The first season of American Gods has come to a close after only eight episodes, but they certainly delivered the goods! ‘Come To Jesus’ finally felt like an actual episode with a plot that flowed nicely and worked well to bring most of it together. However, the episode did feel somewhat lacking when viewed as a season finale and could be seen more as a mid-season finale since it left us with more of a ‘to be continued’ feeling. Despite that, this episode is truly going to bring an epic second season after its reveals and the promise for an all-out war between the New and Old gods.
Get Yourself A Queen
You just know when you’re in for a treat when the sound of Orlando Jones’ Mr Nancy begins to talk, along with the glorious music that accompanies him. His character is truly something else, and he could definitely pull of his own show (which might be in the works)! Although it seem as though we should be getting some serious action, Mr Nancy informs us he has a story to tell, a story of a queen.
This queen happens to be Bilquis and it reveals her ‘Coming to America’ story which begins in 864 BCE. A horde of naked bodies worship her and from the dramatic music to the visual tension and the lack of dialogue from those characters, it makes for a very intense scene. We see her downfall which starts in the 70s after an incident at a club causing her to travel to America. It is there that the goddess begins to fade as she sees a lover face HIV and a world where nobody worships her as they once did, and her story touches on the lack of power women still face. A haggard Bilquis sees her temple destroyed as “there’s no end to the cruelty of men threatened by strong women” and she is soon approached by Technical Boy introducing her to the wonders of online dating to bring the once powerful queen into the digital age.
After ranting to Wednesday about the events of Episode 6, Shadow dreams once again of a mysterious wall of bones, a looming tree and a beast with eyes of fire—perhaps we will finally get some answers? If we could be so lucky. The two reach yet another destination and also run over several bunnies in the process, which is unfortunate because it is Easter. Just like Shadow, he is shocked to be introduced to the gorgeous Ostara (played by Kristin Chenoweth), or better known as Easter, and he also is finally coming to the revelation that gods exist after seeing multiple Jesuses.
Wednesday stirs up trouble between Ostara and the Jesuses claiming they have stolen her day in order to bring Ostara a little further onto his side. He continues by claiming the New Gods killed Vulcan and shows her the blade he forged as proof of his allegiance to Wednesday. Upon his suggestion of getting the world to believe in her again, he suggests she harms the spring harvest to starve them so they “give a little, to get a little”.
Dead Girl Walking
Laura and Sweeney make it to their destination, which turns out to be Ostara’s house, and good thing too because Laura isn’t looking so great. Sweeney asks for her help because apparently he doesn’t want to see Laura dead, please whichever god, don’t let this be the only form of ‘romance’ on the show. Ostara wants to help Laura but reveals she can’t because Laura has been killed by a god, and Sweeney knows just who. Grabbing Sweeney by the balls for information, he tells her it was Wednesday and that she wasn’t murdered but a sacrifice instead so Shadow could be lost. Connecting the dots, Laura realises everything that happened to them was Wednesday—the failed robbery, jail, Laura’s death—and she’s pissed.
The More, The Merrier
Ostara receives more guests in the form of Media as Judy Garland, whom is truly impeccable in every form she comes in. Media questions Ostara’s loyalty after the two built her day to make “an old god new”, but Wednesday brews the storm even further as him and Media face off in a flurry of words. It is here that we see how truly remarkable American Gods is and could be in every single episode. Supported by her henchmen and Technical Boy, Mr World appears to deny the war because the New Gods will win either way, battle or no battle.
When Wednesday turns to Shadow with a rumbling storm brewing and asks him a series of questions—”Do you have faith? Do you know what I am? Do you what to know my name?”—the big reveal is finally here and it doesn’t disappoint. Listing his many names, he finally says “I am Odin!” and announces he gives these deaths to Ostara and kills the henchmen in a lightning strike.
Showing her true nature, Ostara pushes away Wednesday’s storm and pulls the life from the land leaving it deprived of all colour. Also, does Kristin Chenoweth age? Because she is truly a thing of beauty.
It seems Wednesday will have his war as announced by Mr World, but he merely retorts with “Tell the believers and non-believers: we’ve taken the spring. They can have it back when they pray”. After Shadow announces he believes in everything, Laura turns up to talk to him and Bilquis is travelling to Wisconsin and to the House of Rock, which holds significance in the novel. And that’s it. Done. Season one over.
It was quite the jarring ending because I wasn’t paying attention to how much time was left in the episode and was half expecting for Laura to drop the bomb on Shadow about Wednesday staging everything. Perhaps Shadow could have stormed off and maybe that would have seemed like a more reasonable ending so it felt as there was a bit of impact with a dash of cliffhanger for the next season. In a way, it seems strange they would map the season out that way, unless they knew they were going to be picked up for a second season or the creators just love taking gigantic leaps of faith. Regardless, I hope the following season brings a little more consistency with each character’s stories rather than stopping one and picking up another with each episode.
Overall, Bryan Fuller and Michael Green have done a superb job in bringing the lengthy novel to life and maintaining its oddness and in-depth lore. With its gorgeous cinematography, brilliant cast, willingness to touch on the important topics and present them in a way which is relevant to their story as well as society’s, I think the series has done rather well for itself. Here’s to the year-long wait for season 2!
What did you think of the season finale? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!