American Gods season 2, episode 3, “Muninn,” pulls the group together as Laura and Wednesday search for Argus and Shadow hitches a ride with Same Black Crow.
Mythology looms heavily over American Gods season 2, episode 3, “Muninn.” The title comes from one of Odin’s messenger raven who delivers news. Argus sends Laura and Wednesday through a labyrinth of the history of his life and information to reach his current form. Trickster gods reside at the “Corn Palace,” the funerary arts prove to be quite disgusting, and Sam Black Crow introduces us to another side of Shadow.
Continuing our conversation about American Gods season 2, our writers Natalie and Brittany discuss how “Muninn” continues to drift further from the pages of Neil Gaiman’s book.
‘American Gods’ season 2, episode 3 in conversation
Brittany: Perhaps we should start by picking up (literally) the bits of Laura in the wreckage?
Natalie: I was certainly not expecting to find her in that many pieces. They do have a lot of fun with all the dead wife opportunities, don’t they?
Brittany: I especially like how they use it to incapacitate her. As if it is the only way to get her to just stand still for a minute and listen to what they have to say is to rip her limb from limb. And, luckily for Sweeney, she is short a few appendages when she finds out that everything turns out to be in service to Wednesday. I did love how he had to put her in the trunk.
The look on his face was so tragic.
Natalie: The entire dynamic between Laura, Sweeney and Wednesday, both in the car and at Ibis’s, is just so rich and brought up so many further questions. So just to get my MadWife shipping madness out of the way: wahhhhhhhh.
She felt betrayed! What did you think about all that? Because it feels to me like that lead to her choosing Wednesday’s plan – she no longer believes Sweeney is in her corner.
Brittany: Which, to me is only partially true. The wreckage scene illuminated something from last week’s episode, namely Sweeney’s softness in the field. He goes out to sit with her and his tone changes because he is about to betray her trust and he does so with the opening line, “I thought we were going to save someone.”
Going through the hoard was exposing something personal to him, but ultimately leading them to where they needed to be. And so that removal of the handcuffs, and him jumping on the train, to the fight, were all just a few final moments of their good pals on the road time together. Crushing.
His offer though, to bring her to New Orleans, I think that came from a genuine place of concern. And when she rejects him, of course she is taking the only probably pure peace offering from him and throwing it in his face. Did anything change for you?
Natalie: That’s interesting – I didn’t see last week as a betrayal. To me it all seemed like happenstance – Sweeney and Laura were really sent off in their own, Sweeney was really feeling pissed, and Laura really was tracking Shadow.
The fact that everything conglomerate at the train didn’t seem like some secret plan between Sweeney and Wednesday, and Sweeney is still parting ways with Wednesday here. How much did you feel was orchestrated?
Brittany: Oh, I think it was all orchestrated at least on Wednesday’s part. No one ever knows what is actually going on except for him. And I think he was using Sweeney’s rage to his advantage knowing full well that he would get her to where Shadow was. That I have no doubt about, but I also think Sweeney catches on and I typically want there to be more pain than necessary. #MakeItSadder
Natalie: So from that perspective, I think it feels like that they’re BOTH pawns in Wednesday’s meddling, but that Laura is thinking Sweeney was in on it. Or maybe she’s just betrayed that he put her in the trunk.
Best case scenario, Sweeney resentfully teams up with Wednesday here, takes his orders to “pick up the arms and the talky bits” because he knows that Wednesday can get him to Cairo and find Laura some initial help.
When Sweeney picks her up, she pleads for him not to help Wednesday, and he says “believe it or not, I’m helping you” – and that’s so authentic to me, but Laura is so horrified by Wednesday and what he’s doing to Shadow that she doesn’t want any part in this team up. Which makes the choice to go with him even more deeply faceted,
Either way, it leads to a situation where Laura no longer believes that Sweeney is acting to her cause, acting in Shadow’s best interest, which kills me, because he very clearly is acting in LAURA’S best interest. And I think it’s worth talking about how overt the romantic framing has become.
Brittany: Laura is so stuck in her single mindedness, another thing that will be unpacked in this episode is a BIG way, that she cannot accept or see anything but Shadow. And of course Sweeney recognizes that she is rightfully pissed that she believes he is entirely under Wednesday’s control.
But there is that final glimmer of hope that she might still be willing to go with him when she throws him across the room. Him saying, “There she is,” killed me. I can’t say whether it is overtly romantic or I am projecting that onto it. But it is undeniable that there is something there.
Natalie: It is a completely romantic trope. The whole angrily, desperately trying to wake up a “dead” loved one – “don’t you dare give up on me,” etc – trying to get a reaction? That is a CLASSIC chemistry between “a pairing” sort of moment. The “there she is” may as well be “there’s my girl.” The way it’s done is exactly what creators do to showcase that sort of bond and it’s just becoming so blatant.
It is not accidental, no matter how it plays out.
But ultimately, she chooses Wednesday’s path even though he had her killed, and even though she was upset at Sweeney for working with him. To me, that feels like a pointed rejection to hurt Sweeney – to reject his help, to limit access to the coin, which she thinks is what he wants – and to basically not act on any trust any more. It isn’t like she trusts Wednesday, she chooses him because at least she knows where she stands, where she’s only got herself to rely on.
Expecting to be stabbed in the front instead of stabbed in the back.
Natalie: It’s just so complicated, because she’s pissed at Sweeney for not saving Shadow – she doesn’t know that Sweeney asked Wednesday if they could take him and Wednesday said no! But to your initial question – I do think his offer of help in New Orleans is entirely genuine and for her sake, as you mentioned. Pure.
But I think Laura’s journey with Wednesday helps to prove some points, or at least raise some questions, about whether what she believes about herself to be true is actually true… so maybe with time, the scales will fall from her eyes and these two crazy kids will find their way to a weird and wonderful romance somewhere on this plane of existence or another.
Natalie: After this parting of the ways of America’s favorite dysfunctional couple, Laura and Wednesday take the A plot of the episode, which we will get back to, but Sweeney is still headed to New Orleans regardless.
Which means he’s still trying to get help for Laura, even without her present.
And his journey shows us that true love between leprechauns and corpses isn’t all it’s cracked up to be – he really does need that lucky coin back. His solo road trip does not go well.
So, would you rather get attacked by a guard dog inside a locked car, rescue yourself from a flaming barge, or spend 8 hours on a tour bus with a Christian Rock group?
Brittany: The coin may not be charging Laura up anymore, but being so far removed from it is definitely making life more than difficult for Sweeney. Flaming barge. I’ve always wanted to witness a viking funeral. I don’t want to be on the boat, but adjacent would be fine.
Natalie: I hope that’s not foreshadowing for him!!!!
Brittany: I would love to hear him swapping stories about Jesus with the band though. “Jesus would never do that…Trust me.”
Natalie: I don’t know who I feel sorrier for. Nevertheless, he’s making his way and I’m SO curious about what we’ll see next, how he’ll plead his case. The baron he mentions is Baron Samedi, a spirit from Haitian Voodoo who definitely found a home in Louisiana. The book deals a little with some of the lore about Louisiana and Creole legends, but not much – so I’m keen to meet the Baron and see who will play him.
“As well as being master of the dead, Baron Samedi is also a giver of life. He can cure any mortal of any disease or wound, if he thinks it is worthwhile.” – Thanks, Wikipedia. I think you’re right – I think that question of worthiness is going to come into it.
Brittany: “I was a king”
Natalie: Perhaps if Sweeney gets asked “why does this matter to you?” Ah, I’m excited for this! But in the book, Sweeney dies outside Cairo and Shadow’s time with the undertakers is the last we see of him. I really hope that’s a change that’s been made and that he survives the season!
Brittany: I do, too. This is an area where I am fine with the book being the book and the show being the show. Expand away.
Natalie: Save him! Every week I’m like “so this was kind of a road trip episode” – like – yes. Yes, you clean fool, this entire story is a road trip.
Brittany: That is mostly the premise, yes. Cars, trucks, trains, side cars.
Natalie: Oh, the side cars.
Brittany: They cannot be comfortable for that long. But Salim is a small man sitting beside his Jinn. What more does he need? Their role in this week’s episode is very road-trip specific. A journey to the Corn Palace, which is, in fact, not yellow.
What did you think of the Jinn specifically when we see them roll up? He is of course now accepting that Salim will not wait outside and I enjoyed the fact that he gives him direction and explanation rather than “you won’t understand, just stay here.” Not necessarily an active role in the operation, but a ribbon for participation at least.
Natalie: It sounds like he’s accepted that this guy is not going to give up on him – his reluctance to be with Salim wasn’t ever because he didn’t care, it was because it was something he deemed impossible. He tried to give Salim a good life, and Salim said no thank you, and now the Jinn has found himself in a surprise relationship. I think it’s actually a really good thing for the show to follow a romance between a human and a god. It helps to highlight what makes humanity special, in a way.
We see here that the playing field is evening out – that Salim, though a small fragile human, is a person, and his choices and strength of will matter. It sort of looks like a microcosm of the symbiosis between the humans and gods.
The fact that Salim’s choice to be included and his personhood are respected kind of speaks to the changing nature of the relationship between humans and gods – but in terms of their actual relationship, just generally healthy and great, well done, no couples counseling needed.
Brittany: Somewhere in America things are looking alright for the gods and humans.
Natalie: Is it weird that I missed those artful lettering moments?
Brittany: No, I loved how it was slipped in here. I would like to say I enjoy watching the Jinn interact with more and more characters. His presence is so undeniable and he at first presents as a friend, comrade, and can still bring down the hammer when he needs to. He also has an ability to go somewhere on Wednesday’s business and still walk away as a seemingly independent third party negotiator.
It’s a fine line that he walks and he walks it well. And now Salim has to squeeze in with Gungnir.
Natalie: The Jinn has a really quiet and powerful commanding sense to him. I would like to see a deep dive episode into his personality and history. Iktomi is another trickster, a Native American one, and here he happens to be played by Julian Richings, who played Death on Supernatural for several years. He is a really good guy, and a great actor when given a showcase. Perhaps we will see him again.
Brittany: While I hope so, the scope of the Gods strewn across America is expanding with each passing week. It’s getting harder to give proper attention. This is a very meta problem.
Natalie: The primary plot of the episode is Laura and Wednesday on a quest that converges with some of the New Gods. Shadow’s plot is mostly an introspective one as he continues his literal journey, a build up of things to come. But Wednesday and Laura Get Some Shit Done.
Brittany: I would not want to go to an escape room with either of them. Too much fire and blood sacrifice for my liking.
Natalie: These are not good solutions! They will definitely ask you to leave.
Brittany: But not in Argus’ twisted mind palace. Anything goes.
Natalie: I really wasn’t expecting this, it was such a weird left turn in a number of ways, but my first question is how honest do you think Wednesday was with Laura about what they were trying to achieve?
Brittany: About as honest as Wednesday has been about anything thus far. That’s to say, not very. I think with Wednesday he is never lying, and not even necessarily withholding the truth, but he speaks so cryptically, that it is hard to unpack the information he provides. Not only that, but the plan changes as they go along and I will say I enjoyed watching that play out in a such a calm, cool and collected manner. Especially how Wednesday navigated them through the maze of Argus’ design and Laura’s life.
Natalie: The idea of those past versions of Argus still being stored away like that – did that strike you as something that could be accessed for all Gods, like a filing cabinet of their old iterations?
Or was it a him-specific thing?
Brittany: The design and route to access those versions struck me as Argus-specific. I don’t know exactly if, take Mama-Ji for example, we would be able to tap into past versions of her during a trip to the Motel restaurant. There are the shots when they are backstage, where forms are restored, but I do not think that it is something that can be accessed without the platform of backstage, and Argus’ fortress.
I do think it is interesting that we see this fortress, a place that Wednesday is not surprised by in the least bit. Clearly, he already knows the adaptation for the modern age that Argus has undergone. What did you think of the settings we were taken through? The first sacrifice of the cow turned woman, the burning of the library, then finally seeing Argus in his current, unsettling form.
Natalie: Well, first of all, I can’t believe they made us face the consequences of burning the Library of Alexandria all over again. It’s honestly one of the biggest turning points in history in terms of how society and technology advanced… such a do over in terms of gathered information.
So pour one out for that.
Brittany: I was anxious when Laura lit a cigarette and then… well… it got worse.
Natalie: I’m so naive, and didn’t twig at all until he started talking about the sacrifice. It was a big “oh, nothing is ever random in storytelling, you dummy” moment.
But a few things there – very weird and interesting to see Laura sort of perform this idea of herself and Wednesday call her out on it – the idea that she loves library and the truth of her actual actions in life.
Because more than anything, I felt like this showcased her will to change, her regrets while reflecting on her odd and lonely life. And I don’t think Wednesday necessarily won that argument with his “party trick.”
Brittany: We’ve heard over and over from Laura that she just wants Shadow. But finally it takes Wednesday laying it all out for her to hear (not for the first time, but perhaps the final time) that these statements are not holding water. She “loves” libraries, but when was the last time she went to one and appreciated it for what it was? She says she loves Shadow and wants to be with him, but why? Will he even take her back? Her single-mindedness is being challenged with straight facts and in contrast to all the twisted events surrounding them, she can not have fantasy play into what she does if she gets her life force back.
And then, of course, we get the scene where Argus “recharges” her and everything sort of shifts in her perspective on what Shadow means to her and what she was projecting on him.
Natalie: It’s so interesting, because I’m fully on her side when she says things like “Please, tell me more about what I want” and “You know a story about me, it doesn’t mean you know me” – I’m like yes, girl, tell him. But his revelations are also pretty truthful or at least make her face things. So I appreciate her willingness to claim her idea of her own autonomy, but there’s clearly a big picture for her to take into consideration on her own terms.
Brittany: Absolutely, Wednesday is absolutely infuriating in those moments, but he’s also not wrong to challenge her. Sweeney has done the same thing, but it’s Wednesday to finally breaks through her walls of defense.
Natalie: Why, do you think?
Brittany: Honestly, I think it was partially because Wednesday is not afraid of pushing Laura away. Sweeney will push her buttons, but at the end of the day, his coin (and heart) are tied to keeping her around. And partially, I think the conversation plays against the location. They are trapped in a labyrinth of puzzles where they cannot move on without a breakthrough.
The same goes for their conversation. As they advance each level, she wears down bit by bit, until she reaches the final stage.
Natalie: All of that makes sense – Sweeney does always back off and go well “maybe you’ll get your man” even when he doesn’t believe it. And as Wednesday says as they enter, “Information will win the war for you, if you let it.”
Which I felt was the key here as well – the progress through plain truth.
Brittany: Right. And, you can’t out-con one of the oldest con men.
Natalie: And that I suppose leads to the question of Laura’s true purpose – he says, you know, this questioning starts at “You revenants have one purpose, something to fulfill before you shuffle off again.” So she claims it’s saving Shadow and I must say I believed that, I do think that SHE believes it or did.
But now.. What? And then of course – what if his truths WEREN’T true, and were just manipulation tactics to mess with her – that her intentions WERE pure and he basically gaslit her? Any of that at play? Because Wednesday obviously wants Shadow to take a different road.
Brittany: It’s all in play and I think you answered your own question here in that there is no answer. Wednesday is going to Wednesday. But I do think that she has some thinking to do about what it is she wants from this second life. Perhaps she will save Shadow. On some level, I do feel as if that is a pure intentional drive insider her. Partially to repent for what she did, and partially because she sees this literal light inside him. But beyond that, maybe she makes her way in the world with a leprechaun. Or perhaps she’ll go sit in a library and figure out what to do next.
I believe there is a bit of a roadmap for readers of the book, but the journey along the way might veer slightly off the beaten path as we make our way through the chapters, especially with what we wind up seeing from Wednesday. Especially when we pick up with him in Cairo after he (and World) lost Argus.
Natalie: It definitely feels like I can’t predict the basic “who lives, who dies” outcome that I thought would be clear in the book.
Like we know Laura ultimately dies saving Shadow, that she doesn’t get a second life – she really was the revenant that Wednesday predicted here. But this Laura? I don’t know.
I think we can revisit Wednesday in Cairo when Shadow arrives there in our conversation, but I wonder what Laura will do now, alone. New Orleans? Cairo as well? A shocking new alliance with Tech Boy based on a single mutually beneficial nod?
Brittany: That possibility is on the table. But my money is on New Orleans, if she doesn’t find Mad Sweeney on fire, on the side of a road, dragging a broken guitar from the tour bus.
Natalie: Is it bad that I want a really emotional reunion with an apology and a hug.
Brittany: No, because I want that as well. But would settle for them just picking up where it left off without word about what happened. I thrive on that angst.
Natalie: But before then, we can work backwards a little and look at how Tech got there to that meeting with Laura over Argus’s new form.
Brittany: Such an angry boy, out of favor with the man. Upstaged by his sister’s glow up.
Natalie: This is a character I feel could really go off the grid plot wise. I could see Tech changing sides or just refusing to engage.
Brittany: I would love to see that. I think there is so much room here for him to grow out and depart from World. Perhaps joining up with Bilquis, Laura, others on the fringe.
Natalie: But I think that he’s interesting because given what we know or must assume about World and his attempts to side with some Old Gods, it makes sense that Tech’s complaints about World’s movements are very much based in World being too old school, with tradition, and things not being practical.
Tech Boy is the newest of the new, well, until now! But the old ways just do not compute for him. World is still playing by old rules, a bit.
Brittany: And literally ignoring updates. I thought that was such a great nod to all the progress and advancements of the Tech and yet how easily it can slow progress. And I do like World’s style. He’s very much a Dad who owns a smartphone but still texts, “Hi, Tech. It’s World.” As if the person doesn’t have them as a saved contact.
Natalie: SCREAMING. “This is your dad!” Extreme Johnny Rose “tweet us on Facebook” mood.
But New Media is playing in very interestingly. We spoke about it a bit last week and I predicted that Tech would be wrong footed as the idea of tech influencing and controlling our engagement with media in society has now really changed to media influencing and controlling our relationship with tech. That’s exactly what the kids’ conflict brushed up on, I’d say.
Brittany: I got a very, “I can’t believe you’re letting her leave the house looking like THAT” vibe from Tech. We were also talking about the forms that Anderson’s Media took on, the icons influence that speak to the older generations. But this media addresses that middle ground shift. It’s very much an overarching vision that sweeps through big cultural movements that do not identify with any particular generation. Very much a Candy Crush feel.
Natalie: It was pretty classic “Oh sure, I’ll act complacent and happy to be included until the moment I exert my power” trope moment, equal parts funny and sinister. Again, it’s all about framing – New Media’s actions were framed to make Tech look like the victim and form a silent alliance with one of our “heroes,” if only for a moment, so… why? Where is that going? Also, were you expecting New Media to go rogue with Argus? What are the consequences there?
Brittany: New Media is all about flash in the pan power. Sustaining that at any cost is going to be a constant struggle for her and it made perfect sense that she would step in to get a taste of the power, especially when Tech was not making enough of an impact on the platform they had. The fallout could go one of two ways, Tech could keep his mouth shut and Media will go on and on about how it was botched, isolating him from the pack. Or Tech could go on a rampage about how Media tried to usurp power. Are you leaning a particular way?
Natalie: It could be a third option, an alliance between the two given that it’s clear NEITHER agrees with World’s methods.
But carrying on with the Smartphone Dad metaphor, I could see Media becoming the golden child because incompetent wanna-be savvy Smartphone Dads sometimes act like the more they don’t understand a thing, the cooler it is. The less World understands about New Media’s impact, the more she could literally just play him. But given the characteristics of social media behavior I could see the character definitely embracing Cancel Culture and directing it at Tech Boy.
Brittany: Those are both in line with where I’m at I think. The whole idea of cutting Tech out completely and influencing World.
Natalie: I really, just viscerally hated the technical tentacle sex scene so much
so I would like to just request that they never make me watch something like that again
Brittany: Same. Laura did not stab him fast enough.
Natalie: Well, Laura is lost and left behind, told that she can’t be what Shadow wants any more, just left to fend for herself, but with slightly more life in her. I wonder what story Wednesday will spin to Shadow about where she went after the train fight.
Brittany: I wonder if Shadow will even ask?
Natalie: He does get a bit culty and brainwashed around Wednesday this season. He’s a little too evangelical and it concerns me.
Brittany: Yes, I’m hoping there is more action and less passive behavior as we go forward from Shadow. He’s getting trapped in his own head a bit, but he’s also getting angry. Which, as we know, gets shit done.
Natalie: But we have a good run of him contemplating what the hell is going on before then, via his cross country trip with one Samantha Black Crow.
Brittany: Honestly, I was most relieved to see him finally get a nap.
Natalie: Awww. It certainly was a respite, and a return to some normalcy that he had lost touch with. But first of all, I really wanted to ask – what did you think of him turning on the charm and trying to con the store attendee?
Brittany: Loved it. Give me 5 seasons and a movie.
Natalie: To me this seemed so insanely out of character. Shadow is someone who, in my mind at least, would perform that con in the opposite way, to give extra money to someone. This seems so… wrong. though the charm is all sorts of delightful.
Do you find it justifiable/am I reading it wrong?
Brittany: No, I think that’s reasonable. But I took it as a moment of seizing control of the situation and working his own influence over people in a non-supernatural/god influenced way. Sure, it was not ideal and he was quickly reminded of that by Sam. But I saw a bit of freedom and rebellion in that moment.
Natalie: I was looking back over the book at this part, where he speaks with Laura after the train and then goes off walking and eventually hitchhiking, and the tonal difference is a lot. In the book, he is still pretty dedicated to Laura, she asks for his help to be alive again and he is like “I’ll try, how can I find you again if I work it out” and the show has touched on none of that here… it kind of feels like the book had them as doomed lovers and the show leans more into “were these people ever really good for each other?”
Brittany: And sends them on their separate ways very early, driving a huge wedge between them very intentionally. I prefer this. I don’t think Shadow’s story would play the same for me if he had a Laura hangup on top of all of this. The way he approaches her in Motel America restaurant reminded me of how someone would circle around to guests at a party. Casual, a bit distracted by the bigger picture and events of your life. Then to see his reaction when she smashes the person’s head apart and have no follow up with her creates a bigger gap between them.
Natalie: It definitely, to me, speaks to the potential for her survival. Because dying to save him at the close, the ending they have..doesn’t feel like it would have the same weight in a show that has done their relationship this way. She has her own journey now.
Brittany: What did you think of Sam? I’ve been waiting for her arrival and I must say, I was a fan of their dynamic. No matter how brief it felt.
Natalie: Well, after I got over my disappointment about the crow chat – in the book that part is very much a real conversation where shadow is speaking properly and contains the iconic “hey, say nevermore” “fuck you” part … which I guess didn’t tonally work but I wanted to see so bad. Sam was a blessing for all that she could be.
There were a few really interesting book changes I think are worth mentioning, primarily the fact that Shadow is the hitchhiker now – and he’s only allowed in her car on her terms.
I think that sets a totally different power dynamic to a girl hitchhiking in a strange man’s car, which is pretty relevant to the times. This Sam is a Sam who wouldn’t take that risk, because she’s always been smart, but our public consciousness has changed about what that might look like. She’s not as reckless. She takes precautions, I liked that – and it just put Shadow in the less powerful position.
Brittany: This is an area where I think they did a great job flipping the script on how the women are functioning in the adaptation. She’s not against Shadow, but she is certainly in command of this part of the journey. I agree with you on the nevermore cut, but who knows, it could circle back in some way!
Natalie: I loved her intervening in the store, and LOVED the way she sweetly said “oh, I know him.” It’s incredibly loaded. And Shadow is immediately intrigued by someone who’s got his number and can spot his tricks.
Brittany: Their dynamic was comfortable in a way where he just relaxes in her presence. Shadow is keeping information close to his chest, but like you said, they have a read on each other that is so naturally comforting.
Natalie: I can’t believe he asked a total stranger and civilian to confirm that they were human and not part of the god parade. And I can’t believe she just rolled with it.
Brittany: Not a good look for a stranger you are allowing in your car, but hey, he does have a certain quality about him that you just let that whole momentary god comment slide. After all, the man just fell down a mountain on a hike. Maybe he hit his head?
Natalie: I suppose so. She’s clearly very open. In the book, they have a lot of interesting exchanges about the history of myth and here they have a few different ones, like talking about being Two-Spirited and how some contemporary Native Americans have adopted that term for their queer community.
I’ve done a bit of research about that before when dealing with another genre show that used a sort of traditional mythological two-spirit in their supernatural monster playbook. Watching Shadow react to that was interesting though, because he is so wound up about actual godhood that he has to do some processing to realize that Sam is talking in metaphor or faith, about her sexuality and her religion.
Brittany: Right. It’s nice to have an audience who is so invested in what you are saying, but also at the same time, he is only hearing one interpretation of it and how it pertains to his current situation. He gets there, but I agree, I did enjoy his active listening.
Natalie: I’m a fan, but also interested that they didn’t include a few important points made in the book version of the conversation that help build foreshadowing or create connections. Maybe the mere fact of the book existing negates the need for that sort of building, or maybe they’ll meet again before we expect them to. Maybe those conversations will carry on over the course of the season before we get to Lakeside.
Brittany: I expect them to meet again. And now we’re in Cairo! Wednesday is here and Shadow is PISSED.
Natalie: He is NOT happy, and he has had some time to reflect alongside a stable normal human being. He shared his dreams and his search for peace with her, and Wednesday is NOT interested in Shadow’s peace.
And I wonder how much “leave me the fuck alone” fight is in him now.
Brittany: He’s running low on combativeness and Wednesday is not an ultimatum guy, but it seems like he issues one here. Stay the night, if you don’t feel incredible in the morning you can go. Shadow doesn’t have the flight mode activated. How many more times can he agree to just one more night?
Natalie: It’s very messed up and manipulative, but Ibis and Jacquel are good people.
Brittany: I think it is interesting, like you say, to see this side of Shadow arise immediately after he has a normal conversation with someone who was not interested in getting him to do anything other than subject himself to some photos. He’s very much getting tired of Wednesday’s nonsense.
Natalie: “Could be your face, could be your shoes” I would have slapped him!!
Brittany: He was lucky he was up on that balcony that did not seem easily accessible.
Natalie: And that Shadow is limping.
It’s very much feeling like he is tired of being pushed around and I cannot really blame him at all. I’m curious to see how long he does spend here – just a night, or will he start working with the team?
Brittany: I hope it’s more than a night. I enjoy Ibis and would like to let Shadow settle for a hot second. Maybe spend some time advancing the other stories.
Natalie: He needs more naps.
Speaking of other stories being advanced, I don’t know if this is appropriate to end the recap with but wanted to show you. These stills are hidden in flashes of the Hoarde. AKA things Sweeney keeps hidden away.
Natalie: And I don’t know if we were meant to notice them and take them as the parts Laura said was “messed up” but I am calling that EXTREME confirmation of intentional extreme romantic plot point, one sided or not.
Brittany: I think we have some intense confirmation there. So… what happens in the Hoarde stays in the Hoarde?
Natalie: It’s the things he’s putting away to keep himself steady.
I really want to catch up with them in New Orleans right now, and I really want Shadow to keep on in Cairo and maybe meet Sam for lunch a few times to discuss more of their perspectives.
But just on a final note, does that recolor Sweeney’s reluctance to take that shortcut? Or change what it means that he did it to help Laura?
Brittany: I don’t know how much he knew would happen in the Hoarde or if that was a possibility, but the risk of her seeing/being a part of what happened down there in that moment was worth it to get her what she needed. But it also likely played into why she felt more betrayed in the aftermath of the train wreck.
Natalie: Gaaaaaaaaaaaah. The end.
American Gods season 2 airs Sundays at 8:00 p.m. ET on Starz.