American Gods Season 2 Episode 4 – Reaction Breakdown Review

Hello from #TIRealm.  I’m all caught up on American Gods and although my reviews aren’t caught up I figured I would get my reviews in line with the live episodes then go back and fill in episodes 5-8 on season 1 and 1-3 on season 2.  Not to worry, I will try to have it updated as soon as possible.  That being said, here goes Season 2 Episode 4.

The episode opens with a little boy playing Pong so we know that it is a flashback scene.  An older man snaps his fingers to get his attention to remind him it’s time for music lessons.  He starts playing the piano with the metronome going in the background.  His playing is immaculate.  As soon as the lessons are over, he returns to playing pong.  We get the sense that there is comparison between old world classic arts and the new world technology.  In the next scene, the boy appears to be a teenager and has graduated to playing Tetris on his Gameboy which still dates to late 80s early 90s.  The boy says he knows Bach and his teacher comments that the classics are a true representation of grief and it is how men like him pray.  There is a montage of typing and music playing.  As the boy gets older we see him computer programming possibly hacking.  He hears a girl playing violin and he gets an epiphany and finds a way to digitize musical composition.  His teacher is amazed at the boy’s programing the composition but has a saddened look on his face.  In the next scene, the teacher has died and the boy is at his funeral.  As the music plays, we see a figure digitizing over the coffin, it’s Technical Boy.

This episode is clearly referencing real world events as I remembered seeing an article referencing computer composition of Bach recently, click here.

In the next scene, we see Shadow and a beautiful woman seducing him.  He warns her he has a wife which is ignored.    She licks his wounds and it is clear she is a goddess.  At first glance it looks like a dream but the audience can tell it is not.  Her eyes are gold like an animal.  He tells him let it go but it’s unclear what she is referring to.  It’s now morning and there is a cat leaving Shadow’s room.  He no longer has wounds.  I’m pretty sure the cat is the woman and possible Bastet.

As Shadow leave’s his room, he goes into the parlor with Ibis who is preparing a body and asks Shadow did he sleep well.  Shadow responds yes it was good.  Shadow asks Ibis if this is a coroner’s office and Ibis explains the difference between himself and a coroner.  Ibis then tells Shadow about the concept of being colored or African American is a new one and he never considered himself either.  Shadow asks if anyone else is there, referring to Laura, Mr. Wednesday signals to Ibis from behind Shadow and Ibis tells Shadow Laura is not there and the dead are different when they return.  Shadow goes off with Mr. Wednesday still going on about Laura.  I hoping that he doesn’t find her, I’m not a Laura fan.

We see Bilquis in the funeral home with a spider crawling in the background.  There is a woman sitting in the home and she asks Bilquis if she knows her grandmother Ida who is the woman Ibis is currently working on.  Bilquis asks the woman who she prays to and the woman responds all things are ideas.  Bilquis points out that this idea is the point of view of Benita from A Raisin in the Sun.  Benita remarks that Benita was a non-believer because of God getting credit for mankind’s accomplishments.  Mr. Nancy then manifests.  Mr. Nancy makes a comment about Bilquis playing both sides of the war with both the Old Gods and the New.  Bilquis says that Mr. World would’ve had her allegiance if he didn’t kill Zorya back in season 2 episode 1.

Technical Boy has a new hairstyle and New Media comments that he is nervous but they both need each other.  Technical Boy is not a fan of New Media, I sense jealousy.  He gives her a lesson on people vs. animals vs. Gods.  Animals are too ignorant to pray, people pray to the Gods and reminds her that they are Gods.  In comes Mr. World who is pissed off about the death of Argus because they’ve lost their information edge on the war by losing Argus and they are now blind.  To make sure Technical Boy gets the point, he sticks both his thumbs into Technical Boy’s eyes and instructs him to fix it quickly.

Mr. Wednesday and Shadow are in a diner and Mr. Wednesday gives Shadow a lesson on money who he refers to as him.  Mama-ji is also at this diner.  Mr. Wednesday encourages her to remember her warlike ways, being the Goddess Calle.  In walk girl scouts and there’s ominous music.  The scene cuts to Technical Boy is in an office building and he is meeting the boy we saw in the beginning who is all grown up and is listed as The CEO on the cast list.

Meanwhile, back in Cairo, Anansi, Ibis and Bilquis are together.  Bilquis greets the cat as sister, so I’m pretty sure now that the cat is Bastet.  The three have a conversation about their involvement in the war.  Mr. Nancy is upset that they’ve taken the neutral approach to this war.  Mr. Nancy explains the plight of racism and the black struggle in America over the years including but not limited to slavery, sex trafficking, and police brutality.  Ibis remarks that sooner or later they all lay before him and war may not be the answer.  Mr. Nancy continues to explain that they have to join the war from their unique perspective and fight for their own goals.  Bilquis appears swayed as the scene ends with she and Mr. Nancy apparently on the same page.

Back to The CEO and Technical Boy.  Tech boy is trying to offer him a deal that is unclear but presumably to replace Argus but there is no response from The CEO. 

Mr. Wednesday approaches the girl scouts.  Their uniforms have all the symbols of money and they appear to be gatekeepers, maybe they’re a manifestation of Credit.  They are prepared to offer Mr. Wednesday access to speak to the God of Money (I assume) but Shadow is not granted access as he does not have an electronic foot print because he’s never had any bank accounts or credit cards.

Bilquis is speaking to the woman again in Ibis’ funeral home.  Bilquis does not understand the faith of the woman or her grandmother.  She says that a God should offer more than comfort.  As the woman explains the struggles of being broke and content, Bilquis’ eyes are filled with tears.  She explains that Jesus did not die for sins, he died because he was a trouble maker who did not want to follow power.  Bilquis realizes that even though Jesus didn’t intend it, he now has such a large following that maybe he was on to something.  We then finally learn the woman’s name is Ruby Goodchild.  I’m not sure yet if she or her grandmother are important to the plot.

We’re back in the diner with Mr. Wednesday and Shadow.  Mr. Wednesday is upset because the girl scouts won’t acknowledge Shadow and Shadow is still trying to figure out how and why he has gotten all wrapped up in Mr. Wednesday’s world and asks “why me”.  Mr. Wednesday tells him it is because no one misses him and he means nothing to no one in this world or the next.  Shadow says he knows that Mr. Wednesday needs him and he does have value to him. 

I know I’m behind on reviews but I have to say that I’m pretty sure that Shadow is his son since the episode when his mother found out she had cancer and the man gave him the coin in the waiting room.  I’m also pretty sure that Shadow is Balder, God of Light from Norse Mythology.  Balder has a light that shines from within, similar to how Laura see’s Shadow and Balder is Odin’s son.

Technical Boy and The CEO are continuing their conversation and The CEO asks him to show him.  Mr. World enters and Technical Boy is confused.   New Media appears on a computer screen and we see lights and the metronome is playing in the background.  Technical Boy keeps saying Hello Friend and The CEO is not responding as he is mesmerized by the new programing New Media is showing him. 

I’m pretty sure that “Hello Friend” is a computer programming reference that I can’t remember where exactly it comes from.  I’m thinking it’s an initial command of some programming language.  If you know, please let me know in the comments.

Technical Boy leaves in haste and all the technology appears to be going out as he runs.  Technical Boy is attacked by the same bot we see attach to Shadow in season 1.  Mr. World is approached by the Girl Scouts who try to get him to buy candy.  Mr. World says that he just retired a God today, which I assume pays a debt and the doesn’t have to pay them, as they immediately grant him access.  This brings him to Mr. Wednesday and Shadow in the diner.  They are both upset with the other for killing a God, Mr. Wednesday killing Argus and Mr. World killing Zorya.  They’re interrupted by a man at a table saying he would like to pay.  Mr. Wednesday is anxious to get over to him as I think this is who he was waiting to speak with, the God of Money.  Mr. World interrupts him and reminds him that the world is completely digitized and everything is binary to which Mr. Wednesday responds Money loves profit and war is profit.  Money says money doesn’t make emotional decisions and there is no deal, money stays in the bank.  Mr. Wednesday is disappointed but tells Mr. World people like him more than Mr. World and Mr. World responds he’d rather be feared and he was not Mr. Wednesday’s enemy.

Another great episode, I’ll be back soon with my review of Season 1 Episode 5.

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