'American Gods'
A poster of Starz TV series "American Gods." American Gods/ Facebook

There was not one single dull moment in the premiere episode of “American Gods.” In the battle between the old gods and the new, the protagonist is placed right in the middle, without fully understanding what he is getting into, while at the same time dealing with a heart breaking personal issues. The following article contains spoilers.

The show begins with a writer on his desk, writing about how a group of Vikings first discovered America. The fierce warriors are able to find the land, but the gods there make it difficult to cross a line. After losing a man to a storm of arrows, and the threat of others meeting the same fate, they are prompted to consider going back, but the slow winds refuse to allow a hasty retreat.

The Vikings pray to their god, to help them get out of this sticky situation. But, when nothing happens they realise that they need to make an offering. What does a god of war want? The warriors blind one of their eyes as tribute, but that is not enough. So, they decide to spill more blood in a battle between two groups among them. With enough blood spilt, the winds are finally in their favour, so they retreat to the ocean, never to return to set foot on a boat again.

Fast forward to present day, the viewers are taken to a prison, where the protagonist Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle), not the only interesting name on the show, is about to be released in a few days. He gets an early release because of the sudden death of his wife in a car crash.

The day before he hears this news about his wife, Shadow Moon has a strange dream of a magical place. There are skulls and bones lying all around, and a beautiful night sky above. Then there is a hangman’s noose dangling from a tree.

After being released, Shadow Moon heads to the airport. While having trouble getting his ticket exchanged for an earlier flight, he meets a mysterious man who cons his way into getting his ticket upgraded to first class for free.

With the flight overbooked, Shadow Moon also gets an upgrade to First class, and meets the mysterious man again. The man introduces himself as Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane). He talks about how faith is a powerful force, and could be the reason why planes fly, rather than the physics that Newton discovered.

Mr. Wednesday wants Shadow Moon to work for him, but the latter refuses without even asking what the job is about. While sleeping, the hero gets another strange dream. This time it is a creepy looking tree and a wild animal with flaming eyes.

The bad weather forces the plane to land in another airport, and Shadow Moon decides to drive. At a restaurant he bumps into Mr. Wednesday again, in the men’s room. The job offer is made again, and again it is rejected.

Shadow Moon then meets a leprechaun called Mad Sweeney (Pablo Schreiber). Wednesday is back with the job offer, and manages to convince the hero to work for him.

Meanwhile, another god is introduced. The goddess is on a date with a man who hasn’t met a beautiful woman in a long time. She takes him to her special room to have sex, and during the act asks him to worship her. He sings her praise to the best of his ability, and slowly starts to disappear under her.

At the wife’s funeral, Shadow Moon discovers that his wife was cheating on him with his best friend. He vents his anger a little after burying her. His wife’s best friend offers to take revenge on their respective partners by doing nasty things right at their graves. Good sense prevails, and the hero walks away.

While walking back, he sees a strange device, which latches on to his face when poked with a stick. Enter another god - Technical Boy (Bruce Langley), who wants to know Wednesday’s plans. It is here that the viewers discover that there is a war going on between the old gods and the new.

After seeing that Shadow Moon knows nothing about Wednesday’s plans, Technical Boy wants him dead. So, he conjures up a few faceless digital men to kill the hero. The men beat up the protagonist and hang him.

Shadow Moon, however, survives when the rope snaps. This was no accident, but the hero can’t exactly see who saved him. There is a lot of slashing and blood in the final scene of “American Gods” premiere episode, and it ends with the hero lying in a pool of blood.