REVIEW: American Gods, S1 Ep2 – The Secret of Spoons

American Gods, S1 Ep2 – The Secret of Spoons

The second episode of American Gods introduces a few more divine players on the chessboard, as Shadow begins to realize that he has truly begun a journey as dangerous as it is mysterious.

The episode begins with another “Coming to America” clip of an old god, this time Orlando Jones’ Anansi, and it is a fantastic set of scenes, amazingly executed and also painfully relevant. The clip takes place on board a slave ship where one of the captive prays to Anansi for help. He arrives, dapper in a purple suit, and with his smooth words he describes the horrors to come for the slaves and the centuries of suffering they will have to endure. He persuades them to escape their predicament and they end up setting the ship on fire. The whole thing is more haunting because it rings true to reality, and some of Anansi’s tirades may well have been about current events. American Gods may be a fantasy show but it explores themes and issues prevalent in today’s society.

American Gods, S1 Ep2 – The Secret of SpoonsWe also check back with Bilquis, the Goddess of Love, who continues in her quest to absorb her worshipers through sex. And though she seems to find willing sacrifices, in the end, she does not look too pleased. She may be temporarily satiated but her days of glory seem to have come to an end.

After narrowly escaping death in the last episode, Shadow arranges his affairs in his old town (along with disturbing visions of his wife and best friend, and the confirmation of their treachery) and begins his job with Mr. Wednesday in earnest. As the unorthodox road trip progresses, Mr. Wednesday gives Shadow some vague hints of the nature of their mission.

American Gods, S1 Ep2 – The Secret of SpoonsViewers also get a sense of the wondrous world of American Gods, where ancient deities clash with newer beings like last week’s Technical Boy. This week’s latest introduction is Media, a goddess who speaks to Shadow through a TV screen and tries to recruit him to her side, and later on, to threaten him.

“I want you in my camp with us. We’re the coming thing, we are already here. We are now and tomorrow and tomorrow. And he isn’t even yesterday anymore,” Media says, but Shadow remains loyal to his employer.

American Gods, S1 Ep2 – The Secret of SpoonsLater on, they meet up with old relatives who are actually Slavic deities, reduced to living paltry lives, somehow surviving despite the world having forgotten about them. There are the Zorya sisters, representing the Morning Star (Zorya Utrennyaya), the Evening Star (Zorya Vechernyaya), and the Midnight Star (Zorya Polunochnaya). They are relatives of Czernobog, the god of Darkness, who indulges in violence through the slaughter of cows, smashing their heads with a hammer. As revealed in a clip released earlier, Czernobog challenges Shadow to a deadly game of checkers, the result of which is unknown by the end of the episode. But though Shadow has seen enough weirdness recently, he seems ready to calmly embrace the madness.

This chapter of American Gods is slower than the premiere, with the showrunners easing us into this new and exciting world of gods and mortals. Not much happens so far, but like Shadow, we’re all just along for the ride.