Ian McShane of the American Gods talks about Mr. Wednesday’s Fancy Funeral Footwork
Mr. Wednesday followed his epic crowd surfing in the premiere with an even sportier performance in episode 2 on Sunday: one filled with vodka, one filled with slaps Dance / confrontation with Czernobog.
The spectacle takes place in Chicago, at a memorial service for the late, lamented Zorya Vechernyaya, who you will remember died at the premiere of the second season. Wednesday is there to mourn his fallen friend, yes, but also to continue gathering support for his holy war. At the request of Zorya Polunochnyaya, also known as the sister who gave him the moon / coin in Season 1, Shadow is also attending.
Anyway, Czernobog isn’t particularly excited to see Wednesday for blaming him for Zorya Vechernyaya’s death. But old Odin does not let harsh feelings deter him from recruiting the many Slavic deities who have gathered for the entourage. Words are exchanged and threats are uttered … and then the two old gods are suddenly engaged in some military exploits.
“Did you enjoy that?” Series star Ian McShane asked when TVLine was referring to the scene in a recent interview. “We came up with this thing because we wanted to bring Peter with us [Stormare, who plays Czernobog] back in because he’s so great … It’s actually Peter’s idea, the dance. The slaps came from a crazy Scandinavian dance they used to do. You have to ask him about it. Whatever. Anyway, we put it into a completely different dance with the choreography and it seemed to work pretty well. “
Of course, we asked McShane if he and Stormare did some of the sportier choreographies. He laughed heartily in response. “You’re kidding! No, we hit. Actually we only did three takes of the dance. So it worked out pretty well,” he remembered, still chuckling. “Natural dancer.”
Elsewhere in the sequence:
* En route to Chicago, stops Wednesday to see Tyr, the Norse god of war and justice who turns out to be a children’s dentist named Dr. Tyrell is camouflaging. (Tyr is played by American Horror Story’s Dnis O’Hare.) Tyr writes him a check to aid the war effort, but is dismayed that Wednesday stole a postcard from his office.
* Shadow rents a car from Marguerite Olsen, his frosty neighbor, so he can go to Chicago. On the way he hits a deer; The shadow is fine, but the vehicle is damaged. When he arrives in the Windy City, he spends some time on a roof with Zorya Polunochnyaya, who gives him cryptic advice (“If you can’t see your way, the night sky leads you”) and then puts his coin back into the sky like that easy as she had torn it off.
* Poor Salim thinks the jinn left because Wednesday sent him on a mission. Wednesday does not confirm or deny it.
* In her special way, Bilquis takes on the tech CEO she slept with. But the moment he’s fully inside something is wrong. She leans over to the side of her bed and vomits. Then she looks like she is in extreme need.
* Back at Lakeside, Shadow doesn’t understand why anyone who’d been so kind and welcoming on arrival suddenly scowls at him as if he’s a criminal. Welp because they think he’s a criminal. During his absence, a local teen named Alison McGovern (the girl who helped Shadow at her father’s store earlier in the episode) went missing. Chad the Cop asks Shadow where he’s been, why he replaced his windshield, yadda yadda. After all, he is free from any suspicion.
* Later that night, when Shadow was collecting wood for his fireplace, he saw a peacock in the woods. When he returns to his apartment, a conciliatory Marguerite is there, apologizing for getting off the wrong foot. He shows her that he got the body shop to rescue a sticker that was on the windshield; She tells him that her son is in school in Florida but does not volunteer any further information.
Now it’s your turn. What do you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments!