American Gods S02E07: "Treasure of the Sun"
Writing - 7/10
Acting - 8/10
Overall - 7.5/10
User Review( votes)
This week on American Gods, Mad Sweeney makes his way to Cairo, and learns some hard lessons about truth.
Last Week on American Gods
Last week on American Gods, Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane) enlisted Shadow (Ricky Whittle) into helping him steal Lou Reed’s leather jacket. They traded the leather jacket to get Wednesday’s spear, Gungnir, fixed. Wednesday reflected on his past and his son’s (Derek Theler) suicide, showing the audience that a god can kill themselves (I’m sure that won’t come up again, and I’m not even sure that’s sarcastic). Meanwhile, Mr. World (Crispin Glover) and New Media (Kahyun Kim) prepare for an attack on Wednesday’s forces.
American Gods and the Limits of “Sexposition”
“Sexposition” was a term coined by blogger Miles McNutt about the HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones (heard of it?). It is (obviously) a portmanteau of the words “sex” and “exposition” (and a bit of a dirty joke). In other words, Game of Thrones became known as a show that will explain plot things to you while boobs are on the screen, to the point where someone came up with a word for the phenomenon when the show was in its early seasons.
Another factor in issues with “sexposition” is obviously the gender disparity regarding what sort of nudity gets shown. Most of the nudity throughout the years on Game of Thrones has been cis female nudity. Someone has crunched the numbers; it’s not just perception. That says quite a bit about who the people behind the show think are watching the show. As a female fan of fantasy, it’s rather disconcerting.
(Why am I talking about Game of Thrones when I don’t watch Game of Thrones? We’re getting there.)
Well, it seems a bit like American Gods would like to pick up part of that Game of Thrones fandom. It’s had quite a few sex scenes over the past two seasons. Not all of these scenes are sexposition. There are times where two characters having sex is relevant to the plot. An example of this from this season is the sort-of sex Mad Sweeney (Pablo Schreiber) and Laura Moon (Emily Browning) had in episode five. That experience changed how those two interacted with each other, and set their paths for the rest of the season.
Sexposition specifically involves sex that doesn’t really affect the plot. The best example of this in American Gods happened this episode, though the New Media/Argus thing in episode three felt it was only there to be gross and useless. Biliquis’ (Yetide Bedaki) power is kind of borderline, but since it was book-canon it doesn’t carry the same sort of connotation. Viewers expect it to be there (not that it has much this season).
Another not-unrelated thing American Gods is real comfortable with this season is characters (primarily Wednesday and Mad Sweeney) taking homophobic shots at Salim and the Jinn. People may argue that this is what these characters do; they’re terrible people, get over it. However, it’s not like the dialogue manifested itself. The writers can choose to have these characters focus on other issues, or limit their interactions altogether. It also feels relevant to point out that the only sex scene the Jinn (Mousa Kraish) and Salim (Omid Abtahi) have had was last season. That happened when one of the showrunners was a gay man, and he made the crew reshoot the scene because it was anatomically unlikely. With every episode that goes by, I miss Bryan Fuller and Michael Green’s sensibility a little bit more.
Next week on American Gods, Shadow and Laura Moon catch up for the first time since the season started. Also, plans will go in motion, since it’s the season finale.
American Gods airs on Starz on Sunday nights.
What did you think about this episode? Are you excited for next week’s season finale? Are you excited for next season’s showrunner change? Tell us in the comments!