So, I did previously a non spoiler blogpost about my opinion on season 2. Now, I just want to compile here a series of thoughts I had after the finale. Spoilers ahead, and it's mostly new-god centric so beware.
Thought 1: There's missing stuff
In the promotional material for season 2, there was a picture of New Media and Technical Boy. He was small in some sort of cube, and she was a giant, looking at him with a pitying look… But I don’t remember this scene in any episode of season 2… Is it deleted material? Will there be deleted scenes in the DVD release?
There's another missing segment that was in the trailer. There was a shot of what seemed like Technical Boy entering a big white house filled with young people vaping and visibly high. There was smoke everywhere, and I thought we would meet the Drug God(s) described in the book.
Thought 2: Background details
I just realized that season 2 of American Gods used the background much more than previously.
I mean… There’s all the stuff hidden in the newspaper - like in the Argus episode, where the headline is about Illuminati spying on your life. There’s all the background television stuff - the rabbit journalist for Easter, New Media disguised in Motel America… And when New Media appears, if you pay attention to the background, you see it’s a ton of pictures of her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and all other social medias.
It’s just like the Somewhere in America - some where hidden so well a lot of people missed them, like with the shot of the CEO’s headquarters.
And the fact this season played so much the card of subtle background details only hit me with the finale episode.
For example, the fact that the New Gods defeat is only showed through a brief emergency broadcast message. If you don’t pause to read it, you don’t understand what’s happening and you’re left confused. Or when they mention the Kentucky chemical accident. They don’t say it clearly - but that was how humans explained Easter taking spring away.
I really feel that rewatching the season will make it better than at the first watch.
Thought 3: About Technical Boy new incarnation
I was wondering what would be the next incarnation of Technical Boy, given that his personas are all based around technology and we haven’t had yet a new technological revolution. I mean smartphones, computers, video games, programming and virtual reality are still the best of technology.
But I loved this new version of Technical Boy. Because he not merely a god of technology anymore. I mean, yes he is, but he is much more.
As Mister World said, fear is the key. Technical Boy 2.0 (I wonder how they’ll call him) is a god made out of fear.
He is the fear that technology will grow bigger and stronger than humanity. He is the embodiment of us losing control over our creation. He is the god of all the computers that become clever than the humans, he is the face of the nano-technology that can repair itself and of the grey goo, he is the deity of the robots that become self-aware and gain consciousness. The AI pushed to some 2001: Space Odyssey level.
In short, Technical Boy is not merely a god of technology anymore.
He is now the god of transhumanism.
Just type transhumanism in Google : the first thing that pops up is a parody of Michel-Angelo “The Creation of Adam”. Which is exactly what the New Technical Boy refers to.
PS: I also realized that the show made his name “Technical Boy”, so more tragic. He is the Technical Boy because he can never grow old and become a full-fledged adult. He stays stuck inside short period of times. He is young and powerful but burns fast and is always replaced by the new trend or technological revolution. Hence why he always stays a boy. He will never be able to become a man - not until technology reaches its peak of perfection.
Thought 4: Technical Boy chronology
(This is based on the info release by the Twitter account of American Gods and by Neil Gaiman in an interview)
The first incarnation of the technology god was “The Telegraph Boy”. A god created by, as his name indicate, the place the telegraph took into the American society, and the marvels it brought to the world. Given that the Telegraph Boy is probably not born the minute the telegraph was invented (he appeared only when the telegraph became a common and well-known technology used by everyone) I guess he appeared around the 1850s.
Then followed the Telephone Boy that we saw in Donar the Great, replacing the Telegraph Boy. I would say he probably appeared in the 1900s, when the telephone became a hit in the US.
Neil Gaiman mentionned the “Telephone Boy” as his new incarnation. I guess Television Boy appeared when television became the big stuff, in the 1950s. (I have to note that the inclusion of the Television Boy in here makes me wonder if the Telephone Boy didn’t had a hand in the radio technology too, another thing I thought was purely Media-related, but apparently Media and Technical Boy always coexisted together in a way).
Now, we get to the Technical Boy we all know and hated loved. I can’t remember if the show gave us an exact date for the Technical Boy “creation” but I guess it was between the 90s and the 2000s. What’s interesting is that before, apparently all of the incarnations of the Technological God were based on one main technology. Here, the Technical Boy embodies a ton of different technologies that, as a whole, changed human life. Computers and smartphones, video games and virtual reality, the Internet.The embodiment of the concept of “web life”.
And now, we have the new incarnation of Technical Boy - named Quantum Boy. I don’t know exactly what year the second season is supposed to be in, 2018 or 2019, I’ll have to check, but there he is. My guess for now is that he is the god of a higher type of technology, like nanotechnology and robotic. He seems also to be the god of all the fears surrounding technology and all the philosophies we created. The grey goo scenario. The AI running over the world. The self-aware robots. The computers more intelligent than human. The self-repairing machines. Transhumanism with all the questions, dangers, hopes and terrors it brings to the human race. A posthuman god. The deity of technological singularity.
Man… I can still remember the overweight acneic geek that Tech Boy was in the books… And now we get the Quantum Boy? He sure got a long way… I’m proud of ma boy!