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This is based on a story by Neil Gaiman . It starts with a group of Vikings discovering North America, and leaving a magical artefact - like in that other comic-book adaption The Mask (1994) .
On the flight, Moon meets Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane - John Wick (2015) ) who offers him a job. Moon is reluctant, but some weird events mean he has no choice.
Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane - John Wick (2015) ) takes Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle - The 100 ) to Chicago to recruit Czernobog (Peter Stormare - Armageddon (1998) ). This turns on a game of draughts which becomes similar to Gawain And The Green Knight.
Media ( Gillian Anderson ) makes an attempt to recruit Shadow, using the guise of Lucille Ball from I Love Lucy.
Shadow has not had to surrender his head yet. Instead, he and Mr Wednesday (Ian McShane - John Wick (2015) ) have to go and earn some money. It turns out that Wednesday does not have an infinitely large bank account somewhere, and instead relies on repeating a con-game from the Brian Conley ( Equilibrium (2002) ) TV show Time After Time.
This ep covers the events of the previous few years, from the perspective of Shadow's wife ( Emily Browning ). The story starts when they first met, and goes on to cover her lonely years while her husband was in prison.
We get to find out who saved Shadow at the end of Episode One.
The dead wife ( Emily Browning ) gets to talk with Shadow. She also gets confronted by the Leprechaun, who wants his piece of gold back.
Gillian Anderson is back, this time as Ziggy Stardust and Marilyn Monroe . It turns out that she works for Mr Big (Crispin Glover - Back to The Future (1985) ) - basically a supernatural version of the Creepy Thin Man from Charlie's Angels (2001) .
The story starts with a group of travellers coming to America. Previously we have seen this story told with slaves and cavemen, and both those stories ended badly. This time the travellers are latino immigrants who swim the Rio Grande, and their god they bring with them is Hey-Zeus himself. They run into other Xians - a militia straight out of Machete .
Odin (Ian McShane - John Wick (2015) ) takes Shadow (Ricky Whittle - The 100 ) to a town called Vulcan, Virginia. The main industry is a bullet factory run by Vulcan (Corbin Bernsen - Star Trek: TNG ), and the local population are its main customers. They need lots of bullets so they can fire in the air at the funerals of employees who not-so-accidentally fall into the vat of molten metal.
This was written by Neil Gaiman , an English lefty who has one character point out that Neutrality in the face of injustice is on the side of the oppressor. This sounds a lot of the saying Status quo is not a neutral position, but is actually a lot more judgemental because it means calling someone an oppressor. So will he appear neutral when one character is associated with the American gun industry?
Meanwhile the dead wife ( Emily Browning ) is stuck at the motel. Her car got towed by the cops, and is now unavailable. Luckily the leprechaun needs her cooperation to get his gold coin back, so he offers to help her. They team up with the gay arab taxi driver. The smart thing would be for them to head south-east, to Kentucky. Instead the dead wife takes them south-west to Indiana, where she can get over a few loose ends from her own life.
The other episodes generally started with a Coming to America story. This time it starts in 1720, and concerns a young Irish woman named Essie Magowan. She must have a familiar resemblance to the dead wife ( Emily Browning ) because they both look identical, the same way that both elderly Essie and her grandmother are played by Fionnuala Flanagan .
Our heroine was a believer of the old tales of the leprechauns that her grandmother told her about. She mostly made the appropriate sacrifice to them, and they gave her protection most of the time. She got convicted of theft – unfairly, of course - but luck was on her side, and she lived a happy life. Her fate was to be transported as a convict to the American colonies, and to live as an indentured servant. Yes, this show actually acknowledges that white slavery existed. Remember, the protagonist is a female so her white privilege is reduced by her gendered oppression. Also, we have been made aware by this show that black slavery was worse than white slavery, and all the other PC talk.
The Coming to America story this week is that of Bilquis. She was oppressed in Iran after the 1979 revolution - a real-life Handmaid's Tale . This makes her look like a victim, although she is a sex vampire who kills humans in order to make herself feel young and powerful.
Odin (Ian McShane - John Wick (2015) ) takes Shadow (Ricky Whittle - The 100 ) to meet Easter ( Kristen Chenowith ). She is happy to share her holiday with Jesus Christ - and since every Xian religion has their own version of Jesus, there are many different versions of Jesus at her party.
The dead wife ( Emily Browning ) catches up with her husband. Will they get some closure in their troubled relationship?