, Wednesday reminisces about a time before – of worship and jewels and beloved by all – a clear message that Wednesday wants a return to that kind of worship. Shadow, however, uses age and predictability against Czernobog and makes a point of telling him so. It’s an enjoyable debate to have in the middle of such a fantastical and gore tale about war and gods, a combination that is so wonderfully Gaiman that it’s translating onto screen feels honest to what American Gods had always been intended to be.
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