American Gods 2×05 – The Ways of the Dead | Review


Published on Apr 09, 2019


The previous episode of American Gods, The Greatest Story Ever Told, introduced for the first time in the series, the figure of the God of Money, finds himself inevitably involved between the two factions closer to war, the New and the Old. Both, however, are currently riassestando their balances, while Wednesday will have to do with the new ambitions of Mr. Nancy, and Bilquis, ready to begin a new crusade for the rights of people of color, Mr. World getting rid of the Technical Boy, from some episode now cornered, and now, finally with no more power. After hitting in the fourth episode themes such as faith in a deity, and the latter function, as well as having emphasized the weight of the inevitable, which is the money in social balance, it is time for American Gods to shake the audience, narratively speaking. The Ways of the Dead, the fifth stage of this second season, it will be able?


The story, once again, find a point of beginning, from Ibis to Cairo and, while Wednesday goes with Salim and the Jinn from the King of the Dwarves to prepare for the spear Gugnir in the battle, Shadow has (again) a way to remain separate from Odin to discover new things about himself, entering into a world that, until now, to him unknown, at least directly: that of death. If on the one hand, therefore, the motor and the propeller of the Shadow in this episode is a descent to the underworld, a sort of catabasi inner, parallel to Mad Sweeney and Laura are in New Orleans to meet, finally, the Baron and his companion, desperate for life. Is Shadow Laura, who, at the end of this episode, will come forth from the encounter with death with new awareness, that seem to put even more distance between the two.


This fifth episode of American Gods, The Ways of the Dead, follows closely the events of the previous one, but, while maintaining a continuity in themes and setting, offers on-screen to different perspectives, which, as always happens in the series now, enrich the reading keys of all the plots, and this time (even if not through the surge that perhaps the public was expecting after the previous episodes) is also progressing forward in the narrative. Shadow is now becoming a character stand-alone and format, even if the spectator cannot even understand (thanks to the spider's web of wonder, in which, for each episode of American Gods, is trapped) what is this “form” and, above all, where these new insights will lead him: the events of this episode mixed, further the cards, to the surprise and stoking the suspense, adding new doubt just where it was believed, were established certainties. For all The Ways of the Dead, through a sort of “dance macabre” (which was also supported by “rhythmically” from the soundtrack, the direction and the narrative itself, which, thanks to the Baron and his partner, they offered the right scenes) has been presented to the public the theme of death, thanks to which the Shadow is a new complete, while Laura, from “living dead” in search of life, not port, so that vacuum and estrangement.

And as they begin to emerge in the profiles of the characters, Shadow, Laura, and Mad Sweeney, to form a triangle that is a candidate to have, later, a more important role, the authors propose again the theme of the marginalization of people of color and their desire for redemption, a clear sign that it will be a key issue for the war between the Old and the New Gods (absent in this episode, which in fact turns out to have a “taste” symbolic and almost “magical” from the first season) for the final explosion of our protagonist Shadow.

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