American Gods “Tears of the Wrath-Bearing Tree” acts as pivotal point in Shadow Moon’s life. He’s no longer the man he was in season one, two, or three as a whole. Instead, now he’s part of something bigger than him. Something built on hope, fear, knowledge, and most importantly faith. And in a way he’s been running from this his entire life. Difference now is that he’s seen the literal light that came with the death of his father.
Wednesday had planned this. From the very moment that he met Shadow he had planned for his son to be the one to be the sacrificial lamb meant for resurrection. He had other plans, let’s make that clear. If he could survive and make it amongst Shadow and the rest of the Gods without a hitch, he was gonna do it. Then he AND his son could lead the charge and show the New Gods how shit is actually done by Gods.
But he died, he became the lamb, and with Shadow’s subsequent sacrifice in “Tears of the Wrath-Bearing Tree” we think that he’s back in the game. Because this can’t be the last that we see of Wednesday. He’s too spry, too crafty to taken down by Laura’s power move. Whatever comes next, it’s what he’s wanted from the start, and what will change the power dynamics between the Old Gods and the New.
This review for “Tears of the Wrath-Bearing Tree” wouldn’t be complete without us talking about the absolute destruction of any last semblance of a connection between Shadow and Laura. Personally, we thought they had nothing left to say to each other at the end of season 2 of American Gods. But we were wrong. There was still plenty to say and in this episode they laid to rest their relationship; past, present, and future.
Shadow didn’t kill Laura out of final respect for the love he shared with Laura, way back when. But also because he didn’t want to “be like her.” Not that we’re saying we agree with everything that Shadow said about Laura. He doesn’t know her anymore, no matter how much he thinks he does. And he doesn’t know the real reason behind the pain that drove her to say, “Fuck it. I’m killing that bastard Old God.” But that’s another editorial for another time.
Point being, he didn’t kill Laura because of his past but also because of the man or God that he wants to be. He knows that the Gods like playing games with each other and exacting revenge where they see fit. Shadow is not like that. He’ll never be like that. And if he’s going to start this journey to God-hood he needs to make it clear to all those around him that this is who he is.
This is who Shadow Moon is. Who he’s always been. And with season 4 on the horizon, we can’t wait to see what comes next.