American Gods Apparently Solved Its Marilyn Manson Problem [SPOILERS]

By the time the credits rolled just as we were getting the reunion we were waiting for, Sunday night's episode of STARZ's adaptation of Neil Gaiman's American Gods continued what's been an impressive season so far. Laura's (Emily Browning) return to the land of the living caught Mr. Ibis (Demore Barnes) and Salim (Omid Abtahi) by surprise before she and Salim headed out so Laura could find Wednesday (Ian McShane) and kill him- but not before a bite to eat. Meanwhile, Shadow (Ricky Whittle) and Cordelia (Ashley Reyes) pulled off a perfect "Number 37" to help Wednesday free Demeter (Blythe Danner)- but Shadow can't help feeling there's something much direr in play. And to say that this was a defining episode for Bilquis (Yetide Badaki) and Tech Boy (Bruce Langley) would be the biggest understatement of the season. But what about the matter of Marilyn Manson, whose character Johan Wengren was removed from the series after Westworld actress Evan Rachel Wood and others went public with accusations of abuse against Manson aka Brian Warner. Tonight's episode was reportedly supposed to focus heavily on his character and storyline, and we've speculated if they would attempt to recast, or remove the storyline in much the same way they handled the Easter storyline heading into the second season. Well, it appears we have a sense of where that's going in tonight's "Sister Rising"- and we'll meet you on the other side of the spoiler buffer image to offer our thoughts right after we throw on the "MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!" sign.

american gods
Image: STARZ

The first thing you need to know is that visually, there's no reference to the Wengren storyline. Conversationally, there's an exchange between Shadow and Wednesday after Shadow goes to visit dear old dad in the same home that Demeter is at. Shadow calls out Wednesday for going as dramatic as he did by blowing up Valhalla East, with Shadow taking exception and saying that it was clearly the act of "a berserker who evidently went berserk" before moving on. And with that, we think it's pretty safe to say that Manson's storyline will be treated like it didn't even exist. Could it be easy to write him off as getting the blame for the explosion and then being killed escaping from the police? Absolutely- but we're not expecting this road to be traveled down any time soon. And if that means more time for the other, much more deserving storylines then even better.

"American Gods" is the epic story of an inevitable war building between the Old Gods of mythology and our New Gods of technology. Whittle stars as ex-con Shadow Moon, a man pulled into the service of the mysterious Mr. Wednesday, played by Ian McShane ("Deadwood", John Wick) — only to discover that not only is his charismatic but un-trustable boss actually the Norse All-Father god Odin, he's also…Shadow's father.

In Season Three, Shadow angrily pushes this apparent destiny away and settles in the idyllic snowy town of Lakeside, Wisconsin — to make his own path, guided by the gods of his Black ancestors, the Orishas. But he'll soon discover that this town's still waters run deep, and dark, and bloody, and that you don't get to simply reject being a god. The only choice — and a choice you have to make — is what kind of god you're going to be.

STARZ'S American Gods stars Ricky Whittle (The 100, Austenland) as 'Shadow Moon,' Ian McShane (Deadwood, Ray Donovan) as Mr. Wednesday, Emily Browning (Sucker Punch, The Affair) as Laura Moon, Yetide Badaki (Aquarius, This Is Us) as Bilquis, Bruce Langley (Deadly Waters) as Tech Boy, Omid Abtahi (The Mandalorian, Damien) as Salim, Ashley Reyes (Night Has Settled) as Cordelia, Crispin Glover (Back to the Future) as World, Demore Barnes (12 Monkeys, Waco) as Mr. Ibis, Devery Jacobs (Cardinal, The Order) as Sam Black Crow, and Blythe Danner (Huff, Will & Grace) as Demeter.

The series also stars Julia Sweeney (Shrill, Saturday Night Live) as Hinzelmann, Iwan Rheon (Game of Thrones, InHumans) as Liam Doyle, Danny Trejo (Machete) as World, Peter Stormare (Fargo, Prison Break) as Czernobog, Denis O'Hare (True Blood, Dallas Buyers Club) as Tyr, Lela Loren (Power, Altered Carbon) as Marguerite Olsen, Dominique Jackson (Pose) as World, Wale (American Honey, Godfather of Harlem) as Chango, Herizen Guardiola (The Get Down) as Oshun, and Eric Johnson (The Girlfriend Experience, Vikings) as Chad Mulligan.

American Gods Season 3 Trailer: Shadow Moon Can't Outrun His Destiny (Image: STARZ)
American Gods Season 3 Trailer: Shadow Moon Can't Outrun His Destiny (Image: STARZ)

Produced by Fremantle with Executive Producer Charles H. Eglee serving as showrunner, STARZ's American Gods is based on author and EP Neil Gaiman's modern classic novel. Anne Kenney, Damian Kindler, David Paul Francis, Mark Tinker, Ian McShane, Craig Cegielski, and Stefanie Berk also executive produce.

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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