American Gods season 3, episode 6 recap – “Conscience of the King” shady business

February 21, 2021
Jonathon Wilson 0
Weekly TV
3

Summary

An old face returns in “Conscience of the King”, as Mr. Wednesday continues his unconventional wooing to mixed effect.

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3

Summary

An old face returns in “Conscience of the King”, as Mr. Wednesday continues his unconventional wooing to mixed effect.

This recap of American Gods season 3, episode 6, “Conscience of the King”, contains spoilers.


As with last week’s episode, “Conscience of the King” mostly keeps its characters separate to develop their own personal plotlines, one assumes with a mind to bring everyone together further down the road. It certainly saps some of the show’s pace, but that’s the obvious casualty of worldbuilding and relationship texture. This is a clear middle episode, though, one designed to move narrative pieces around slowly and carefully, and it lacks any big, memorable moments, even if it has its charms.

Let’s see what everyone was up to.

The obligatory enigmatic flashback cold open of American Gods season 3, episode 6 concerned Odin and Tyr and paid off throughout Mr. Wednesday’s continued attempts to woo Demeter and persuade her to leave the facility with him (and her money). It’s a tale as old as time, pretty much literally in this case — warlord meets woman after centuries of warring and wooing, and it’s all up and down from there.

As it turns out, Odin and Tyr both fell for Demeter, but she chose Odin. If he was the choice back then, why not now? That’s Wednesday’s logic, anyway, and “Conscience of the King” gives him plenty to do as he knocks around the psychiatric facility, befriending a member of staff named Hank (Nabeel El Khafif), staving off Demeter’s attempts to get him thrown out by planting prescriptions pills in his belongings, and eventually rigging a shadow puppet play that details his own torrid background with the love of his life. Tyr himself is present for that last bit, invited by Demeter, as flashbacks reveal how a lost child forced Odin to seek new wars out of cowardice, leaving Tyr behind with his love. Since then, Demeter has found it easier to hate Wednesday than to mourn the loss of their child, which she reveals to him through her room door. Her release papers eventually arrive, and both she and Wednesday vacate the premises, but just as he’s smugly saying his goodbyes he spies Demeter through a window as she transforms into a flurry of leaves and butterflies and disappears.

You’ll recall that at the end of the previous episode, Shadow was rattled to see Laura standing next to him in Lakeside, but that surprise doesn’t amount to much in American Gods season 3, episode 6, all things considered. They have a little chat, she says she’s trying to kill Mr. Wednesday, he expresses some reservations and explains that they’re because Wednesday is his father, and then they amicably part ways, running into Marguerite on the way out. Laura seems to obliquely give her blessing to Shadow’s love interest of the season, and then they do their own thing for the rest of the episode.

Laura, for what it’s worth, returns to Salim, who she’s still coaching through moving on (he thinks the TV is talking to him), and they both end up being propositioned by the now Mr. World (an ever-welcome Danny Trejo), though we don’t learn what all that might entail just yet. Shadow, meanwhile, paints his apartment shirtless, which is enough to convince Marguerite to invite him for dinner with her and her sister, who turns out to be Sam Black Crow. It’s a bit awkward, for obvious reasons, but Sam keeps Shadow’s real identity hush-hush — for now, anyway. Lakeside’s crime problem also continues apace, which is worrying to Chad, who’s useless and feels guilty since there hasn’t been a serious crime there since ’81, but luckily Ann Marie is on-hand to take over. Not that Shadow needs either of them, since after saying goodbye to Sam he spots Derek hopping out of a window and gives chase. He doesn’t catch him, but Derek leaves a bag of “unmentionables” behind. He’s the underwear thief!

And finally, there’s Technical Boy, who continues to glitch out and panic about becoming suddenly emotional. His attempts at a diagnostic are thwarted by the system asking for Artifact 1 in order to provide a complete analysis and data restoration. He has no idea what any of this means and neither, apparently, does Mr. World, though after giving Technical Boy a pep talk about his importance he promptly places a call during which he mentions keeping “it” in a silo. Danny Trejo, eh? You just can’t trust him.

Oh, American Gods season 3, episode 6 also has a lot of really nice scene transitions. Thought I should mention that somewhere.

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