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Recap / American Gods S 2 E 1 "House on the Rock"

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Season 2, Episode 1

House of the Rock

Following the epic showdown at Easter's party, Mr. Wednesday continues his quest to pitch the case for war to the Old Gods with Shadow, Laura and Mad Sweeney in tow. Meanwhile, Mr. World plans revenge and Technical Boy goes on the hunt for Media. First stop – the House on the Rock, where Shadow is taken "backstage."

Tropes That Appear In This Episode:

  • Call-Back: While Ostara has agreed to side with the Old Gods, she refuses to be there at the House on the Rock because Mr. Wednesday had run over her rabbits on the way to her house.
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  • The Cameo: Some of the Old Gods who appear during the meeting with Wednesday (ones that are named in the credits, at least) are Ame-no-Uzume, Ahura Mazda, and Frau Holle.
  • Category Traitor: Bilquis is the only Old God that Mr. Wednesday didn't invite, it being public knowledge that she has willingly joined the New Gods.
    Bilquis: You invited the Old Gods to your party. I was old in the desert before they sacrificed the first horse to you. I will be heard... unless you're afraid?
    Mr. Wednesday: The weight and wisdom of Queen Bilquis defeated King Solomon.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Zorya Vechernyaya dies in Wednesday's arms after being shot through the chest. Czernobog declares vengeance on whoever killed her and curses them.
  • Downer Ending: The New Gods managed to ambush and kill some of the Old Gods (including Wednesday's Love Interest, Zorya Vechernyaya), and abduct Shadow after he defeats the sniper that ambushed them, while Laura can only watch.
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  • Drives Like Crazy: The episode starts with Technical Boy driving his limo through a golf course, running down a random old man as he does so. Even Mr. World is horrified.
    Mr. World: You could have killed m-me.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Mr. Town's name is mentioned but he is otherwise not seen (he would later appear in the very next episode). He is ordered by Mr. World via email to send the ambush on the Old Gods.
  • Gratuitous Latin: The bullets used to kill the Old Gods have the phrase "DEUS MORTUORUM"note  inscribed on them.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: When Shadow and the Old Gods meet "backstage" to discuss the matter of war with the New Gods, the world takes the form of a Viking Longhouse along a Nordic beach, Bilquis claiming that it is all taking place within Mr. Wednesday's mind.
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  • Landmark of Lore: The titular House on the Rock, a real-life Wisconsin tourist attraction, is the place where the Old Gods gather to discuss their plans.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: By sending an assassin to mow down the Old Gods at the restaurant, all Mr. World did was validate Mr. Wednesday's argument. It also did not help that one of the casualties was Zorya Vechernyaya, spurring her cousin Czernobog (who was only there after losing a bet and having no personal reasons to be involved), now adamant to kill the New Gods for revenge.
  • Orphaned Setup: When the Fortune Telling Machine gives Mr. Wednesday his fortune, he apparently finds it very amusing. When Shadow asks him what it is, Mr. Wednesday tells him that "a man's fortune is his own business."
  • Place of Power: Wednesday explains that there have always been places around the world that people are naturally drawn to, where they then decided to build houses of worship, landmarks, or even tourist attractions on.
    Mr. Wednesday: So, over the centuries, people in other countries felt called to places of power. They knew there was an energy there, a focus point, a channel, a window to the imminent, and they built churches, cathedrals, or they'd erect a stone circle. Well, you get the idea.
  • Rousing Speech: Shadow gives one in the middle of the Old Gods' meeting, encouraging them to trust in Mr. Wednesday and help him regain humanity's faith in them that they've lost over the years.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: When the Caretaker tries to deny Mr. World access to their surveillance system, citing that only the President of the United States is allowed to use it, Mr. World cites that he is above the President.
    Mr. World: The President is a cardboard cutout. I am the man, behind the man, behind the man. Operation Paperclip, the Moon Landing, Roswell, the Compton Crack Wars; you work for me. You have always worked for me. So when I say "I need to see through the Eyes of Argus", you make the connection.
  • Slow Transformation: While "backstage", the various gods progressively look more and more like their traditional, mythological selves.
  • Tranquil Fury: Mr. World is successfully able to intimidate both Technical Boy and the Caretaker without so much as raising his voice.
  • Vanity License Plate: The car belonging to the golfer at the beginning of the episode has the very on-the-nose license plate that says "PAR TEE"; "par" and "tee" being golfing terms.
  • Wham Line:
    Mr. World: You need to find her. Find Media.

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