American Gods Season 3 has been following the Lakeside storyline which seems to be working well. This is an immensely charming place with many dark secrets to be revealed soon. Last episode we saw Shadow Moon trying to settle into Lakeside. During which he makes amends with his new property manager, Marguerite. And as he attends a memorial for Zorya, Alison a young girl in town goes missing. Mr. Wednesday while making efforts to gain support for war learns of Demeter’s location. And Bilquis who was staying in New York has consumed yet another person. This week’s American Gods follows up with the story which may seem uneventful but only builds up the story. It gives a few subtle hints here and there yet manages to curtail the mystery within.
This American Gods episode starts with an epilogue showing West Pennsylvania in 1765. An all-woman family was having a tough time farming when one of the daughters falls ill. The mother decides to do an ancient ritual to Goddess of Harvey, Demeter. She does so by sacrificing a pig and spreading its entrails around the field. This is a reference to the ancient festival Themophoria which is dedicated to Demeter. This was done in order to ensure human as well as agricultural prosperity. The ritual is done using a corn husk doll surrounded by pig entrails which transforms into the spirit of Harvest, Demeter herself. And as she appears, fields start harvesting themselves meaning that the ritual worked.
Mr. Wednesday and Demeter
In the last episode, Mr. Wednesday finds out Demeter’s address, therefore, prepares to go meet her. Then he sees on television that Johan Wengren had declared that four of his band members had died and the one’s responsible will answer to God of Justice in Asgard. Considering he was just about to leave, he brushes off the topic for now.
Wednesday and Cordelia reach outside Haven Glen Retreat which Wednesday believes is owned by Demeter. As he wonders what to gift her, he enters the building only to find out it was a mental institution. And Demeter chose the place as only the people there were crazy enough to worship an old ancient Olympian God in America.
Later, Cordelia prepares a marriage certificate so that Wednesday could get Demeter out of the institution. Cordelia is confused when Wednesday asks her to put down the year as 1779 so puts down 1979. But, judging from the opening sequence, we can understand that she met Wednesday after she appeared then in 1765. And now it had been 250 years since he had last seen her. Mr. Wednesday is able to convince the man in charge that Demeter is his wife. And claims to have the right to remove her from the institution. Demeter on the other hand had become quite fond of the institution and doesn’t really want to leave. But she would readily leave if Wednesday can start being honest with her, which is quite difficult for him. Demeter feels that Wednesday had now become old and desperate but is unable to recognise what’s making him so desperate.
We get to see Laura back in the series after she dies when she lets go of the coin while giving it to Mad Sweeney. Now she appears to be in some sort of elevator to hell but she was actually going to purgatory. A place where it is decided where people will be sent further. The people here seemed to be from different religions and times. And also there was a giant clock with no hands on it suggesting that time had collapsed. Laura acts rude with everyone and eventually steals an orange card.
Doing so, she is chased by a black void monster into a room with an AV guy and 1984 Usher girl. They put on a VHS tape of her life but Laura ridicules them claiming she knows she was the problem. She helped her father to cheat on her mother but after she watches the tape objectively, she realises that wasn’t the case. She was just a little girl while she was dragged down by horrible behaviour of her parent. We can see that she starts to forgive herself finding peace. Which makes sense as purgatory is known to be a place for purification before being sent to heaven.
In the last episode of American Gods, we see Bilquis consume one of the biggest IT CEO, Bill Sanders. But now we follow up with her in her New York apartment where she is seen pondering over her decision to do so. It is not known what is wrong with her and why was doing so affecting her. But we see her checking his phone to see a text from his granddaughter. This may be the reason for her worry as she may be feeling guilty over her actions but that seems highly unlikely. Just then, someone literally starts breaking into her room by sawing the lock off. She immediately grabs the peacock feathers out of which she takes out a hook-shaped weapon and prepares to defend herself.
Shadow Moon’s Quests
Back in Lakeside, Shadow and Marguerite have taken part in a search party for Alison McGovern. Where they are handed out analogue cameras by Ann-Marie Hinzelmann as she is afraid of the internet. She doesn’t want them to share the pictures and would like to process them herself. As she doesn’t want Lakeside’s secrets to go out. In their search Shadow finds a feather which could be of the Thunderbird but judging from the colour it could also be one of Wednesday’s Raven’s. Later as he has a chat with Marguerite, he finds a book on Herodotus and learns that she has some interest in its history. Shadow even meets her youngest son, Leon while her oldest son, Sandy was missing. Later as Shadow ponders over records of Lakeside, he sees a pattern in the missing children. And feels that it could also be the case for Sandy.
Shadow dozes off when he sees Bilquis who asks him to go find her. As Shadow Moon wipes the frost of a freezer, he sees 3 goddesses, Aje, Oshin and Yemoja who were there in some way to guide him. So, in order to find Bilquis, Shadow calls up Wednesday asking for her address. He gets the address but also is asked to check the situation with Technical Boy. As he reaches New York, he finds a peacock symbol when he relates to the one he saw in the forest. When he enters the room, he finds blood all over the floor with a shaken up Technical Boy.
This week’s American Gods episode titled “Ashes and Demons” again didn’t have much to do with action. But, instead had its focus set on story building. The story is paced quite slow and may make the viewers ponder whether to watch further or not. But ones who have read the book may be able to see the subtle hints of the story progression. Next week we will see Shadow and Technical Boy try to work together to find Bilquis who seems to have been captured. She is integral to both and must be cooperative. Meanwhile, we will see how Wednesday deals with the situation with Johan. And as we move forward we will learn much more of Thunderbird and it’s significance with Lakeside. But as of now, there is very less for us to go with. There are a few secrets creating intrigue among viewers carrying the current season.
You can watch all episodes by American Gods on Amazon Prime Video.