“Once upon a time…a man got fucked.”

1697. A slave ship. A very modern man is explaining to the cargo what there life will be like in America when they reach shore. Getting them worked up, they burn the ship, choosing to die rather than suffer their fate. So starts episode 2 of American Gods, the STARZ original series based on Neil Gaiman’s modern classic novel.

Picking up with Shadow rescued from a new god by Mr. Wednesday he goes home and sifts through a box of his wife’s possessions. The big mistake? Going through her phone. He zeros in on the texts between her and his former best friend Robbie, whom she was having an affair with. What does he find? You guessed it…a dick pic. An exclamation point to the age old male paradox…we don’t want to know and we HAVE to know. Before Shadow has a chance to sink into self pity and anger, he and Wednesday are off to Chicago. While picking up a few things at the local store for Wednesday, Shadow comes across the TV section and Lucille Ball (Gillian Anderson) starts talking to him. She is the new god Media and tries to recruit him. A little freaked out, he makes his way to Wednesday and the two trek to Chicago.

Their mission is to gather Slavic god Czernobog (Peter Stormare), along with Zorya Vechernyaya, the Evening Star, Zorya Utrennyaya, the Morning Star, and Zorya Polunochnaya, the Midnight Star. The conversation during dinner is hostile but when Shadow accepts a challenge to his life over a game of checkers, things get quietly exciting. It take s a certain skill to make a checkers game interesting, let alone mesmerizing, but with this game, all you can do is watch. This ends with a tense cliffhanger that makes me fearful for Shadow’s life next week.

AMERICAN GODS Eps. 2 digs deeper into the mythology as it unfolds and makes it clear that the old gods are preparing to battle the new. Technology has become self aware and that is a frightening prospect. More over, it is what has happened in real life. WHen you watch Sunday worship on your TV, who are you really worshiping? God and Jesus…or Time Warner?

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