‘American Gods’ S2E8 “Moon Shadow” recap
Whether you worship the gods new or old, be warned this piece contains spoilers for the finale of American Gods S2.
American Gods has always been a show about reckoning & redemption, and finally, at the end of the second season we see Shadow Moon experience both when an important truth is revealed to him. That huge reveal in the finale is what Neil Gaiman fans have been waiting for all season, and with its knowledge we finally have some background for Wednesday’s actions.
Yes, we finally found out who Shadow’s real pops is and the implications that come with his parentage. You might have guessed it, dear reader: Mr. Wednesday, a.k.a. Odin (if you’re nasty), is Shadow Moon’s real papi.
Throughout this episode we’re reminded of the power of media both new and old. This episode opens with a reimagining of the Orson Welles War of the Worlds broadcast, which resulted in mass hysteria and outrage in 1938, and ends with a very modern instance of mass panic created by Technical Boy. Both examples show how easily susceptible to media manipulation we are.
Elsewhere, Wednesday leaves the funeral home just before Laura arrives. Shadow is not in a good place. He’s still bummed about still killing Mad Sweeney and he tells her the leprechaun died. She apologizes and goes on to tell Shadow about her desire to kill Wednesday. Will Shadow stop her? “Free country”, he replies.
Technical Boy is then resurrected (no, we don’t know how either) by the CEO of Xie Comm (American Gods’s equivalent of Apple or Amazon). He repays Technical Boy by transferring a hella load of personal data to Mr. World’s HQ.
We’re now onto the mass panic we warned you about before. Not missing a beat, the world is awash with panic (helped along by New Media) with newscasters, bloggers, and your Auntie on facebook reporting on the data dumps and general poor security of your data.
There are runs on banks, lines for gas, and pretty much everywhere people are losing their shit. Among it all Shadow, Wednesday, and the crew are pictured on TV, ID’d as the masterminds behind the “Bellefontaine massacre” and attacking America.
With the police closing in, Salim loses his cool and Shadow thinks about running. When he gets back to his room, Bilquis is waiting for him. She embraces him au natural, declaring their fortunes to be synchronized before disappearing as quickly as she came.
Shadow tries to leave via the greenhouse, but the tree prevents him with its strong roots. It’s here Shadow finally groks that Odin is actually his Papi. He tries to free himself by attacking the tree with an axe. Mr. Nancy later sees both Shadow and the tree are gone.
As Laura carries the corpse of Mad Sweeney down the road, the Jinn and Salim drive off together. Mr. World delights in the mayhem he’s caused. And Wednesday sits at a restaurant, saying to himself: “My boy’s gonna be just fine.”
We next see Shadow Moon travelling on a bus being pulled over by the cops. He’s expecting to get arrested when he shows them his ID, but they just politely wish him goodnight. He checks his ID, which now reads “Mike Ainsell.” Close call! All those revelations have tuckered old Shadow out, and he drifts off in his seat.