In the latest episode of American Gods, New Media has emerged from her digital chrysalis. She shed her pop culture icon identity and now speaks in emojis. Media and how we consume it has changed in the time since the book of American Gods was released, so it makes sense that the character would evolve to reflect the times.
One of the most fun aspects of the show is that it expands on the universe that Neil Gaiman created and builds on what he wrote. Shadow is the main focus of the book, and the other characters come and go throughout the story as they interact with him. Like Gandalf (who is partially based off Odin’s wanderer persona), Wednesday would leave Shadow and go off on his own mysterious quests, but in the episode, “Muninn,” we saw him join forces with Laura in an adventure I did not know I needed.
They search for Argus, an old god whose alliance has shifted. In mythology, Argus was a watcher who reported to Hera. The seer of Olympus has added technology to his arsenal to become the god of surveillance. Muninn, the titular character of the episode, served as Odin’s raven scout, so it would make sense to link the two and set up them serving similar functions for the opposing sides.
We also saw the debut of Sam Blackcrow. I find it interesting that their roles are flipped when she is introduced to Shadow. Instead of him picking her up as a hitchhiker, she is now the one to help him. It works a bit better with her being the one in charge. Making her a little more guarded (as opposed to a free-spirited hitchhiker) fits better with Shadow’s interactions in the mortal world to contrast the surreal nature of the mythic world.