American Gods season 1, episode 8 recap: ‘Come to Jesus’


Season 1 of American Gods is in the books, and its finale ‘Come to Jesus’ was quite the episode.

Often, in Hollywood, television and film adaptations of novels can stray far from the source material. For instance, when Starz opted to turn Neil Gaiman’s American Gods novel into a series on Starz, we knew there would have to be a stretching of that story. The season 1 finale, “Come to Jesus,” was a perfect example of that.

Screengrab pulled by EPs. Original Filename: American Gods EP. 9 – Grade References-349

We begin the season 1 finale of American Gods with the tale of Bilquis. Mr. Nancy spins a yarn almost as well as he does the thread for his tailored suits. Bilquis was once a powerful deity, but she was chased from her home by men who craved her power and wanted to suppress it. She ended up in America, where the AIDS epidemic took all of her worshipers. In fact, if not for the timely intervention of Tech Boy and the New Gods, she would have been forgotten completely.

After securing suits from Mr. Nancy (Nancy is a spider, spiders spin webs, so Mr. Nancy is naturally a tailor), Wednesday and Shadow are off to the next stop on their recruiting trip; Easter.

American Gods Season 1 2017

Easter (Kristin Chenoweth) is busy throwing her annual Easter Bash, but our boys have no problem interrupting the festivities. Easter, it seems, is Mr. Wednesday’s nuclear bomb, even if she doesn’t know it yet. After behaving rather rudely in front of the assembled gaggle of Jesus’ (White Jesus, Asian Jesus, Kung Fu grip Jesus) Easter ushers Wednesday and Shadow off to a private parlor for a chin wag. It won’t be the first time Easter shuffles guests around to avoid upsetting the others.

In private, Wednesday and Easter discuss the former’s plan; using Easter’s dominion over the spring, Wednesday will starve the world. Starvation will force the world into worship of the Old Gods once again, and simultaneously force mankind to abandon their cell phones, TV’s, and computers thereby depriving the New Gods of the worship on which they depend as well.

It’s a dangerous gambit, and one Easter does not seem eager to embrace. Wednesday lies here about Vulcan’s death, blaming the New Gods in an attempt to win Easter to his cause. Either way, Easter has more unexpected guests to deal with; Laura Moon and Mad Sweeney. Many might have assumed Sweeney was seeking out one of the Jesus’, but Sweeney has brought Laura to see Easter in search of resurrection.

As it turns out though, Easter is unable to bring Laura back because she was killed by a god. It’s here that Laura realizes what the audience already knows; Sweeney murdered Laura on Wednesday’s orders. The revelations don’t stop there, however, as Sweeney also reveals (under threat of castration) that Wednesday was also behind Shadow’s incarceration for robbing Laura’s casino. Well then.

Gillian Anderson as Media

Poor Easter, she never catches a break this episode, as uninvited guests continue to show up. This time around, its Media, Tech Boy, and the Children. Although Media is initially quite friendly, the conversation quickly becomes hostile when Wednesday joins in. Wednesday is prodding Easter to go nuclear, but first, a demonstration is in order.

Sensing a show of power is needed, Wednesday gathers a storm (something he needed Shadow to do previously) and calls down a lightning strike on the Children. In the process, Wednesday reveals his true name to Shadow; Odin. It’s a big reveal that is saved for much later in the novel, but one brought the wow factor the finale had been missing.

American Gods Season 1 2017

Wednesday/Odin dedicates the Children’s death to Easter, which much like Popeye, gives Easter the spinach she needs to wipe all plant life off the face of the entire planet. Whoa.

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The New Gods are completely caught off guard, and appear to retreat in the face of an option they never considered. Not before Mr. World promises Wednesday/Odin the war the later seems desperate to start. Shadow finally professes his belief in everything he’s seen, abandoning his paper-thin excuse that it could all be a dream.

It wasn’t the usual exciting episode, that one might expect from a season finale, but the groundwork certainly appears laid for some pretty exciting events in season two. Whether those events have anything whatsoever to do with the novel remains to be seen. A return date has yet to be announced, but based on the buzz created by its first season, we think American Gods will be back sooner than later.