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Be polite. Respectful. When you feel the hate and the pain, let it make you stronger. No matter how dark the world gets, your light will always be shining.

–Shadow's mom to Shadow

"The Beguiling Man" is the second episode of the second season of American Gods and the tenth of the overall series. It debuted on March 17, 2019.


Promising vengeance for the death of a beloved old god, Mr. Wednesday begins preparation for a great battle. Meanwhile Laura and Mad Sweeney chase Shadow’s diminishing light after he disappears. The Jinn and Salim set out to retrieve the Gungnir spear, and Shadow encounters an associate of Mr. World.


Electrodes are placed on Shadow's temples while he is restrained by his forearms in a tentacled metal device. He is injected with something before Mr. Stone and Mr. Wood (in human form) send jolts of electricity through Shadow. Mr. Town introduces himself and asks Shadow why he is in a traveling boxcar.

Laura watches Shadow's light travel farther and farther away from the Motel America diner. Outside in the parking lot, Czernobog laments Zorya Vechernyaya's murder at the hands of the New Gods. Mama-ji tells Czernobog they will summon another Zorya but Czernobog explains that there are no more believers left for her old star to rise again. He blames Mr. Wednesday for allowing Zorya to die but a new star will still rise. Wednesday promises them vengeance. Mama-ji agrees to join Wednesday's war because the fight was brought to her doorstep.

While Sweeney, Salim, and the Jinn eat breakfast in the Motel America diner, Laura wants to know what they are going to do next. Mama-ji enters the diner and tells the Jinn that Wednesday wants him to find Old Iktomi at the "Corn Palace" to get Wednesday's spear, Gungnir.

As Wednesday and Mr. Nancy bid farewell to Czernobog, Sweeney heads outside the diner to confront Wednesday. Laura wants to know what they are going to do about Shadow. Wednesday tells Sweeney to help Laura save Shadow while he and Mr. Nancy continue preparing for the war.

Inside the diner, Salim lays out a piece of cardboard as his prayer rug and prays to Allah. Once outside, the Jinn asks Salim if he needs money for a bus fare but Salim refuses, explaining that he can help the Jinn because of his belief in him. The Jinn passes him a helmet and Salim climbs into the sidecar of the Jinn's motorcycle. Laura finds a Mercedes for Sweeney to steal as Wednesday's ravens fly overhead.

Mr. Town continues torturing Shadow in the boxcar, trying to find out why Wednesday needs him when he is a nobody whose wife cheated on him with his best friend. Shadow tells Mr. Town to stay in his lane and claims he is simply Wednesday's bodyguard. Mr. Town wants to know why he goes with the flow and Shadow replies it is because of curiosity.

A young Shadow and his mother take a boat ride around the Statue of Liberty after having returned from years abroad. Shadow mentions how she is based on the Roman goddess Libertas and discusses France's contributions to America. His mom reminds him he is not French but American. This is the first time he has been back to America because his mother had to leave America to spread "her" message. She warns him that in America, they are judged based on the color of their skin. They are there for the summer to help make his light even stronger by exposure to the poison in America.

Sweeney drives toward Shadow's light as Laura gives him directions. They have a theological discussion about whether or not they are actually gods or monsters made by people. Sweeney points out that she is just as much a monster as the gods are. She destroyed her life as well as her husband's and then cheated on him. Laura argues that it does not mean she deserved to die. He calls it the "greatest sin" to betray "true love." Laura warns him of a cow in the middle of the road. He swerves and misses the cow but runs over a nail and gets a flat tire.

In the Black Briar bunker, Mr. World pours liquor from a decanter and brings it over to Bilquis while the Caretaker continues monitoring the "eyes of Argus". Mr. World commiserates with Bilquis that none of the Old Gods joined her. She blames his attack on the diner for pushing the Old Gods into joining Wednesday's side. Bilquis refuses to join his war as she is a love goddess and "love and war may sit on opposite sides of the coin but only so they may never meet." Mr. World warns her that she must choose a side or be trampled by both.

Mr. Nancy attempts to fold a map as Wednesday drives Betty down the highway.

Mr. Town continues torturing Shadow, looking for answers about Shadow's role with Wednesday.

Young Shadow reads Siddhartha while his mother quotes from it as she gets ready for a date. She warns him about the Bushwick gang if he goes outside. After his mom leaves, he puts on his headphones and goes outside. He walks to a park and wanders through it. He removes his headphones to listen to the music the locals are playing. He catches a basketball and tries to make friends with the boy who the ball belongs to. Three men come up behind him and throw him to the ground. They harass him for talking funny and call him a "white boy" because he is biracial. They kick and beat him, telling him to stay in his lane, before they try to steal his music player. He grabs his player and runs off with the men chasing after. All four of them are stopped by cops and arrested.

Shadow's mom explains that everyone wants the same things: to be valued and loved. Those men viewed him as the enemy and it does not matter what anyone else believes because he knows the truth. Shadow wants to know about his father but his mother reminds him he is "dead and gone, nothing to miss." She turns on the stereo and "My Adorable One" starts playing. She gets him to dance with her. In the present, Shadow continues to be tortured by the Spooks.

Sweeney changes the tire while Laura holds up the car for him. She accidentally drops it on his foot. They finish changing the tire and Laura vomits up some of her liquefying insides. She promises Sweeney he can have the coin whether she falls apart or finds a way to get her life back. Sweeney mentions he might have another option other than Easter to help her get her life back: the old Baron.

Mr. Nancy drives down the road while Wednesday sleeps in the passenger seat. Nancy throws Wednesday's insulting gift of fried chicken out the car window just as Wednesday wakes up.

Technical Boy stands in the middle of Times Square, calling for Media to come out. He reads a message from Media in the form of a commercial on one of the screens. He tells her to get in the car but she protests with another message about advertising being an art form of the 20th century. Technical Boy tells her that it is ancient history, like her 20th century faces. Media talks through his phone about needing insight after Wednesday attacked them at Easter's. She is adapting and evolving and will not return until she is ready in her new form. Technical Boy switches to his own Backstage to track Media who has gone "ghost in [his] machine" and is using his technology to hide in. He confronts her electric ball and tells her Mr. World needs her before he flicks her off to put her face on.

Young Shadow reads A Moveable Feast as he sits in the oncology waiting room for his mother to return from getting her test results. Out of the corner of his eye, he sees a man rolling a coin over his fingers with the coin changing from gold to silver to a quarter, like magic. The man mentions that magic "takes years of practice for most people" before gifting Shadow with the coin. Shadow tries to roll the coin but drops it. When he looks up again, the man is gone. His mom enters the waiting room after receiving bad news and they hug.

Shadow sits on the front porch step and practices rolling the coin over his fingers. His mother is on the phone, discussing arrangements for Shadow after she is gone. He hears shouting coming from down an alley and investigates, discovering three Black boys beating up an Asian kid for not speaking English. Shadow fights back this time and beats them up.

As he washes the blood off his hands, he explains to his mom that he was trying to protect the kid. She warns him that if he puts anger out, he will get it back tenfold. He is different and has a strong light that she gives to him daily.

Laura wants Mad Sweeney to speed up because Shadow's light grows more distant. She reaches her leg over and slams on Sweeney's foot on the gas pedal. The road abruptly ends at a field of blue flowers. Laura walks into the field and lies down in defeat. Sweeney follows after, offering a drink from his flask. He sits down next to her and lights a cigarette as he tries to motivate her back into saving Shadow. He has a "shortcut" to catching up to Shadow through his hoard, a smaller variation of Backstage. They stand up and he wraps his arms around her. They travel through the hoard of coins, ending up on the edge of a bridge overlooking a train passing underneath. Laura finally removes the broken handcuffs from around Mad Sweeney's wrists before jumping to the train below with Sweeney following.

As Shadow hangs in the boxcar, Mr. Town discusses how the New Gods have brought medicine and technology while the Old Gods are relics. He questions Shadow on making it snow in Chicago and Shadow denies that it happened. Town kicks the stand out from under Shadow's feet, leaving him dangling from his arms as he is tortured further.

Young Shadow sits next to his mother's bed as she lies dying of cancer. She tells him to be polite and respectful. He is to use the hate and pain to make him stronger and to always shine his light. She asks where is his coin and he pulls it out, performing the coin trick for her. He drops the coin and it shatters as he enters a church and sits in a pew, crying. He gathers his emotions and walks out with determination.

Mr. Wednesday gives a eulogy to Betty while Mr. Nancy sleeps in the backseat. Nancy wakes up and realizes Betty is parked across railroad tracks. He gets out and tells Wednesday he will meet up with him in Cairo before leaving.

Laura and Sweeney climb into a train car. They kill several Spooks, including Mr. Wood, as they make their way through the train. Laura kicks in the door to Shadow's boxcar, knocking Mr. Town over. She is tackled by Mr. Stone and squashes his head beneath her boot with Shadow watching. Laura declares, "I had to save you." The train smashes into Betty as Wednesday looks on with fire and his horse, Gallows, reflected in his glass eye.


Main Cast[]

Guest Starring[]





American Gods 'The Beguiling Man' Ep. 2 Preview Season 2

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