American Gods ep 1×02, “The Secret of Spoons” aired on May 7, 2017
Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) just can’t seem to catch a break as he’s pulled deeper into Mr. Wednesday’s world in this week’s all-new episode, “The Secret of Spoons”. We also meet a few more of the old and new gods. This recap will contain spoilers for tonight’s new episode. Read on after the jump.
Last week, we saw the first landing of Vikings on American shores. Things didn’t go so well for them as the natives were less than welcoming to the foreign plunderers. In “Secret of Spoons” opening scene, we found ourselves in the despair filled hold of a slave ship in 1697. Taken from the safety of their homes and native soil, black bodies chained in the rocking ship. One slave delivered an impassioned plea to his god, Compe Anansi. He was chained and far from land so he couldn’t do as he normally would by honing his God with dance or cut fruit. The slave promises that if Anansi offers freedom, he will show his gratitude in worship. His prayers are heard, but the answer is not the one he expects.
The slave promises that if Anansi offers freedom, he will show his gratitude in worship. His prayers are heard, but the answer is not the one he expects. A quite dapper looking, Mr. Nancy/Anansi enters the hold and draws all eyes. He appears to be of the all-knowing variety and honestly looks like he’s popped in from a future. He tells the slaves about the 300 plus years of subjugation and racist bullshit that will continue to rain down for generations to come.
He tells them about police shootings and where they previously were just people, they are now and forever “black”. His words transform despair into rage.Mr. Nancy breaks the chains of the slave who called out for him, and that slave frees the others. They set fire to the ship destroying themselves and their captors before the can reach the shore of “milk, honey, and opportunity” not met for them. “Let it all burn,” Mr. Nancy declares.
After that opening, the episode picks up again with Shadow’s lynching and his attackers’ exploding. We never do get to see what or who intervened on his behalf. If Shadow appeared far too accepting of the things around him last week, that changed a lot in this episode. After getting his wounds tended, bloody Shadow goes looking for his new boss and wants to know what exactly the man is up to and he’s not talking about the blue-eyed blonde that Mr. Wednesday spent the night with. Shadow wants to know how he ended up “Strange Fruit” hanging from a tree.
Shadow gets a non-answer but is assured that Mr. Wednesday is hella pissed about Technical Boy’s attack on Shadow. He calls it an attack on Wednesday himself and the old man promises that he has a plan. Poor Shadow never did get an answer about what Technical Boy could’ve meant about ‘reprogramming reality’. I’m sure those answers are forthcoming.
Alone in his room, Shadow’s dreams are anything but peaceful. Laura shows up and calls him “puppy”. Who knew that was an endearment. Audrey did mention it last week. It’s hard to think of Shadow as anyone’s “kicked puppy”. Still, he’s dutiful enough to finally go home the next day and pack up Laura’s house. There’s a welcome home sign, sagging balloons, and Laura’s cracked phone with a pic of Robbie’s junk. Shadow can’t get out of that town fast enough and is almost relieved to hit the road with Mr. Wednesday. He learns that his boss is super old school. The man doesn’t believe in cell phones and takes the scenic route wherever possible. He misses the drama and virtue of telegrams. He also never shows up uninvited without a gift in hand for his old friends.
Red Room of Worship
While Shadow and Wednesday are road tripping, we check back in with Bilquis. The Fertility goddess of old manages to keep herself busy and young with sexual encounters with men and women alike. It is her rhythm and routine. She does take a break at one point to visit a museum. This feels like another part of her daily routine. She hits the museum to wander around remnants of the past and gaze at statues and monuments from centuries past.
Back to a time when she was truly worshiped and didn’t have to go looking those who might bow down to her. There’s a sadness in the goddess as she roams about looking at the images of the past. Gotta wonder if she’ll become embroiled in Wednesdays coming war and what she might bring to the table. I do wonder where exactly her worshippers disappear to after they enter her. At one point, we do see a naked man just floating out among the stars.
An Offer He Can’t Refuse
On the road with Mr. Wednesday, Shadow meets quite a few new interesting characters. He hits up the local big box store with a shopping list from his new boss, and he meets the amazing Media (Gillian Anderson) in the guise of Lucille Ball. Who among us have not spent a good amount of time worshipping at the altar of our screens? We even have them in every size now. Media apologizes to Shadow for Technical Boy’s attack.
She wants Shadow on their side for the war against Wednesday. Again, I ask. What is so special about Shadow? Besides the whole gorgeous and ripped them. Who is he that the old Gods and new are so taken with him. Media tells Shadow to come work for her and she’ll keep his neck out of the belt and she alludes to others who came before him that did not end well. Gotta love Shadow’s answer, “I don’t want to work for you, I Love Lucy”.
Shadow meets up with Wednesday at a diner and sees another interesting figure with shining eyes. Let’s hope we hear more about him soon. From there the duo head for Chicago. The Zorya clan are less than welcoming, but they aren’t rude. They invite Wednesday and Shadow to stay for dinner and once given the invite cannot be rescinded. Too bad Czernobog didn’t get home sooner. Clearly, the Slavic god and Wednesday didn’t leave things on the best of terms. The Zorya sisters offer to read Shadow’s fortune. He calls bullshit when they tell him that he’ll live a long, happy life with many children. They tell him instead that he won’t die of cancer like his mother before him. Given his current situation, that makes sense.
Czernobog takes a liking to Shadow during dinner and invites the younger man to a game of checkers. Wednesday looks nervous on Shadow’s behalf when Czernobog offers to up the stakes. If Shadow wins, he’ll consent to join Wednesday’s mission against the new gods. If Shadow loses, Czernobog gets to take his hammer to the younger man’s skull. Shadow wonders how badly Wednesday needs the big man. He takes the bet and loses. We’re left with the promise of Czernobog killing Shadow come sunrise. Could this be what the Zorya sisters saw for Shadow’s future or will there be more divine intervention to alter Shadow’s fate? We’re left to wonder until next week.
Stand Out Quotes & Images
- “To give a good death is art.” -Czernobog
- “The hammer…it’s dull now. Blood feeds it. Gives it shine.” -Czernobog
- “I don’t want to work for you, I Love Lucy.” -Shadow
- “I’m not going to steal from you.” -Shadow //”You can’t look out for yourself. How in the hell are you supposed to look out for me?” -Mr. Wednesday
The show continues to have the most amazing imagery and sound. The bluesy sax on the Slave ship. The heinous looking spider (Mr. Nancy) that survives the fire and wreckage. The dandelion petals floating skyward (Mr. Wednesday communicating with some being?). Gillian in black-and-white as Lucille Ball/Media. Mr. Nancy’s entire look and speech at the top of the episode was everything. Can’t wait for more. What did you think of tonight’s all new ep?
Photo Credit: STARZ/American Gods
American Gods airs on Sundays at 9/8c on STARZ