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Recap / American Gods S 2 E 4 "The Greatest Story Ever Told"

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Season 2, Episode 4

The Greatest Story Ever Told

While Shadow and Mr. Wednesday take a secret meeting in St. Louis, Bilquis arrives at the funeral home in Cairo, where she engages in a debate with Mr. Nancy and Mr. Ibis. Laura rejoins Mad Sweeney, and Tech Boy pays a visit to his first worshiper.

Tropes That Appear In This Episode:

  • Alas, Poor Villain: As much of a rude, antagonistic jerk as he's been, it's hard not to feel bad for the Technical Boy as he quietly breaks down when the CEO abandons him.
    Technical Boy (softly): I was literally your only friend. You lonely fuck.
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  • All-Powerful Bystander: The Bookkeeper abstains from choosing a side in the coming conflict because he sees no personal profit in choosing either of them.
  • The Almighty Dollar: The Bookkeeper is the god of wealth/money. Wednesday refers to the Bookkeeper as "Money" and says he is the most powerful god in America.
  • Belief Makes You Stupid: Bilquis argues against the modern conventions of American Christianity by citing contradictions in how Ruby (a devout Christian who only believes because she needs a Hope Spot) has lived and the content of her faith, bringing up how Job was wealthy and that Jesus himself was a rebel that actively fought the status quo.
  • Came Back Wrong: Mr. Ibis equates death as similar to any traumatic experience one might have, so the undead would of-course behave differently than they would from before when they were alive.
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  • Cycle of Revenge:
    Mr. World: I'm sorry about Zorya, but when you strike with lightning you should expect consequences.
    Mr. Wednesday: Mess with my people, expect disproportionate consequences.
    Mr. World: You got your man back.
    Mr. Wednesday: It's the principle.
  • Disappointed in You: When the Father realizes that his son did not write the beautiful composition, but rather his computer had written it after he deconstructed Bach's work (something that the Father says is his mode of prayer), the realization is all too plain on his face.
  • Double Reverse Quadruple Agent: Mr. Nancy accuses Bilquis of hopping the fence between the sides of the Old Gods and New too frequently for her to be trusted, Bilquis claiming that she is there to let Wednesday know that she is on their side because Mr. World had Zorya Vechernyaya killed.
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  • Emotions vs. Stoicism: The Child (later referred to as The CEO) failed to see what his father tried to teach him through Bach's musical compositions (faith in humanity's ingenuity) and saw only algorithms and patterns in the music. He inputs those algorithms into his computer to create a symphonic composition of similar complexity for him. It was this faith in technology over humanity that led to the Technical Boy's creation in the first place.
  • A God I Am Not: While certainly godlike, here Mr. Nancy openly admits that he does not identify as one.
  • Humanoid Abomination: It is made quite clear that the Penny-Scouts are not just a normal trio of girl-scouts selling candy. They all Speak in Unison, they address statements like an electronic security system, they seem to possess some level of Omnipresence and when they hear a statement that they don't like, all of the lights in the Motel America turn off instantly.
  • Neglectful Precursors: The flaw that Mr. Wednesday addressed in the New Gods' methods is shown here when the CEO all but abandons Technical Boy on the spot (who is established as being the Technical Boy's Only Friend) when New Media provides for him a better alternative to what the Technical Boy has to offer, having made no actual loyalties to the god he had created.
  • The Nth Doctor: While being her newest incarnation, New Media talks about Old Media like they are two different people. She even goes onto imply that eventually she will be replaced by a future incarnation.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: When we first see the Bookkeeper, he appears as a senile old man asking for his bill, seemingly unaware of the fact the restaurant in near empty. It is not until Mr. World and Mr. Wednesday sit at his table does he drop the act.
  • Seen It All: Mr. Nancy has abstained from the New Gods' deal because he knows a rigged deal when he sees one, equating it to slavery and it modern variants (human trafficking, the prison industry, racial profiling, etc).
    • Bilquis and Mr. Ibis retort to Mr. Nancy's argument against peace and the idea that it just enforces complacency towards oppression with the fact that suffering and societal ills are universal, that waging a war will not change that and that All Are Equal in Death.
  • Targeted Human Sacrifice: When the Penny-Scouts asks for Mr. World to buy candy, Mr. World remarks how he had "retired" Technical Boy and they allow him audience with the Bookkeeper without paying, implying that Technical Boy was used as a sacrifice to buy the Bookkeeper's favor.
  • That Was Not a Dream: It is left vague whether Bast actually had sex with Shadow in human form or if it was just a dream. It is implied that Ibis and Wednesday knew it happened.
  • We Win... Because You Didn't: Mr. World isn't nearly as broken up about the Bookkeeper's abstinence in their coming conflict as Wednesday is. This makes sense, considering Mr. World has the most faith and the more powerful allies. Since the Bookkeeper would definitely have tipped the scales in Wednesday's favor, Wednesday's failure in doing so is a win for World.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: When it is made clear that New Media can do what the Technical Boy tries and fails to do, taking away the CEO's faith and attention, Mr. World "retires" him.
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