American Gods: 1.08 Come to Jesus
In this final episode, we begin once more with a story. But not told, this time, by Thoth, Mr Ibis the undertaker, but by Anansi, the Spider God, trickster and storyteller. We might have seen Bilqis in previous episodes, consuming her worshippers, but here we see here origins as the Queen of Sheba. She continued to do well in pre-Shah Iran, but was forced to flee lands hostile to her, and her gender. She had to come to America, albeit hundreds of years later than most of the Old Gods. An America just as hostile to her way of life; until offered the advantages of technology by the New.
While Wednesday and Shadow are hearing this tale of Queens, spinner of tales and cloth Anansi makes them suits, to aid them in the travels and travails ahead of them. For they're off to recruit the goddess Ostara: Easter herself, in the form of Kristin Chenoweth, formerly of Glee.
As well as the goddess herself, it is of course another indulgence of Jesuses, one for each denomination, and all so heavily interlinked with the Saxon fertility goddess's myth. Interlinked, and overpowered. She's a goddess known by many, but worshipped by few; scared enough to be susceptible to Wednesday's charms.
Meanwhile Shadow has a crisis of beliefs. Wednesday may tell him that believing is seeing, but it's one of the Jesuses that makes it clearer to him. Wonderfully hammed up by Justified's Jeremy Davies.
Of course, where else would Mad Sweenie take a dead wife to pursue true resurrection than in a house full of Jesuses and a goddess of life and rejuvenation? It's just a shame that Ostara suffered death at the hands of a god, making her immune from her powers. A fact that Sweenie finally has to reveal to Laura, making her aware of Wednesday's plot.
In the end though, a crisis point needs to be reached for the series to end. Gods old and new need to be brought together, blood needs to be spilled and names need to be named. Mr Wednesday, Odin, reveals himself to Shadow, and takes life and makes sacrifice. A war is declared and Shadow's crisis of belief is resolved.
If there's one criticism I have of season one of the show, it's that there's no natural breakpoint at the end of the first third. The climax of the season was one wholly fabricated and it couldn't help but feel somewhat tacked on, mostly because it was. There was no satisfying conclusion, no cliffhanger for the next season. If anything it feels like American Gods is meant to be binge-watched all in one go once all three seasons are complete. But it has been a good season, good enough for me to be impatient for the next. When it's all done, I have no doubt this will be an epic worth rewatching.