American Gods “The Unseen”

OK, I have been asking for a while what Bilquis’s point is on this show.  Since she tends to literally feed on her worshippers, I have often wondered why she had any in the first place, but this time around, she swallowed a tech billionaire that Mr. World actually needed.

Then again, the show also seems to be addressing something that Neil Gaiman did not in his novel.

The thing is, in the novel, Shadow is, well, a very vague character.  That’s no doubt done on purpose.  The novel even has a point where it says “Shadow” is not his real name but doesn’t exactly say what his real name is.  The last name “Moon” may be implied from Laura, but that’s about it.  There is no physical description given to him anywhere in the book.  He doesn’t have much of a personality.  He is, for lack of a better word, little better than a shadow.

That obviously won’t work on television, and the series made a deliberate choice to cast a black man as Shadow.  The series has tried to do something with race in America, starting with scenes back in season one like Mr. Nancy’s opening monologue to a group of captured slaves to the fact Technical Boy had Shadow lynched to get information.

Shadow didn’t forget that last part since he and Technical Boy are something of a team to go look for Bilquis.  Shadow just thinks he needs to find her and Technical Boy is glitching and wants her to fix him.  He also absorbed the lost tech guy’s phone, so Shadow needs to bring the little punk along.

Worth noting that Technical Boy’s glitches come in very handy when interrogating someone.  Bilquis was taken in by the missing guy’s adult daughter, and Mr. World, who knows what had to have happened, has no problem telling Bilquis out for all this.  The fact the shapeshifting World took his white male form is almost certainly deliberate too.

So, what is her purpose?  It looks like the series is connecting her to the Orishas, powerful gods of the Yoruba people, and deities Shadow has been seeing in dreams all season long.  That could actually go somewhere, and I approve of that, even if it means Shadow has to hang out with Technical Boy for a while now.

It also means Shadow will blow off Wednesday’s calls for help.  I can approve of that too.

In other interesting developments, some mourners in New Orleans find Mad Sweeney’s rotting corpse in the family crypt and don’t take too well to that, but during the process of hosing the mess that was both he and Laura down, Laura finds out she has a destiny in Purgatory and gets yanked back to Earth.  And this time, she’s alive and everything, not just a walking corpse.  Additionally, she gets an urn full of leprechaun ashes to carry around instead of a corpse that is at least a foot taller than her.

You know, I’ve been enjoying the show a lot more in season three.  Sure, it isn’t as trippy as season one, but at least it’s going somewhere.  Something like this was almost certainly not long for this world, but if it is going to go out early, at least trying to make me miss it when it’s gone is, in my mind, a good thing.

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