Another week, another episode of American Gods: Secret of Spoon. Where shall Mr. Wednesday take us next? And what is the secret of the spoon? I did not know Spoons could have secrets. Oh the mystery! Nora and I have watched the episode once again, and will shed our light upon it in this fantastic recap. You can read our recap of episode one here. Are you ready?
Mr. Nancy’s Coming to America
We start Secret of Spoon with another sequence of Coming To America. This time, we are on a Slaver’s boat and one of the slave’s is praying to Anansi. Mr. Nancy then appears in a fancy suit, a stark contrast to the slaves. Mr. Nancy delivers an intense speech, rousing the slaves to sacrifice themselves. They do so, setting the ship aflame. All aboard the ship burn, except Anansi in spider form, who arrives on land unscathed. The next scene we see is Shadow hanging from the tree again, while blood covers our screen. The speech is quite impressive, and deserves to be read:
“Once upon a time, a man got fucked. Now how is that for a story? ‘Cause that’s the story of black people in America. Shit. You all don’t know you’re black yet. You think you’re just people. Let me be the first to tell you that you are all black. The moment these Dutch motherfuckers set foot here, they decided they white and you get to be black, and that’s the nice name they call you. Let me paint a picture of what’s waiting for you on shore. You arrive in America, land of opportunity, milk and honey and guess what? You all get to be slaves. Split up, sold off and worked to death.
The lucky ones get Sunday off to sleep, fuck and make most of the day and all for what? For cotton. Indigo. For a fuckin’ purple shirt. The only good news is the tobacco your grandkids are gonna farm for free is gonna give a shitload of these white motherfuckers cancer. And I ain’t even started yet. A hundred years later, you’re fucked. A hundred years after that, fucked. A hundred years after you get free, you still getting fucked out of jobs and shot at by police… You are staring down the barrel of 300 years of subjugation, racist bullshit and heart disease.”
Nora: oh man, I love Anansi. I already loved him in the novel and in Anansi Boys but on screen he works even better. That speech gave me chills. And a bit of shame due to my heritage. Sometimes it’s not good to be proud to be Dutch…
Ingrid: Well let’s just say white people have always been dicks. I also love Mr. Nancy. I wasn’t a fan of Anansi Boys, but I thought he was very interesting in American Gods. And that speech was indeed fantastic. A very strong moment in the show.
Nora: I wonder if everyone not familiar with the book(s) knows that Anansi was that colourful spider. That speech alone should be seen by everybody, even if they don’t watch the show.
Ingrid: I suppose they had to know if they paid attention. And they should. Hurray for the show tackling such sensitive topics.
After Shadow has his wounds treated at the hospital, he finds Wednesday at a Motel (Motel America, how clever!). He is slightly taken aback by the presence of a naked young woman in Wednesday’s bed, but then goes on to tell him about Technical Boy. Wednesday recognises the description, but instead of telling Shadow who he is, he offers to pay double the money for the occupational hazard. Wednesday also promises to avenge the attack.
Nora: This just shows how much power Mr. Wednesday really has, because normally a smart man like Shadow would have walked away.
Ingrid: I don’t think he really has much of a choice. There is nowhere he can go, it is rather hard getting a job when you have a visit to prison on your resume. He is pretty much out of options in this one.
Nora: True. Do you think Shadow is slowly figuring out who Wednesday really could be? Or maybe he just doesn’t have a clue yet.
Ingrid: I’m sure that he at least knows Wednesday is not just a regular guy. Or else he has not been paying attention at all.
Shadow still has bad dreams. He dreams that Laura visits him in his hotel room. He tells her that he thought she died, after which she asks who told him that she died? Shadow then returns to his old home and sees Laura in every room of the house. In the end, he cannot resist the temptation and scrolls through Laura’s phone. He finds out Robbie has been sending dick pics to Laura before they died. To get rid of is anger, he starts cleaning until he bleeds.
Nora: Do you reckon this is the first ever full on display of a dick pic on television?
Ingrid: Perhaps. But honestly, does that shit work? I mean, even when you’re having an affair, a dick pic is rather off-putting, isn’t it? Perhaps it is just me and my standards, though.
Nora: Nope, it’s not just you. Though I get that Shadow needed proof and boy, did he get it. The most unbelievable thing about American Gods so far is that Shadow can pack an entire house in one day. I recently moved and that shit takes time.
Ingrid: Same here! Ah well. Maybe he is just a very efficient packer.
Wednesday and Shadow hit the road. Wednesday explains: “We will be meeting with a number of people pre-eminent in their respective fields, and then we will rendezvous at one of the most important places in the entire country.” Now we know what to expect from the next few episodes. First stop will be Chicago, where they will pick up Wednesday’s hammer.
Ingrid: They should have played Hotel California. Not a roadtrip is complete without that song.
Nora: There are still episodes left, they should take your advise. I love that song.
I love Lucy
Shadow is just casually strolling around, doing some grocery shopping for Wednesday, when someone on the tv starts talking to him. It is Media who takes the shape of Lucille Ball from the show I love Lucy. Shadow unplugs all the TVs, but that does not stop her. And here we learn a little more about the New Gods and the Old Gods and their refusal to live side by side.
“The screen’s the altar. I’m the one they sacrifice to. Then ’til now. Golden age to golden age. 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 hand, so they don’t get bored watching the bigger one. Time and attention. Better than lamb’s blood.”
Scarily accurate for our modern times, isn’t it? Media tries to convince Shadow to join their cause, offering double of what Wednesday pays. Shadow refuses and Media makes one last attempt by offering to show Lucy’s tits, but naturally Shadow declines because he is a gentleman.
Nora: I just have to give credit again how the creators of this show have upgraded the plot to 2017. I myself am so guilty of watching television while casually scrolling through my social media feeds, even when I know nothing important is happening on them. I am a slave to my phone. All hail Media! I offer you Oreo cookies and Cheese Onion chips.
Ingrid: Ugh I know! It used to be worse for me. I would go mad when the internet wasn’t working. Not so much any more, but I still have that urge to check my phone all the time. I could not imagine a world without Media any more either.
Nora: Media and Technical Boy are totally my gods, even though I am mostly rooting for the old gods on this show. Complicated shit, this show.
Ingrid: In all fairness, Bilquis will just swallow all our phones with her vagina. Problem solved.
Shadow returns to the motel where Wednesday calms him down and they are back on their way. We then get shown a man floating in space with an erect penis. It is a true WTF moment. We continue to our regular montage of Vagina Eating, in which about four people are swallowed by Bilquis’ vagina. However, she is not satisfied. She visits a museum that has a statue created in her honour. There’s a body chain in a glass cage and she stares at it, imagining that she is wearing it again.
Nora: I… could have done without this. Sorry Bilquis.
Ingrid: The first episode I was very confused and horrified. Now I just thought ‘Oh look, people get sucked into vaginas again.’ Is it weird that that stuff is becoming normal to me now? Probably.
Nora: Same. I did love her museum visit though, with the ancient statue and gorgeous jewellery.
Ingrid: Fair enough. Still not over the space dude though.
Wednesday and Shadow visit the Slavish God Czernobog and his three relatives the Zorya sisters. They are not very thrilled to have them over as guests. A montage shows just how brutal Czernobog is, after he murders a cow without as much as blinking an eye. He comes home and wants Wednesday out of his house, but one of the sisters convinces him to let them stay. During dinner Czernobog shares the tale of how he became forgotten. He then challenges Shadow to a game of checkers. As they play, the stakes get high. Czernobog says that he will join Wednesday’s cause if Shadow wins. If Shadow loses, Czernobog will get to smash his head in with his hammer. Unfortunately for Shadow, he loses and the episode has come to an end.
Nora: So, I actually asked my veterinarian husband if Cherny made a good kill on the cow with the pin and got more information on cow killing than I bargained for. Long story short: points for our old God. Never in my life have I ever seen a more exciting game of checkers by the way. Who knew it could be so high staked?
Ingrid: Well, at least people can learn from his peaceful way of killing cows. I never thought I would write that sentence. Wouldn’t it be hilarious if American Gods pulled a Game of Thrones and just have Shadow killed? No it wouldn’t be, but at least the creators would have balls.
Nora: Damn, that would be something indeed. Still, I wonder how Shadow will get out of this deal. Mr. Wednesday will probably help, or the third sister maybe? And did we learn the secret of spoons?
Ingrid: Was there even a spoon in this episode? So many questions!