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American Gods Season 1 Recap: Preparing For Season 2
After an excruciatingly long wait, American Gods will finally be returning with a second season on 11 March 2019. It’s been two years since the end of its first season, so I’m here for a brief recap of the events that transpired in season 1.
First things first, American Gods is a Neil Gaiman story with a complex and complicated plot but I’ll try my best to tell you what you need to know before season 2 premieres next week. Here goes:
The prologue shows Vikings discovering America in the year 813, before being showered by a barrage of arrows from the native indigenous populace, forcing them to retreat.
The first episode of American Gods introduces us to the series’ protagonist, Shadow Moon. He’s in prison, but his sentence is almost over. However, he is then unexpectedly released early on account of his wife, Laura Moon’s, sudden and tragic accident.
On his way home, he meets a man named Mr. Wednesday, who wants to hire him for a job. Shadow Moon declines but later runs into Mr. Wednesday again in a bar where he gets into a fight with an Irish leprechaun named Mad Sweeney. He wins the fight and receives a gold coin from Sweeney. Shadow Moon agrees to work for Mr. Wednesday.
When Shadow Moon finally reaches the funeral of his wife, he learns that his wife died while cheating on him with his best friend. He drops the gold coin he received from Sweeney into wife’s grave before she is buried.
Shadow then finds himself into a car with someone named Technical Boy, who asks him questions about Mr. Wednesday. Technical Boy then orders his henchmen to kill and lynch Shadow Moon by stringing him up a tree. At the last moment, a mysterious figure kills all the henchmen and cuts Shadow Moon down.
The episode ends by introducing viewers to Bilquis, a goddess who remains young and powerful by seducing and devouring people (via her vagina).
The prologue shows an intense monologue by the African Spider God, Anansi. In 1697, he convinces a bunch of slaves on a ship to rebel against their masters.
In the present day, Mr. Wednesday and Shadow Moon go on a trip to Chicago to retrieve his ‘hammer’. On the way, Shadow meets Lucille Ball from the show I Love Lucy, who interacts with him from the screen of a TV. She’s actually Media in disguise, a new god just like Technical Boy.
When they reach Chicago, viewers are introduced to Zorya Vechernyaya, a goddess from Slavic mythology who watches the skies in rotation with her two sisters, Utrennyaya and Polunochnaya, as well as Czernobog, a dark Slavic god who is the ‘hammer’ referred to by Mr. Wednesday.
Mr. Wednesday wants to recruit Czernobog for something and he is willing to follow, on the condition that Shadow wins against him in a game of checkers. If Shadow loses, Czernobog instead gets to hit Shadow in the head with his hammer once.
The episode ends with Shadow losing.
The prologue shows Anubis, the Egyptian god of death, as he guides the soul of a Muslim woman to the afterlife. He removes her heart and weighs it against a feather to check whether she was a good or bad person.
In the present day, Shadow speaks with Polunochnaya in a dream, who then gives him the Moon in the form of a silver dollar. He then challenges Czernobog to another game of checkers with the same terms and wins.
While on the road, Mr. Wednesday and Shadow rob a bank by pulling a con, in which we see proof of Shadow’s godly abilities for the first time. This happens when Mr. Wednesday tells Shadow to “think of snow”, causing the weather to actually begin snowing.
This episode also introduces Salim, who meets a taxi cab driver who’s actually an Ifrit in disguise, a fire djinn. The pair bond and engage in homosexual intercourse. The next morning, Salim wakes up to find the Ifrit gone, but finds a new ID and the key to a taxi in his place. This essentially means that the Ifrit has fulfilled Salim’s wish to start a new life.
The episode ends as Mad Sweeney laments the loss of his lucky gold coin. He visits Laura Moon’s grave to retrieve the coin but it’s missing. It turns out that Laura Moon has come back to life and is waiting for Shadow in his motel room.
This episode is dedicated to telling Laura’s backstory from before she met Shadow until the moment she comes back to life.
The flashback begins with Laura attempting suicide to find meaning in her life. She fails to kill herself but then meets Shadow for the first time in a casino where she works. They fall in love and later gets married.
However, Laura still finds life meaningless and attempts to spice it up again by convincing Shadow to help her rob the casino. Shadow gets caught and thrown into prison. Laura promises to wait for him but later succumbs to an affair with Shadow’s boss and best friend, Robbie.
Laura and Robbie die in a car accident. Laura then finds herself in a desert with Anubis, who wants to weigh her soul against a feather. She refuses and claws her way out of her grave. She comes back to life thanks to Mad Sweeney’s gold coin.
It turns out that she was the one who saved Shadow from Technical Boy’s minions at the end of the first episode, as she sees Shadow as her ‘light’. Laura then goes to meet Robbie’s wife Audrey. They then meet two old gods named Mr. Ibis and Jacquel, who are actually Thoth and Anubis in disguise.
The two old gods restore Laura’s body, but Anubis promises to reclaim her soul after all this is over. The episode ends just like it did in the previous episode, with Laura waiting for Shadow in his motel room.
The prologue shows the Beringians traveling to what is now North America during the last ice age, along with a symbol of their god, Nynyunnini. They encounter new tribes and new gods in this place, and they soon started forgetting their own god, abandoning Nynyunnini’s symbol on the ground.
In the present day, Technical Boy is confronted by Media (in the form of David Bowie) who warns him that Mr. World (the god of globalization and leader of the new gods) wants him to apologize to Shadow and Mr. Wednesday for his actions in the first episode.
Meanwhile, just as Shadow is about to get re-acquainted with Laura, both he and Mr. Wednesday get apprehended by police for their bank robbery. Media (in the form of Marilyn Monroe) and Mr. World enters the interrogation room where they are held, forcing Technical Boy to apologize to them.
The new gods propose an alliance with Mr. Wednesday, by offering him a nuclear missile with the name ‘Odin’ slapped onto it and sending it to North Korea. He refuses, and they proceed to kill all the police there, allowing both him and Shadow to escape.
The episode ends with Mad Sweeney confronting Laura for his gold coin, and warning her not to trust Mr. Wednesday.
The prologue shows a group of illegal immigrants from Mexico attempting to cross the border into the U.S. Rangers catch them in the act, but a Mexican Jesus Christ sacrifices his life for them. However, all of them still got killed regardless.
Mad Sweeney and Laura team up to find Shadow and Mr. Wednesday. They meet Salim, who becomes their taxi cab driver. Sweeney mentions that he knows the djinn that Salim is referring to.
Meanwhile, Shadow and Mr. Wednesday arrive in Vulcan, Virginia, where everyone has a firearm. They meet Vulcan, the Roman god of fire and volcanoes, who is now a manufacturer of weapons so that people still worship him whenever they use his bullets.
Vulca helps Mr. Wednesday by forging him a sword capable of killing gods but then betrays them by revealing their location to the new gods. In retaliation, Mr. Wednesday decapitates Vulcan with his new sword and pushes him into a vat of molten lava, before urinating into it and cursing his worshippers.
The prologue shows Mr. Ibis recounting the story of Essie, an Irish girl 18th century Ireland who often gives offerings to fairy folk and leprechauns, one of which is actually Mad Sweeney himself. Essie then falls in love with the young man of her household, who gives her a necklace.
The necklace was believed stolen by the lady of the house, who reports her to the authorities. She seduces the ship’s captain that was transporting her to America, convincing him to bring her to London instead. She marries the captain but then was caught stealing.
She is then transported to Virginia, where she becomes a wet-nurse. She marries her master and has children. One day, Mad Sweeney visits her on her deathbed, thanking her for her constant offerings and belief, which enabled him to start a new life in America.
In the present day, the truck that Sweeney and Laura are driving overturns, causing the coin to fall out of her. Sweeney considered taking the coin, but due to guilt, he returns the coin to Laura. It’s revealed that Mr. Wednesday hired Sweeney to cause the accident that killed Laura in the first place.
The prologue shows Mr. Nancy (Anansi) recounting the story of Bilquis, which began in the year 834 when she was still a god worshipped by many naked believers. She begins to lose both her powers and her looks when she travels to America in the 70s. She is then approached by Technical Boy, who introduces her to online dating, allowing her to regain her godly status.
Shadow and Mr. Wednesday meets an old pagan god named Ostara or Easter, along with multiple versions of Jesus. Sweeney and Laura track them down to the same location. Easter later reveals to Laura that she can’t be resurrected because she was killed by a god.
The new gods arrive as Media (in the form of Judy Garland), Technical Boy, and Mr. World face off against Mr. Wednesday. He reveals that he’s actually the Norse god, Odin, and proceeds to kill all of the new gods’ henchmen with lightning.
The episode ends just as Shadow admits his newfound belief in the gods, with Laura arriving to tell him the truth.
Now that you’re all caught up on the events of American Gods season 1, you’re ready to continue the war between the old gods and the new in the upcoming new season.
American Gods Season 2 will premiere on 11 March 2019. In the meantime, check out the trailer below.