Wednesday and his cohorts are on a collision course with Laura, Mad Sweeney and Shadow. When the dust settles Wednesday takes Laura under his wing and leaves Shadow to his fate. Meanwhile Shadow runs into Sam Black Crow, who takes him closer to his final destination, before dumping him halfway. When he finally arrives at the house of Ibis he is met by Wednesday, who has upset the plans of Mr. World, his henchmen Technical Boy and New Media in the halls of Argus.
Two great new additions to the cast this episode. Firstly Devery Jacobs, who’s portrayal of Sam Black Crow is a great foil for Shadow and ensures that at last some of his personality is bleeding through and is making me feel for him in a way I never really did in the book. Previously I have felt him to be a little too stoic and almost an incidental character in his own tale. But the addition of Sam serves as a connection to him in a more organic way than Laura was capable of doing.
Laura, on the other hand, is giving parlance to the saying ‘behind every great man is a great woman’ solely by her proximity to Sweeney. He is fast becoming as much a sympathetic character as Shadow. Also, Dahyun Kim arrives as New Media, who spars well with Technical Boy and has the interesting side effect of making him less cocky and self-assured. Though this event was the result of the unfortunate exit of Gillian Anderson I do like the effervescent yet sinister Emoji infused J-Poppery of it all. This updates the character in an ideal way and is in keeping with the ethos of the new Gods and their agenda. And there was even a little nod to Marilyn/Gillian in this scene.
The underlying menace of Wednesday and his plotting is the undercurrent of this whole episode as he subtly manipulates several key players and watches as they dance to his tune. But while his hand is conducting the orchestra, there is also humor woven throughout the unfolding events. Not least in the opening scene, and the offhand way Laura is packed into the trunk of the car. Bit by bit. And even more so the misfortunes of Mad Sweeney. Bereft of his lucky coin, which had previously seemed to protect him a little even by proxy, he is now on a journey of complete slapstick ineptitude. And it is refreshing to see as it proves not every god can have things go their own way.
Laura also begins to succumb to the will of the master manipulator as she chooses to follow Wednesday and give up on Mad Sweeney and his promise of resurrection. This does have the uncomfortable side effect of making her more of Wednesday’s puppet and thus his callous treatment of her not only continues but becomes all-consuming as he convinces her to kill for him. Aside from the obvious implications, this also throws a pall on her irreverent attitude and has the effect of neutering her usually refreshing ambivalence and detachment toward him. Especially the way he so easily convinces her to do his bidding.
Laura opting to throw her lot in with Wednesday could imply she feels he can get her what she wants in a calculatingly selfish bid for personal gain. But I’d like to think it’s because she doesn’t trust him and wants to keep an eye on him. This would inform a little about her true feelings for Shadow and what she is prepared to sacrifice for him. And the gambit pays off as she seemingly gets her heart’s desire.
New blood is coursing through the body of this behemoth of an adaptation and I couldn’t be happier.
American Gods S2 E3: Love You to Pieces
- Writing - 7/107/10
- Storyline - 8/108/10
- Acting - 8/108/10
- Music - 7/107/10
- Production - 8/108/10
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