Each week, Uproxx will be hosting the American Gods Book Club. This is a safe space where readers of Neil Gaiman’s massive novel can come to dissect the changes to the series and debate what will happen next, all without fear they’ll accidentally spoil something for non-readers.
Sadly, American Gods has come to an end for the season. Eight episodes didn’t feel nearly like enough, but “Come To Jesus” sets the stage for even bigger and weirder stories in the coming years.
#1: Shadow meets Mr. Nancy
In the book: Shadow first runs into Mr. Nancy when he arrives at the House on the Rock with Mr. Wednesday. The three then head into the roadside attraction and towards The Carousel Room.
On the show: After beheading Vulcan, Mr. Wednesday and Shadow apparently went straight to Mr. Nancy in need of their Easter Best™ in order to show up at Easter/Ostara’s annual event. Unlike during his initial introduction in the novel, Ananasi tells a different story, this time of the Queen of Sheba — and how men have tried since time immemorial to reduce the power of queens — instead of how he once stole Tiger’s balls.
#2: Meet Easter, Goddess of the Spring
In the book: Easter is a Hail Mary of sorts, introduced much later in the game. Wednesday and Shadow encounter her in a park, having a picnic feast all by herself. While Easter/Eostre believes she’s “doing just fine” it only takes one mochaccino for the facade to fall and Eostre to admit she is as forgotten as Wednesday and the rest of them.
On the show: Easter/Ostara is doing very well for herself because she long ago made a deal with the Media Devil. Media herself shows up decked out as Judy Garland from Easter Parade, and it becomes very clear that any major Christian holiday built on the ruins of a pagan holiday is an agreement made between the new gods and the old. But even though Easter is playing hostess to the man who stole her feast day, she has not forgotten what it was like to be worshiped. It turns out the old gods are still far more powerful than the new, if only because Media, Technology, and Mr. World do not have humans sacrificed in their name. Though, that does make me wonder if whatever the new god of war looks like is far more powerful than Media or Technology.