American Gods: Season 1 Recap

Hello and happy Tuesday! Sunday night was the premiere of season 2 of American Gods. To get you all ready I’m going to do a recap of Season 1 and tell you how true it is to the book. Then I’m going to make some predictions for season 2.

Coming to America

In almost every episode you will get a coming to America story. For the most part these are word for word from the book. And they describe the main gods and their journey to America.

A Leprechan, a coin, and a dead woman

Shadow Moon has served 3 years in prison after a robbery gone awry. He is out early due to good behavior and because his wife, Laura, died in a car crash. Shadow goes back to Eagle Point, Indiana. Along the way he meets a man named Mr. Wednesday. Wednesday offers him a job and at first Shadow turns him down. But when he meets up with him again at a bar he learns that Robby, his boss and friend, died in the car crash with Laura. So he accepts Wednesday’s offer and drinks 3 glasses of mead to seal the deal.

He also gets into a drunken fight with Mad Sweeney. The two of them are good at coin tricks, and that’s where the similarities end. Sweeney gives Shadow a coin. This turns out to be a special coin. As he says, “the coin you’d give to the King of America.” And Shadow is most definitely not the King of America. But he unwittingly throws it on top of Laura’s grave. The coin truly is magical and brings Laura back to life. In turn Sweeney has the worst luck as he tracks it down.

When Laura finds Shadow he’s not exactly happy to see her. That’s because for the majority of the time that Shadow was in prison she was having an affair with Robby. In fact when she died she was giving him a blow job. Lovely, huh?

But just because she’s out of the grave doesn’t means she’s actually alive again, just not dead. She’s still rotting. But she wants to be alive again and be with Shadow. Mad Sweeney knows someone who can help. Together they set out to find the person who can help them and get Sweeney’s coin back to him.

Meet Salim, a taxi driver who’s life changed after he met a gin. Now he’s out looking for the gin. Good news is Sweeney knows exactly where he is going to be and will tell Salim in exchange for him driving them to Kentucky.

We also learn at Wednesday’s behest, Sweeney was in the other vehicle that caused the wreck that killed Laura. And he was told to be at the bar and pick a fight with Shadow. The thing is Sweeney feels bad about his part in Laura’s death and he restores the coin to her when they wreck, when he could have just taken it and been done.

At the end of the season they make it to Kentucky and that’s when we learn about Sweeney’s part in Laura’s death. The friend Sweeney had thought would be able to restore Laura’s life says she cannot because Laura was killed by a god and she cannot intervene with that.

The beginning part of the story is fairly true to the book. However, when Mad Sweeney catches up with Laura is when it deviates. We only see Sweeney 3 times in the book. At the bar, when he tracks Shadow down and begs for the coin back, and sadly when he is found dead from exposure the day after that.

I am okay with his expanded part because I really enjoy his character. It also gives a reason for us to see what the dead wife is up to. In turn it also gives her a larger part in the show than she originally had in the book.

The Gods

Wednesday takes Shadow to see all these old friends that he’s trying to recruit. You have Czernobog aka his hammer. Vulcan makes Wednesday a sword which he is then killed with by Wednesday. You have Nancy, a spider, story teller, and clothing designer. And finally everyone meets up in Kentucky at Ostara’s home and in case you didn’t know she is Easter. But she’s more than that. She’s the season of life and rebirth. She is spring.

On the other side you have the new gods. Technology is an annoying boy/man who looks to be around college age. He kidnaps Shadow and lynches him towards the beginning of the season. Then we have Media who we see dressed as Lucy Ricardo, David Bowie, Marilyn Monroe, and finally in her Sunday best in Kentucky.

The big man in charge on that side is Mr. World. He can change his appearance and has tried to recruit both Shadow and Wednesday to his side. That’s a large part of what’s going on here is there is a war coming between these two sides. The new gods are trying to promise the old gods a a new life, a new way where they can all be prosperous. Wednesday on the other hand has set out to remind them of what they were and what they could be again. At the end Wednesday reveals his true name, Odin.

What’s up for Season 2?

These predictions are based on the book, I have no idea what the story writers are going to add or change. At the end of Season 1 we saw lots of people making their way to the House on the Rocks. We’ll definitely go there next and meet up with everyone.

Like Season 1 there will probably be another con or an explanation of Wednesday’s favorite cons at the very least. And Shadow will probably make his way to Lakeside, a small town that Wednesday uses to hide him from the new gods. Depending on what liberties the show takes we will either spend a good chunk of the season there or we’ll get there at the end of the season.

I don’t expect the war or battle to break out this season. I expect the third season to be action packed. While I don’t know how they would do it, I hope this season deviates from the book some and gives us a little more action.

I don’t know if they’ll have anymore coming to America stories or not. As I listen to the book again I have only come up on two different stories that have not made an appearance on the show yet. But if they can come up with more to put in I am 100% okay with that. The first episode aired on Sunday and new ones will continue to come out on Sundays. The Viking and I are waiting until all the episodes are out, then we’ll watch it and I’ll put up a review of that!

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