American Gods A Murder of Gods Review
Starz‘s American Gods: Season 1, Episode 6: A Murder of Gods featured a concerted effort by multiple parties to keep Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) away from Laura Moon (Emily Browning). A Murder of Gods also featured a brief expansion of the gods roster in American Gods and a practical example of faith franchised.
The new god and franchised faith introduced in A Murder of Gods was that of Vulcan (Corbin Bernsen) and Vulcan, Virginia. America, the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, and the right to bare arms were front and center during the Vulcan, Virginia section of A Murder of Gods.
The god of the Volcano and the forge exploited gun manufacturing, the Second Amendment, and the right to bare arms beautifully. Vulcan manipulated the people of Vulcan like a skilled politician – he got them to assimilate, work, market, and perform one action or sets of actions, believing that it was for this while it served that – a secondary function completely out of the purview and notice of the public. Like what Mr. World and Media proposed in Lemon Scented You to Mr Wednesday, Vulcan had taken full agenda of their off-screen branding offer. The branding plan, in motion, was ingenious and highly effective. Through Mr. World and Media’s aid, Vulcan had successfully created a subterfugial cult of worship.
What wasn’t hidden below the surface in A Murder of Gods was Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane) and Mad Sweeney (Pablo Schreiber)’s desire to keep Shadow and Laura Moon separated. Mr. Wednesday wanted to keep his traveling companion. Laura Moon, her influence, and Shadow’s lingering feelings for her might have gotten in the way of that. Mad Sweeney didn’t want Laura to reunite with Shadow, at least until she was resurrected, because there would be little-to-no chance that he would ever get his lucky coin back if that occurred. Even-though Mr. Wednesday: a.) saved Shadow’s life by extracting the tree parasite and b.) edified Shadow on Mr. World, the trees, and worship, the latter of which went right over Shadow’s head because of the pain he was enduring, it was Mad Sweeney, to the chagrin of all, who was the most clever. He gave Laura something to desire more alluring than a fruitful relationship with Shadow i.e. resurrection. It was unclear during A Murder of Gods whether this effort to keep the Moons separated was coordinated or not. What was clear was that Mr. Wednesday and Mad Sweeney were completely self-motivated, putting their agendas first, and the Moons happiness and welfare second.
Almost every episode of American Gods begins with a chapter that deals with belief in some way, shape, or form, separate from the main narrative of the episode. A Murder of Gods was one of the episodes that began in this way. The A Murder of Gods‘ novelette involved the crossing of the Rio Grande by illegal aliens and the shooting of a Christ-like figure. The perpetrators were murderous American psychopaths bent on protecting the U.S. / Mexico border with lethal force (like Jeffrey Dean Morgan in Desierto), using weapons adorned with scripture and holding religious symbols.
Guns and warped patriotism were big themes in A Murder of Gods while the theme of – by killing those you hate, you may be killing your own salvation as well – was a subliminal message that resided only in the episode’s opening verse.
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