American Gods Episode 2 recap: Shadow Moon plays high-stakes checkers with Slavic god

Shadow Moon and Mr Wednesday make their way via back roads to Chicago on American Gods

Episode 2 of American Gods begins with a brief flashback to a slave ship in the 1600s.

A slave is praying to his god asking to be freed from his chains. He gets more than he bargained for when the god appears and creates an uprising in which all the slaves revolt and burn the Dutch ship while making their escape.

Back in the present day, Shadow Moon has managed to get himself some hospital treatment after being lynched by Technical Boy’s minions.

The hospital ask if he was shot and say that, if so, they’d need to call in the police. Shadow says no, he wasn’t shot, and that he doesn’t want any police.

After having discharged himself from the ER, Shadow goes to the hotel where Mr. Wednesday has booked in.

He finds Wednesday having some recreational fun with a young woman.

He tells Wednesday about Technical Boy’s threat to delete everything. Wednesday seems to be fairly non-committal at first, but then tells Shadow that they will even the score.

After this, Shadow returns to his home to pack up his dead wife’s things.

While there he finds a box of her belongings with her old cell phone in. He looks on the phone and finds a series of revealing text messages and an intimate photo of his dead best friend.

After packing up, Shadow meets back up with Wednesday and they hit the back roads to Chicago for a meeting with the slavic god Czernobog.

Czernobog using his hammer to bash cattle

As they are just hitting Chicago, Wednesday has Shadow run a few errands in a super market. He is pretty much getting some gifts for Czernobog and his family.

While picking up the shopping, Shadow sees ‘I Love Lucy’ on the TV and actress Lucille Ball literally starts speaking to him through the television.

Shadow pulls the plug on the television sets, but she comes back on and starts trying to recruit him to her cause.

At this point we have another brief interlude with Bilquis, who goes through an erotic montage of lovers after last week’s incredible debut scene.

After having had a full day of being worshiped the Goddess visits a museum exhibit, which is totally dedicated to her.

A satisfied Bilquis, after going through all her lovers

Having gotten the shopping Shadow returns to Wednesday and tells him about seeing Lucille Ball, aka the goddess Media, through the TV.

Wednesday tells Shadow that he has to make up his mind whether he is simply going mad or it’s the world that has gone mad.

The two men then continue on to Chicago in the car. Shadow pulls out a new cell phone and offers it to Wednesday.

The old god is far from impressed and lobs it out the car window along with Shadow’s phone.

He then proceeds to talk about the old ways of sending telegrams in a time where you had to take care what words you used because your were charged for each one.

As Wednesday and Shadow arrive in Chicago they are welcomed by Czernobog’s two sisters.

Wednesday presents his gifts to the ladies and to Czernobog, who is not very happy to see the old man.

As they all eat together, Czernobog strikes up a very colorful conversation with Shadow.

The two seem to form a somewhat awkward bond, but it’s good enough for Czernobog’s purpose of luring Shadow into a game of checkers.

Czernobog and Shadow engage in some high-stakes checkers.

Shadow agrees to play the game and the two play nicely for a time until Czernobog decides to show Shadow the hammer that he uses to slaughter cattle.

Shadow is obviously not comfortable with this as he sees blood dripping from the tool.

At this point a wager is struck. Czernobog says he’ll agree to go with Wednesday if Shadow can beat him at checkers, but if Shadow loses he will get to bash his brains in with his hammer.

The episode draws to a close as Shadow loses the game.

Czernobog says to him that it is a great shame, as Shadow was his only black friend.

American Gods Episode 2: Questions we’re left asking

1. The obvious one — how will Shadow get out of having his head bashed in?

2. What does Media want with Shadow?

3. Why our the old Gods and new ones at odds?

American Gods airs Sundays at 9/8c on Starz.

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