Ya know, I don’t think I’ve ever seen as many erections in a TV show as I did on this one episode.
So, uh, equal time?
As I type this, I’m actually rereading the book. Chances are there will be a book review on Gabbing Geek long before this write up (originally composed Sunday night, May 7th) goes live. As such, much of the events that appeared on screen are in sections I just read. That means, despite this episode ending with Shadow losing a game of checkers to the murderous-sounding Czernobog, I have a pretty good idea of how he gets out of that apartment alive.
However, picking up not long after Laura’s funeral and the mystery of who saved Shadow from that lynching, we see him try and figure out what exactly Wednesday is, what he wants, and why these weirdoes keep offering him a job. Having Lucy Ricardo proposition you in more ways than one is really disturbing. Wednesday, we are told, is on a recruiting job, and that takes him to see the sullen Czernobog and those three sisters, one of whom seems to be mostly sleeping, one of whom doesn’t talk, and one last one that’s played by Cloris Leachman doing her Young Frankenstein accent.
But that crack about Leachman aside (and she’s a treasure in everything even in her 90s), American Gods showcases some of its fantastic casting choices here. The opening, original for the show as far as I can remember, shows a slave ship in the late 1600s crossing the ocean from Africa. One captive prays to Anansi in his native tongue, and then Anansi shows up in the form of Orlando Jones. He’s wearing more modern clothes and speaks English, but no one really seems to fail to understand what he’s saying as he basically tells the guys on the ship they and for the next 300 years, their descendants are truly screwed, so why not blow up the ship where the only survivor is a small, colorful spider on a floating piece of wood? It hit me right up there with episode one’s viking opener.
Or Gillian Anderson as the most chilling Lucy ever? She’s cold, she’s impersonal, and she will offer to flash Shadow if it will work.
And then Peter Stormare as Czernobog, chewing scenery as only a god should.
And you know, rereading, I keep hearing Shadow speaking rather calmly. Ricky Whittle’s intense rage is a nice interpretation.
But the one thing I am largely baffled about is Bilquis. I don’t think she reappears after her single three-page scene in the original novel. So, why is she still here? We see her taking on more amorous victims, and she’s progressive enough to make them of both genders, but I’m not sure what she’s up to. Narrative law says it must be important, or else we wouldn’t still be hanging out with her. Heck, the actress has her name in the opening credits. So, what’s her deal?