Like we have come to expect from the intro scenes in American Gods, the scene at the beginning of “A Murder of Gods” is no different; brilliant and brutal. We get to witness people illegally attempting to cross the border from Mexico to the US, who are swiftly met with a road block in the form of a hail of bullets. The God in this scenario is Jesus. He is helping these people attempting to escape the carnage but by doing so, he is shot by one of the Americans. It is worth mentioning that this is the Mexican Jesus, and as it has been mentioned before, there are several based on people’s regions/beliefs/understandings.
The moment that Jesus is shot through his palm we are treated to a close up glimpse of the rifle that shot him. Engraved down the barrel is “Thy Kingdom Come”. There is a strong difference here between the two groups and how their faith has guided them. One group who are truly faithful, and the other who disguise their faith to justify their acts of violence.
This is where the newest god to enter the fray, and that’s Vulcan. The reimagined Roman god of fire, he has set up shop in a town where he runs an ammunition factory. Each bullet emblazoned with his name on the base providing him with ample following and power. Wednesday attempts to recruit Vulcan in his fight against the New Gods, but is met with failure. After realising that the New Gods had beaten him to the punch, he hatches a plan to remove Vulcan from play. He convinces Vulcan to forge a blade a blade like no other, to go back to his roots and create something with his own hands, not mass produced. Once the blade is created Wednesday makes a swift move to decapitate Vulcan, much to Shadow’s horror, and throw his body in to one of the vats of molten metal.
Up until this point we have primarily been kept informed with the travels of Shadow (Ricky Whittle) and Wednesday (Ian McShane), however Mad Sweeney (Pablo Schreiber) and Laura Moon (Emily Browning) have been on their own adventure after they had joined up with Salim. Laura has realised that she is in a bit of a bind now after Shadow had left her behind at the hotel. And now with the everlasting bright light that is the beacon of Shadow, she feels the need to follow this and figure out her role in all of this. Mad Sweeney is still continuing his string of bad luck, and trying to find ways to get his lucky coin back in order to fix the hole that it has created. Salim’s quest to find his Jinn appears to the most pure, as he is driving toward the direction of Mecca in search of his Jinn. Watching these three interact with each other supplies us with some great banter, mainly between Sweeney and Laura, or his affectionate name for her, Dead Wife. Salim remains relatively quiet, with Sweeney making a few jabs about his love for Jinn.
It will be interesting to see how they continue this leading in to the next episode, and to see if any of the conflicts created come to a close.
Check out the promo for episode five below: