Oh, American Gods, what happened to you? Your first season was spectacular, a visual feast of storytelling for larger than life characters, literal gods in the world of humanity. Then the showrunners were canned between seasons, and there was really no one running things for season two and it showed. Now we’re here for season three, and again there was controversy as a few of the POC actors were let go between seasons, and Orlando Jones for one did not stay quiet about it.
Regardless, this show is something I could see dropping if this season isn’t an improvement on the previous one. It doesn’t have to go to the heights of season one. It just has to be at least more coherent.
Good news there: the first episode is already an improvement. It helps that this show has always been good at casting, and bringing in Graham Greene as the Native American spirit referred to as “Whiskey Jack” is a good start, as is Julia Sweeney as the cheerful Ann-Marie Hinzelmann. The fact that this show is still going on with a novel that only went about 300 or so pages…well, it’s a slow thing, but the Lakeside portion of the book is starting.
Mostly by noting Shadow, now using an assumed name since he is technically a wanted terrorist thanks to Mr. World, doesn’t want to go there. Wednesday, after soaking up praise at a metal concert of all things, takes Shadow first to the other worldly realm of Whiskey Jack (said being has some advice for Shadow but no time or interest in Wednesday), then uses some mojo to more or less force Shadow to go to Lakeside.
Bad weather stopping buses from going anywhere but Lakeside will do that.
However, Ms. Hinzelmann and everyone else in town seems friendly enough, even if the key Wednesday gave Shadow didn’t break off in the lock.
It’s the usual sort of life Shadow has sadly become used to: sent all over the place by Wednesday whether he wants to be involved or not, and then having to suffer through the fact that stuff keeps going wrong anyway.
On the other end of things, Mr. World takes the form of a black woman and releases the Technical Boy to find out just what side Bilquis is taking once and for all. Bilquis had such a small role in the novel, it is nice to see it expanded for the show, but I do wonder why anyone cares that much what side she is on.
And then Laura tries to resurrect Mad Sweeney by dropping his lucky coin onto him, and act that not only fails to resurrect Mad Sweeney but also causes Laura to turn to dust. Is this the last we’ve seen of both of them? That could be too bad. Laura is an awful person, but she’s also a compelling character, so it might be nice to keep her around, and she did have a great repertoire with Mad Sweeney.
However, that’s where things stand now. Shadow is in Lakeside, Bilquis is insisting on neutrality, and Laura and Mad Sweeney are both gone from the looks of things. Will this be an improvement on season two? I’ll have to wait and see.
Better Call Saul “JMM”
Comic Review: Something Is Killing The Children Volume 3
Noteworthy Issues: Unstoppable Doom Patrol #2 (April, 2023)