When they talk about the New Golden Age of Television, they will be talking about American Gods. Craft, expertise, and attention to detail are apparent everywhere. There is not a frame that is anything less than deliberate. There are no wasted efforts. Every word is selected to tweak every emotional nerve ending. Posture, color, and sound are all employed for effect. Only two episodes in and I am amazed and astounded by the skill I see. This is a masterpiece.
And I still have no idea what is going on.
Shadow’s world on the outside is even more nightmarish than when he was incarcerated. Last week’s episode ended with him being beaten within an inch of his life. This week he doubts his sanity, yet is drawn further into Mr. Wednesday’s otherworld. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Shadow who literally has nothing to lose makes some reckless choices.
Around the edges of this perilous landscape, we have Mr. Nancy (Orlando Jones) framing the episode with the assurance that “angry is good.” Bilquis (Yetide Badaki) returns with her all-consuming passions. We are also introduced to some very scary Russians (Cloris Leachman, Martha Kelly and especially Peter Stormare as Czernobog).
The episode ends with Shadow once again with his life on the line, ready to succumb to Czernobog’s killing floor hammer.