Streaming Review: “American Gods” (2017 – ) Episode Eight: “Come to Jesus”

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“American Gods” (2017)

Fantasy/Horror

5stars_small

8 Episodes

Produced by: Bryan Fuller and Michael Green

Featuring: Ricky Whittle, Emily Browning, Crispin Glover, Bruce Langley, Yetide Badaki, Pablo Schreiber and Ian McShane

The series focuses on Shadow Moon, a man serving three years in prison. With only days remaining in his sentence, Shadow is given an unexpected early release after his beloved wife Laura is killed. Shadow finds himself next to a man named Wednesday, who offers Shadow a job. Wednesday appears to be nothing but a con artist who needs Shadow as a bodyguard. Season One concludes…

Episode Eight: “Come to Jesus”

Cinematographer: Darran Tiernan

Directed by: Floria Sigismondi

Where would “American Gods” be without one more “Coming to America” which serves as a bit of a bookend to the first episode as it features the beautiful and completely original femme fatale Bilquis. What we see now is how this old God used to feed in not only belief but also in the orgies that were acted upon in her name – a great and familiar scene on par with the lover eating from the first time we saw her many weeks ago. As with all the old Gods she fell out of memory, we witness how she attempted to stay in her followers minds – in the 1970s Middle East where ‘man’ corrupted her religion forcing her tp travel to America where she quickly forgets her own identity – we also see her possibly siding with New Gods in a  very foreboding way – although that will probably be followed up on in the second season.

As usual I am not going to spoil any surprises, but as usual as each week passes we are introduced to new characters in the way of Gods, with this week being no exception. We are also treated to another cameo in the form of the newly introduced embodiment of Easter, in the form of the always-delightful Kristin Chenoweth, as well as a multitude of Jesus’s, the prime one being played by the excellent Jeremy Davies.

Of course Mr. Wednesday is attempting to recruit ‘Easter’ in his upcoming fight, in this he reveals himself to be the Norse God Odin – not only that but Shadow seems to be finally getting the hang of the entire belief system as well as the pure power of it. Shadow makes his break through with the idea of Easter being personified in the form of a woman. He says, “people believe in Easter and so Easter is a person.”

This season has seen some great acting talent but the gift that keeps giving are really two fold, as well as becoming the MVP’s of season one – Emily Browning as the foul mouthed husband betraying crook, Laura, as well as the magnificent Pablo Schreiber as the foul mouthed unlucky crooked leprechaun Mad Sweeney. It’s funny and highly original that “American Gods” has been about relationships old and new. With Shadow and Laura who had a relationship built in love and trust, whilst the old Gods had the very same with their multitude of followers, but now most of them have either become a “Hope and Crosby” road movie, Shadow and Wednesday, or a mismatched Rom-Com, Sweeney and Laura.

However this episode like the previous season is all about belief, it is something that has stayed strong throughout these eight episodes, it ends on what belief can be as well as what it can do. So, the old Gods grit their teeth and using their power strike the first blow against the new Gods letting them know they are not done with yet – it is actually quite frightening, as with all planned out modern shows there is a cliffhanger – which I enjoyed but others in my household felt a little let down, with a hollow feeling to what as been a lethargic journey.

Once again the look of this episode like the rest of the series is original and incredible with the highlights being the shooting of Kristin Chenoweth as Easter. Chenoweth looks amazing as well as powerful, her make up is fantastic as well – we see at least three different versions of Easter throughout the episode – the final persona of power is the best as well as the most fiercely scary – maybe more than Odin himself. The director of this episode is Floria Sigismondi the first female behind the scenes, she is a breath of fresh air, formally a music video director, here she brings all her talent to bear on this season ending episode.

I loved the book this series is based on and I love this television show – I am a fan. I have one quibble, it is minor, but I wish this show was on Netflix or had been released all at once by Amazon. The reason I did not despair with the perceived slow release of information over eight weeks was because I generally knew where we were going, as well as who the players were,  I still know what is to come. I believe this show would have been better served by having all the episodes available to watch as one large chapter – it would have meant that the compressed time might have had the effect of speeding the plot up. It remains to be seen whether the comments about the show being slow will mean Amazon might have the courage next year to ramp up the release.

Amazon like an early Netflix are ramping up their production, green lighting new shows all over the place as well as having a few existing shows that are in their second, third and fourth seasons which is a good thing for getting new content but can also mean that if something is seen as not performing the axe could be swift. Some early good news was that “American Gods” will definitely get a second season, which will be at least halfway through Bryan Fullers planned three or four seasons, this will give the show enough episodes to at least find its legs.

Episode eight is now available on Amazon Streaming. Which also means that the entire first season can now be binge watched for greater enjoyment. Yay!

 

 

Streaming Review: “American Gods” (2017 – ) Episode Seven: “A prayer for Mad Sweeney”

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“American Gods” (2017)

Fantasy/Horror

5stars_small

8 Episodes

Produced by: Bryan Fuller and Michael Green

Featuring: Ricky Whittle, Emily Browning, Crispin Glover, Bruce Langley, Yetide Badaki, Pablo Schreiber and Ian McShane

The series focuses on Shadow Moon, a man serving three years in prison. With only days remaining in his sentence, Shadow is given an unexpected early release after his beloved wife Laura is killed. Shadow finds himself next to a man named Wednesday, who offers Shadow a job. Wednesday appears to be nothing but a con artist who needs Shadow as a bodyguard. The story continues…

Episode Seven: “A prayer for Mad Sweeney

Cinematographer: Darran Tiernan

Directed by: Adam Kane

This week we have a very different episode of “American Gods”, in that it is a hybrid of separate devices that we have seen earlier, one are the prologues that we have been in almost every week’s episodes, as well as the flashback episode, the example is the one that illustrated Laura Moon’s past as well as her eventual death, including her obvious resurrection.

As the title suggests this week we have an entire mythology episode that is all about my favorite character, Mad Sweeney (Pablo Schreiber), who has continually stolen every scene and episode he has appeared in. In this episode we see his history played out in a more sympathetic way than you might think, once again we see Emily Browning take on a larger role this time as a faerie who has more to do with Sweeney than he would care to admit.

Of course with all of the characters in this series there is much more to them than meets the eye or first impressions would let us in on. In fact in Sweeney’s case we see that he has a real haunted past, he has been made to straighten things out for our main proto-antagonist Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane) on a variety of occasions as well as for a variety of reasons. It of course will illicit some feelings of sorrow for the old leprechaun but he will always find a way to ruin that for himself and us.

The show for me has been a revelation, the producers seem to be getting used to their method of story telling as well as handling the constant road tripping that has been taking place over the first season. Like the cast we are zipping along American highways meeting interesting folk who are going to be destined to play huge parts in the fast approaching future.

It seems inevitable that the show will crystalize at some point, becoming a week to week battle of not only wills but belief structures as well. This was, of course, never going to be straight forward show; especially early on it asked much of an audience who was not aware of the novel. However, for those that have read, as well as re-read the source material, each week has been a gift. Not only has the story highlighted some of the greatest parts of that book, but has also segwayed into new parts that had been relatively untouched by Mr. Gaiman. This is what the gift has been, like all great adaptations it is the feel as well as look of the source material in the new medium that is the thing to behold.

Once again, and this is something I find amazing, is the look of the show, it is nothing short of breathtaking, Mr. Fuller & Mr. Green have set out a grand palate for each director to follow, so far none of them have missed a bit or a trick – tonight’s episode is no different. Of course the performances are always excellent, with the revelations being Pablo Schreiber and Emily Browning – although if you have seen their previous work this is not news to you.

My only disappointment is that first season comes to an end next week; I am going to have to wait an entire year for my next fix, after next week of course. Maybe its time to revisit the novel.

Episode seven is now available on Amazon Streaming.

DVD review: “Don’t Think Twice” (2016)

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“Don’t think twice” (2016)

3-stars

Comedy

Running Time: 92 minutes

Directed by: Mike Birbiglia

Featuring: Keegan-Michael Key, Gillian Jacobs, Mike Birbiglia

Bill: “I feel like your 20s are all about hope, and then your 30s are all about realizing how dumb it was to hope.”

Over the past twenty years or so many of the top US  comedic talent has come from the improv circuit and the troupes that exist there – such as, the Groundlings and Second City – this is what is at the heart of “Don’t Think Twice” (2016). This film was a real treat to watch as I did not know that much about it before hand, it has some excellent and very talented  comedy talent who should be all to familiar to anyone that has an interest in the comedy scene in the US.

“Don’t Think Twice” follows the members of ‘The Commune’, an improv group that plays to small audiences, little money, and even less recognition. The group’s members include founder Mike (Mike Birbiglia), Jack (Keegan-Michael Key), Samantha (Gillian Jacobs), Allison (Kate Micucci), Lindsay (Tami Sagher), and Bill (Chris Gethard); they all work crappy day jobs to feed the dream of performing comedy professionally, and maybe one day being cast on “Weekend Live,” a fictional version of “Saturday Night Live.” But when one of their own actually gets cast on the show, it sends the rest of the members into an existential spiral as they face the real possibility of never actually “making it.” Amidst feelings of jealousy and despair, the group struggles to move on from the thing they love the most. Check out some exclusive stills from the film below.

Following a dream is not easy and if you are part of a group of people trying to make a success of yourself it can be hard on those people around you, it can be doubly trying if a colleague and/or friend gets the big break that you want or have dreamed of for some time. The problem of course is that the next step or the idea of making ‘it’ is never the end and one taste of success leads to more, this can be an issue not only for the person who has some success, but also for the people you ‘leave behind’ – the question is what to do with that success help the people you leave or just move forward with new group.

As mentioned the film is an ensemble, but this is definitely Keegan-Michael Key and Gillian Jacobs film, and interestingly out of all the actors/comedians they have had the greatest success on their own television shows that have been on the air for a number of years and are now almost starting again in the film world – trying to be successful again if you like. Although all the actors in this movie could be playing themselves in terms of their hopes of their own trajectory of success. Like their characters the main players have all written their own material at one point – something that you can see them all doing here – just being creative – whilst they are all attempting to follow their dreams they all have days jobs which is completely realistic.

Interestingly, “Don’t Think Twice” is director and star Mike Birbiglia’s second film following “Sleepwalk With Me,” an adaptation of his one-man show about his sleepwalking disorder. He’s been performing stand-up comedy for over ten years and he’s appeared in many films and TV shows, including “Orange Is the New Black,” “The Fault In Our Stars,” “Digging For Fire,” “Trainwreck,” and most recently, “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping.”

I feel the film captures aspects of performing and it does this very well with all the success it offers as well as all the opportunities missed and careers nover realized. I started off not sure where it was going but by the end like the characters there is hope for the future and in a semi realistic film this is all you can ask for. Well done Mike and now I cannot wait for more…

“Don’t Think Twice” is released on DVD on the 14th June.

If you enjoyed this try:

“Community” (1999-2015)

“Key and Peele” (2012-2015)

Mike Birbiglia’s Secret Public Journal (2008)

Streaming Review: “American Gods” (2017 – ) Episode Six: “A murder of Gods”

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“American Gods” (2017)

Fantasy/Horror

5stars_small

8 Episodes

Produced by: Bryan Fuller and Michael Green

Featuring: Ricky Whittle, Emily Browning, Crispin Glover, Bruce Langley, Yetide Badaki, Pablo Schreiber and Ian McShane

The series focuses on Shadow Moon, a man serving three years in prison. With only days remaining in his sentence, Shadow is given an unexpected early release after his beloved wife Laura is killed. Shadow finds himself next to a man named Wednesday, who offers Shadow a job. Wednesday appears to be nothing but a con artist who needs Shadow as a bodyguard. The story continues…

Episode Six: “A murder of Gods”

Mad Sweeney: “I’ve done the math. This times that equals you’re a cunt, divided by the only way I’m going to get what I need is if you give it to me, equals the only way you’re going to give it to me is if you don’t need it. Like my friend Jesus Christ, the only thing you need, dead wife, is a resurrection.”
Laura: “Did you just name drop Jesus Christ like you know a guy who knows a guy?”

Cinematographer: Aaron Morton

Directed by: Adam Kane

This week we have another “Welcome to America” moment with a bunch of Mexican’s crossing the border into the U.S., we are introduced to another of the old Gods, this time its Mexican Jesus who helps his people cross the border, even saving one from the Rio Grande. However the interlopers get a very real Welcome to America from a quasi border patrol, or a firing squad – here we see their Jesus die for their sins – it is a very real and horrific moment where we see a literal possibility facing people daily – for those that believe in the New or the Old Gods. Welcome to America indeed.

As I have already said this show is all about belief, this is no more so than when Wednesday (Ian McShane) and Shadow (Ricky Whittle) enter the town of Vulcan where belief takes a different turn. The entire town believes in one thing we all recognise as all too American – the belief in guns and ammo. The leader of this town is an old school God who with the Second Amendment as his co pilot is doing better than possibly any other God in the show, even more now that there is an orange haired orangutan in office. The other more pointedly aspect of the town is the periodical sacrifice made to this old God in the form of the accident that fuses a blood sacrifices soul with the bullets this town produces for the rest of America – talk about spreading your influence. Look for the excellent Corbin Bernsen as Vulcan who knows who he is as well as what he is selling to his followers, just creepy stuff that shows when someone knows who he is, then everyone is happy.

In my mind this show really is just getting started with its attitude toward belief systems new, as well as old. Like the book before it the show is maintaining its look at American life in this new century while staying relevant to these times we live in. We are nearing a point in the show where motivations are becoming more clear, especially in terms of Mr. Wednesday and the strangeness that he is introducing Shadow to.

The other half of the episode involves Mad Sweeney (Pablo Schreiber), Laura Moon (Emily Browning) and Salim (Omid Abtahi) all on their own trip to a murder of Gods as are Wednesday and Shadow, although they do have their  own motivations to contend with. Look out for the great dialogue between the three of them, just great writing with an eye firmly set on the next few episodes.

This episode has a new director in Adam Kane as well as a new cinematographer in Aaron Morton both who are following the style and palate set out out earlier by the production team led by Fuller and Co. Both of these gentleman have extensive television experience with a variety of successful episodes under their belts they definitely are bringing their ‘A’ game here. One again I simply cannot wait for more episodes to air.

“American Gods” is streaming now on Amazon.

Streaming review: War Machine” (2017)

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“War Machine” (2017)

Comedy/Drama

3-stars

Running Time: 122 minutes

Director-screenwriter: David Michod

Based on the book “The Operators: The Wild & Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan” by Michael Hastings

Featuring: Brad Pitt, Anthony Michael Hall, Anthony Hayes, Topher Grace, Will Poulter, Tilda Swinton and Ben Kingsley

Gen. Glen McMahon: [to the group of marines] I’ve spent the last week or so talking to guys who I would call middle management, but you boys are at the coal face. After all the blah blah blah, *you* boys are actually where it happens. I’d go so far as to say you boys are the only thing that counts. If it doesn’t happen here, it doesn’t happen, end of story. [to Billy, who raises his hand]

Gen. Glen McMahon: Yes son? 

Cpl. Billy Cole: If what doesn’t happen, sir? 

Gen. Glen McMahon: *It*, son. 

Cpl. Billy Cole: Okay, thank you, sir. 

Gen. Glen McMahon: Does anyone here know what “it” is? Anyone? [silence]

Gen. Glen McMahon: *Any* one? [points to Ricky who’s raised his hand]

Ricky Ortega: To- uh, secure the area, sir? To protect the people from the enemy so they can go about building their lives. 

Gen. Glen McMahon: Okay. O-kay. Thank you, Sarge. 

Cpl. Billy Cole: Okay, but I can’t tell the difference between the people and the enemy. They all look alike to me. I’m sure they’re the same people, sir.

Australian director David Michod has directed two cracker films, both set in Australia, both featuring some very impressive casts, those being “Animal Kingdom” (2010), nominated for an Oscar, as well as the post apocalyptic film “The Rover” (2014) with Robert Pattinson and Guy Pearce. Now comes a Netflix original movie, produced and starring Brad Pitt, playing semi-fictionalized General Glen McMahon. Going into this movie I am sure that the tone and feeling that both producer and director were going for was a pastiche of wartime Generals and what they have to deal with in terms of the politics versus the actual fighting of a war. The other genre that they wanted was to nail, I am sure is a satire of the behavior of the top brass as well as the top people in Afghanistan, in particular President Karzai – however the film really does fail to deliver on these promises, it ends up being stranded in something of a no mans land – a comedy and a drama, with some war thrown in for good measure. Such a shame when you have the source material (The novel The Operators) as well the team who were behind this film – also a bit of a letdown for Netflix, not that this will even slow them down.

The premise of the movie is set around a successful, charismatic four-star general, Glenn McMahon (Brad Pitt), who leaps in like a rock star to command NATO forces in Afghanistan, only to be taken down by a journalist’s (Scoot McNairy) no-holds-barred exposé of him as well as his ‘team’. The movie is based on Michael Hastings’ book The Operators, which was based on a Rolling Stone article that is directly referenced within the movie.

The narrative of the film is extremely linear with a cause and effect plot that is a little too methodical for me, which means the story is formulaic to a fault. Another unfortunate narrative device is the use of voice over to explain what’s going on in almost every aspect of the movie, which I find jarring to the nth degree. Why must I know every aspect of every characters foibles or quirks, in a satire these things should be left up to the viewer, that is part of what makes a great satire in the mold of “M*A*S*H” (1970), or “Three Kings” (1999) to name just a couple. Both of these movies have at least one thing in common and that is a strong director who over a career has shown the ability to identify strongly with an understanding of what makes narrative film different and understandable by viewers.

Michod, with this project has the advantage of two things going in, a company like Netflix who has given him a free reign to direct and write an adaptation that he feels is the best, and a producer and star Pitt who has given him his full support. In one way they have succeeded is in the casting that goes extremely deep, with actors that are supremely talented and take to their roles like true professionals. The bad news first then, that is that Pitt has chosen an idiosyncratic way to play the General (based on real life General McChrystal – nothing like the characterization by Pitt here) which while on first glance seems humorous and original, after two hours becomes nothing more than a tic as well as quite annoying, On the other hand the rest of the cast is excellent led by co-star Anthony Michal Hall as another General who is McMahon’s aid and chief confidant, he plays it as real as you can imagine someone in his position would be, powerful but not all powerful, unlike his former classmate.

There is no doubt that there is some commentary about not only war, but also war in the wasteland that is Afghanistan which has led many countries to leave with their tails between their legs – something that will eventually happen to the US. What General McMahon has an answer for which he shares on his ill fated trip to Europe is that violence is not the answer, understanding is, as well as the ability to relate to the people within the country – when you kill an insurgent you create more terrorists who want to kill you at home and abroad. It’s a sad state of affairs that the end of the film sees two very different Generals, the last one is the answer that you would expect – I will leave the explanation to the viewer to discover in the closing moments of the film – it is priceless and typical.

It is no secret discovering that the hope President Obama had for General McMahon was that he would help with the war in Afghanistan but of course he ends up being fired because of an expose that was written by a reporter for Rolling Stone magazine. No matter if you think this dismissal was fair or not, the movie makes it pretty clear that the General was out of his depth. In my opinion what happened in Europe that led to the dismissal, the bad mouthing of President Obama and VP Joe Biden as well the drinking was not that big of a deal but of course in the court of public opinion suddenly puritanism takes hold, there must be a sacrifice – in this case its General McMahon – oh well it makes for a good story – or it should have anyway.

This movie is not bad it just doesn’t complete what it was made to do, that is to create a knowing satire of not only the war in Afghanistan but the military as well as the politicians, it misses the mark by a little but ultimately it may as well be a lot. This film is worth a watch just for the supporting cast as well as the fact that Netflix really went for it with this film handing the reigns over to relative newcomer Michod as well as Pitt’s own production company (coming off a Best Picture win at this years Academy Awards). If you want something to keep you occupied for a few hours one cold week night this is the movie for you.

“War Machine” is currently streaming on Netflix.

Streaming Review: “American Gods” (2017 – ) Episode Five: “Lemon Scented You”

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“American Gods” (2017)

Fantasy/Horror

5stars_small

8 Episodes

Produced by: Bryan Fuller and Michael Green

Featuring: Ricky Whittle, Emily Browning, Crispin Glover, Bruce Langley, Yetide Badaki, Pablo Schreiber and Ian McShane

The series focuses on Shadow Moon, a man serving three years in prison. With only days remaining in his sentence, Shadow is given an unexpected early release after his beloved wife Laura is killed. Shadow finds himself next to a man named Wednesday, who offers Shadow a job. Wednesday appears to be nothing but a con artist who needs Shadow as a bodyguard. The story continues…

Episode Five: “Lemon Scented You”

Mad Sweeney: “You are a fucking asshole, dead wife”

Cinematographer: Darran Tiernan

Directed by: Vincenzo Natali

Once again after missing a week the show starts with a short episodic “Coming to America” vignette, this time it’s a story about Nunymunnini, an ancient Mammoth god of some of the first Americans ever. Belief again is so strong that if people forget about the Gods, no matter how powerful they are, they will cease to be. Once again there can be no coincidence that the new Gods are very media and technology based whilst the old Gods are linear as well as primitive. The fate of Nunymunnini is worse than death, she may as well have never existed in the minds of her followers.

New director, the highly underrated Vincenzo Natali brings some new life to the show, particularly the opening that is fully animated, not unlike a child’s story, but so much more. Natali is no stranger to myths and monsters he has created two of his own in his cinematic outings, “Cube” (1997) and “Splice” (2009), he is not afraid to embrace the strange as well as the mythic so I find his direction extremely welcome, I just wish he would direct more of these episodes.

I find myself thinking of the revolutions that the music industry went through and now the film industry has to embrace, with the new internet Gods, but like Mr. Wednesday they are fighting it – they need to believe in the new and forget the old.

This episode quickly ends the sequence of Shadow and his newly revived wife to shift to a police interrogation about the bank robbery from Episode Four. Here we see Mr. Wednesday confessing exactly what he’s been up to in the previous few episodes as well as a hint as to what is to come.

We also get to see, once again, New Gods, Media (Gillian Anderson), Technical Boy (Bruce Langley) and the newly introduced Mr. World (Crispin Glover) as they meet to discuss their own issues about the old Gods.

The new Gods, sorry I mean the internet were all enamoured with Anderson’s Bowie as well as a Marilyn Monroe who can seemingly power herself up whenever she wants. Not only that we see Mad Sweeny and the newly incarnated Mrs Moon go at it over a coin, I will not spoil what happens but it is very cool, just like the show. Its great to see Crispin Glover who steals the entire episode as a God among Gods who forces Technical Boy to apologise for ‘lynching’ Shadow, the an offer Mr. Wednesday can’t refuse or can he.

Episode five is now available on Amazon Streaming.

Streaming Review: “American Gods” (2017 – ) Episode Four: “Git Gone”

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“American Gods” (2017)

Fantasy/Horror

5stars_small

8 Episodes

Produced by: Bryan Fuller and Michael Green

Featuring: Ricky Whittle, Emily Browning, Crispin Glover, Bruce Langley, Yetide Badaki, Pablo Schreiber and Ian McShane

The series focuses on Shadow Moon, a man serving three years in prison. With only days remaining in his sentence, Shadow is given an unexpected early release after his beloved wife Laura is killed. Shadow finds himself next to a man named Wednesday, who offers Shadow a job. Wednesday appears to be nothing but a con artist who needs Shadow as a bodyguard, but is in fact the god Odin. Wednesday is making his way across America, gathering all the old gods, who have now incorporated themselves into American life, to confront the New Gods, including Media and Technology, who grow stronger.

Episode Four: “Git Gone”

Cinematographer: Darran Tiernan

Directed by: Craig Zobel

This episode is the first one not directed by David Slade and so we have a new director in Craig Zobel as well as a new cinematographer in Darran Tiernan. As fate would have it this is also the episode that is the most different from the previous ones in the series – we do not have a coda as to an Old God and their orgin in arriving in America, and whilst I enjoy these and think they add a lot to the show, in this particular instance it makes sense to not include one.

As the previous episode ended we had Shadow arriving back to his hotel room and confronted by Laura, his now deceased wife with the greeting we have come to expect from her, “Hello Pappy”. Needless to say Shadow looked shocked in the extreme, the ‘WTF’ look was priceless.

This story of this episode was not part of the overall narrative and plot from was not included in the book, but I find it welcome here, not only to give depth to the character of Laura, but also to provide us with some kind of perspective as to why she was sleeping with Shadow’s best friend as well as being killed with his member in her mouth – yes literally.

What we see within this episode is something akin to what we have seen from Shadow’s point of view,  that is belief. In this case it is Shadows belief in his marriage, and what he will do to keep it. On the other hand what we see from Laura is the absolute belief in nothing at all, it turns out Laura is a nihilist which in a television show called “American Gods” is not a wise thing to be. In fact when we see her die she is faced with someone we have already met, Anubis – I am not going to spoil what happens but from that point on the show reveals much about what has gone on before, but has remained a mystery to Shadow and us the viewer.

The look of this episode is very different from the previous three episodes which fits perfectly well with the new team behind the camera, in fact Shadow look the most different and it is fitting with this new look that he sports from Laura’s point of view that both of them made the correct choice in getting married. One wonders if there is more to Laura than meets the eye. Both Zobel and Tiernan are not experienced film makers but do have much experience in television and I think in this case it helps them to give us a look into a world that is small and personal, not the giant landscape we have seen in the first part of the show – it is actually quite a breath of fresh air.

As we know by now that this televion show has been playing its plot close to its vest so this one is exposition heavy but withut being preachy, in fact when Laura seems bored of her marriage she gives a longing look to her hot tub – I will not say why – but also when she dies there is a vision of that same hot tub with her branded fly spray ‘Git Gone’ – it is very telling.

Once again I recommend this highly and you should start watching if you are not already.

Episode two is now available on Amazon Streaming.