TV Recap: American Gods, Season Finale: "Come to Jesus"
It's the end of the line for the first season of American Gods. The Starz original had a fantastic first season so far, pushing boundaries and proving quite thought-provoking on the subject of religion. This season ends with a bang, but maybe not the loudest bang I had hoped for. We do finally get a meeting between the Old Gods & the New. It is not exactly the battle that has been teased, rather the scene plays as a more definitive line in the sand that is exciting nonetheless.
The episode kicks off with Shadow and Wednesday talking with Anansi, AKA Mr. Nancy (Orlando Jones). From him, we get the backstory on a previously seen but unexplained Goddess, Bilquis. It's 864 B.C. in her temple in Yemen. Many men come to her attempting to be King, but they all fall under her spell. An insanely large orgy breaks out, and when the Queen has had her fill everybody melts into her. She's at a 70s disco club in Tehran now. She's still the life of the party and has the attention of everybody on the floor. Her power of seduction angers a group of men who break into the club guns blazing, taking her power. She's fine with not being in total control any longer, and to continue seducing.
In recent years, Bilquis has become completely powerless, a homeless, diseased shadow of her former self, wandering the streets. When she's at her lowest she sees a news report of a terrorist group destroying her Yemen temple. Technical Boy comes up to her and offers her a seat with the New Gods through technology, handing her a smartphone with an app that is definitely not Tinder. The story ends with Mr. Nancy making sure Wednesday and Shadow know that they need to find a Queen.
Shadow has his recurring dream once again. He's climbing a mountain of skulls, and when he reaches the top he is face to face with the white buffalo with flames shooting from its eyes. Shadow wakes up in the car. They're in Kentucky. Their vehicle is being pursued by a large herd of adorable rabbits. Wednesday plows through them and arrives at a large house. It's Easter and there's a lavish party happening inside. Everybody's dressed in their finest suits and dresses, a bright white light illuminates the place adorned with flowers and rabbits with a spread of eggs, fruits, and cookies. It's not long before they see the hostess, Ostara AKA Easter, the goddess of spring (Kristin Chenoweth). Shadow takes a look around and sees that the party is attended by multiple Jesus', one for each and every denomination and culture that prays to him.
Ostara leads the two out into the garden. She seems very interested in Shadow, and not enthused to see Wednesday. He attempts to make her join his cause by reminding her that her star has fallen, the people once prayed to her and she has since been forgotten. Easter is celebrated but it is no longer her day. Wednesday starts to cause a scene and she takes them into a secluded room to chew him out. He pulls out the sword and tells her that the New Gods killed Vulcan once he pledged his allegiance.
Bilquis meets with Technical Boy at a museum. He lays out the score, that she's done well by the New Gods and that it's their turn. She attempts to seduce him but it does not work, and he sends her off on another errand.
Laura and Mad pull up in the beaten up ice cream truck to Easter's house. By the pool, Shadow has a long talk with a Jesus about faith. Even with what he's seen, Shadow doesn't know how to believe, as if he's been dreaming. Wednesday lays out his plan with Easter, she needs to withhold to make the people worship once more. A rabbit whispers in her ear and she runs downstairs. Laura is in the bathroom looking more ragged than ever having just puked up a bunch of maggots. Mad asks Easter to revive her. She attempts it only to find out that she can't use her powers on this particular type of dead. Laura was killed by a god. "I was killed by a god? Which. Fucking. God?"
Easter heads outside to greet a guest, Media, who says that she helped her create this holiday, which according to Easter's expression doesn't seem to be true. Downstairs, Laura's grabbed Mad by the crotch and has him lifted up against the wall. She already knows which god killed her, but she needs Mad to say it. Mad gives up and tells her it's Wednesday. Wednesday has been behind this from the start, he even interfered with the robbery to get Shadow sent to prison. He needed Shadow to be at a place where he had nothing left to lose.
Easter and Media are at odds in the garden. Media attempts to dissuade her from joining Wednesday. Media's faceless goons multiply themselves and start doing a dance around the two as the talk intensifies. Wednesday and Shadow come outside and joins the verbal fight over Easter. The rest of the New Gods appear, and Wednesday summons a bolt of lightning to strike down the bodyguards. Shadow turns to him one more time and asks who he is. Wednesday finally reveals his true self, he rifles through all of his nicknames before settling on the one with some recognition, Odin. He turns to Easter and tells her to show the world who she is. She summons a tornado of flower petals and the stormy skies turn bright as all of the lands turn brown. Flowers and crops die all around. Wednesday proclaims that the people can have their crops back once they've prayed. He asks Shadow if he believes, and he finally seems to be on board. He looks up and sees Laura standing above them. The scene ends and we see Bilquis riding a bus to House on the Rock, Wisconsin, Wednesday's ultimate goal and the location of more Jinn.
Although we did not get the all out war that we have been building up towards, we did get some more fuel to make us excited for when that war takes place. Although it's not perfect, I have been consistently surprised by American Gods. To my recollection, there wasn't a fight scene to be found outside of the first episode, but each new week brought about such interesting character developments and plot revelations that I didn't even notice. It's going to be tough to wait for the second season, but I'm happy waiting so that it can be the best it can be.