Man, this episode was full of crazy stuff. Perhaps the best way to say so would be to give a shout-out to Gillian Anderson. As Media, she does impersonations of both David Bowie and Marilyn Monroe for this episode.
Shadow still thinks of her as I Love Lucy…
After a cool animated opening of a forgotten god and how a god can die, we shift back to Laura and Shadow talking. She, maybe, wants forgiveness, and Shadow doesn’t quite know what to give her. To his credit, seeing a corpse walking around doesn’t throw him as much as it could have all things being equal. She’s cold, and she can’t taste anything…except her husband’s kiss. That gets her a single heart beat. And while I am sure Laura walking around naked would normally have been rather seductive, the autopsy stitchings tend to detract from that whole thing.
But this episode seems confined to three confrontations. Shadow and Laura is the first. Mad Sweeney and Laura is the second. He wants his coin back, and it turns out trying to rough Laura up for it is a bad idea. She’s…a lot stronger than he is. And she has the coin literally inside of her, so if Mad Sweeney wants it back, she has to willingly give it to him. Or he can wait. She is a corpse after all. She’ll fall apart eventually. He can try to speed up the process by dunking her in hot water to cause faster decay, but then some cops show up and arrest him for what looks like murder. I’d say Laura excels at playing dead, but she ain’t really playing, is she?
And then we get to Mr. World.
Crispin Glover may be one of the best casting jobs for this show. After Shadow and Wednesday are arrested for bank robbery, Mr. World can come by.
By the by, the interrogation scene was gold. Shadow just asks for a lawyer. Wednesday first tries a con, then tries telling the gods’ honest truth. Neither really works.
But Media swooshes in.
Then Mr. World.
Then the Technical Boy with a forced apology.
Granted, Wednesday and Shadow were already mostly uncuffed at that point thanks to a spider. Wednesday called him a friend.
Does Mr. World want a war? No. He wants a merger and some marketing opportunities. Wednesday could get…something from a defense satellite called “Odin” aimed at North Korea.
Here’s the thing: book readers will pick up a lot of cryptic hints out of Mr. World, but this episode may come closest to really explaining what the gods in American Gods actually are. These are beings who literally need attention through devotion which may or may not be worship. Wednesday represents an old way of doing things. World is, well, adaptable? Hard to say who the bad guy here is.
Also hard to say there is a good guy. I mean, all those cops are killed by what looked like a fast growing tree…
Though Wednesday turns World down, and World accepts it more or less as is, what happens when there’s a war only one side seems up to actually fighting? And when that fight is lop-sided to begin with…