December 8, 2022

Gabbing Geek

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American Gods “The Greatest Story Ever Told”

Season Two, Episode Four.

Is this show just spinning its wheels at this point?

I ask because, well, I’m not sure anything actually happened.  The episode opens with the childhood of one Mr. Xie.  Who is he?  Well, he invented a computer program that writes music.  He worships Technical Boy (I think) but when TB approaches him to be the new Argus, Xie chooses Mr. World over Technical Boy, causing Technical Boy to be retired.

Why did Mr. World blame Technical Boy for Argus’ death and not New Media or Wednesday?  Technical Boy is really annoying, but he had the least to do with Argus’ death than, well, anyone else in that room with Argus.

Retiring Technical Boy does allow Mr. World to…go somewhere.

That would be a meeting with Money.  See, Money is the most powerful god in America, and both Wednesday and World want him on their side.  What is Money if not, as Wednesday explains, the Greatest Story Ever Told, i.e. that a piece of paper is worth something?  That involves supplicating to Money’s reps first.  They appear as what looks like Girl Scouts selling candy.  And Shadow…has no credit history under his own name.  That’s odd.

Oh, Mama-Ji’s worshippers own a chain of motels, so she works in every restaurant in every one of them.  Probably good to know where you can find Kali if you need her.

Oh, and hey, more cool casting as character actor William Sanderson plays Money’s rep, the Bookkeeper..

Money, by the by, declines to take sides.  It has better things to do and only really cares about the bottom line.

So, that seemed like a waste of time for all involved.

Back at the funeral parlor, Bilquis, Mr. Nancy, and Mr. Ibis have a talk about sides.  They all represent African-born religions, and I do like the group dynamic.  Nancy is the fiery guy with the revolutionary talk.  Bilquis is a regal type who walks around like a queen.  And Ibis is a formal fellow, a death god trying to stay neutral as he prepares someone for a funeral.  That mortal upstairs, Ruby, methinks it won’t end well for her somehow.   Plus, the goddess Bast is there in the form of a cat and one really weird dream Shadow had the night before.  I only know this because the show lifted that straight from the novel.

So, to keep track:  Bilquis thinks they should all be on one side, Nancy prefers Wednesday despite knowing Odin is full of it because at least he’s better than Mr. World, and Ibis won’t choose either for now if ever.  And Nancy’s most valid complaint may be it took the death of old white lady Zorya to bring the gods together…

But really, much of this episode was about recruiting people.   Most didn’t want to join anything, leading to a net gain of nothing.  I think I know why Money wasn’t much interested in taking sides.

I suppose we can ask if the ride is still interesting.  Given the generally weird imagery and over-the-top situations, I’d say yes.  I’d just like more actual plot advancement.

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