‘American Gods’ Finale Recap: Easter Sunday, 2.0

Drew: Well, that was the end of American Gods, and I gotta say: my main takeaway from this whole experience is that there is literally no better feeling in the world than being right about TV stuff. Can I get an amen? More exciting than seeing Bilquis’ origin story revealed to be “old-timey orgy like the one on the door to hell in The Devil’s Advocate; also including the dude with some sickass silicone branch implants like he’s next season Riverdale’s comic crossover cameo as Teen Groot?”

WHAT UP BABY GROOT? Starz

WHAT UP? TEEN GROOT.

Vinnie: Man, I can’t believe it took a premium channel about GODS eight whole episodes before it showed an orgy. That’s like Gotham going eight whole episodes without showing a Batman villain, or Mr. Robot going eight whole episodes without showing a laptop keyboard, or Game of Thrones going eight whole seconds without showing an orgy.

Drew: No, even more exciting than any of this, is the fact that I. Was. Right.

You see, there’s a theory out there held by detectives and quantum space astronauts alike*: that time is a flat circle. Which is how I was about to predict Bilquis’ incorporation and subsequent alliance/reliance on the technology offered by the New God. I also predicted that Devil’s Advocate’s joke almost two months ago.

And speaking of Bilquis: Even without the cosmos this lady has in her ovaries, introducing the THIRSTIEST Sex Queen into Los Angeles in the era of Tinder sounds like a Hellmouth pun I don’t even want to start unpacking at the moment.

*As portrayed by Matthew McConaughey.

Vinnie: So, unless I’m missing something, there’s a lot I don’t understand about Bilquis’ rough time in America. Sure, we’re not throwing 20-person mud orgies to appease a love goddess anymore. Not outside of L.A., at least. But people still…fuck in America, correct? Sometimes? Somewhere? At least enough to keep a sex goddess from becoming a homeless crack addict, right? What a strangely cynical idea that the one, single way for Bilquis to survive is to hop on a dating app. Just because the New Yorker or whoever says romance is dead doesn’t mean at least a couple people are having sex offline. I mean Bilquis, girl, go sit on a bench at some college in the south after their football team wins a football game.

Drew: “I don’t think you understand the concept of pissed off. It’s angry….You’re confused….Do not confuse confusion with angry.” That is like the most savage burn ever, Mr. Wednesday. Please put that in my back pocket in case I ever need to destroy someone with a devastating “you don’t know your own emotional state” retort.

Guys, how do we feel about the whole “get angry” motivational speech Anansi and Mr. Wednesday give Shadow? We saw Anansi pull this stunt once, and it didn’t end up so well for the black guy on THAT occasion. Not to mention, the Gods themselves don’t seem that upset themselves.  I’m starting to think the whole “Because anger gets shit done” is a neat little trick, like a certain P.O.T.U.S. whipping crowds into mobs of pure, racist vile and xenophobia using nothing but his words (and his HUGE hands) to incite mass hatred and fear of otherness. But just like in that political example, the shit-stirrer is usually the guy demanding you get angry while he‘s busy eating pizza with a fork. (Or you know, sub in a more relevant alt-joke.)

Vinnie: I feel like Anansi using “angry gets shit done” as an actual, repeated slogan ruined the impact of his introduction scene in episode–which, remember, I loved and you hated because this is AMERICAN Gods and that means a Democracy. There, that line felt powerful, it felt god-like. Here, Orlando Jones just…keeps saying it. If strengthening your #Brand is the key to successful deity-ing in 2017, let’s just I understand how Anansi affords all those fancy suits.

Drew: I guess what I’m saying is: is it an innate quality of Gods—like it is with most politicians and sociopaths— that makes moral insanity seem like fun? I think to most gods, we are Mr. PeanutButter from Bojack Horseman, arriving to drive them around in whatever mode of transportation we have available. To Gods, we’re not mere ants. To Gods, humans are all just chatty Lyft drivers/TaskRabbits who just show up and do the hard stuff for you.

How Mr. Wednesday sees Shadow. Netflix

Vinnie: Is that really surprising, though? Gods were literally invented because some caveman heard lightning and was like “what the fuuuuuuuck?” then started offering mastodon meat and stuff to the clouds. That’s how this relationship started. We know Shadow is just a swell human man with large arms and possibly a larger heart, but for the gods that just means he can carry a heavier load of mastodon meat, or the modern day equivalent, Robbie’s severed dong.  

Drew: So what does “getting angry” look like? Um, like climbing up skull mountain and communing with this Pokemon I caught Saturday night on Ambien….

Mamoswine is my New God. Nintendo

…And then waking up just in time to see how lovely lavender and blue astor compliment each other on the suit you are now wearing as you run over bunnies in Kentucky on the way to what I hope will (but I know won’t) be the world’s most grimiest Derby Day party ever.

Vinnie: It’s pretty noble of you to be the last person on Earth still worshipping The God of Pokemon Go.

Drew: Vinnie, I caught a million second gens over this weekend. For anyone with Pokemon Go still downloaded on their phone, it’s a players market. ANYWAY! Instead, it’s an EASTER FEAST, at the Queen/God Ēostre’s place. And since this is the last time I will be able to rant about this: I mean, what is the qualifying distinction between Gods and Kings and Queens and Leprechauns? Or maybe it’s like the rectangle/square puzzle, where not all queens are gods, but all Gods have, in their ranks, a queen or two. Which would explain why, to combat Bilquis going over to the Synthetic Meth Toad side, Shadow and Wednesday need their own goddess.

Vinnie: Yeah, something tells me Neil Gaiman got real attached to the title American Gods and then halfway through was like, “but also leprechauns and whatever,” and it was okay because he said it in his deep-ass British accent that sounds like a somehow spookier Severus Snape.

Drew: Good thing Ēostre shows up and it’s LEGIT GLINDA!

Popular, I’m gonna make your God popular! Starz

And she seems to…like(?) Shadow! But maybe in a Bon Temps kinda way, if you know what I mean. (Please don’t.) All I know is, Shadow shouldn’t be making googly eyes at a metaphysical concept until he can figure out which Jesus is his personal Jesus Bro.

Vinnie, as someone who has done a lot of research into the “Jesus is my bro” subculture, can you speak a little on this? It’s a little special snowflake, right, Christ?

Vinnie: I actually kind of loved the “Jesus looks like whoever you picture with your eyes closed” concept until I realized that also applies to literally everything else in the world. Wouldn’t that mean there’s a different Jesus for every single Christian on Earth? And why does it only apply to Jesus? How hard do I have to squint and dream that Odin dresses like Aquaman until Ian McShane has to start showing up holding a trident?

(Sidenote: If season 2 has a Jesus that looks like Christian Bale but dressed in the Ben Affleck Batman costume, that’s my Jesus)

Drew: Okay, so Jesus seems depressed, especially since he’s not even THE JESUS (who will always be a pro-bowler), but just one of a hundreds incarnations of Jesuses (Jesusi?) from various locations and denominations alike. I love Daniel Faraday’s Jesus, because that’s definitely the Oberlin Jesus. He’s regionally specific: he might SEEM like a hippy, but he’s actually just a really over-it hipster who likes to dress like he’s in the Polyphonic Spree.

Vinnie: I can’t believe Easter mentioned that there was a Jesus with a baby dinosaur in attendance and American Gods didn’t show it. Jeff Goldblum needs to be cast in that role fucking yesterday. Bryan Fuller, if you’re reading, which I KNOW you are, make this happen ASAP:

Nature will find a way, my raptor. Internet

Drew: And like, not to jump to the end here, but the whole “everyone converges on Easter for their giant New God v Old God War” seemed a little…pat. I guess I understand if this show is planning for a second season, but having Wednesday’s war prep interrupted by the Big Bads right when he was about to get his Queen? Meh….reeks of “let’s wrap this all up, folks!”

Vinnie: You know what small, yet absurd plot point made this okay for me? The fact that Media mentions SANTA CLAUSE is a New God. That’s just so damn clever, that Saint Nick saw the writing on the wall and was like “well sign my jolly ass up.” It makes sense that at least some Old Gods would make the leap into the 21st Century, and who better than these corporate branded holiday gods? Like, Saint Valentine and Saint Patrick? Totally chilling in Technical Boy’s hookah limo. So, yeah, I actually loved that Media was pals with Easter. I don’t even mind Laura and Sweeney were there. I mean, if you’re looking for a resurrection, ya just follow the Jesuses.

Drew: One thing I will say is that Pablo Schreiber’s accent is just so on-point that I’m 100 percent sure he just IS Irish now. (See also: his cameo as Pornstache this season in Orange is the New Black.) He’s got a TOTAL brogue going on in that thing!)

Vinnie: It actually is insane how quickly Schreiber went from “wait I thought he was really short or was that just the mustache?” to my favorite character on this show.

Drew: I mean, there’s so much being thrown at us in these last final moments. Like: Mr. Wednesday, straight-up serial-stalked Shadow and Laura all the way through the bike heist. He saw Shadow go to jail, which was part of his plan. The other part of his plan was killing Laura Moon, a fact she gets out of Mad Sweeney, who probably didn’t need the reminder. “YOU SAID A GOD KILLED ME. YOU’RE NOT A GOD!” She screams, yanking him up by his blue moons.

And then we hop right into the thing were like, Gods just don’t give a shit about us. Gods think we are their lifetime pledge class: “If you’re really good, maybe we’ll let you in….to heaven!”

Vinnie: Yeah, it’s super weird that Shadow focused so much on not being able to believe, but bought all the way in after hearing Wednesday say “they can have Spring back…if they pray for it.” That’s the exact point where I’d be like “okay, I believe you can do magic but you’re still being a giant Odin-shaped asshole.”

Drew: Oh my god, i Just got soooo dizzy watching that Mr. Wednesday/ Odin transformation. It’s kind of the tilt-a-whirl barf experience? I mean, plus Mr. World’s Videodrome aesthetic and the fact that everything ends on Kristin Chenoweth’s new Coachella look, I feel like I am having some kind of TV whiplash.  

So this big monster ‘war’ made exactly zero jack shits of difference, except as a lead-up to season 2. Vinnie, I know you love this show. But American Gods just wasn’t what I was praying for.

Vinnie: Honestly, Drew, I love everything about this show besides the war. I love that it took its sweet time even getting to Easter, that we strayed down batshit lane along the way, taking entire episode-long stops in Ireland, hopping over to New York to watch a genie fuck a guy into the world’s saddest career, briefly sojourning into the afterlife to watch Death itself be a passive aggressive-ass diva. I know we all have residual Westworld fatigue, where watching all TV is like “but what was the point of THAT specific thing?” But I loved American Gods because it was just weird, and colorful and ballsy, and in the first americangodsdamn episode a dude got sucked into a goddess’ endless starry void vagina. I could give less of a shit about whether Odin ever gets his preferred retirement plan, I just like to watch gods play, bother and fuck with humans in different, creative ways. I know it ultimately means nothing, but I’ll definitely keep coming back.

Which, uh, I think is the definition of religion.

‘American Gods’ Finale Recap: Easter Sunday, 2.0