American Gods S1E2: The Secret of Spoon

reviews, TV

The Secret of Spoon

Warning: Spoilers

 

If there were any of you who were confused, or wanting answers after last week’s episode, I hope this episode left you a bit more pleased. The reason that Mr. Wednesday wants Moon gains more teeth, even if we are still not told much. We are shown a few more Gods again, deepening the lore of this world even more. I am still feeling utterly entranced by this show, and am so thankful it’s staying relatively faithful to its source material.

 

We start as we did last week, with a ‘Coming to America’ vignette, this time telling how the God Anansi came to America in 1697. He came upon a slave ship, and this scene is probably the best thing in the series so far (early, I know!). Orlando Jones does an amazing job playing the jazzy spider-God, who isn’t particularly kind to the slaves he’s come to help; he tells them the future of the black man in America, where they are, in his words, ‘fucked’. This show in general has been setting up a really powerful narrative about being black in America with Shadow Moon, and Anansi’s scene continues those ideas. He tells the slaves that they need to get angry, because, “Angry is good, Angry gets shit done.” He frees them, but tells them they need to kill their slavers and then burn the ship down, with themselves in it: there is no way to save their lives, anyways. It is a perfect example of the old Gods in this book/show–even in their kindness, they are still edging towards cruel.

 

Back to ‘somewhere in America’, Moon is less than pleased that Mr. Wednesday never warned him about the exact dangers that came with the job. Again, the fact that Moon was lynched is explicitly mentioned, and what that means as a black man looms over the entire scene. Of course, Mr. Wednesday is very dismissive and simply doubles Moon’s pay.Before they leave Eagle’s Point, Moon goes back to his home to pack up all his belongings, needing to divest himself of Laura’s things. Throughout all these scenes we see glimmers of Laura, both in dreams and waking visions. It’s clear she’s going to be a bigger part of the story, even if we don’t know how. Moon’s love for her is apparent, and her betrayal cuts him deep.

 

In this scene he ends up going through her effects from the accident, including her phone, where we are treated to a dick pick (our first erect penis of the show, guys!). If he needed any confirmation that Robbie and Laura were cheating, well, there it is. Mr. Wednesday shows up right about this time and offers Moon some lovely sage advice: since his wife cheated on him, he is under no obligation to feel bad about her death. Basically–get over it.

Once on the road, it’s revealed that they will be heading to Chicago, but only by the back roads. There are people to meet with, to gather: for what, it isn’t explicitly clear. I enjoy that we are being kept in the dark with Moon; being told too much about the plot would spoil the fun. When they stop in one backwater town for Mr. Wednesday to have a meeting, Moon goes to the store to run some errands, where he has his first encounter with Media (portrayed by Gillian Anderson in all her glory). She often takes the form of Lucy Ricardo, as we see here.

She attempts to coax Moon away from his current job, but Moon can’t form much of a coherent answer, as this is the first time he’s encountered something so utterly wild around other people. He feels like he’s going mad. Moon acts as we would in this situation–just really confused, and trying to quietly keep it together.

 

Back in the diner, while Moon is having a little crisis over this new information, Mr. Wednesday provides him with some more sage advice, “It’s better to be dead, than be forgotten.” That could be the motto of the Old Gods within the show–they are all desperately trying hard not to be forgotten, as New Gods rise to replace them. Moon finally tells Mr. Wednesday what Technical Boy wants to do: reprogram reality. Which…may be the main worry–or it may not. There are bigger things afoot, even if we don’t realize it. Mr. Wednesday hints that Moon may now have to make greater sacrifices than he realizes, which we should take as a warning for the future. A side note: there is a cute scene where Mr. Wednesday is offended by Moon buying him a cell phone. No new tech for him!

 

We’re given another small scene with Bilquis, where she consumes more souls (and we have another erect penis!). We also see that she has one of her original totems in her house.

While I know some people felt that the scene of her from last episode (and most likely this episode) will feel unnecessary, I trust in Fuller to tie them together, in time.

 

Once in Chicago, they go to meet with Czernobog and his three sisters. He is not happy to see Mr. Wednesday to say the least. He knows that something is up–and despite Mr. Wednesday needing him, Czernobog doesn’t want to play.

His two awake sisters (one is sleeping, you see) are much more kind, especially to Moon. They read his coffee grounds and the fortune so poorly that they give him the best boring reading ever.

 

Over dinner, Czernobog brings up Moon’s blackness, then starts to talk about how color comes to mean good and bad, despite us all coming out the same color in the end: grey. It’s clear he’s frustrated over becoming old and forgotten.

He finally challenges Moon to a game of checkers, where he makes a wager–if Moon wins, he will help Mr. Wednesday. If Moon loses, Czernobog gets to kill him with his giant hammer. ….playing a game with a God is a horrible idea, but Moon agrees, clearly not caring about his own life. And what do you know, he loses. Czernobog laments that in the morning, he’ll have to kill his only black friend (ha!).

 

I’m genuinely enjoying how this show is focusing on character development, without providing too much information regarding the plot. We are following Moon’s journey, so as he gains information, so do we. The Gods are frustrating, confusing, and cruel…as they should be. I am so pleased with this show so far, and I can’t wait until the next episode.

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