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Recap / American Gods S 1 E 5 "Lemon Scented You"

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Season 1, Episode 5

Lemon Scented You

Shadow is stunned to discover Laura, in the flesh, waiting for him in his hotel room. They start to hash out all the things wrong between the two of them when Wednesday shows up, offering to take Shadow out for some food and drink. Shadow, unwilling to leave Laura, but not wanting to reveal her presence to Wednesday, defers, but they get interrupted by the police - someone called in a tip about the two of them making off with the deposits from a bank in Chicago.

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The detectives pull the two of them in, but Shadow's not talking, except to request his Miranda-provided lawyer. Wednesday first plays incompetent, then tells the police the story about how he's an Old God, trying to rally the troops from against the New Gods - but of course nobody believes it. Eventually they are brought together for questioning, where the detective reveals that the evidence they were presented came from a spy satellite - meaning whoever dropped the dime on them was very well-connected. But before that can be expounded upon - the detectives are pulled away, and in come in the New Gods themselves - Media, Technical Boy, and their leader Mr. World himself - who has his own enticing offer for Wednesday...

Meanwhile, Laura waits for Shadow to return, only to get a visit from Mad Sweeney, who has only one thing on his mind - getting back the lucky Golden Sun coin that's currently animating Laura. Unfortunately, Laura's not willing to part with it, and getting violent with her only serves to make her mad, and dead she's a lot stronger than the leprechaun is.

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Tropes

  • Adaptation Species Change: Sort of. He's still a New God, but in the books, Mr. Wood is one of the "Spooks" that work for Mr. World. In the show he's reimagined as a sentient tree.
  • Affably Evil: Mr. World attempts this act, very badly. It's much scarier than the Technical Boy's obnoxiousness or Media's actually Affably Evil seductress act.
  • Art Shift: This episode's "Coming To America" section is animated in CGI.
  • Big Bad: Mr. World, the god of globalization, makes his first appearance and is established as the leader of the New Gods and the leading antagonist.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: This episode confirms that the New Gods spy on Shadow through security cameras, and even satellite imagery.
  • Body Horror: According to Mad Sweeney, Laura's got this coming her way, as her body will continue to rot.
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  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Technical Boy calls out Mr World on this, as he lets Wednesday and Shadow go despite having them dead to rights.
  • Botanical Abomination: Mr. Wood
  • Butt-Monkey: Mad Sweeney continues to suffer bad luck: getting arrested and then hitting himself in the groin when escaping arrest.
  • Call-Back: Wednesday's initial "Confused Man" act is more or less identical to what he pulled all the way back in Episode 1, but this time it doesn't get him the results he needs.
  • The Cameo: Anansi, in spider form, appears to pick the locks on Wednesday and Shadow's handcuffs.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Media claims that Orson Welles' radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds deluded enough people into believing martians to be real that it actually created "starmen waiting in the sky".
  • The Dragon: Media acts as Mr. World's top follower, most powerful enforcer, and messenger to the other New Gods.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Laura easily kicks Mad Sweeney's ass.
    • While it's offscreen, the New Gods manage to slaughter the entire police station.
  • Fan Disservice: Seeing Laura naked is hardly appealing when she's covered in autopsy scars.
  • Fingore: When Mad Sweeney starts insulting her, Laura starts breaking his fingers.
  • Framing the Guilty Party: Mad Sweeney tries to drown Laura but is interrupted by the cops. Laura decides to to not reveal that she is 'alive' so the cops, seeing a corpse, naturally assume that Sweeney just murdered a woman and arrest him on the spot. Sweeney is not amused.
  • Genius Bonus: There are several nods to Norse Mythology that are not explained to the viewer, such as a raven reporting news to Wednesday and Mad Sweeney calling him Grimnir.
  • Gods Need Prayer Badly: The "Coming to America" story details how the god Nunyunnini eventually ceased to exist after all his followers were absorbed by other tribes.
  • Groin Attack: Laura threatens to do this to Mad Sweeney if he does not answer her questions. Later, he tries to climb out a police car through a side window but he slips and hits his groin on the door.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The Technical Boy is forced into one of his own VR machines to communicate with Media.
  • Hollywood Law: The detective keeps asking Shadow questions even after he repeatedly asks for a lawyer, which would make any answers he'd give inadmissible. Implicitly this is because she's more interested in information on Mr. Wednesday's powerful enemies than banging up a couple of small-time bank robbers.
  • Human Sacrifice:
    • In the "Coming to America" segment, the priestess of the god Unyunnini allows herself to be gored by a bison in order to provide food for her tribe.
    • Mr. World and Media offer Wednesday to have North Korea nuked with a missile named "Odin", thus ensuring the sacrifice of 24.9 million people in his name.
  • Mega-Corp: It is implied Mr. World runs these or is the embodiment of the idea.
  • Mouth of Sauron: Media acts as Mr. World's mouthpiece and envoy to the Technical Boy.
  • Non-Human Head: While Mr. World is showing off his nigh-omnipotence, his head briefly changes into the rough shape of the globe.
  • Older Than Television: Media was around for the infamous broadcast of The War of the Worlds in Halloween, 1938.
  • Ordered Apology: As a part of Mr. World's proposal, he makes Technical Boy apologize to Shadow for attempting to kill him.
  • Orgy of Evidence: The detective becomes really suspicious when an anonymous source sends her surveillance photos of Wednesday and Shadow robbing a bank and gives her the precise location where they can be found. The photos could only come from a surveillance satellite or a drone so someone with a significant amount of resources must have been surveilling them for a while. Wednesday and/or Shadow must have pissed off someone really powerful and she wants to know who that is.
  • The Reveal: Mad Sweeney tells Laura that Wednesday hired him to stage his fight with Shadow in the pilot.
    • We also find out where exactly Mad Sweeney's coin is — it's inside Laura.
  • Sarcastic Confession/Refuge in Audacity: Wednesday cheerfully tells the police the truth about the war of the gods, knowing they won't believe him.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: The "Coming to America" segment tells of a tribe of people who trekked to the continent across an ice bridge, only for another tribe to kill the adults and take in the children. As a result, their god is forgotten, leaving no trace that it ever existed.
  • Shout-Out: Most of Media's lines to the Technical Boy while dressed up as David Bowie in his "Life on Mars" Ziggy Stardust outfit are lifted straight from Bowie's songs. (WARNING: The rest of the article contains MAJOR spoilers for the entire series).
  • Sliding Scale of Undead Regeneration: According to Mad Sweeney, Laura is a Type 1: while his coin may have brought her back to some form of 'life', it's not going to stop her body from rotting.
  • Society Marches On: When Laura asks for a cigarette from Shadow, who doesn't smoke, Shadow goes to the lobby of the motel and finds a cigarette machine, and buys a pack from it. This is straight from the book, published in 2001, but in 2010, cigarette machines were banned in the US from places that were not off-limits to anyone under the age of 18.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: The Technical Boy is amazed that Mr. World doesn't just kill Wednesday while he has the chance.
  • Title Drop: When Media and Mr World are offering to recreate Wednesday to survive in the new world.
  • The Tooth Hurts: Media knocks out two of Technical Boy's teeth with a blown kiss when he talks back to Mr World.
  • Undead Author: According to Ibis' narration in the "Coming to America" segment, the god Nunyunnini was forgotten because all of its followers were killed, leaving the question of how Ibis knew the story at all.
  • We Can Rule Together: Media and Mr. World offer a "merger" to Mr. Wednesday and absorb him into their ranks.
  • Worthy Opponent: Mr. World says this is why he's making an offer to Wednesday, and why he won't kill him when he turns it down.
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