American Gods: The Beguiling Man   Books Included 
March 18, 2019 3:38 PM - Season 2, Episode 2 - Subscribe

A new New God surfaces. Tech Boy searches for Media. Mad Sweeney and Laura are off to rescue Shadow. Wednesday and Nancy go after his spear.

The Vulture declares the real challenge of the second season will be holing onto viewers, but even so, " The second episode certainly isn’t significantly worse than the premiere — and better in some ways — but still doesn’t allay the fears in a truly notable way, or hold a candle to any chapter of season one."

Den of Geek is lukewarm claiming the episode is "diverting, but listless."
posted by miss-lapin (11 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
ok now I'm depressed. Not one comment? I really think I'm a post killer here.
posted by miss-lapin at 6:21 AM on March 19, 2019

It's been so long since I read the book that I can't really compare. I think once Season 2 is done I will re-read and see where things diverged. But so far it feels like Season 2 is well on its own path, heading away from book-plot.
posted by jazon at 10:06 AM on March 19, 2019

I read the book recently and made a go at watching the series but slid off it pretty quickly. Finding out here that Season 2 just goes further into diverging from the book makes me even less interested in carrying it on. The subplot with Shadow and Hinzelmann was my favorite bit from the book and now I'm wondering if Lakeside and Hinzelmann will even show up.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 12:08 PM on March 19, 2019 [2 favorites]

ok now I'm depressed. Not one comment? I really think I'm a post killer here.

It's not you, trust me. It's the show.
posted by sideshow at 9:38 PM on March 19, 2019 [2 favorites]

Yeah, like, "book included" is's so far from the book now. Like Wednesday should be dead, Laura should be a vapor, Nancy's got no charm and Bilqis was never a turncoat. It's totally its own thing now, for worse in my mind, so I dunno. Book Excluded might be better.
posted by Jilder at 5:22 AM on March 20, 2019

I actually like Nancy a lot, but I also think there’s a lot of pandering going on that takes us offbook. Like Laura going on her leprechaun adventure ride just because we love seeing them together. Or the Selim weird romance because people liked the character. Or Wednesday being alive because he’s too fun to be dead.

I also share concerns that we won’t see Hinzelman because it’s not visually appealing enough.
posted by corb at 7:59 AM on March 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

Hinzelman was one of the best parts of the book... :-(
posted by Pendragon at 3:19 PM on March 20, 2019 [6 favorites]

I also wonder what they're gunna do with Laura if they wind up at the lake. Having her as an uncertain distant darkness allows Shadow to have that not-romance, having her plodding along next to him like a bodygaurd with Sweeney in tow is going to kill the whole thing.
posted by Jilder at 4:47 PM on March 20, 2019 [2 favorites]

I suspect Laura and Sweeney will be shunted off to New Orleans to look for Baron Samedi and his possible cure for her deadness. But yeah, I don't hold out much hope for the Hinzelman story-line. It's been a while since I last read the book, but I seem to remember that it (while being my favourite part too) stood out a bit from the rest of the book, and lacked what the show seems to want in terms of big exciting god-fights.
posted by Fuchsoid at 8:11 PM on March 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

The Hinzelman diversion in the book is brilliant. ButI can forgive them NOT turning a couple/three episodes into a completely different and "bottled" story though.

It's been a while since I've read, but did the books go much into Shadow's background? I thought it kind of left him as a blank slate, but the interpretation that he was Noirs de France who had immigrated to the US with his mom feels appropriate, also the lack of a father.

Not super happy about how S2 is being handles, but its pretty.
posted by porpoise at 8:52 PM on March 20, 2019

Actually there's a lot of his history in there, scattered around - his mother was a consulate worker of some sort, so he traveled a lot before they came to the States. The book never explicitly states that he's black, either - it's alluded to in a lot of places, without being made into a big thing. His mother died from complications relating to sickle cell anemia, which is one of the clues in the book that our boy is less than lily white. I enjoyed that ambiguity in the book, because it put Shadow in an undefined space - both black and white, a puppy and a guard dog, halfway between the mundane and the divine. I think Sam even wonders if he might be native, so his racial ambiguity is pretty broad. He's the every man, but in a form that makes his body political as well, making him Other no matter what context he's in.


I did actually really love his mother. She's another underdeveloped woman in the book, so making her a powerful woman, very black, very proud and smart, was just wonderful I thought. They painted her face in the first few flashbacks in a way that made me think of Sheba. Lots of gold, those delicate beautiful earrings, the gorgeous natural hair. She seems as easily divine in those flashbacks as any of the literal goddesses. I can also forgive the change from the sickle cell complications to cancer, easier to film, and not needed to tip us off that she's probably black. Olunike Adeliyi did a wonderful job with her.
posted by Jilder at 3:58 AM on March 21, 2019 [6 favorites]

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