After last week’s Laura centric episode, American Gods returns to the primary plot in “Lemon Scented You”. Both the main arc and the “Coming to America” portion in the beginning finally start to give us some information about what's going on with Wednesday’s plan. In addition to more information on the plot, we meet some interesting new players and reunite with some old friends. While all of this is going on, Shadow’s just trying to get a handle on things, but the poor dude keeps getting thrown curveballs.
One of those curveballs we’re already familiar with. His dead wife is chilling out on his bed when he gets to his hotel room. That’s enough to make any guy pause for a second, but, like Audrey, Shadow comes around to the idea pretty quickly. Unfortunately for Laura, he comes around just as quickly as her best friend did for the same reason. Shadow gets a chance for closure when he asks Laura what the hell she was doing with Robbie. Thankfully she doesn’t try to get out of it with excuses, but she makes no effort to show remorse over what she did either. The show takes a different direction with Laura than the book does to try and combat the fact that her character in the book is boring as all hell. This new iteration isn’t much better, but for now it seems safe to give the writers the benefit of the doubt and assume they have a plan.
The reunion between Shadow and Laura doesn’t go great. Her death may have made her finally realize that she loves her husband the way she’s always claimed to, but Laura’s decisions have resulted in Shadow distancing himself for now. The two may have worked things out further had they gone uninterrupted, but their meeting is cut short by Mr. Wednesday and then by the police.
Shadow and Mr. Wednesday are arrested and taken off to the station for questioning. The cops let on that they were informed with very detailed information, which is all Mr. Wednesday needs to know. After the two are brought into the same room, Mr. Nancy goes about trying to set them free while in his spider form, but it’s too late. The New Gods are here, and there’s a meeting to be had.
Earlier on in the episode we see Technology Boy confronted by Media. He’s gone about things all wrong, and Mr. World’s not happy. At the time we have no idea who that is, but it doesn’t take us long to be introduced. Technology Boy reluctantly accompanies Mr. World and Media to meet with Shadow and Mr. Wednesday, where Crispin Glover (World) gets an opportunity to be his most unnerving. Glover’s capitalized on playing creepy-ass characters in the past, but something about his portrayal of Mr. World takes him to another level. He’s the corporate sleaze hiding behind jargon like “progress” and “unity” while tricking people into dumping oil into a wildlife preserve. Mr. World is deeply unsettling, all while wearing a smile. That bodes well for the antagonist side of the story, especially when considering the rest of the players on his side. Media’s got a smile to die for and bite that’ll knock your teeth right out of your face. Meanwhile, Technology boy is just that, a boy.
When it becomes obvious that Mr. Wednesday has no interest in the deal being offered, Mr. World decides that it’s time for them to go so that their friend has time to mull things over. Technology Boy speaks out against Mr. World, telling him that it’s absurd to simply let Mr. Wednesday go since he clearly won’t change his mind. What he doesn’t understand is that the Gods have rules, and at least a modicum of respect. Even after Mr. World tells the youngest of the New Gods that Wednesday is older than he’ll ever come to be, the boy still insists. Which is when we find out Media is a lot more than just a pretty face.
After she knocks her cohort’s teeth out, the New Gods depart, leaving Shadow and Wednesday alone in the now destroyed precinct. They all but say who Mr. Wednesday truly is in the episode, so confirming that he’s Odin doesn’t seem like too much of a future spoiler. The dude spoke to a raven and the New Gods tried to persuade him with a satellite named Odin so people would start worshipping him again. The only thing missing is a wolf, but y’all may remember spying one of those in a prior episode as well. The New Gods’ offer to help get people worshipping Mr. Wednesday again is also the big tie into the “Coming to America” bit. If Gods are forgotten, they will die. Sometimes just a few believers are all it takes to keep a God breathing, which takes us back to why Mr. World and Media are so angry with Technology Boy.
By attacking Shadow, and threatening Wednesday, Technology Boy did two things. The first acting as a catalyst to get Shadow believing in all of the weird shit going on around him. Sort of like a gateway incident, if you will. The second is validating Mr. Wednesday’s cause. Mr. World may insist that he’s not a part of any war, but that’s only because had they continued to ignore the Old Gods and their ways, eventually they would have simply been forgotten and died. That’s no longer an option, and Creepy McCreeperson isn’t happy about it.
In the midst of all of that mess, Mad Sweeney tracks down Laura and tries to get his lucky coin back. Her superhuman strength and his bad luck have other ideas, unfortunately. Laura has no intention of giving back the coin, and Sweeney can’t simply take it. The altercation continues, but the cops walk in on him trying to drown Laura. Doesn’t seem logical on his part, since she doesn’t need to breathe, but the cops also don’t see the giant autopsy scars on her body, so we’ll just roll with it I guess. You may have noticed Sweeney call Mr. Wednesday “Grimnir” and not Odin, but the list of names the god goes by is literally longer than your arm.
There’s a lot to chew on in “Lemon Scented You”. We’ve finally moved past the exposition and are diving into the meat of things, and we’re still hardly getting started. While Shadow and Mr. Wednesday escape the precinct, Mad Sweeney escapes the cop car and runs off to god knows where. They’re all on the run, and Laura’s killing random people in the morgue (on accident). Next week things will continue to heat up while Mr. Wednesday focuses harder than ever on recruiting. We’ll even meet a new god or two!