In Review: American Gods (S3 – Ep2) Serious Moonlight

Shadow explores his oddly welcoming new town before heading to Chicago for a gathering of the Old Gods on Koliada, an ancient Slavic festival
Serious Moonlight

Synopsis: In ‘Serious Moonlight’. Shadow explores his oddly welcoming new town before heading to Chicago for a gathering of the Old Gods on Koliada, an ancient Slavic festival. At the Koliada, Wednesday reconnects with his oldest friend, and Salim mourns the unexpected end of his relationship with The Jinn.

 

The Story

‘Serious Moonlight’ offers little in the way of story development and seems to rest squarely on Shadow Moon deciding on what direction to take. To begin with, we see Shadow exploring Lakeside, which is a quaint town where everyone knows your business. Furthermore, the town has a legend attached to with regards to its founder. Which may or may not be important. At this stage, it is hard to say. While in the town Shadow has another one of those strange dreams, which will no doubt be important later on.

Meanwhile, elsewhere Bliquis has computer troubles and calls in the IT guy. The lengths a Goddess will go to for some take out. Back in the 80s, it was pizza. Now it’s IT, guys. Either way, when her Godhood is challenged. The guy becomes another happy meal.

After having gone to some trouble to get there. Shadow Moon makes it to Chicago where he has a reunion with a grief-stricken  Czernobog who would still love nothing more than to smash Shadows head in with his giant hammer. Shadows head is saved when Mr. Wednesday aka Odin turns up, which is when the party begins. Shadow goes to the roof for his meeting with Zorya Polunochnaya who tells him that he will soon have to make a choice on what direction he takes. Join Mr. Wednesday or try and live out his normal life. Armed with these pearls of wisdom.

Shadow heads back to Lakeside where the friendliness he had left behind has turned to suspicion. He is immediately taken to the station for questioning by town Sherrif. A guy named Chad. Managing to give a satisfying explanation Shadow is allowed to go and returns to his rented apartment where when gathering firewood. He has a close encounter with a peacock. No, it wasn’t an NBC exec.

 

The Acting

Ricky Whittle does lots of heavy lifting for this episode as Shadow Moon gets to know the townsfolk of Lakeshore and reunites with his old mucker Czernobog. While in the town he gets some pretty good scenes with Eric Johnson who plays Sherriff Chad. Which gets flipped later on where Chad has to take a more business-like approach. Added to this Shadow Moon has an interesting relationship with his landlady, which starts as hostile, but warms a little, but not too much.

The scenes in Chicago are the only ones as far as I can see that further the plot in any meaningful way. The only plot development seems to be Wednesday making sure that Czernbog will still standby him. Likewise, Shadow Moon’s only reason for being there is maybe to get spiritual insight from Zorya. But also meet Wednesday’s new driver who has a similar past to Shadow, only she has computer hacking experience.

Ian McShane continues to rock as Wednesday and the scenes he has with Peter Stormare are fun. The only other business we see is a meeting with another god posing as a Dentist, which is basically so Wednesday can steal a postcard.

 

Overall

Somehow this week’s episode managed to be slower-paced than last week’s. ‘Serious Moonlight’ manages to throw out a few more questions, but very little happens to move the plot forward. Bliquis has her moment, which ends with her vomiting, which suggests that her feasting on the IT guy was not such a good idea. A Mcdonald’s may have been a healthier option. Why was she sick. Perhaps because IT Guy was her only means of reaching out to new worshippers. I guess we’ll find out eventually.

We also get teased with a mystery surrounding the town of Lakeshore. A mystery, which I think could focus on Shadow Moon’s landlady and the Peacock. Indeed the mythology surrounding the origins of the town and founder sounds a tad on the esoteric side. May it be a place of importance in Wednesday’s plans maybe? Who knows.

Overall. There is just enough bite-size pieces to keep viewers coming back, but I strongly feel that they need to start feeding us slightly bigger chunks.

 

9.1
American Gods (S3 - Ep2) Serious Moonlight
  • Story
    7.8
  • Acting
    9.3
  • CGI & Stunts
    9.6
  • Incidental Music
    9.5

Ian Cullen is the founder of scifipulse.net and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: www.scifipulseradio.com When he is not writing for scifipulse.net Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of scifipulse.net You can contact ian at: [email protected]
6 Comments on this post.
  • Raissa Devereux (@RaissaDevereux)
    18 January 2021 at 1:47 pm -

    The book is long with lots of world-building, but it has much better pacing. Everything will pay off, but several subplots have been added to justify an ongoing show, and there just getting in the way. I’ll just wait until the whole season’s out to watch.

  • Dominic Walsh
    18 January 2021 at 5:01 pm -

    I kind of preferred Shadow’s characterisation in the book where it described how he had been “a shy, quiet, bookish kid and that had been painful”. According to TV Tropes Shadow is more villainous in this adaptation as well, ie it’s his idea to rob Laura’s casino where she works.

    • Ian Cullen
      18 January 2021 at 8:04 pm -

      That’s not how I remember the first season mate. I think Laura was still the instigator of that. I also don’t really see Shadow Moon as a villain in this. Easily led maybe, but not a villain. It’s a bit more nuanced than that.

  • Dominic Walsh
    18 January 2021 at 8:40 pm -

    To be fair I haven’t seen all of the first season. I only know what I read on TV Tropes. Sorry for confusion.

  • Dominic Walsh
    18 January 2021 at 9:39 pm -
    • Ian Cullen
      18 January 2021 at 10:33 pm -

      Yeah. Come to think of it. I do remember him trying to scam the casino initially, but he was not particularly good at it. It’s only really when he meets Laura that he actually has any kind of plan for it. The plan basically being hers. It has just been a while since I saw the first season because I think it was back in 2016.

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