In the season finale, Shadow has a come-to-Jesus moment, literally, as Wednesday moves to convince a powerful goddess to join his war.
Beware the Goddess of Spoilers…
A Merger with a Queen
Sitting in Mr. Nancy’s parlor waiting for his new suit to be finished, Shadow is having a difficult time dealing with the decapitation of Vulcan. Nancy offers a story of Biliquis to help Shadow understand their next mission, even if Shadow won’t realize the full meaning until later.
The Queen of Sheba once had many followers who happily gave themselves in an orgy at her temple. Kings don’t like it when women have such power, but she consumed each one who came to dethrone her. Biliquis’ supremacy remained as she roamed Iran during the 70’s. Men are angry this time, not jealous, at her ability to create life and “anger gets shit done.” Biliquis is chased to America, but there the AIDS epidemic of the 80’s diminishes her.
Lost and without followers, the former Queen is living on the streets. At her lowest, she is approached by Technical Boy bearing the gift of survival, a smart phone equipped with the new Sheba app (think Tinder). “Worship is a volume business,” says Technical Boy. “Whosoever has the most followers wins the game.” And Biliquis is reborn, but she still longs for her multitude worshipers and temple.
A Queen of His Own
Since the New Gods have acquired a queen, Wednesday needs his own to fight back. Hence the trip to Nancy’s for a spider-silk suit. If you are going to crash a goddess’ fancy dress party, you better look the part.
At a gorgeously plush mansion in Kentucky, we meet the Goddess of the Spring, Ostara (AKA Easter). On this Sunday in April, seven days after the vernal equinox, a gaggle of Jesuses and other vestiges of Christian’s view of Easter gather for Ostara’s party. Surrounded by a deity he can recognize, it all finally clicks in place for Shadow. All he has seen have been the divine work of gods.
The shock doesn’t last long as Shadow is instantly charmed by Easter, who is practically purring in adoration of Shadow (Ricky Whittle is a beautiful man, but in that suit, I’m purring too). Wednesday, she is less than thrilled to see, but that won’t stop him. Easter scoffs at the idea of going to war, she still has her followers. Wednesday deftly reminds her the holiday has been taken over by her party guests, “you’re as forgotten and unloved and unremembered as any of us.” The Jesuses feel guilty they have taken her followers because Jesus is nothing but gracious and considerate.
More Party Crashers
Before Wednesday can get a declaration from Easter, a cute bunny whispers in her ear. A broken-down ice cream truck has arrived. Easter is very put out with an angry leprechaun and a dead girl crashing her celebration, but Easter owes Sweeny a favor. He has come to have her resurrect Laura. Unfortunately, Laura’s death came at the hands of a god and Easter cannot interfere. Before she can explain any more, another bunny comes to inform Easter of more guests. I’m willing to bet Laura knows exactly who is behind her death, but she holds Sweeny hostage by the balls until he admits it to her. He confesses he ran her off the road on the orders of Wednesday.
Easter is shocked to see Media and the faceless henchman at her party. Media going full Judy Garland and the henchman as Fred Astaire ala Easter Parade, has come to celebrate with Easter. “We popularized the pagan. We practically invented brunch,” Media exclaims. Wednesday waltzes outside to confront Media as the sunny day starts to turn stormy. Technical Boy and Mr. World quickly appear to help Media.
The Rights of Spring
Media snarls at Easter, she and Saint Nick are only relevant because of “religious Darwinism.” Media saved the pagan holidays by popularizing them with Christians. Wednesday lightning strikes the henchman as a sacrifice to Easter and encourages her to show the New Gods just how powerful she can be without them. Wednesday declares himself as Odin to Shadow who is coming more to terms with the ordeal he finds himself tangled in.
Easter waves her arms and fully embraces her power and clears the stormy skies to reveal the most perfect spring day. Then she lets her hair down and takes it all back. Across the nation trees become bare, crops wither, and the budding plants retreat back into the earth. “Tell the believers and the nonbelievers, tell them we’ve taken the spring,” Wednesday declares, smugly. “They can have it back when they pray for it.”
The New Gods look in terror at what has happened and realize they are at war. Before the confrontation can come to a head, Laura interrupts wanting a word with Shadow.
Ace in the Pocket?
As the episode comes to a close, we rejoin Biliquis on a bus bound for House on the Rock in Wisconsin. She has been sent there by Technical Boy looking to cash in on the favor she owes him.
As much as I love Kristin Chenoweth as Easter and Jeremy Davis as the White Jesus, I found the season finale a bit lackluster. It felt more like a penultimate episode than a finale. A great deal of set up with a resolution not coming until next year.
Shadow finally realizing his predicament came off as a bit more comical than revelatory, mostly because we as an audience have either read the book or made use of Google after the first episode. We knew what was up from the beginning and watching Shadow put it all in place made the character come off as slow.
I might not be overwhelmed by the finale, but I am ready for Season 2! Too bad we have so long to wait for it.
About the author: The Nerdling has an unhealthy obsession with books, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Star Wars. She finds hockey to be the best sport in the world (Go Dallas Stars!) and is working on her first novel, but mostly glowers at a blank screen. You can find her on Twitter @nerdlingstale