SHADOW, SON OF ODIN
American Gods ended its second scene with less physical action and more understanding. Season 2 has been building up the battle between the Old Gods and New Gods. For us, we hoped it would end in a battle between the gods in the finale. But it was more of a revelation of the truth. The truth about Shadow Moon is revealed to us, the truth of why Wednesday picked Shadow, the truth of his greatness.
Season 2 often teased points you as the viewer we never really aware of. The randomness of these teases, the mundane inclusions of some scenes and the on-the-noseness of some secrets really tested us. Season 1’s finale brought action and revelation in the form of Wednesday revealing himself as Odin and Easter bringing about a famine. Season 2 was removed from the action, yet brought the revelation in the form of information. We see that the New Gods have been around for some time, not quite an Old God lifetime, but they have been affecting society through newer times.
“Fear is order. Fear is control. Fear is safety. Fear is fiction” – Mr World
The late 1900s, a form of media is shown and how it can bring about action. Through Orson Welles’ War of the World’s, Media invoked fear in the hearts and minds of Americans on something purely fiction. Which is where Mr World monologues to us that love is but a timid emotion, fear is what makes the world go round. Which ties back to speaking to Wednesday, “I’d rather be feared than loved.” This ties in that Gods are nothing but fiction. But because of our belief in them, they become real. For as Mr World says “If it’s real in your mind, it’s real in the world”. Mr World’s character throughout the 2 seasons has always been ‘calm’. No matter the advances of the Old Gods, Crispin Glover’s character hasn’t had his character changed because of it. Mr World shows us that fear is what we crave, what we need. We love fear, we pay money to feel fear, we allow fear to affect our daily lives. Contrary to Wednesday’s flexing of his godly powers, the New Gods fight through the power of the mind. New Gods fight their battles psychologically, in the minds of the people.
A dream manifests itself to Shadow, another continual tease that has been added subtly throughout the season. To some, an irrelevant addition, but to others, it proved our suspicions. A dream tangled with a flashback – to Sweeney, Wednesday – but a dream with Yggdrasil and its runes, more specifically the valknut rune and its past appearances to Shadow. A quick bath and forth between Shadow and Laura shows us just how wide the gap between Shadow and Laura is. Shadow and Laura’s journey is no more one, but which was understandable. With Laura’s powers and her bond to Sweeney and Shadow’s bond with Wednesday, it was inevitable. We also see Wednesday leave the funeral parlour slyly, to avoid being seen.
The episode takes a biblical turn and makes the journey through religion. As are people’s beliefs headed by a Gods, creates relevance to our own lives today. American Gods have always given Tech Boy a large role, equivalent to that of Mr World because of its profound obsession in society today. Mr Koji, CEO of Xie Comm recreated Tech Boy in a new image. It is likened to Jacob and his meeting with the angel. New Tech Boy conveys to his oldest friend how time is changing and how Gods are created in man’s image, not vice versa. How the connection between morals and Gods are ever-growing. Hacking into Xie Comm’s server he has all he needs and reappears at Black-Briar. Mr World, New Media and New Tech Boy have all they need to begin to terrorize people. New Media is let loose and she quickly builds on New Tech Boys chaos from crashing the banking infrastructure. New Media uses the media to send the nation into panic and blames it on Shadow, Wednesday and eventually Salim.
With all the chaos surrounding the Old Gods, American Gods show us the difference between mortals and Gods. Mortals are stressing and fearful of what is going to happen, as seen by Salim. But Wednesday is in a restaurant eating, Ibis and Nancy are playing chess, Bilquis is doing her own mission and Jinn is looking for Salim. The fear which manifests itself in mortals which increases the imagination, which benefits the Gods, this fear is non-existent in the Gods. For them, this is nothing new. Bilquis, as always, is on her own mission, defiant of the Old and New Gods. Showing us how she does what she must to survive. Throughout all the chaos and madness, the truth begins to manifest itself.
“Your move Shadow Moon” – New Media
A major point in American Gods as a whole is when Shadow Moon is taken in by Yggdrasil. 17 episode and 2 seasons later the truth is bright as day. The truth surrounding Shadow Moon and who and what he is is made known. They made us wait but I did enjoy the way in which they introduced the truth and tied all loose ends. Flashes of Wednesday, flashes of his mother, flashes of memories. Shadow is Wednesday’s son. The suspicion was there for many throughout and finally, we learn the truth, they really made us wait. Ricky Whittle’s Shadow Moon loses it and uses the axes to cut through the tree to the ‘backstage’. What we thought was Wednesday’s mind is actually that of Shadow Moon’s. The current standoff outside the funeral parlour with local, state and federal agents, FBI and SWAT, is likened to toys on a carpet. And with one swoop the kid, supposedly a young shadow, wipes all the figures away. And with that everything is over. The standoff outside is gone. The media hype is explained as a hoax. Shadow wiped it all away. The truth and power has begun to manifest itself within Shadow.
Leaving the city with a new identity and a new location, Lakeside, WI, the future is far and wide. Laura took Sweeney, most likely to save her own life and his. Mr World is unbecoming to the setback. Wednesday smiles knowing his son is going to be okay and Anansi is now intrigued for Shadow’s future. Season 2 ended off with continuation in mind. The journey was never meant to end, Cairo was but a pit stop. Our journey is now on its way to Lakeside. Season 2 was suspenseful, shocking and teaching. It showed us that Gods are people too. But also that Gods are not what we thought they are. I am waiting to see Ibis in his God form and also to build on who all we saw in the Hall of the Gods. Season 3 looks promising. The journey of Shadow Moon is now his own, equipped with the truth, where will his journey take us… Stick around to find out.
“The windows are broken. Fear takes hold. The dreams of order yield to the natural state of things… chaos.” – Mr World