REVIEW: American Gods, S1 Ep 8 – Come to Jesus

American Gods, S1 Ep 8 – Come to Jesus

The season finale of American Gods brought together a host of powerful deities, made Shadow finally believe, and left us all on a massive cliffhanger.

So much was set up in the preceding episodes, so there was some serious hype about what the finale would deliver. It lived up to expectations and frustrated audiences in just the right way – leaving all of us hungry for more. We’re lucky that American Gods has already been renewed for a second season but hopefully, the team behind the show will release the next episodes soon. For now, we have this jampacked, eventful finale that introduces new characters, brings together those we already know, and sets up a massive showdown in the future.

Wednesday decided to have some suits by Mr. Nancy, who couldn’t resist regaling his guests with a story, this time one that delved deeper into the origins and journey of Bilquis. The goddess of love has been a fascinating character who has only appeared on the sidelines of the main plot so far, but with the focus on her backstory in this episode as well as her appearance towards the end of the episode, on her way to the House on the Rock, it is clear that she will be a major player in the conflict ahead.

American Gods, S1 Ep 8 – Come to JesusThe scenes of her glory days, with the orgies and writhing bodies that were then liquefied by her power, are daring and exciting (and will probably make some conservative critics cringe). But these scenes were just one example of the visual feast American Gods has been from the very first episode. The style of the show, though it draws comparisons to Hannibal in execution, is truly unlike anything else on television.

It turns out Bilquis has taken the offer of the New Gods, much like Vulcan, and allowed herself to use Technical Boy’s toys to be able to survive (meaning to meet people to absorb into her body through sex). It’s a tough time to be a god and the queen has got to make compromises.

Another queen who has made this tricky decision is introduced in this episode. Ostara, the pagan goddess of Easter, makes the most of the fusion of Christ’s resurrection with her own feast day. Kristen Chenoweth is both radiant and intimidating as Ostara, sauntering in a floral dress through her mansion, as she welcomes her guests and listens to the whispers from her rabbit messengers and entertains the different, glowing manifestations of Jesus Christ. But despite her melodic voice and cheerful nature, there is an air of menace about her, the hint that she is an ancient force of nature who is not to be trifled with.

American Gods, S1 Ep 8 – Come to JesusWednesday and Shadow visit her on Easter to try and enlist her aid in Wednesday’s war against the new gods. She is shocked to see them and reluctant to join in, but when Media arrives (Gillian Anderson, iridescent as ever as Judy Garland from Easter Parade) and reminds her of the deal they made, Ostara hesitates.

Another pair arrive to seek her assistance: Mad Sweeney and Laura Moon. And though the goddess possesses the power to gift life, she reveals that she cannot help the poor dead woman because Laura was killed by a god. And so, the grisly truth about Wednesday’s grim machinations comes to light (after poor Mad Sweeney is tortured, of course), and Laura is more determined than ever to speak to Shadow. She has a moment with him at the very end but we’ll have to wait for next season to see how that conversation plays out.

American Gods, S1 Ep 8 – Come to JesusMr. Wednesday finally reveals his identity to Shadow in a stirring, stormy speech that gives us a glimpse of his power:

“This is what they call me. I’m called Glad-of-War, Grim, Raider, and Third. I am One-Eyed. I am called Highest, and True-Guesser. I am Grimnir, and I am the Hooded One. I am All-Father, and I am Gondlir Wand-Bearer. I have as many names as there are winds, as many titles as there are ways to die.”

Wednesday strikes down the faceless men with his lightning and offers their deaths to Ostara. She accepts the sacrifice and unleashes her wrath upon the world, turning all that’s green to death, withholding the spring until people remember who she is and worship her accordingly.

And that’s how the season ends, on the brink of war, with the open declaration of hostilities between the old gods and the new, and with Shadow finally believing in all that he has seen. A powerful, memorable finale that leaves us hanging as we wait for American Gods season two to hopefully bring some answers to the first season’s many mysteries.