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In the good old USA, people still heed the call of the transcendent void, but they respond to it by building a model out of beer bottles of somewhere they've never visited, or by erecting a giant bat house in some part of the country that bats have traditionally declined to visit. Or they sell T-shirts and hotdogs. Roadside attractions! Where they buy that hotdog and they buy that T-shirt. And then they wander around feeling satisfied on a level that they cannot truly describe, and profoundly dissatisfied on a level beneath that.

Mr. Wednesday

"House on the Rock" is the first episode of the second season of American Gods and the ninth of the overall series. It debuted on March 10, 2019.

Summary Edit

Following the epic showdown at Easter’s party, Mr. Wednesday continues his quest to pitch the case for war to the Old Gods with Shadow, Laura and Mad Sweeney in tow. Meanwhile, Mr. World plans revenge and Technical Boy goes on the hunt for Media. First stop – the House on the Rock, where Shadow is taken “backstage.”

Plot Edit

A golfer tees up at the Black Briar golf course as a limo careens onto the teeing ground and runs him over. The GPS announces the destination is on the right as Technical Boy swerves across the fairway, telling the GPS he knows where he is going. He speeds into a parking garage, slamming on the breaks as he reaches spot 353 located against a wall. Mr. World crawls out of the back of the limo and passes Technical Boy a paperclip to "show." Technical Boy holds up the paperclip to a camera and the wall swings open. The Caretaker challenges Mr. World, who replies with "büroklammer" (German for "paperclip"). He welcomes Mr. World to Black Briar. Technical Boy wants to take out all of the Old Gods. Mr. World cautions him they are not ready but when they are, they will eradicate the Old Gods. He tasks Technical Boy to find his "best salesman," Media.

A car carrying Shadow, Mr. Wednesday, Mad Sweeney, and Laura leaves Easter's house in Kentucky and heads to the House on the Rock in Wisconsin. Shadow is still uncomfortable around Laura while Mad Sweeney's bad luck continues to follow him.

Mr. Ibis relates the history of the House on the Rock, built by Alex Jordan fifty years prior. He began to charge admittance and used the money to keep building and creating more things for people to see. Bilquis enters the House on the Rock as it is closing and feeds on one of the employees. She wanders through the deserted building and encounters the Jinn. They greet each other and Bilquis reveals she was not invited. Salim arrives, surprising the Jinn.

In the underground bunker, Mr. World tells the Caretaker he needs the "eyes of Argus" to see his enemies. The Caretaker protests, saying only the President is allowed. Mr. World explains to the Caretaker that he is behind everything from Operation Paperclip to the Crack Wars and the Caretaker ultimately works for him.

Mama-ji cleans a room at a Motel America while a program on TV discusses the weird weather phenomena occurring in Kentucky (the result of Easter's resent actions) and Wisconsin. She turns off the TV and leaves the room, carrying a forgotten Statue of Liberty souvenir.

At the House on the Rock, Shadow attempts to pick the lock open on the entrance gate. A spider enters the lock and opens the gate as Mr. Nancy appears on the other side. He greets Mad Sweeney and comments on Laura's stench. Wednesday asks if some of the old gods like Whiskey Jack have arrived. Nancy replies that they did not come and Easter is not coming either because Wednesday ran over some of her rabbits. Wednesday informs Laura she can come along but she is "not invited to the party." He reveals to her that he was also dead once when he sacrificed himself for knowledge and hung on the tree, Yggdrasil, for nine days. He offers her an arrangement and she refuses.

Inside the House on the Rock, the Jinn asks why Salim followed him when he could have gone anywhere else and done anything he wanted. He tells Salim to leave but Salim replies back, "I do not grant wishes." They are interrupted by Wednesday's entrance. Wednesday asks the Jinn how many have arrived. The Jinn replies there are about a dozen plus Bilquis, who was not invited. Wednesday and Nancy take tokens from the Jinn and the Jinn offers Shadow a token as well but he does not let Laura and Sweeney through.

Bilquis greets Nancy before confronting Wednesday for not inviting her when she is an Old God. Wednesday acquiesces and invites her to "consult the Norns." She inserts a token into a machine where Selina, a fortune telling mannequin, moves around to music before a card is dropped into a slot below for her to retrieve. Wednesday inserts his token next and chortles when he receives his card, causing Shadow to ask what it is. He won't reveal what it says because, "a man's fortune is his own." Shadow inserts his token and receives his card, reading it out loud:

Every ending is a new beginning. Your lucky number is none. Your lucky color is dead. Motto: Like father, like son.

They continue deeper into the House on the Rock before Wednesday splits off on his own. He finds Zorya Vechernyaya in a room with a snowy backdrop. He flirts with her as Czernobog arrives. Czernobog reminds him the only reason he is there is because he lost a game of checkers to Shadow. Wednesday leaves them and Czernobog starts the music playing, inviting Zorya Vechernyaya to dance.

In a room housing the Chalet of the Raven, Shadow plays with the silver coin Zorya Polunochnaya gave him while Bilquis inspects him. Nancy reveals that when he made Shadow his suit, he also got a measurement of Shadow's life and how he was bullied for being little until he was fifteen and bulked up and grew a few inches. He mentions that Shadow reminds him of his stupid son. Shadow thanks him for the compliment of comparing him to a member of his family.

Laura asks the Jinn for a coin so she can get a fortune. He refuses but both Salim and Sweeney convince him to give her one. She inserts her token and receives her fortune, however, it is blank.

Wednesday leads the group through a hall full of beer steins as he explains the immense power contained within roadside attractions in America. They arrive at the Carousel Room and Wednesday asks Shadow to feel the power. As the carousel spins round and round, the Old Gods reappear on the carousel. Nancy sits on a roaring lion while Wednesday invites Shadow to join them and Bilquis offers to keep him safe. Shadow climbs uneasily aboard and chooses a tiger with an Eagle's head to ride. The carousel continues to spin faster and faster and Shadow begins to enjoy himself. Wednesday's wolf mount opens up and a bright light shines forth as the carousel figurines detach and fly away into space.

Shadow awakens on a beach next to human skulls and where a Norse ship has dropped anchor. Bilquis tells him he is "Backstage" in Wednesday's memories. As Bilquis leads him up to Odin's Hall, she explains how if the meeting had been held in Bilquis' mind, it would be a warmer experience with hanging gardens and ziggurats. Once within the hall, Shadow is able to see the gods in their various non-human forms: from Odin, Bilquis, Czernobog, the Zorya sisters, and Anansi to Ame-No Uzeme, Ahura Mazda, the Lion-god, and Frau Holle. Anansi calls everyone around for a story about being at constant war with the New Gods. Odin speaks, reminding them how people brought the gods, including everyone present, with them to America. The Old Gods have been abandoned as the "true believers" either died or stopped believing. They are only getting by as they are replaced by the New Gods, who now want to destroy them.

Mama-ji interrupts, saying that she has seen New Gods rise and fall and they should wait them out. She does not see any of the battles that Odin claims are happening. Bilquis defends Odin, explaining how the New Gods have more followers, more attention, and more power, however, it is not a bad thing. She has been given the tools of the New Gods and warns them they need to evolve or die. Shadow speaks out that he believes Odin. He has lost everyone and everything but he is regaining his belief and faith because of Odin. If they help Odin, they can be worthy of their believers.

At a Motel America diner, Wednesday pours mead as the Old Gods feast and socialize. Shadow sits down next to Nancy and asks if it all really happened. Nancy plays dumb as Czernobog blows cigarette smoke in Shadow's face; the smell is a reminder to Czernobog of the offerings his followers used to burn for him. He offers to play Shadow another game of checkers so he can kill Shadow and go home.

Bilquis approaches Laura, calling her beautiful and asking what she is. Laura warns Bilquis that Laura will kill her if she hurts her husband. Bilquis leans forward and gives her a lingering kiss before leaving the restaurant.

In the bunker, Technical Boy complains that Mr. World sent Bilquis when he could have tracked them himself. Mr. World explains that he sent her because he needs Bilquis to be complicit with the New Gods. Mr. World picks up a red telephone and says, "recover the package."

At the diner, Shadow approaches Laura and they discuss Shadow's role with Wednesday. She warns him about Wednesday before Wednesday interrupts and calls Shadow over to meet Mama-ji. Sweeney walks over to Laura to tell her Shadow is no longer her puppy because he is Wednesday's man now.

In the bunker, the Caretaker reads off "130-7925" as Mr. World enters it onto a number pad for the Black Briar "Facitilies Control and Monitor." A keyboard slides out and Mr. World sends a secure message to Mr. Town to request a "strike package" and to "execute target."

A sniper fires into the diner, shooting down Old Gods with bullets engraved with "Deus Mortuorum" (Latin for "God is dead"). As the bullets fly, the Jinn protects Salim and Shadow tackles Laura to the ground. Shadow sneaks out through the kitchen and into the parking lot to find the sniper. They fight with Shadow gaining the upper hand. The sniper pulls out a device and pushes a button, causing a beam of light to suck Shadow up into the sky.

In the aftermath, Wednesday finds Zorya Vechernyaya incapacitated by a chest wound. He cradles her as Czernobog holds her hand and she dies. Czernobog curses the person who killed her so that they will not die in battle, no one alive will take their life, and "she" will find them. Laura realizes Shadow has been abducted and watches as his golden light fades into the distant sky.

Cast Edit

Main CastEdit

Guest StarringEdit

Co-starring Edit

Gallery Edit

  • Fake head of the first victim of the sniper
  • The dummy that got used as the first victim of the attack on Motel America
  • The "Warrior Woman God" played by Yvette McKoy
  • Yvette McKoy (Warrior Woman God) in costume

Video Edit

American Gods - Season 2 Sneak Peek - STARZ

American Gods - Season 2 Sneak Peek - STARZ

Notes and trivia Edit

  • According to the news report, this episode takes place shortly after "Come to Jesus" on Easter weekend. The Carousel Room at the House on the Rock opened on Easter weekend, 1981.
  • Mama-ji's role has been expanded and she will appear throughout the season[1]
  • Wednesday asks Nancy if he brought him John Henry, though Nancy claims he did not come due to a lack of a nearby railroad ("no choo-choo, no John Henry"). John Henry is an African-American folk hero who raced against an early steam-powered jackhammer to drive steel into a railroad track. He won only to die from exhaustion.

References Edit

  1. https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2019/01/american-gods-season-2-ricky-whittle-interview-character-posters
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