American Gods alongside Legion, GLOW and Sense8’s Season 2 are some of the best TV shows of 2017. The mix of gorgeously filmed scenes, interesting characters, a “clueless” protagonist, and shocking moments throughout American Gods‘ first season were so compelling that I devoured the whole thing in less than a day.
The series is like the book: It doesn’t give you a chance to get used to it. It starts throwing things at you from the start, and you won’t know until the end what to make of it. But by that point, you’ll be so charmed that you won’t care.
So, here are the six craziest, shocking and most mind-blowing moments of American Gods Season one.
WARNING: This article is going to be spoiler heavy!
Vikings Blood-Fest (Episode One)
The Year is 813 A.D. Vikings arrive at a hostile New World. Their gods are powerless here due to a lack of believers and therefore can’t help them sail back to their land. The show bases this on “Egregors”, autonomous psychic entities that exist solely because we believe in them.
This dilemma has our Vikings baffled. The solution? A free-for-all battle where heads explode, people are sliced in half, and blood is the complete protagonist. This weird prologue doesn’t seem like it relates to the series at all until the season finale when Odin reveals himself. But it works wonders as an introductory scene where we start to see the importance of believers and sacrifices.
That Bilquis Sex Scene (Episode One)
American Gods had its fair amount of sex scenes (honorable mention to the marvelous and much-acclaimed sex scene of an Omani salesman and the sexy, fire-eyed Jinn). But what started as a normal sex scene becomes a really creepy worship-fest where a poor guy is “swallowed” into Bilquis.
The most shocking thing about this scene is how beautiful it is. Moaning, shrinking and soul stealing are filmed in gorgeous red palettes; this scene is incredibly sexy, and you don’t really see what’s really happening until the end. Kudos to the director for this visually arresting scene.
Laura Moon Revives (Episode Three)
Admit it; you felt bad for Shadow when he is told by his best friend widow that his wife died while pleasuring another man. Seeing him so heartbroken left us judging Laura for what she’d done.
Flash forward a couple minutes, and you’ll see Mad Sweeney’s coin melting his way to Laura’s corpse, which is certainly something mysterious. But, when Laura appears “alive” and well on Shadow’s motel bed in the final moments of episode 3 is when we say WTF?
Episode 4 revealed Laura’s backstory–her seemingly endless job, contemplating suicide, and even having an affair shapes her character as one that many can relate to. But her journey to the other side, the reunion with her “best friend” and when she relives her last moments before the accident are perfectly scripted.
Media’s Many Appearances (Episodes Two, Five and Eight)
Despite being one of the bad guys, Media is one of the most compelling characters on American Gods‘ first season.
The physical manifestation of mass media takes many forms across the season–as Lucy from I Love Lucy, Ziggy Stardust, and a floating Marilyn Monroe. Each manifestation is more iconic than the next, and every look she adopts is extremely well done and totally on point.
But what really makes her scenes so jaw-dropping is the reality-bending surrealism surrounding her entrances. Those scenes are pure insanity, yes, but they are so visually captivating that they blend perfectly with everything else.
Ostara’s Party (Episode Eight)
This cute pastel-colored party is one of the most important moments of the season where we finally get to meet Jesus, the Virgin Mary and many other fancy characters. This celebration works to introduce Easter (or Ostara), a well-mannered woman who doesn’t look like a treat at first.
But as the episode progresses, many important truths are revealed. Mr. Wednesday convinces Ostara to stop being a Media-sponsored celebration and start being what she really is – The Goddess of Life and Rebirth. And here, we also see the full potential of her power when she sucks the life of every plant around her. But she wasn’t the only character who revealed their full power in this mind-blowing season finale.
Mr. Wednesday Finally Reveals Himself as Odin/Wotan (Episode Eight)
If you (like my mom) didn’t read the book before watching the series, chances are you thought Mr. Wednesday was Thor, which is supported by the mention of “His Hammer”.
But in the season finale when Mr. Wednesday and Ostara are surrounded by Media, Mr. World, and an army of faceless soldiers, he unleashes a powerful thunder and reveals his true identity: Odin the Father of all Norwegian Gods. Shadow, you, your mom, and the rest of the world are shocked when you find out the truth.
The truth about Laura’s death, the final confrontation between the Old Gods and the New Gods, and Shadow’s powers are just some of the topics we can’t wait to see on Season 2.