American Gods season 3, episode 5 recap – “Sister Rising”

February 20, 2021
Jonathon Wilson 0
Weekly TV
3.5

Summary

“Sister Rising” kills some time with a few different subplots, mainly as an excuse for some necessary character development, mostly for Bilquis, Laura, and Wednesday.

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3.5

Summary

“Sister Rising” kills some time with a few different subplots, mainly as an excuse for some necessary character development, mostly for Bilquis, Laura, and Wednesday.

This American Gods season 3, episode 5 recap for the episode titled “Sister Rising” contains spoilers.


It’s typical of Bilquis that her whole “captured by the goons of a billionaire Bill Gates-alike and tortured for an entire episode” thing mainly amounted to an excuse for a bit of soul-searching. I suppose a woman – deity, whatever – who can subsume such a man into her magical vagina isn’t in much need of rescue, which Shadow and Technical Boy discover after spending last week’s episode trying to rescue her. That kind of thing is emblematic of what many people find rightly frustrating about American Gods – if you took out all the stretched-out time-wasting bits, an entire season would be about twenty minutes long.

But you’d lose a lot of character. You’d lose, for instance, Bilquis reconnecting with her own power and the Orishas and breaking herself out in a torrent of water. You’d lose the subversive comedic beat of Shadow and Technical Boy arriving just at the moment she needs them least. You’d lose a charming, light scene in which Bilquis and Shadow enjoy a meal together and she goes over what she has learned about herself recently. This stuff is the strength of the show, in a lot of ways; the reduction of gods to their human side and the elevation of humanity to the power of generational deities. It’s a fine line, but one worth tiptoeing along, hence why the vast majority of characters in the show exist at this intersection of reality and imagination.

And gods, understandably, seem to like French fries. Fair enough.

Since Laura has spent so much time navigating this line quite literally in Purgatory, she has precious little patience left in American Gods season 3, episode 5, after being revived for a second time. She returns to the Ibis and Jacquel Funeral Parlor in Cairo, Illinois with some choice words for both Ibis and Salim, who is moping his way through life without realizing that there’ll be plenty of time for that in death since nothing much really changes. “Even once you’ve been dead for a hundred million years, you haven’t even begun to be dead,” Laura says, perhaps to kill time between now and her goal of killing Mr. Wednesday. He messed up her life, after all.

You’ll recall that Wednesday got himself committed to a mental institution – his oblique reference to Marilyn Manson’s character is likely the last we’ll hear of him since he has been written out of the show after a torrent of abuse allegations – so that he can break his beloved wife Demeter and her considerable fortune out. He ropes Shadow and Cordelia into this task, which requires a stylish split-screen heist that frankly a whole episode could have been built around. I wouldn’t have been upset if it was, but alas, we spent the time in “Sister Rising” on a bit of character-building for Demeter and Wednesday instead. Perhaps he has a beating heart after all!

By the time Shadow returns to Lakeside, where apparently thefts of “unmentionables” are occurring at a worrying frequency, he’s ready to take a load off. But no such luck, since who should appear beside him but Laura. Marriages are complicated, aren’t they?

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