Last week's episode of STARZ's American Gods "The Beguiling Man" effectively transitioned us from the premiere's "opening salvo" to a much-needed (and storyline-sensible) regrouping by the Old Gods to recruit… and rearm. Along the way, we saw some interesting pairings and unique character dynamics, some (slightly heavy-handed) backstory for Shadow (Ricky Whittle), a fine example of "fight foreplay," and an ending that pretty much winked at us as it embraced its deconstructed homage to the "damsel in distress ties to the railroad tracks" cliche.
Except this "damsel in distress" is a still-quite-dead Laura (Emily Browning) – and she's not tied to the tracks: she's too busy on board a train, shoving bad guys onto missile heads and crushing skulls while trying to save Shadow.
And then we learned where Wednesday (Ian McShane) and Mr. Nancy (Orlando Jones) were going…
In the following preview for this week's episode "Muninn," clearly some things get cleaned-up from last episode's cliffhanger as the teams get moving on their respective missions, Shadow makes a new friend(?) – and we get to meet New Media (Kahyun Kim) in all her social media glory:
American Gods s02e03 "Muninn": As he is tracked by Mr. World, Shadow makes his way to Cairo, thanks to a ride from Sam Black Crow. Mr. Wednesday slyly gains Laura's help in forging an alliance with a powerful god. Mr. World introduces Technical Boy to New Media and assigns them a very important task.
American Gods has some new players in play this season who will definitely complicate Shadow's journey of self and spiritual discovery:
Dean Winters' brutally efficient and precise Mr. Town is tasked by Mr. World to learn what Shadow knows about Wednesday's plan.
First Nations actor Devery Jacobs is college student Sam Black Crow: a spiritually cynical young woman who lives her life with fierce confidence and openness, selling her chainsaw art by the roadside for extra money.
Kahyun Kim's New Media is the goddess of global content: a cyberspace chameleon who's also a master manipulator.
Sakina Jaffrey's Hindu war goddess Mama-Ji: a waitress at the Motel America, her necklace of skulls, acerbic wit and free spirit make her a match for any mighty god or man.
For those of you who need a refresher course on the first season, two options: a down-n-dirty 3 minute recap, or a slightly longer deep-dive into the overall story and mythology:
We were forged in God's image, but the Gods are also made in ours — and in Season Two the battle moves inexorably toward crisis point as the destinies of gods and men collide. While Mr. World plots revenge for the attack against him in Season One, Shadow throws in his lot with Wednesday's attempt to convince the Old Gods of the case for full-out war, with Laura and Mad Sweeney in tow. A council at the House on the Rock explodes into chaos, sending deities both Old and New on quests across America that will converge on Cairo, Illinois: forcing Shadow to carve out a place as a believer in this strange new world of living gods — a dark world where change demands commitment, and faith requires terrible sacrifice.
American Gods stars Ricky Whittle, Ian McShane, Emily Browning, Pablo Schreiber, Crispin Glover, Yetide Badaki, Bruce Langley, Mousa Kraish, Omid Abtahi, Demore Barnes, Peter Stormare, Sakina Jaffrey, Dean Winters, Devery Jacobs, Kahyun Kim, Derek Theler, Laura Bell Bundy, and Christian Lloyd.
American Gods season 2 airs on STARZ on Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/PT.