Before I begin the actual review of this week’s episode, I feel the need to point out how strange it is that “Empress of Mars” aired the day after Adam West’s passing and is coincidentally an homage to his movie, Robinson Crusoe on Mars. It seems only fitting that one iconic '60s show is paying tribute to the star of another iconic '60s show while the world mourns the actor's loss.
American Gods certainly had a lot to say about conservative America in “A Murder of Gods.” The coming-to-America prologue this week showed Mexican Jesus (Wednesday mentioned earlier this season that there is more than one Jesus to match the different faiths.) entering America with illegal immigrants. Later in the episode, Wednesday and Shadow travel to a conservative utopia—a small town where everyone is safe since no one is without a gun.
Series 10 of Doctor Who is more politically relevant than the show has ever been. “The Lie of the Land” continues this with its social commentary on the current conservative pushback felt around the world.
“Lemon Scented You” started with the usual coming-to-America prologue, but in an unusual way. It showed how Nynyunnini came to America when early humans first migrated here. Since the prehistoric setting would have drastically increased the cost of the episode, they decided to animate it. Instead of the typical sleek and shiny CGI that is so popular now, they opted to go with a darker and grittier aesthetic modeled on stop-motion to give it an eerier quality.
After the events of last week, the Doctor is aware that aliens known as the Monks have been running computer simulations to invade Earth. In “The Pyramid at the End of the World,” a five-thousand-year-old pyramid appeared overnight, and it is revealed that the Monks’ plan has come to fruition.
So far in American Gods, there has been very little deviation from the book, but this week the show took quite a few liberties with “Git Gone.” While this tends to anger purists, they managed to pull it off well and illustrate how adapting a story to another medium can expand it.
“Extremis” managed to accomplish the impossible: It made me like the Sonic Sunglasses. For a bit of reference, the Twelfth Doctor abandoned his iconic Sonic Screwdriver and, for some inane reason, replaced it with sunglasses. I am all for shaking things up on Doctor Who, but they served no purpose. Instead of the Doctor aiming his Sonic Screwdriver at danger, he would just look at it—which is far less dynamic.
“Head Full of Snow” does not begin the same way as the previous two episodes of American Gods. Instead of the prologue revolving around how a particular god came to America, it focuses on a present-day story of Egyptian gods Anubis and Bast ushering a woman into the afterlife.
“Oxygen” may appear to be a standalone episode; however, if my theory is correct, then this may be a major piece to set up the arc for Series 10.
“The Secret of Spoons” saw the introduction of several more deities into the world of American Gods while Shadow processes the death of his wife. It may just be due to Ricky Whittle’s performance, but the show managed to portray Shadow’s grief as the motivation for his journey better than the book. The final moments of the episode can be directly linked to his conflicting emotions and confusion brought on by the sudden death of a loved one.