In keeping with Bryan Fuller’s statement about how he wanted to open every episode we get another ‘Coming To America’ story this time featuring Anansi. More importantly it features the amazing Orlando Jones, one of my favorite, and one of the most underrated actors, of all time. Jones fully embodies all of Anansi’s rage, honesty and pure awesomeness in one of the best monologues I’ve seen put to film. If you weren’t already onboard with this show this scene is the one that will put you over the top as Anansi drops truth bomb after truth bomb on the Ghanaian slaves about what, exactly, is waiting for them at the end of their journey.
Meanwhile Shadow is recovering from the events of last episode and trying to figure out at what point his life became Alice In Wonderland but with even more drugs and cheating spouses. After he tries, and fails, to process his grief over…everything, he and Wednesday embark on their road trip and meet up with The Zoryas. This is where the hilarity and the true level of danger kick in as The Zoryas and their permanent lodger Czernobog’s particular brand of crazy makes Shadow question every life choice he’s made up until this point. This isn’t helped by his earlier encounter with Media…
Once again this episode is visually arresting, smartly written and wonderfully performed. As stated above the showstopper is Orlando Jones as Anansi but each and every actor present is on point. The legend herself, Cloris Leachman, just knocks it out of the park as Zorya V, who is both wonderfully old world (her need to feed guests more food than they could possibly eat reminds me of my Nanas) and yet she is absolutely not here for anyone, particularly Wednesday’s, bullshite. Peter Stormare brings an interesting mix of aggressiveness and childlike sadness as Czernobog and Gillian Anderson is hilariously invasive and yet sensual as Media.
We also get some plot movement as we see Bilquis preparing for the war in her own unique way as she builds the strength to get to full power; Wednesday start gathering the troops and Shadow decide to just go with the crazy that’s become his life. The thing about this show that I’m adoring is that every single plot point is in service to the character development, not the other way around, so that you don’t even realize how much information you’ve gotten until you rewatch a second, and third, time.
The Gospel According To
- ‘You all don’t know you’re black yet….you thought you were just people’ – Anansi to the slaves…
- Wednesday telling Shadow variations of, ‘You don’t have to…’ are going to be the arc words of this show. Bet.
- Wednesday’s reaction to Shadow having a cell phone had me giggling for a good minute.
- Staying unspoiled for who was cast as who is the way to go because seeing Orlando Jones and Gillian Anderson show up made me lose my shite.
- ‘No cow killing stories at dinner!’ – Zorya V – Words to live by really…
- Zorya V trying to bs Shadow about his fortune and finally settling on, ‘Well, you won’t die from cancer.’ might be the funniest thing to happen in the entire episode.
Overall this episode sets up more pieces on the board while deepening the character of Shadow, answering a few questions while giving us even more mysteries. Five hammers out of five.