‘American Gods’ recap: We already worship Media
This recap contains spoilers for American Gods Season 1, episode 2, titled “The Secret of Spoons.”
We already got a sneak peek of Orlando Jones’ showstopping debut as Mr. Nancy, thanks to an explosive preview clip, and Czernobog and the Zorya sisters have been spotted in posters and teasers. But Gillian Anderson’s Media has been a more elusive creature — and she was definitely worth the wait.
Media — a New God who represents our obsession with entertainment and celebrity culture — will take many forms throughout the season, and the first was Lucy Ricardo from I Love Lucy, whom Gillian Anderson channeled with hypnotic accuracy.
Unlike Technical Boy, Media was patient and beguiling; she knows you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar, and did her best to charm Shadow into abandoning Wednesday, rather than beating him to a pulp and trying to lynch him.
In the process, she explained who she was — and also managed to nail who we are as a viewers:
“The screen’s the altar, I’m the one they sacrifice to — then ’til now, Golden Age to Golden Age. They sit side by side, ignore each other and give it up to me. Now they hold a smaller screen in their lap or the palm of their hand so they don’t get bored watching the big one. Time and attention: better than lamb’s blood.”
I’m writing this surrounded by three screens, so she knows her audience.
It’s a perfect encapsulation of why the New Gods are so powerful, because they have stolen our attention. “We’re the coming thing; we are already here,” she points out. “We are self-driving cars and 3D printers and subdermal time-release insulin, and your old boss is still selling oranges on the side of the road — not even organic. We are now, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, and he ain’t even yesterday anymore.”
Shadow walks away from her, for now — despite Media’s saucy offer to let Shadow “see Lucy’s tits” — but it won’t be the last we see of her; as showrunner Bryan Fuller has previously teased, we’ll also see Media in the guise of Marilyn Monroe, David Bowie, and Judy Garland before the season is out.
We’re counting the minutes.
American Gods airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on Starz.