War is brew­ing be­tween Old and New Gods in Sea­son 2 of ‘Amer­i­can Gods’

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - On Tv - BY GE­ORGE DICKIE

The des­tinies of gods and men col­lide, bring­ing the bat­tle to a cri­sis point as Starz’s “Amer­i­can Gods” re­turns for its sec­ond sea­son this week.

Pre­mier­ing Sun­day, March 10, the eightepiso­de sopho­more round finds Mr. World (Crispin Glover) plot­ting re­venge for the at­tack against him in Sea­son 1, while Shadow (Ricky Whit­tle) joins Mr. Wed­nes­day’s (Ian McShane) at­tempt to con­vince the Old Gods of the case for war, and Laura and Mad Sweeney (Emily Brown­ing, Pablo Schreiber) tag along for the ride. A coun­cil at House on the Rock ex­plodes, send­ing Old and New Gods on quests across the coun­try that end in Cairo, Ill., thus forc­ing Shadow to es­tab­lish his place as a be­liever in a dark new world of liv­ing gods, where change de­mands com­mit­ment and faith re­quires sac­ri­fice.

“He’s been awo­ken into a world, but just be­cause he now be­lieves, it doesn’t mean he un­der­stands,” ex­plains Whit­tle to a re­cent gath­er­ing of jour­nal­ists in Pasadena, Calif. “And he’s a smart, in­tel­li­gent man and he needs to un­der­stand his place in this (world). He wants to know the stakes. He wants to know the size, the play­ers and where he fits in this puz­zle. Now he knows that every­thing is real around him and he wants an­swers. He’s go­ing to be very much more proac­tive.

“You know, we’ve got a lot more lay­ers to add to Shadow this sea­son and he’s go­ing to start search­ing for an­swers which is go­ing to cause a lot of fric­tion be­tween Shadow and Mr. Wed­nes­day, who is reluc­tant to give that in­for­ma­tion. Knowl­edge and in­for­ma­tion is power on this show and he doesn’t want to give it. So, the two are go­ing to be tense this sea­son.”

The new sea­son will also bring aboard sev­eral new char­ac­ters: New Me­dia (Kahyun Kim, “Spa Night”), the god­dess of global con­tent and a mas­ter of ma­nip­u­la­tion; Sam Black Crow (Dev­ery Ja­cobs, “Rhymes for Young Ghouls”), a two-spir­ited wan­derer who lives life with an open­ness and a fierce con­fi­dence; Mama-Ji (Sak­ina Jaf­frey, “Time­less”), a Hindu god­dess of war and wait­ress at the Mo­tel Amer­ica; and Mr. Town (Dean Win­ters, “Res­cue Me”), a be­liever in progress tasked by Mr. World to find out about Mr. Wed­nes­day’s plan.

As for Wed­nes­day, McShane rel­ishes play­ing this capri­cious char­ac­ter he calls a “dis­tant cousin of Al (Swearen­gen, his role on ‘Dead­wood’),” who fig­ures to be a ma­jor fac­tor this sea­son.

“Wed­nes­day’s stirred (the Old Gods) up again but do they want to go to war?” McShane says. “There’s a sly hu­mor that goes through­out the se­ries, I think, about how se­ri­ous is he about this war. But he’s se­ri­ous, as you’ll find out as we go on.”

Ricky Whit­tle (left) and Ian McShane star in “Amer­i­can Gods,” re­turn­ing for its sec­ond sea­son Sun­day on Starz.

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