About midway through “The Secret of Spoon,” the second episode of American Gods, Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) has an encounter with a deity that later causes him to question his sanity. “I think I’m losing my mind,” he tells Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane) at a diner. “Lucy… I Love Lucy… talked to me!” Sure enough, while performing his newfound duties as Wednesday’s new gofer at a large department store, Shadow finds himself talking to Lucille Ball on a series of gratuitously large television screens. Not the actual Lucy, of course, but a new god named Media played by X-Files alum Gillian Anderson.
While the pair’s first meeting doesn’t quite match the context of Neil Gaiman’s novel, Bryan Fuller’s adaptation retains much of the same dialogue and purpose. Namely, that Media isn’t too fond of how Shadow was treated by Technical Boy and his “children” in the premiere, and that she wants to hire him away from Wednesday’s seemingly lost cause. “The screen’s the altar. I’m the one they sacrifice to,” faux Lucy explains. “They sit side by side, ignore each other and give it up to me. Now they hold a smaller screen in their lap or in the palm of their hands so they don’t get bored watching the big one.”
As a result of Media’s manner of manifesting herself, she (or it) can and will appear throughout American Gods as some of entertainment’s best and brightest. So as surprising and inventive as Sunday’s turn as television’s Lucy Ricardo was, have faith that Anderson will be making plenty of wardrobe changes throughout the season. According to teases aimed at her Twitter followers last summer, we already know Anderson will be appearing as Marilyn Monroe:
Fuller indicated more recently that Media would pop back into Shadow’s life via at least three other guises. For example, as the late David Bowie:
Our guess is as good as yours as to who the other two icons may be. As Flavorwire notes, many internet sleuths have tried to figure out Fuller’s puzzle, but true believers should simply pray to their altars for the next few Sundays to find out for sure.