Arachnophobes may want to fast forward through the first couple of minutes of Starz’ American Gods season one episode eight. The season finale kicks off with spiders walking around material as Mr. Nancy (Orlando Jones) sews a jacket. He stops what he’s doing and proposes a story. Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane) doesn’t think there’s time for a story, but Mr. Nancy insists. A spotlight shines down and organ music plays as Mr. Nancy talks about a powerful queen who had “the gift.”
The scene changes to the Temple of Bar’an where naked men and women are writhing in ecstasy as they worship their queen, Bilquis (Yetide Badaki). No king was able to unseat her from her throne as she absorbed each king as well as her worshippers into herself. Through the millennia Bilquis continued to consume her sexual conquests, yet the kings continued to come after her. She made her home in Tehran for a while until men took up guns and knives, stealing her power and forcing the queen to take a backseat. Still, she remained in the game and absorbed men and women as necessary.
Ultimately, Bilquis made her way to Hollywood where a downturn in fortune led her to forget she was a queen. Homeless, she roamed through the streets until she spotted the Marib Ethiopian Restaurant. With tears in her eyes, she watched through the window as the news reported the destruction of her ancient monuments in Yemen by ISIS forces.
Bilquis was sleeping on the streets when Technical Boy (Bruce Langley) arrived with an offer. He handed her a phone and showed her how easy meeting people is online. She swiped through the photos until she saw a gorgeous photo of herself. She looked up at Technical Boy with hope in her eyes and he asked, “Want to play?”
Mr. Nancy continues his narration, asking Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) if he understands the story’s moral. Shadow thinks it’s either not to compromise or not to make deals with “treacherous mother*ckers.” Neither answer is correct, and Mr. Nancy reveals Mr. Wednesday and Shadow need to get themselves a queen.
However, Shadow’s still not over the fact Mr. Wednesday cut off Vulcan’s head. He’s pissed off and has no idea what Mr. Wednesday’s name is or why they’re sitting around waiting for Mr. Nancy to sew them new coats. Mr. Wednesday suggests Shadow’s not angry yet, but will need to be very soon. “Angry gets sh*t done,” says Mr. Nancy, tossing Shadow a new jacket.
Back on the road, Shadow experiences a new vision of the Bone Orchard and the White Buffalo and then is jarred awake while Mr. Wednesday drives. They’ve just arrived in Kentucky on the way to Wisconsin and as they drive down the road, their car is chased by bunnies. Mr. Wednesday warns Shadow the woman they’re about to meet is something else and that they might not be greeted warmly at first.
The bunnies are now in front of the car and Mr. Wednesday plows through them without slowing down.
They make their way up to a gorgeous house which is lushly landscaped with colorful flowers. Inside, a party is going on and the buffet table is overflowing. It’s Easter Sunday and the pastries look delicious, and Mr. Wednesday explains that when we celebrate the holiday we are doing it in the name of Ostara, also known as Easter, Goddess of the Dawn.
Ricky looks immediately smitten when he lays eyes on Ostara (Kristin Chenoweth) and as he listens to her speak, up walks Jesus Christ who calls Shadow by name, says hi, and walks away. Shadow’s confused that Easter is a God, but then he looks around and sees gods everywhere. “F*ck me,” he says, incredulously. He spots multiple Jesus Christs as Mr. Wednesday explains different religions see different faces. Shadow wonders who Mr. Wednesday actually is, but Mr. Wednesday tells him he wouldn’t believe him if he revealed his true identity.
Ostara’s shocked to see Mr. Wednesday in her home and after a friendly greeting, Ostara is introduced to a blushing Shadow Moon. She likes what she sees.
Ostara takes Shadow’s arm as they walk the grounds, with Mr. Wednesday confessing he’s there to enlist her help, but she wants nothing to do with what he has planned. Ostara can’t take her eyes off Shadow, calling him the sweetest thing she’s ever seen. But then she asks Mr. Wednesday if Shadow’s the one who has everyone worked up. Mr. Wednesday says yes, and then up walks multiple Jesus Christs as Mr. Wednesday reminds her she’s been forgotten on her special day and wonders if anyone prays in her name anymore. “It’s the same every spring. You do all the work, he gets all the prayers,” says Mr. Wednesday, indicating Jesus Christ gets all the attention on Easter. Jesus of Nazareth is upset, not meaning to usurp her special day, and Ostara drags Mr. Wednesday and Shadow back inside the house to yell at them.
Ostara is angry and even cusses, which is unusual on her special day. She can’t believe Mr. Wednesday disrespected the gods – the multiple Jesus Christs – and he reminds her they’re sons of God, not God. Mr. Wednesday wants her to admit people do not worship her and she agrees, saying she’s not a fool.
Mr. Wednesday shows her the blade Vulcan forged in his honor and tells her the New Gods killed Vulcan for pledging his allegiance to him, not them. He reiterates that he needs her on his side and that people will worship her. Mr. Wednesday is nearly desperate to get Ostara on his side and he sends Shadow out of the room, saying he needs a word alone with Ostara.
The scene shifts to Bilquis inside a museum where Technical Boy catches up to her, accusing her of deliberately avoiding him. She claims to have been busy, and he’s pleased she’s done so well. She floats toward him and says, “I can take care of you.” He’s not taken in by her offer, and now he’s calling in his marker.
Laura Moon (Emily Browning) wakes Mad Sweeney (Pablo Schreiber) from a sound sleep to let him know they’ve arrived at Ostara’s house. She’s tracked Shadow there by following the golden glow he puts off, and then she sees all the Jesus Christs which only distracts her for a moment.
Shadow watches as one Jesus (Jeremy Davies) floats on water in an indoor swimming pool. Shadow wants to know if he’s always believed, and Jesus says he doesn’t know how not to believe. Shadow wonders if this is all a vivid dream and Jesus assures him no matter what he cannot travel any other road than what his senses showed him.
Mr. Wednesday suggests they starve humans into submission, reminding them all it was Ostara who gave them the harvest. If she starves them, they’ll pray to her once again. Suddenly, a bunny whispers in Ostara’s ear and she excuses herself from the conversation.
Meanwhile, Laura’s body is deteriorating and Ostara finds Mad Sweeney and demands he take the dead girl away. Laura introduces herself and Mad Sweeney says neither he nor Laura want Laura to be dead. Ostara examines Laura’s autopsy stitches while Mad Sweeney asks Ostara to help them as a favor. He reminds her she owns him a favor.
Ostara asks how Laura feels and she explains she feels her body and is thirsty and cold all the time. Ostara can resurrect people but normally wouldn’t. Laura says she has a lot to live for and doesn’t want to be dead anymore, and then asks how it works. Ostara needs to find out why Laura is dead and after looking deeply into her eyes, she explains that people have always been curious about death. As the last image on Laura’s retinas unveils itself, it’s Mad Sweeney and not Shadow who is burned into Laura’s mind. That startles Ostara and she quickly looks at Mad Sweeney who turns his head away.
Laura wants to be alive again, but unfortunately Ostara says she can’t bring her back. She reveals Laura was killed by a god, looking directly at Mad Sweeney, and that that can’t be undone. A bunny appears and whispers to Ostara who excuses herself and leaves Mad Sweeney and Laura alone. After she leaves, Laura immediately asks Mad Sweeney which god killed her.
Ostara greets the just-arrived Media (Gillian Anderson) and they talk about the date they were supposed to have and their plans to celebrate Easter together.
Laura holds Mad Sweeney by his balls up against a wall. He finally admits he’s the one who ran them off the road. She doesn’t think he’s a god so she squeezes harder until he reveals it was Mr. Wednesday. Her death was a sacrifice so that he could have Shadow. Mad Sweeney says Shadow is no one, and then he admits it was also Wednesday who messed up her plan to rob the casino. Mad Sweeney says it was all done just to f*ck with her and she shouldn’t take it personally. They needed Shadow to be in a place where he had nothing left in the world. Laura then asks, “What does Wednesday have to lose?”
Mr. Wednesday sees Media and knows the New Gods are here.
Ostara lies and says Mr. Wednesday was there trying to enlist her but she dismissed him before hearing all the details. As they speak, Media’s minions multiply. She tells Ostara that what they’re offering is to make Old Gods new again. Ostara says she felt misrepresented in the media, and Media explains St. Nick took the same deal. Media puts her down, saying Ostara’s only relevant because Easter is a Christian holiday and suggests she needs to adapt or survive. Media reminds her she should be happy that anyone pays attention to anything without a screen anymore. “What happens if they all decide that God doesn’t exist?” asks Media.
Mr. Wednesday and Shadow join them, and an argument ensues. The face-off finds Mr. Wednesday arguing that God does exist. Media and Technical Boy declare they’re in control because they control the flow of information, while Mr. Wednesday thinks they just provide innovative distractions. Technical Boy warns Mr. Wednesday he can’t fight progress; times have changed and they’re no longer relevant. Mr. World (Crispin Glover) shows up and says the only way the Old Gods matter is if there’s a war, and there’s not going to be a war. He believes the Old Gods fight with outdated, inactive tools, but Mr. Wednesday says he doesn’t need to fight. He has faith and with that he dedicates the death of the New Gods’ minions to Ostara.
Shadow asks again for Mr. Wednesday’s real name and this time he reveals the truth. Mr. Wednesday puts on an impressive display and then declares he’s Odin. He then asks Ostara of the Dawn to show what she’s capable of. She obliges, and all the life is sucked out of the trees, flowers, and anything else growing in the earth. The landscape goes from vibrant and colorful to grey and empty.
Mr. World threatens Odin that since he wanted a war, he now has a war – and it will be the one he dies in. “Tell the believers and the non-believers, tell them we’ve taken the spring. They can have it back when they pray for it,” says Mr. Wednesday. He asks Shadow again if he believes and Shadow says he does. He believes in everything.
Just then Laura clears her throat and Shadow and Odin turn to find she and Mad Sweeney standing on a balcony. She says, “I’d like to have a word with my husband.”
The final scene of the season shows Bilquis on board a bus which just passed the Wisconsin state line. She and the man who’s seated next to her head to the bathroom as she smiles. Outside, they pass a sign which reads “House on the Rock.”
More on American Gods:
– American Gods Season 1 Episode 1 The Bone Orchard Recap
– American Gods Season 1 Episode 2 The Secret of Spoon Recap
– American Gods Season 1 Episode 3 Head Full of Snow Recap
– American Gods Season 1 Episode 4 Git Gone Recap
– American Gods Season 1 Episode 5 Lemon Scented You Recap
– American Gods Season 1 Episode 6 A Murder of Gods Recap
– American Gods Season 1 Episode 7 Prayer for Mad Sweeney Recap