American Gods Episode 1 ‘The Bone Orchard’ (recap)

American Gods Episode 1
American Gods premiered tonight with a great setup for what we can expect to see in the season ahead. It’s a story about the struggle of the old gods fighting to exist in a modern world. The new gods of technology and media have taken their place. American Gods episode 1 begins with a bloody tale of how the All-Father, aka Viking god Odin, made his way to America centuries before its discovery by the Europeans. The Vikings made a brutal sacrifice, giving strength to their god and demonstrating the old ways of worship.

Shadow Moon

Jump ahead to today and we meet our protagonist, Shadow Moon. Just released from prison to find out his wife Laura has been killed in a car accident, Shadow is met with constant obstacles trying to get home to the funeral. On the flight home, he meets a man on the plane who offers him a job and asks him to call him Mr. Wednesday. Shadow declines and they part ways only to meet again in some bar in the middle of nowhere.

We meet Mad Sweeney, aka the Leprechaun, who also happens to be at the same bar and is already acquainted with Mr. Wednesday. After trading coin tricks with Shadow, Mad Sweeney gifts Shadow with a gold coin and then challenges him to friendly brawl. Shadow accepts Mr. Wednesday’s job offer to be his assistant and accompany him on his travels.

Shadow finally is able to attend his wife Laura’s funeral. He learns that his best friend Robbie was also killed in the same car accident. It was no coincidence that they were traveling together because Robbie’s wife Audrey reveals that Robbie and Laura were having an affair. Leaving the funeral, Shadow is guided to a machine on the ground that when he gets too close, attaches to his face and transports him to a meeting in what seems to be a high-tech limousine with Technical Boy.

Technical Boy

An obvious enemy to Mr. Wednesday, Technical Boy drugs Shadow to get information from him about Mr. Wednesday’s plans. Still in the dark himself, Shadow leaves Technical Boy with little information. Then the faceless gang beats him up and ejects him. The episode ends with Shadow in a noose on his last breath. When it breaks, he falls to the ground, and his assailants explode in a glorious mess of blood.

American Gods episode 1 “The Bone Orchard” is a fantastic set for to the series to come. It sets a violent and serious tone and that this is not some whimsical fairy tale to be taken lightly.

Photo courtesy of Starz.

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