American Gods “Serious Moonlight”

Sometime between when I watched this episode and when I sat down to do this write-up, word got out that Starz canceled this series after three seasons.  Given what a confusing muddle it sometimes is narratively and all of the very weird and complex drama going on behind the scenes (and that’s putting it charitably), that seems like a good idea.  There is some talk of some kind of TV movie or something to wrap the story up, but I would have to see how this thing turns out in the end to even guess if such a thing was possible.

I mean, I still have no idea what Bilquis is doing on this show at any given moment.

Essentially, we have here Shadow, now going by “Mike”, living in Lakeside and trying really hard not to get involved while Wednesday goes around doing stuff to forge alliances in order to get explicitly involved in the god-war.

Then again, this episode opened with a scene set in 1690’s Wisconsin as what looked like a pistol-welding Viking and his buddy slaughtered some Native Americans.  What that had to do with much of anything I wasn’t sure.  The Native shaman prays for a storm to hide his people before he dies, but then the Vikings slit a young girl’s throat as a prayer offering to their gods to shelter them from the incoming storm.  And it looks like both sides got what they prayed for.

But yet, there’s still Shadow.  He has other problems, namely trying to fit into a new town.  Most of the people there are friendly.  The one hold-out is the property manager for his new apartment, a woman who takes a shotgun to him when he tries to get in through a window after his key snapped in the lock.  It’s also very cold in there from the looks of things, with the fireplace labeled “DO NOT USE”.

Sure, Ms. Marguerite Olsen, also a reporter for the local newspaper, warms up to him later and even turns the heater on, but that’s beside the point.  Shadow is mostly welcome in town except for her, with Ms. Hinzelmann taking Shadow to buy weather-appropriate attire, the sheriff taking him to eat at the local diner, and people just being all around nice to him.  He even enters the town “junker” raffle to place a bet on when an old car will crash through the ice on the town lake.

Things don’t exactly stay friendly though.  Shadow gets an invite to Zorya Vechernyaya’s wake from her sister Zorya Polunochnaya, and he does get there, but Czernobog isn’t exactly happy to see him and does owe Shadow a smash in the noggin with his hammer.

Then again, Shadow got an invite, mostly so the Midnight Star sister could remind him he had a special destiny.

Nobody invited Wednesday.  He showed up anyway on a recruitment drive, having stolen an invite from his Norse compatriot, the war god Tyr, currently a dentist played by a somewhat restrained Denis O’Hare.  Then again, Wednesday does end the trip with a promise of help from all those Slavic gods.

But Wednesday is a tricky fellow.  Shadow knows this.  His bigger problem may be back in Lakeside.  Shadow finds everyone staring at him when he returns, and the sheriff wants to question him.  It seems a young girl disappeared, and Shadow being new in town is a prime suspect.  But he had an airtight alibi, so he’s more or less safe from suspicion now.  Good thing they didn’t check on how he’s wanted for terrorism.

So, can this show right itself in its remaining episodes?  This is two in for an unplanned final season, and while it’s already a bit more steady and actually doing something, it’s still not quite what it was before.

I may not miss this one that much.

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