American Gods: 1.06 A Murder of Gods
Coming to America:
The existence of not just one Jesus amongst the old gods, but multiple variants had been alluded to previously. Here we encounter Mexican Jesus, literally coming to America, in case you missed the meta-narrative of immigration throughout the show. Immigrants bringing their hopes and beliefs to a new land. The symbolism of the subsequent poor reception is not lost on us in these modern times. Gaiman had always side-stepped the obvious question of Jesus; perhaps for reasons of narrative, perhaps for tact, or perhaps just because it's a big complicated question that has the risk of overshadowing. Here though, it serves will in illustrating the theme, and foreshadowing this week main story thrust.
But what makes this episode is Mad Sweenie and Laura's expletive filled banter. It makes for a great double-act and adding Salim into the mix makes for an interesting roadtrip. We recall Salim from his encounter with the djinn, the fire genie of NY taxis. Salim got a new life, and an old taxi cab, but all he really wants is his heart back.
Meanwhile Shadow and Wednesday continue there own travels, to Vulcan, Virginia. A crazy, gun-loving town run by successful god Vulcan of the forges of Olympus, played by Corbin Bernsen.
Odin wasn't the first of the old gods to be offered a truce by the new gods. The gun-running god of smiths has built a tiny yet terrifying empire on the back of betrayal and human sacrifice. A sacrifice and a betrayal that Odin intends to repay towards his own goals.
This has been a fun episode with upbeat music choices and a kooky feel. It has felt more of a roadtrip movie than any episode so far, and continues to make excellent narrative choices, even when diverging from the source material. The expansions of minor characters, and the turning of allusions and anecdotes into fully fledged narrative drivers has been excellent. I can't believe we only have two weeks to go before we're all done with season one of American Gods.