American Gods: The Secret of Spoons   Books Included 
May 7, 2017 7:02 PM - Season 1, Episode 2 - Subscribe

As Mr. Wednesday begins recruitment for the coming battle, Shadow Moon travels with him to Chicago and agrees to a very high stakes game of checkers with the old Slavic god, Czernobog.

There are bigger sacrifices than going a little mad. Shadow is bad at checkers. Orlando Jones and Gillian Anderson make their first appearances, and it is A Lot.
posted by sparkletone (61 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
A lot indeed. I really liked this episode, a bit of plot progression, a lot of mood and style.

And, forget American Gods Season II, give me Anasazi Boys with Orlando Jones
posted by jazon at 7:13 PM on May 7, 2017 [5 favorites]




I have so many thoughts

Okay so remember how one big criticism of the book is that it ignored race in America ? Well not anymore! The opening help set our main theme, revenge p/rebellion and the power of sacrifices.


"The only good thing in your future is the tobacco your grandkids farm for free is going to give a lot of white motherfuckers cancer"

Names. Every name we see is very ...visibly ethnic, really hitting the immigration theme. We keep seeing Native American motifs in the background, like a ghost haunting the countryside, very Shining.

Also ha ha this is like 80% foreshadowing, the huge eagle weathervane above Laura's house? Then the deflated balloons. Great.

Every time they've updated the story to include modern tech it's helped, the twitter egg droogs, the dick pics, the wall of flat screens - ALSO GILLIAN!

I've been waiting for this scene and That Line since this was announced , knocked out of the park, amazing, a plus, would watch again.

Just noticed they gave Wednesday an eye with different contact in it, it's fake but you don't see if it if you're not looking for it. Nice touch.

So I assume Bilquis is building up her power to the war with the new gods? Is she part of Wednesday's coalition or is she doing her own thing?

Word of God says Mr. Fire Eyes at the diner (again, diner, motel, big alienating mega store AMERICA) is the Jinn. Also that Bilquis' sacrifices live forever inside her, in perpetual orgasm. Thus the space dicks.

As the black as night sweet as sin in the book? Cause I know that saying from Watchmen and I wouldn't be surprised with Gaiman was quoting Moore for fun.

I rember in the book the Chicago apartment being a cramped tenement, here it's more like an abandoned palace? Like nice, aristocratic stuff but worn and dusty and faded and mostly e,pity - symbolism!

The lighting/cloud seeding scene is such blatant foreshadowing I can't wait for show only viewers to realize it like ten episodes from now. Odin is a horny god and we JUST saw him bedding another woman, dudes got kids all over the continent ( there's a popular reinterpretation of the Trojan War story that it was created to help Olympus rid the world of the number of Demi-Gods created by Zeus and Apollo being unable to keep it in thier togas, so ooo)

It's a real slow burn so far, but I love shows that feel very themselves and can't be mistaken for anything else and this is exactly what it wants to be

Also "angry meat at bad" yep it's a Fuller show , and even Slavic gods are threatened by automation!

(Some of the cgi is a little too pushing daisies for me, but the music continues to be perfect)
posted by The Whelk at 7:18 PM on May 7, 2017 [4 favorites]


Also the sister looking st shadow, then looking at her cowboy romance novels, then looking back to him- haaaaaaa
posted by The Whelk at 7:23 PM on May 7, 2017 [4 favorites]


Also Janice Poon retweeted me saying "I cannot overstate how many dicks are in this show"
posted by The Whelk at 7:29 PM on May 7, 2017 [13 favorites]


And, forget American Gods Season II, give me Anasazi Boys with Orlando Jones

A thousand times yes.

I particularly liked the conversation between Wednesday and Shadow in the car about his lack of charm/personality. And also Gillian. Just .... please wink at me more. I don't care what I have to do.

Overall this felt more ... even than the premiere? Nothing that was too much like the cemetery scene last week. The couple bits of extra flashy CGI were maybe a bit too heavy handed but they were brief, and other effects like the blood dripping off Czerno's hammer were handled just fine. The music does continue to be perfect.
posted by sparkletone at 7:33 PM on May 7, 2017 [3 favorites]


That extremly phallic hammer, being ..stroked. ..spurting blood


This is the horniest show
posted by The Whelk at 7:35 PM on May 7, 2017


I liked this one too. Orlando & Gillian were great.

This was mostly Chapters 3 & part of 4 in the book. A lot of Shadow's internal dialogue was said by Wednesday. Some of Czernobog's dialogue was given to Zorya Vechernyaya. Laura's visit is missing, so it'll be interesting to see where she's pulled in at.
posted by bluesapphires at 7:42 PM on May 7, 2017


As the black as night sweet as sin in the book? Cause I know that saying from Watchmen and I wouldn't be surprised with Gaiman was quoting Moore for fun.

I've always seen this phrasing attributed to a Turkish proverb. Who actually knows the real origin, but I've seen it in pre-Watchman, pre-American Gods sources, so it's unlikely to be intended as a Moore quote.
posted by rhiannonstone at 8:05 PM on May 7, 2017 [1 favorite]


I haven't read the books, so probably should stay out of this thread, but whatever.

One thing that was bothering me during this episode, and I'm wondering if they explain this in the book:

So we see the gods coming to America at the start of both episodes. And of course, we see Wednesday and other gods hanging around with Shadow. Does this mean that once the gods came to America, they were stuck here? Or are they able to go back and forth? Is this explained in the books or something we're supposed to work out? Or am I just thinking about this too hard?
posted by litera scripta manet at 8:13 PM on May 7, 2017


They say gods get stuck in places they're brought, so while Jesus is strong in America he's poor and powerless in Afghanistan. They're different things in different places.
posted by The Whelk at 8:15 PM on May 7, 2017 [4 favorites]


There's also a scene from the book where Shadow is in Iceland and meets the Icelandic version of Odin, and is all "hey, dude, you know me!" and Iceland Odin doesn't know him - then Shadow tells him about "no, dude, we did this and that and...." and Iceland Odin is all, oh, no, that was the American me. I'm the Iceland me, totally different guy.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:25 PM on May 7, 2017 [11 favorites]


Wait Gillian Anderson is in this? Peter Stormare? TREANT WILLIAMS?! JOHN TENCH? CONPHIDANCE???!?
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:32 PM on May 7, 2017 [1 favorite]


I felt this was a much more effective episode than the first one, but that may be because it had more of what I liked about the book - the slow burn, the quiet, intense scenes. The first episode had to grab a lot of viewers that probably hadn't read the book, and it makes sense that they kind of front-loaded it with eye-catching elements of the story.

Ananzi was jarring to me when he first showed up (probably intentional) but in retrospect I really enjoyed that they made him completely modern. The first episode didn't have Odin show up "in the flesh" at all, and I think the show is stronger for not giving us "time specific" versions (bearded guy with a spear and two ravens, a 17th century West-African spider-man, however that would have looked) of the gods. It emphasizes the timelessness and also the magical realism that they're threading through the show.
posted by AdamCSnider at 8:35 PM on May 7, 2017 [5 favorites]


I liked this episode a lot more than the first one. I felt like this one flowed better and the tone was more consistent.

You know, I haven't played a ton of checkers, but from what I could tell from those shots of the game, Shadow is not very good at chess at all. Also I absolutely do not remember what happens after this chess game, so, augh.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:53 PM on May 7, 2017




I mostly enjoyed the episode, but was bummed that Czernobog was the one who made the bet. I last read the book years ago, but isn't Shadow the one who proposes the bet? I always liked that as a character note.
posted by Fish, fish, are you doing your duty? at 12:10 AM on May 8, 2017


Every single god is fuckin' magnetic with the charisma. They are doing a really good job of showing the glimpses of their former glory shining through their faded selves.

"Want to hear a story? Once upon a time, a man got fucked. How's that for a story?" is one of the best ways to start a monologue of all time.
posted by KathrynT at 12:12 AM on May 8, 2017 [10 favorites]


sequels! spin-offs! Anansi Boys! Monarch of the Glen! Can't wait for Ep. 3!
posted by alchemist at 12:25 AM on May 8, 2017


I'm hoping another "show only" thread will go up for this, because I'm really really curious to know how this plays to those who aren't already familiar with the book's premise, in particular the element where these gods are all kind of down on their luck, living marginal existences, because insufficient numbers of people believe in them anymore.

The show, admirably, hasn't made that point entirely clear via exposition. You'd kind of have to piece it together from bits and pieces of the scenes involving Bilquis, Ananzi, and Czernobog. And if you're not aware of that detail, how the hell do you interpret Czernobog wanting Shadow to volunteer for a head smashing? Does he just come across as weird serial killer?
posted by Ipsifendus at 6:36 AM on May 8, 2017


I did like this episode quite a bit more. I hate pilots, or opening episodes generally. I feel like all of them could be summed up in 5 mins.

I feel like I need to watch this episode again. The show is always building tension in scenes and often not paying it off or letting it go, so a lot of time i'm waiting on a moment that doesn't happen and I feel like I've missed the whole scene.

I didn't get this feeling from the books, but I tend to read in tiny bits, so maybe it was there.
posted by French Fry at 6:48 AM on May 8, 2017 [1 favorite]


The show is always building tension in scenes and often not paying it off or letting it go, so a lot of time i'm waiting on a moment that doesn't happen and I feel like I've missed the whole scene.

Yeah, there was a good chunk in the middle of this episode that moved from super-tense scene to super-tense scene without there being any kind of release at the end of each scene, and I was sitting there just half-huddled under a blanket by the end of it.

Unrelated but this is a neat possibly-true detail that I didn't put together (from the Paste review): The bath Shadow takes in his hotel room turns ominous instead of relaxing when a tight shot of bubbles in the tub looks like Anansi’s many eyes. This shape is repeated throughout the episode, in the bubbles on Shadow’s floor as he is cleaning, in the coffee boiling on the stove and in the Zorya sisters’ cooking.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:51 AM on May 8, 2017 [7 favorites]


Oh hey also, I loved the totally wordless scene of Shadow going through his old house, and although the soundtrack has been good in general so far, this was the first time I felt that good old Reitzell magic. When Shadow sees that evidence box for the first time, the music is interrupted by just the slightest base rumble, and then it gets louder and louder every time he looks at it, intercut with the horrible way-too-loud tape-ripping noise. It was just super effective for me.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:57 AM on May 8, 2017 [2 favorites]


jazon: forget American Gods Season II

alchemist: sequels! spin-offs!

Wut? A spin-off I get, but Is there actually talk of a second season? I looked up how many episodes there were going to be, and I see 8 episodes listed, and their titles track to the course of the book (possible spoilers, but as this is the Books Included thread, nothing is actually spoiled here, except perhaps if you haven't read the expanded "author's preferred version" with its "apocryphal" final scene with Jesus (the Mark Reads summary of the Postscript section Gaiman tacked on)).

I looked for the episode count because I was confused as to why an 8 hour show would add content to a story that took 20 hours to present as an audiobook. I get it, they don't want to make it a shot-for-shot remake of the book, but it still seemed odd to add in a scene with Shadow packing up his house (an apartment in the book, FWIW), when he didn't go back there and said Laura's mom could do that (after Laura visited him, in the [cold] flesh).

The one thing we got from that was Shadow having visions (of Robbie's cock), which made Shadow doubt the vision of Lucy Ricardo talking to him. Speaking of Lucy, while Gillian Anderson looked the part, she sounded nothing like Lucy, which was a bummer.

So yeah, I'm still not on board with this show. It feels too ... Americanized? An odd thing to say, I know. Perhaps I'm spoiled by Better Call Saul, which has re/mis-calibrated my expectations for TV.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:06 AM on May 8, 2017


This season is expected to cover only about a third of the novel, I believe.
posted by Ipsifendus at 8:10 AM on May 8, 2017 [1 favorite]


Interesting, I wouldn't have guessed it from the episode titles.

Expanded thoughts/ gripes: Underground has set my image of televised portrayals of slavery, which
made the opening scene in the Dutch slave ship feel ... flat, especially considering the hyper-visual gore/splatter of the first episode. On the other hand, the "jazz massacre" Anansi seemed like a modern American creation, as Anansi never seemed like the sort of god who asks for human sacrifices and burnt offerings. But that's me taking from from the book and the "just so" stories that may well mis-represent the Anansi of actual regional lore.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:17 AM on May 8, 2017


filthy light thief: Neil Gaiman on when you can expect American Gods 2


on edit, crap, that's about the squeal to the novel, not the show.
posted by jazon at 8:18 AM on May 8, 2017




Is it odd that, despite liking this, I am profoundly disappointed it's going to be 3 seasons?
posted by French Fry at 8:22 AM on May 8, 2017 [4 favorites]


Also Janice Poon retweeted me saying "I cannot overstate how many dicks are in this show"

It looks like she's blogging again too. This should be fun.
posted by cazoo at 11:02 AM on May 8, 2017


Is it odd that, despite liking this, I am profoundly disappointed it's going to be 3 seasons?

It might be odd for me, a fan of Better Call Saul, which is decompressed as hell to agree with you. Maybe it's just that nobody but Vince Gilligan seems to understand how decompressed storytelling actually works on TV.
posted by tobascodagama at 11:58 AM on May 8, 2017 [1 favorite]


I'm really really curious to know how this plays to those who aren't already familiar with the book's premise,

I was bored to tears by the last third of the episode. I have no clue who or why eastern european guy is, but watching cigarette ashes fall onto a checkers game for what seemed like half an hour is not dramatic tension in any way shape or form. Shadow is obviously the critical character, so i have no sense that anything real is at stake with the wager, and why should i care, he's already been magically saved once from the lynching, so i would expect similar treatment from the hammer.


The cast is great, and it's obvious we are still just learning the premise, but i don't find the effects nor the cinematography to be all that great, and the pacing is not urging me to continue.

I am happy for fans of the book if the exposition is good for them, I don't like it when books i have enjoyed are messed with in service of broadening an audience, i'm adding this comment because there isn't a show only thread yet and it was specifically asked for above.
posted by OHenryPacey at 12:42 PM on May 8, 2017 [1 favorite]


I was bored to tears by the last third of the episode. I have no clue who or why eastern european guy is, but watching cigarette ashes fall onto a checkers game for what seemed like half an hour is not dramatic tension in any way shape or form.

I made a long post in the earlier show-only thread earlier about this very issue - the tl;dr is, in general Bryan Fuller's shows are more interested in creating vibes and messing around with images and sound and doing character studies than on quick pacing and plotting. It's too early to see how American Gods is going to play out, but I think it might not wind up lining up with what you're expecting.

i'm adding this comment because there isn't a show only thread yet and it was specifically asked for above.

You could make one.
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:05 PM on May 8, 2017 [1 favorite]


I just realized I forgot to comment on Cloris Leachmann. I thought she was amazing in this. I'd have paid good money to have listened in on the conversation where someone first explained the premise of this show to her.
posted by Ipsifendus at 3:04 PM on May 8, 2017 [9 favorites]


I'm very invested and interested by seeing how they adapt the book, but I still am feeling very mixed as to whether I'm actually enjoying this series on its own merits or not.
posted by desuetude at 6:55 PM on May 8, 2017 [1 favorite]


The lighting/cloud seeding scene is such blatant foreshadowing I can't wait for show only viewers to realize it like ten episodes from now.

Czernobog addresses Mr. Wednesday as "Wotan" in this episode. That should tip at least some of the show-only viewers off.

I'm really really curious to know how this plays to those who aren't already familiar with the book's premise, in particular the element where these gods are all kind of down on their luck, living marginal existences, because insufficient numbers of people believe in them anymore.

It's a pretty common notion, going back to antiquity, so I wouldn't be surprised if that was picked up on too. AG wasn't even the first time Gaiman used it; it's used explicitly in Sandman as well.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:12 PM on May 8, 2017 [2 favorites]


This is a more general Fuller question: how prominent was a Graham / Hannibal pairing in fan-fiction before Fuller did it on the screen?
posted by codacorolla at 8:01 AM on May 9, 2017


Based on a quick browse through archiveofourown, not very prominent at all. It existed, but only barely. Hannibal/Clarice was the most popular by far - but I don't think there was a huge amount of shippery Thomas Harris fanfic in general.

I remember seeing a little drama online where some Hannibal/Clarice shippers were pissed that their ship had been totally eclipsed by this damned upstart Hannigram ship.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:45 AM on May 9, 2017 [4 favorites]


Bilquist rearranging the museum exhibit of her metalkini was a nice tidbit of sublimity for me.

The Sisters scene/ Slav gods/ last third is perfect - absolutely perfect; a great (for me at least) translation from the book. Upon first read of the book, Chernobog was essentially Peter Stormare dialed to 11.

The ashing on the checkers; there's been a pretty consistent thread of disrespect to/of Shadow and how much he's willing to put up with.

Wednesday is a master negotiator, he takes distinct tacts depending on who he's currently trying to recruit. I did not envisage him being so schlubby, though. Wonder if it's just a disguise. Nice subtle-ish bit with the single contact lens.

Really looking forward to the bank con (hopefully next ep?).
posted by porpoise at 7:57 PM on May 9, 2017 [1 favorite]


I have no clue who or why eastern european guy is, but watching cigarette ashes fall onto a checkers game for what seemed like half an hour is not dramatic tension in any way shape or form.

I liked that all very much but ignoring the really terrific sisters in favor of panning back and forth between three sulky men and their sulky facial expressions for half an hour, while delightful, was right in line with the fairly sickening couple of attitudes towards women and goddesses alike that just two episodes in is already a fundamental part of the show. I know Neil Gaiman doesn't know any better but Bryan Fuller does, or used to.

on the other hand, the wheel of Havarti was very well cast and is a terrific character in every respect. no complaints about it, no criticism.
posted by queenofbithynia at 9:47 PM on May 9, 2017 [7 favorites]


Hey, so, how exactly did Shadow get away from the Technical Boy's goons and the lynching? I couldn't tell at the end of the first episode - I thought maybe it was going to be revealed in this episode that dead-Laura rescued him, since I remembered that happening in the book at some point, but I guess that's later on. So did they just let him go, to send a message to Wednesday? But why did the explosion of blood happen?
posted by oh yeah! at 5:43 AM on May 10, 2017


We don't know yet.
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:18 AM on May 10, 2017


Fish, fish, are you doing your duty?: I mostly enjoyed the episode, but was bummed that Czernobog was the one who made the bet. I last read the book years ago, but isn't Shadow the one who proposes the bet? I always liked that as a character note.

Yup, that was another thing that bothered me in this episode. For the criticism that the checkers scene took too long, they took Shadow's role in accepting his own fate in the gamble. From the book:
“First blood. You have lost,” said Czernobog. “The game is done.”

“No,” said Shadow. “Game's got a long way to go yet.”

“Then would you care for a wager? A little side bet, to make it more interesting?”

“No,” said Wednesday, without looking up from a “Humor in Uniform” column. “He wouldn't.”

“I am not playing with you, old man. I play with him. So, you want to bet on the game, Mister Shadow?”

“What were you two arguing about, before?” asked Shadow.

Czernobog raised a craggy eyebrow. “Your master wants me to come with him. To help him with his nonsense. I would rather die.”

“You want to bet? Okay. If I win, you come with us.”

The old man pursed his lips. “Perhaps,” he said. “But only if you take my forfeit, when you lose.”

“And that would be?”

There was no change in Czernobog's expression. “If I win, I get to knock your brains out. With the sledgehammer. First you go down on your knees. Then I hit you a blow with it, so you don't get up again.” Shadow looked at the man's old face, trying to read him. He was not joking, Shadow was certain of that: there was a hunger there for something, for pain, or death, or retribution.

Wednesday closed the Reader's Digest. “This is ridiculous,” he said. “I was wrong to come here. Shadow, we're leaving.” The gray cat, disturbed, got to its feet and stepped onto the table beside the checkers game. If stared at the pieces, then leapt down onto the floor and, tail held high, it stalked from the room.

“No,” said Shadow. He was not scared of dying. After all, it was not as if he had anything to live for. 'It's fine. I accept. If you win the game, you get the chance to knock my brains out with one blow of your sledgehammer," and he moved his next white piece to the adjoining square on the edge of the board.
It goes on, with a part that is hopefully featured in the next episode, because Shadow's role in offering the bet, and accepting his fate in the gamble are both important. Both earn respect from Czernobog and Wednesday, for different reasons. The show stripped that out, and shorted Shadow in the exchange.

Given Fuller & Green's first draft of Audrey's scene with Shadow in the graveyard (comment in the prior Books Included FF episode thread), and now this, it feels like the writers skimmed the original book, highlighting the themes but missing the nuances that made the characters who they are.

And that is why I kind of hate the show - like I said before, it's the BOLD and LOUD American version of a story that's told in what I feel is a more subtle British way.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:17 AM on May 10, 2017 [6 favorites]


Personally, I think any divergence from Neil Gaiman is welcome.
posted by codacorolla at 9:33 PM on May 10, 2017 [1 favorite]


Personally, I think any divergence from Neil Gaiman is welcome.

* turns to you with blackened eyes, in which tiny pinpoints of light appear, like stars *

You take that back.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:10 AM on May 11, 2017 [9 favorites]


We're getting a season 2!
posted by rewil at 12:20 PM on May 11, 2017 [3 favorites]


* turns to you with blackened eyes, in which tiny pinpoints of light appear, like stars *

*my face drains of color through a complicated lighting trick, as i fall into a black void, hitting the bottom and breaking into a kaleidoscopic image of terror*

You take that back.

I appreciate that people like the book a lot, and we're in a thread likely populated largely by those people. I'm not trying to shit on anyone's joy here, but I did want to point out that for some of us changes from the source aren't bad. I don't want to make it a thing, however, and bow out of further Gaiman snarking w/ that comment.
posted by codacorolla at 5:25 PM on May 11, 2017 [1 favorite]


I mean, we know Wednesday is a jerk, but wow.
posted by ODiV at 5:46 PM on May 11, 2017 [3 favorites]


Haha. What a detail! I wonder if that gets a payoff?
posted by codacorolla at 6:13 PM on May 11, 2017


And that is why I kind of hate the show - like I said before, it's the BOLD and LOUD American version of a story that's told in what I feel is a more subtle British way.
posted by filthy light thief


I agree. So far. Especially with Whittle's Shadow. I don't know how well Book-Shadow would translate onto screen - he is such a deliberate cipher, such a still deep pool of a character, I am pretty sure that portrayed exactly like that onscreen he would come across as though he were barely registering all the weirdness going on around him. But it's still jarring to me to see him being all like HEY LUCY RICARDO TALKED TO ME AND OFFERED TO SHOW ME HER BREASTS, WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON??? and I wonder whether the need to signal all this in such a bombastic way is the same thinking that led to the thankfully nixed blowjob scene between Shadow and Audrew in episode 1. (I hate that, I hate that the makers of the show even had that conversation. Didn't they read the book??)

It's still nice to see one of my favourite books on screen though and obviously made with much imagination and skill and resources.
posted by Ziggy500 at 12:46 PM on May 13, 2017 [2 favorites]


- I mean, we know Wednesday is a jerk, but wow.

- Haha. What a detail! I wonder if that gets a payoff?

We're talking about including 2 cell phones on the shopping list, right? Re-watching the phone-out-the-window scene, here's how it plays out:
Wednesday: What-- What the hell is this?
Shadow: You don't have one.
Wednesday: I don't want one.
Shadow: Well, you need one. What if someone wants to talk to you?
Wednesday: Why the hell would I want to talk to anyone?
Shadow: Okay, what if I need to talk to you, huh? [Waives his own smart phone at Wednesday]
Wednesday: Try shouting. [Wednesday grabs smart phone, tosses it out the window]
Shadow: What--
Wednesday: Or in a pinch [tosses 1 packaged cell phone] a telegram.
So there's still 1 prepaid phone in the bag, unless Shadow got Wednesday a flip phone and himself a smart phone. In the book (towards the beginning of Chapter 13, for reference), it seems Wednesday can use landlines without needing for them to technically work:
Shadow’s telephone rang.
“Yeah?” he said.
“That’s no way to answer the phone,” growled Wednesday.
“When I get my telephone connected I’ll answer it politely,” said Shadow. “Can I help you?”
We'll see where any of this leads.

Another minor annoyance: what's with Chernobog's comment on race, only to say "Where we're from, everyone has the same color, so we must fight over shades.... You see, my brother had light hair and beard. Me dark, like you." Does he mean that there differences were less visible than race, or they were just as racist? Was he just comparing their hair colors? Hrmpf.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:53 PM on May 13, 2017 [2 favorites]


So what's the significance of the wind turbines, which have now appeared in both episodes?
posted by biffa at 4:55 AM on May 14, 2017


Czernobog translates roughly to "black god" and his counterpart, Belobog, translates roughly to "white god".
posted by codacorolla at 5:00 AM on May 14, 2017 [2 favorites]


So what's the significance of the wind turbines, which have now appeared in both episodes?

Perhaps none, apart from being in the American Midwest, which does indeed make use of wind power. However, I could also see it being a way to visually reference cycles and the circular nature of culture - sort of like the Wheel of Fortune from European Medieval symbology. That's a theme in the book insofar as Wednesday wants to use the apocalyptic confrontation to restart the cycle of belief (bringing the old gods to the top of the wheel).
posted by codacorolla at 9:26 AM on May 14, 2017 [3 favorites]


Well, things are looking up this week.

I attribute the improvement to three things:

1. Orlando Jones.
2. That gorgeous blue and white wallpaper.
3. Cloris Leachman.
posted by tel3path at 10:25 AM on May 14, 2017 [5 favorites]


Also if GA was supposed to be doing a Lucy impression she was wide of the mark. Unless Lucille Ball was really unrecognizably different as herself, in which case I wouldn't know.
posted by tel3path at 10:35 AM on May 14, 2017 [1 favorite]


> Another minor annoyance: what's with Chernobog's comment on race, only to say "Where we're from, everyone has the same color, so we must fight over shades.... You see, my brother had light hair and beard. Me dark, like you." Does he mean that there differences were less visible than race, or they were just as racist? Was he just comparing their hair colors? Hrmpf.

Every culture needs a "light" and "dark", a "good" and "bad," but where Czernobog comes from, everyone is white, so they have to invent distinctions based on minute differences of complexion and hair color. Czernobog is "dark" like Shadow -- metaphorically and "physically" in the parlance of his culture.

It's pretty much just chest-thumping.
posted by desuetude at 7:38 PM on May 14, 2017 [1 favorite]


I took it to mean that people always find some way to other and to use this as a basis for antagonism, but it also seems to relate to codacarolla's comment above about his name and dark and light gods.
posted by biffa at 12:59 AM on May 15, 2017


Well, yes, biffa, that would be a clearer way to say it. ;)

Hey, am I the only person who is distracted by how...not...Nordic...Mr. Wednesday looks?
posted by desuetude at 6:45 AM on May 15, 2017


tel3path: Also if GA was supposed to be doing a Lucy impression she was wide of the mark. Unless Lucille Ball was really unrecognizably different as herself, in which case I wouldn't know.

She referred to herself as Lucy Ricardo, her television persona, correcting Shadow on that point:
Shadow: The fuck is this? Just little old me. Talking to Lucille Ball.
Lucy: Lucy Ricardo. I'm all sorts, Shadow. The screen is the altar. I'm the one they sacrifice to.
You could pretend that she was playing Shadow's Memory of Lucy Ricardo, because gods are as malleable as human recollection, and are manifestations of what people want and create. Or you could chalk it up to the fact no one really cared about that detail, which is where I am, a bitter Comics Guy type fanboy of some sort, muttering "Worst. Lucy. Ever." online ;)
posted by filthy light thief at 7:38 AM on May 15, 2017 [2 favorites]


Every culture needs a "light" and "dark", a "good" and "bad," but where Czernobog comes from, everyone is white, so they have to invent distinctions based on minute differences of complexion and hair color. Czernobog is "dark" like Shadow -- metaphorically and "physically" in the parlance of his culture.

It's pretty much just chest-thumping.


Well, the interesting thing about Czernobog is that he is a dark god who does not, in the historical evidence have a light counterpart, so that existence of a light counterpart (Belobog) was inferred in later scholarship, pretty much just on the basis that he ought to exist. It seems like Gaiman was probably playing, in the novel, with this idea of an imagined god, and I think the show is deliberately aiming this towards the idea of racial dualism.
posted by howfar at 9:58 AM on June 13, 2017 [1 favorite]


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