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Recap / American Gods S 2 E 3 "Muninn"

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Season 2, Episode 3


As he is tracked by Mr. World, Shadow makes his way to Cairo, thanks to a ride from Sam Black Crow. Mr. Wednesday slyly gains Laura's help in forging an alliance with a powerful god. Mr. World introduces Technical Boy to New Media and assigns them a very important task.

Tropes That Appear In This Episode:

  • Ambiguously Human: When Shadow asks Sam Black Crow if she is a supernatural entity like everyone else he has met, she sarcastically answers that she would be treated like one "back in the day" on account of being two-spirited.
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  • Animal Motifs: Argus is sometimes shown as a peacock during Thoth's retelling, and Wednesday plucks a wooden object shaped like a feather from his past incarnation's corpse for later use. In the original myths, Hera honors Argus' death by placing his eyes onto a peacock, giving it the signature feather pattern.
  • Art Shift: The Greek myth of Io and Argus is retold by Mr. Ibis as he plays his praxinoscope, which provides animations in the style of traditional Egyptian art, before abruptly turning into modern photos of Argus' surveillance footages.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: The tattoo on his neck is the most vulnerable spot on Argus, Wednesday instructing Laura to target it specifically to kill him.
  • Been There, Shaped History: One of Argus's previous incarnations was a patron of The Great Library of Alexandria in Alexandria, Egypt right around the time when Julius Caesar had it burned to the ground.
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  • Bizarre Taste in Food: Laura has to tell Mr. Ibis to stop eating bits of her as he makes repairs, this apparently being a habit he has developed from the burial traditions of his original worshippers.
  • Christian Rock: Sweeney inadvertently gets picked up by a Christian band "Faith of the Raptured" on the way to New Orleans, all attempts at getting there by himself proving disastrous with his terrible luck.
  • Eldritch Location: When Mr. Wednesday and Laura take "the scenic route" through Argus's Facility, they wind up at the site of Argus's various deaths, finding his previous forms (freshly dead) and requiring the both of them to reenact the sacrifices they were present for.
  • Government Conspiracy: Argus's facility is a site of many conspiracy theories, including the Deep State and The Illuminati.
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  • Green Thumb: Iktomi is introduced making a seed sprout within seconds. It can be assumed that he uses this ability to grow his crop of marijuana.
  • Improbably Cool Car: Not only is Wednesday's car not destroyed by the train, but there isn't a scratch on it.
  • Naughty Tentacles: Argus' scopes and cables double as these, some of them wrapping around New Media and one of them even going up her skirt.
  • Neutrality Backlash: Wednesday has Laura kill Argus because in his words, "he's been playing both sides", giving help to both the Old Gods and the New Gods. Technical Boy didn't stop her either because he's also fed up with him.
  • Not So Omniscient After All: Despite his many eyes and his role as the God of Surveillance, the lack of real worship has left Argus mostly blind.
  • One Steve Limit: When Wednesday mentions he "has a date with Argus", Ibis assumes he means Argos (Odysseus's dog) before Wednesday clarifies that he is referring to Argus Panoptes, the many-eyed giant. This is a reference to a similar exchange in the book, where one of the Old Gods mishears "Media" as "Medea" from Greek Mythology.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: While Laura claims that she is doing everything for Shadow, Mr. Wednesday calls her out as doing everything for her own personal benefit.
  • Revenge by Proxy: When Zeus could not find his mistress Io (Hera having turned her into a cow for Argus to watch-over), he took out his anger on Argus, smiting him.
  • Secondary Character Title: The actual raven that the episode is named after, Muninn, barely appears in the episode. He only shows up to check on Shadow, report to Mr. Wednesday, and presumably take down one of Argus' drones, and that's about it. Then again, the raven symbolises memory (Old Norse: Muninn), and part of this episode's plot has Wednesday and Laura going down Argus' memory lane.
  • Senseless Violins: Iktomi has Gungnir stored inside a guitar case, which he gives to Salim and the Jinn to deliver to Wednesday.
  • Sibling Rivalry: From the moment New Media manifests, Technical Boy is immediately put off by her and how quickly Mr. World seems to accept that Media has essentially ceased to exist and has been replaced by a total stranger.
  • Sigil Spam: The Argus logo (an eye with two curves crossing it, somewhat forming the letter "A") is on his drones, and the walls of his headquarters. It also looks similar to the tattoo on his neck.
  • Signs of Disrepair: The "Corn Palace" that Salim and the Jinn are supposed to go to is actually a strip club named "Porn Palace", but the neon signs forming the first letter "P" has been busted up so that it reads as a square-ish looking "C".
  • Sinister Surveillance: Argus's most recent American incarnation has since been employed by the New Gods as the God of Surveillance.
  • Straw Nihilist: Argus is uncooperative with Technical Boy because he believes that no matter who wins the war, it will all eventually fall to chaos in the end.
    Argus: Entropy... leads logically to disorder. All systems evolve towards chaos. Even alliances with gods.
  • Stylistic Callback: New Media quotes Marilyn Monroe ("Happy Birthday...") in reference to herself. This is done as a sign that she really is Media's new self, the original Media having made the same quote while dressed as Marilyn in "Lemon Scented You" while New Media does so using emoji graphics.
  • Surveillance Drone: Argus uses bird-shaped drones (presumably as either a nod to or a mockery of Wednesday's own) among many of his other tools of trade to spy on people. One of them is destroyed by a raven right as it picks up Shadow's whereabouts.
  • The Watson: While Mr. Ibis normally fulfills his role as Mr. Exposition through narration and writing in his journal, here he explains Argus's backstory to his cat Bast.

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