American Gods, ep 1×08, “Come to Jesus” aired on June 18, 2017
Now that’s how you start a war. Last night, Starz’s freshman series capped off a beautifully rendered season of elegant storytelling with one helluva exclamation point. Did “Come to Jesus” make a believer of you? Up ’til now the Old Gods have done little to show the full force of their power in modern times. Yes, we’ve seen Bilquis using Tinder for her steady stream of worshippers, but the season finale ended with the spectacle that would befit the All-Father and Ostara. Gods of old.
The episode kicked off with Mr. Wednesday and Shadow stopping off for a quick visit with Mr. Nancy (Orlando Jones). The occasion called for quite the story about the Queen…the goddess who ruled and brought kings to their knees way back when. He told of Bathsheba/Bilquis and those who worshiped her. Mr. Nancy told of the men who envied Bilquis’ power. Those men tried and failed so many times to strip power from her. She thrived through the centuries until like with all Gods, her worshipers grew fewer and those men intimidated by the power of a woman, succeeded in breaking Bilquis down to her lowest point.
Rebirth came for Bilquis in this New World when Technical Boy showed up with a deal. It was similar to what they’d offered Mr. Wednesday and Vulcan. She could become relevant again, but with a modern twist. Unlike Vulcan, her reach wasn’t quite as far-reaching, but it was enough to bring her back from the brink. The new god handed her a cell phone already locked and loaded with a profile so all Bilquis had to do was take the deal and swipe right. From what we’ve seen this season, the goddess is somewhat thriving, but she’s nowhere near what she was in her glory days. There was something vibrant and breathtaking about the scenes early on in her temple and then later in the 1970s at that disco. She’s still flawless, but there’s a sadness to her. A hunger remaining for the days gone by. For glory still gone. She’s avoiding phone calls from Technical Boy. The later finally shows up. He needs her help and she owes the new gods for her continued existence. So it’s off to Wisconsin. Another piece moved in the chess game that we’ve been watching all season. It will be interesting to see which side Bilquis ultimately ends up on. Watching that amazing moment at the end of the episode with Ostara, that’s what I want for Bilquis at some point. For her to thrive in what she is and throw off the ties that have temporarily bound her to the new gods. Here’s hoping.
Speaking of Ostara. How utterly fantastic is Kristin Chenoweth as Ostara/Easter? Shadow seems taken with the goddess. Honestly, Mr. Wednesday should’ve just brought Shadow straight to see Easter, but then we wouldn’t have seen this epic Easter party and the summit for the Christ figures of all denominations. Before Easter was co-opted by Christians, it was a Pagan holiday. It belonged to Ostara. She seems to have made her own deal with the new gods, but she’s not quite as married to it as St. Nick. (I KNOW, RIGHT???!!) Still, Shadow is all of us during that first meeting with Ostara. She had that beautiful blushing and like, “Laura, who?”. Easter is definitely the Queen that Mr. Wednesday needs at his side for this war with the new gods. If there was any doubt, then watching her unleash the true power of the Spring, where she drinks in every bit of life as far as the eye can see and possibly even further than that. It was almost exactly like the beginning of the episode with Bilquis in her temple with the crowd of sweaty, entangled bodies all around her. Their joy was hers and just as we saw in the premiere, the gave themselves up to the abyss of her vajayjay. Technical Boy does have a hilarious line this episode when he talks about not wanting to get lost in that galaxy far, far away, “feeding your soul in the VAGINA NEBULA.” His loss. Honestly.
Whether she was charming Shadow, skirting a very suspicious media, or dropping a dime about Laura being murdered by a god, Ostara was on point throughout. Her moment even rivals that badass moment when Mr. Wednesday finally unleashes on the new gods and show’s them just why he was feared and revered by man. Old dude can still pack quite the punch as he demonstrates. Finally, he’s facing off with Media, Technical Boy, and Mr. World. Is Shadow really ready to know who he’s working with? And then he just runs through the names. All-Father. Odin. One-Eyed. Highest. True-Guesser. Glad-of-War. Grim. Raider. “I have as many names as there are winds and as many titles as there are ways to die.” Mr. Wednesday finally shows his true face and a taste of his power and it is a sight to behold. The new gods now know that they’ve effed with the wrong old god. Odin has set the pieces into play and now Shadow is a true-believer.
Someone who isn’t impressed with Mr. Wednesday? Laura Moon. Thanks to Ostara, Dead Wife now knows that her death was no accident. She was “murdered” by a god. Which one? None other than Mr. Wednesday. More than that we find that out the old god has been manipulating Shadow’s existence for a while. Laura’s
idiotic “foolproof” plan to rob the casino was effed up by none other than Mr. Wednesday. Why? Because as Mad Sweeney tells the dead woman, the gods effe with people on a regular basis. It’s just what they do. That old saying, “We Plan, God Laughs.” Basically. With plans for Easter to bring her back to life via resurrection, Laura will have to figure out something else. Easter can’t give life where another god has taken it away. Shadow probably won’t be too happy with finding out the level of Wednesday’s interference in his life. The god didn’t make Laura cheat on Shadow, though so…(still not Team Laura/Shadow and not sorry).
The table is set and war is coming next season. Shadow has chosen his side (for now) and the other old gods who Wednesday hasn’t lied about not killing are lining up at his side. Bilquis appears conflicted and could switch sides next season when the show returns. Or perhaps she’s truly tied to this deal she’s made with Technical Boy. Only time will tell. Here’s to more hearing more new tales of old gods and their followers next season, and the war that finally arrived with a bolt of lightening and sacrifice made in Ostara’s name. Media looks suitably shook so it’s bound to be LIT.
What did you think of this week’s season finale, “Come to Jesus”? Did it make you a believer? Hit the comments with your favorite moments. Are you Team Oldie But Goodies or Team New Kids?
Photo Credit: Starz/American Gods