Saturday, April 17, 2021

American Gods: Season 3 Finale Review – “Tears of the Wrath Bearer Tree”

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American gods has all the pieces to create a layered, rich story. Visually stunning, well molded, with nuanced dissections of American culture and what does and does not do something deified at its core. And yet the sum of its parts is simply lacking. There is a void behind the stunning visuals, a bland dialogue that leaves you wanting something much bolder, and musical cues that can often make you cringe. It gets closer to the target, but still really fails to nail the point, smoothing out overly complicated story topics with twisty visual stimuli and hints rather than really defending anything at its core. weakened the beautiful patchwork quilt that this story could ultimately be. Too bad, considering that we’ve reached the climax of the story (Czernobog orgasm jokes aside).

It breaks my heart to write this as a fan of the source material and of so many people involved. The episode is – for all intents and purposes – ultimately fine, but after reading Neil Gaiman’s novel and enjoying the first season, there’s a longing for what American Gods could have really been like in you. every decision he makes, especially during such a pivotal point in history. In the season three finale, Shadow Moon finally traveled to the World Tree in the heart of America, to watch over his late father, Wednesday / Odin. He knows Laura killed Wednesday and lets her go despite the Nordic code. She hooks up with Bilquis as Shadow clings to the tree for nine hellish days and nights. In the end, that’s all that really happens until Wednesday’s and Shadow Moon’s corpses disappear. A literal storm begins to brew at the end.

Revelations unfold: Technical Boy is more than it looks, and so is Mr. World – to an extent. Perhaps the most overwhelming blow of all is that of Shadow who realized that this vigil was actually a ruse to return Odin to his most all-powerful form. Betrayal has a way to turn things around, and the finale certainly sets up an interesting “what’s to come”. Whether or not he can succeed is another matter altogether.

American Gods: Season 3 Pictures

There is a level of this Tyra Banks “we were all rooted for you!” emotion memorized in this review. Maybe we can care too much about it and be unable to just take this finale and this iteration of the tale for what it is and detach it from the story we have with the story. But from the viewer’s point of view, it all feels a bit slapdash and ultimately misses the crux of the story that was set up in its complicated and beautiful first season. Without the fury of someone like Mr. Nancy of Orlando Jones, the love of Jinn and Salim, and all the other little tales woven throughout Gaiman’s original story, American Gods doesn’t have the impression of grasping the full scope of America and what leads him.

And that – especially as a spectator in 2021 – is a very frustrating thing. Maybe for more casual fans of the story, that’s enough, but with such a complicated story, is there really such a thing? Only time and the number of people still watching (what poetry) will tell us.

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