It’s the final episode of the first season, and what a ride Come to Jesus is!
The opening scene is a little creepy with all those little spiders crawling all over the place, but it signifies that Anansi is in the vicinity which is only a good thing. He as always is one who adores theatricality and through boredom decides to tell Shadow and Mr Wednesday a story. The subject of this story is Bilquis, and we are taken back to 864 B.C.E to the temple of Bar’an (which was also known as the Moon Temple). The visuals are stunning, Bilquis is dressed in gold finery, the pillars and walls of the temple are covered in the Himyaritic script and the night sky is a perfect midnight black that is speckled with stars. In the temple, a slo-mo orgy unfolds and a king grows a crown out of his head (that is just bizarre!). Bilquis soon consumes the sacrifices and Mr Nancy moves the story along to the 70’s with the help of an awesome visual transition. The story then details how Bilquis came to America due to violence and oppression, and 2013 comes around and we see her as a shadow of her former self, living on the streets where a chance encounter with Technical Boy offers her a new way to be worshipped, all in all, I think this may be the most fully realised and detailed Coming to America story yet. The events of the episode briefly return to Bilquis and she is once again visiting museums about her society, it’s almost as if she is pinning for her glory days and it’s reasonable to suggest this as now she has to answer to Technical Boy. And he most definitely has something nefarious up his sleeve.
Easter is finally introduced and Kristin Chenoweth is certainly the best choice to play her (if you’ve seen Bryan Fullers Pushing Daisies then you know what I mean). The first hints that we are going to meet her come in the form of very cute and speedy rabbits following Shadow and Wednesday in the car and when we venture into her lovely home it’s filled with candy of all different shapes, sizes and colours to which Wednesday remarks “All that fucking sugar, Huh?”. Easter is technically Ostara a pagan goddess but the way she has been celebrated has changed due to the popularisation of the Easter Holiday due to Christianity. On the subject of Christianity in this episode, seeing as it is called Come To Jesus, we see more of the Jesus’ that have previously been eluded to in earlier episodes in a funny moment where Shadow is looking around the room in bewilderment. Mr Wednesday is rude as usual and it’s rather amusing to see him basically telling a group of Jesus’ to fuck off.
The seemingly perfect Easter party slowly starts to fall apart with surprise visits from Mad Sweeney and Laura who hope that Ostara can resurrect the “dead wife”, in a little nod to Pushing Daisies Easter says “I don’t resurrect, I relife” which reminded me of something Ned says in Pushing Daisies. The second of the surprise visits comes in the form of Media who proclaims that she has helped Easter make a name for herself in the modern world. Media is becoming more and more interesting with each episode, apparently, she offered the same deal to St Nick! So the new God’s are offering out deals to the old gods so that they can become new again, Media goes on to explain that “it’s Religious Darwinism. Adapt and Survive”. A showdown between Media, Technical Boy and Mr World occurs but Wednesday proves that the Old gods still have what it takes to form a defence and offence, he brings a storm and reveals his identity to the ever confused Shadow and Easter steals back spring. This final scene is all very weird and visually awesome that it keeps the viewer hungry for more of the story which we will sadly have to wait a year for now!
Interestingly this episode essentially deals with Female power, Bilquis and Easter are at the heart of this episode’s narrative which tells of the different ways men have overthrown Powerful Women. Bilquis answers to Technical Boy so that she can still survive in modern times and Easter’s worship is no longer truly just hers as she has to now share it with many different Jesus’ who are arguably more powerful than she is due to their followers. Also, the closing scene with Bilquis hints that the second season will potentially open with the scene at the House on the Rock, to put this in perspective this scene appears in chapter 5! The fact that the book has 20 chapters means that the pacing of this show and all the little tangents its gone off on guarantees that there will be plenty of content for many more seasons to come, Hurray!!