Your cart

Close

Total AUD

Checkout

A Murder of Gods was all about duality – we had a couple of gods who founds their ends in violence (and we learned that our gods can be killed by something as mundane as a gun), two groups on the road, two people searching for their mystical lovers and the ever-present crows keepin’ the old man up to date on current affairs. This week’s episode is a complete departure from the written text, which leaves us book fanatics a bit confused. We kind of love to see new material – a new god (Vulcan) who is not at all in the books and the reappearance of Salim on his unlikely road trip with Laura and Mad Sweeney – but we also want to get where we know we are going, and this episode didn’t seem to advance the overarching story much further.

That said, this was a visually stunning episode. The factory line montages were gorgeous, the town under Vulcan’s domain was beautifully shot, the set dressing in Vulcan’s house was claustrophobic and wonderful (people who have more than one taxidermied animal head are always villains, btw) – but possibly the best moments for me this week were the homages to a few SFF classic films: we saw two (count ’em, two) deaths by boiling metal, reminiscent of everyone’s favourite Terminator death sequence (I was just waiting for the thumbs up); and a nice bit of body horror when the wooden parasite is in Shadow’s stomach cavity, harking nicely to the Matrix’s metallic parasite that is forcefully expelled from Neo’s guts and tossed onto the road, as is mirrored here.

This week’s ‘Coming to America’ set the tone – and that tone can only be called ‘heavy-handed’. The cold open introduced a core theme for the episode, the American relationship with guns, when we saw the death of Jesus brought about by a gun emblazoned with ‘Thy Kingdom Come’. The idyllic town with WW2-esque uniformed townspeople continued this visual blatancy. This was not a subtle episode – but are we really watching for subtlety?

We saw (SPOILERS) an old god who has given over to the new gods’ ways, each bullet carries his name, each shot a prayer and each death a sacrifice in the name of Vulcan (the same offer made to Wednesday last week). Vulcan is the god of fire and smithing – not necessarily but oft related to weaponry and destruction. He is cast as the bad guy from the get-go (see above re. taxidermy, because gross), and he is not at all interested in making Shadow feel comfortable. His portrayal was fabulous: violent and unsympathetic – we cheered when Wednesday turned his metalcraft around and I AM SPARTA’d him into the fire – unlike Czernobog who is similarly violent/sympathetic, but somehow he is irascible and engaging, like a crazy old grandpa – probably because when he kills things he doesn’t put their heads up on the wall (I know I keep coming back to this but taxidermy is seriously weird, right?).

The second thread we had through this episode was the continuing comedy of Laura & Mad Sweeney. Although their banter seemed to lose some of its fire this week, the reintroduction of fan-fave Salim made an interesting dynamic to play off; his sweetness neatly offsets Sweeney’s acerbic madness and Laura’s icy stoicism. (I’ve been trying to work in a Three Men and a Baby–Three Travellers and a Magic Coin joke in here and it’s just not working, comment if you can figure one out!) The show is heavily tangential, but I was a bit frustrated when Laura diverted the trio off-course back to Eagle Point – this served to slow things down when we were finally getting some movement with the Shadow–Wednesday storyline.

The reappearance of Salim is another event that never happened in the book, and maybe it feels a bit contrived, but you never know where it could end up. Maybe we would feel differently about this episode if we hadn’t read the book, but all we can say now is we’re keen to see what happens next!

Sophie Mayfield

Sophie Mayfield

Production Editor for Hachette Australia. Raised on acronyms such as TNG, SG1, BtVS, MtG and DnD, I have a particular fondness for short stories, gruff space cowboys, time travel and word play. Injuries resulting from my architecturally unsound TBR pile are a statistical certainty.

Related news

loading...

Wednesday no more – check out Amy & Sophie’s thoughts on the season finale of American Gods

All right, guys. We finally have our answer: No, insurance won’t cover Laura’s car accident. It was an act of god.

loading...

Wednesday's Wednesday: An American Gods Appreciation Post Part VII

Each Wednesday, Realm team members and Neil Gaiman fans Sophie and Amy are exploring each new episode of American Gods as it comes out. Why Wednesday? Because it’s his day.

loading...

Wednesday's Wednesday: An American Gods Appreciation Post Part V

Each Wednesday, Realm team members and Neil Gaiman fans Sophie and Amy are exploring each new episode of American Gods as it comes out. Why Wednesday? Because it’s his day.

loading...

Wednesday's Wednesday: An American Gods Appreciation Post Part IV

Each Wednesday, Realm team members and Neil Gaiman fans Sophie and Amy are exploring each new episode of American Gods as it comes out. Why Wednesday? Because it’s his day.

loading...

Wednesday's Wednesday: An American Gods Appreciation Post Part III

Each Wednesday, Realm team members and Neil Gaiman fans Sophie and Amy are exploring each new episode of American Gods as it comes out. Why Wednesday? Because it’s his day.