The Dominant Paradigm is a weekly podcast where Geeks of Doom Podcast hosts Dwayne D, Andrew Sorcini, and Tosin Onafowokan discuss STARZ’s TV series American Gods, the works that inspired it, and the larger questions about the lenses in which we see our world, AKA, the paradigms.
Along with the podcast, below you’ll find a written recap of the season 2 episode of American Gods (Episode 2.2 “The Beguiling Man”), followed by some salient points regarding Shadow’s upbringing and Mad Sweeney’s “horde.”
Shadow is captured and being tortured by Mr. Town with futuristic pain devices.
Shadow has a flashback to his youth when he spent a summer in New York with his mother, after being raised in France. She’s well read, and despite Shadow’s criminal background, we learn that she raised Shadow to become well read too. He wanders off alone and finds himself attacked by locals in a park and is arrested soon after that. During the flashback, we see Shadow discover that his mother has cancer. We also learn that his coin trick talent started in a hospital waiting room. Shadow runs into his attackers again, taking them on and using his superior size to defeat them. His mother is disappointed because she believes he’s better than that.
She dies that summer.
Czernobog laments the death of Zorya.
Mama-G blames Wednesday for bringing the war to her door, and reluctantly agrees to fight on the side of the Old Gods…if she can get the weekends off.
After reluctantly agreeing to take his former lover along, the Jinn and Salim hop on a motorcycle and depart on a mission to retrieve Odin’s spear, while Wednesday and Anansi set off on their own, which involves Wednesday having his car destroyed.
Laura Moon is a bloody hero. Literally.
Wednesday assigns Mad Sweeney to accompany Laura Moon to save Shadow from his captors. Laura admits that she’s an atheist as she tracks Shadow.
Bilquis meets with Mr. World who has a strategy to wipe out the old gods – the Hydra offense.
Technical Boy finds himself in the center of Times Square, which is where he’s seeking Media. He seems to go backstage, or in the Construct, like in The Matrix, where he confronts Media, which is represented by a glowing ball. He calls her out.
When the road they’re driving on to chase Shadow mysteriously ends in a flower field, Mad Sweeney takes Laura through a portal called the Horde, using her thoughts to guide them to Shadow. They find their way to a train where a battle ensues. Laura saves Shadow.
Salient Themes and Imagery:
Title: The Beguiling Man
Beguiling: charm or enchant in a deceptive way. Shadow seems caught up with them. Shadow seems to be easily manipulated.
Mr. Town: “You’re always going with the flow, Shadow, and I need to know why.”
Wednesday’s take on Shadow’s Plight
Wednesday is convinced Shadow will be fine, “Laura *seems to think* that Shadow needs saving…”
Technical Boy’s Mission
We understand why World sent Technical Boy to find Media, rather than, say, Mr. Town or Bilquis. In today’s world, Media must sit atop a technology standard. Flash, MP4, streaming media — the way we view this show and people listen to this podcast.
Salim’s faith comes first– even when he’s galavanting with Pre-Islamic and totally non-Islamic deities.
The Jinn is a pre-Islamic mythical beast. Salim is a Muslim. Are they going to have values issues?
The Horde. What in the backstage was that?
Why was the car destroyed? What does it get Wednesday?
The Big Picture
Two people, fresh from the horde
Laura Moon is Godless
Laura Moon doesn’t believe in luck, she’s an atheist: “You things are not gods, by the way, you’re made by people. You were invented by people. People who need answers and they’re too fucking lazy to look for them themselves. I mean… who the fuck ever needed a Leprechaun? You take and you take and you take, and what do you give back to people? You are monsters under the bed, just fucking with people’s lives.”
Mad Sweeney has morals
“Where I come from [infidelity] is the greatest sin. To betray your sworn true love is the crime of a…”
Bilquis won’t fight
Bilquis: “I have no place on your battlefield.”
Mr. World: “Love is the most powerful weapon of war.”
Bilquis: “War tears lovers asunder. Love and war may sit on opposite sides of the coin, but only so they will never meet. I will not fight for you.”
Mr. World: “I wonder… if you don’t choose a side, will you be trampled by both?”
That’s a wrap! Join us for the next episode for an intelligent, entertaining discussion of STARZ’s hit series.