Gilbert Speaks on American Gods S01 E03

15 May

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I’ve never read the book, American Gods by Neil Gaiman, but that will soon change because I am really enjoying “American God” series. I’m not exactly sure what I’m watching, but I know I like it. Are the gods in control of our mortal lives? Meet me after the jump…if you dare.

American Gods

American Gods is a series based on the Neil Gaiman book that was developed later by Brian Fuller and Michael Green for Starz. The story focuses on Shadow Moon who is played by the very talented Ricky Whittle. After serving three years in prison, Shadow Moon is released early because of his wife’s death. Laura Moon (Emily Browning) was cheating on Shadow with his best friend when she died. On the plane ride back home, Shadow strikes up a conversation with a man who calls himself Wednesday (Ian McShane). Nothing is the same for Shadow after this meeting and we soon learn the true identity of Wednesday.

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He is the Norse god Odin. So what is Odin doing in America and why does he need Shadow to be his bodyguard? Why have the old gods come to America to hang out? But it’s not just the old gods that we must watch out for, but also the new. It seems that the gods and mythical creatures can only exist if people believe in them. Isn’t that a royal kick in the butt? How can the gods get people to care about them, when all they want to do is watch TV or their smart phones, but there’s a, app for that too…or should I say a god. We have Technical Boy (Bruce Langley) who is one of the new gods that humans worship along with Media played fabulously by Gillian Anderson.

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And if that doesn’t throw you for a loop, we have a leprechaun named Mad Sweeney (Pablo Schreiber) and an ancient goddess named Bilquis (Yetide Badaki) who adds a new slant to her lovemaking. The strangest of the gods is a man named Czemobog (Peter Stormare) he loves to play checkers, but he brings a sledgehammer to the game because he plays for keeps.

Head Full of Snow

In a vision, Shadow climbs the fire escape ladder to the roof to find Zorya Polunochnaya (Erika Kaar) waiting for him. She is the midnight star. Her job is to keep a close eye on Ursa Major/Odin’s Wain and the doomsday hound that wants to destroy the world. The midnight star has never been kissed and before Shadow can stop her, Zorya Polunochnaya steals one.

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She tells Shadow to stop giving away his protection. She is referring to the gold coin that Shadow left on Laura’s grave. This time, Shadow is given the moon after Zorya plucks it from the sky. In his grasp, he has turned into a lucky silver dollar. Will it protect Shadow from

Death

The Old gods are out there and we meet several interesting ones in this episode. One of my duties at the Academy of Natural Sciences was teaching about ancient Egypt and mummification. The museum hosted to mummies until they sent the female on a road trip. The High Priest Petiese still resides at the museum so if you’re ever in Philadelphia…stop up and pay your respects. One of my favorite Egyptian gods was Anubis, the god of death and, the one who guides the newly departed to the afterlife. The soul that Anubis comes for belongs to a Muslim grandmother that lives in America and is busy making dinner for her grown children and grandchildren. A hairless cat watches as the woman totters dangerously on an old wooden stool, reaching for ingredients to add to her boiling concoction on the stove. As she chats with the cat that may or may not be the god Bastet, there is a knock on the door.

American Gods Season 1 2017

The handsome black man at her door is mistaken for a thief, but the woman tells him she is busy preparing the meal for her family and for him to rob what he wants. Although surprised when Anubis explains that she is dead from that fall from the stool, the woman is more concerned that her family will be so distraught over her death that they won’t eat the food that she’s been preparing all day. There is no fear and that is to the credit of Anubis and his gentle way of guidance.

Like I said, I taught about the gods of ancient Egypt and their connection to the afterlife, so it was rewarding to see Anubis judge the woman with the scale that would weigh her heart (sins) against a feather. The woman is permitted to choose where she will spend eternity…and her afterlife will not include her abusive father.

Snow

Wednesday has a job for Shadow. It has to do with a bank. Poor Shadow freaks out because he doesn’t want to go back to jail. Wednesday’s reply, “Think snow.” Shadow thinks Wednesday has lost it, but after Wednesday hands Shadow a cup of hot chocolate filled with marshmallows…Shadow’s visions of snow become reality. Shadow is relieved to know that they are not going gangbusters into the bank, guns blazing.

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Wednesday pretends to be the ATM and Night Deposit repair man. As the blizzard hits the city, Wednesday takes the money from unsuspecting people who readily and without asking for identification give their deposits to the Norse god.

The Taxi Genie

It is not easy being an immigrant in a new country and poor Salim (Omid Abtahi) who is a business man from Oman, is having a rather bad day. This changes after he steps into a cab and starts a conversation with the driver who is a Jinni–in America we would call him a genie.

American Gods Season 1 2017

Although the genie (Mousa Kraish) informs Salim he doesn’t grant wishes, he does give Salim what he is desperate for: love. The encounter turns sexual which allows the genie to switch identities.

Conclusion

Wednesday tells Shadow that there is a different Jesus for every single ethnic group because the gods are created from the minds of the people who believe in them. This should drive the alt-right freaking nuts. In other words my friend…gods are created in our image…and not the other way around.

When our leprechaun friend, goes searching for Shadow to get his magic coin back, Shadow tells Mad Sweeney that he left atop Laura’s grave.

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What is the meaning of the lone wolf on the road? Is it one of Odin’s companions: Geri and Freki? Is the wolf protecting Wednesday? Can Shadow control the weather? I don’t know, but what I do know is that someone is waiting for Shadow when he returns to his motel room. That lucky coin has brought Laura back to life

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