On American Gods, we learned more about Wednesday’s past, and a storm is coming faster than expected. Here’s our review of “Donar The Great”!
In my opinion, “Donar The Great” was the strongest episode of American Gods this season. We learned more about Wednesday. We see the New Gods realizing war is much closer than before, and Shadow finally learns a little bit more about the world he’s now a part of.
Three major developments happen in “Donar The Great” so let’s work through those below:
#1: Losing a God
Donar is Wednesday’s son, Thor. In this episode, we see that Wednesday has siphoned his worship through a burlesque show in the 1930s. His son is his most famous act along with a woman named Columbia. She was the embodiment of the American spirit until Lady Liberty made her debut on America’s shores curtesy of the French.
In the episode, Donar is recruited by The Friends of New Germany. They’re Nazis. Plain and simple. Wednesday feels like this arrangement between them will gain Donar worshippers and thus solidify his God status in the U.S. After the Nazis ask Donar to throw a match with a German, Donar isn’t too sure anymore.
Is worship worth that kind of sacrifice?
The other flaw in this plan is Columbia.
Donar is very much in love with her, and she wants to run away to California together. Finally, Donar agrees. He wants to leave before he has to throw the match to the Germans.
What follows is heartbreaking.
Wednesday finds out of their plan and sets Columbia up with Tech Boy. He promises that she’ll be the new spirit of the United States. They’ll need it with the war coming. Wednesday pushes her to accept the offer from the New Gods by telling her that Donar changed his mind and left with the Nazis already.
After he gets her settled, Wednesday goes outside to confront Donar, who is waiting on Columbia. Father and son get into an argument that leads to Wednesday unveiling Gungnir. They run at each other, and Mjolnir connects with Gungnir when they fight and breaks it in half. Donar walks away from his father and never looks back.
We find out later that Donar took his own life in 1942. Apparently, death by suicide is one of the ways that a God can’t come back. This is news to Shadow, and a moment of vulnerability for Wednesday who shares what details he knows about his son’s suicide. Arguably, this is one of the only times in the series that Wednesday has been open and truthful with Shadow.
#2: Gaining Back Power
Wednesday finds the dwarves, Sindri and Dvalin, in a rundown mall. Sindri lets Wednesday know that Dvalin can’t repair Gungnir because he doesn’t have the power to do so, but if Wednesday brings his an article of power, he could repair the runes. Sindri shows him the most powerful artifact in the mall, Lou Reed’s leather jacket.
It goes without saying that Wednesday doesn’t want to spend actual money on anything involving the dwarves, so he hatches an insane scheme to get the jacket. After some serious acting on Shadow and Wednesday’s parts, they manage to get Lou Reed’s leather jacket and give it to Dvalin. This gives him enough power to etch the runes back into Gungnir.
#3: A Mysterious Plan
Mr. World knows that Gungnir is restored, and he tells New Media that she needs to move up their launch.
What does this mean? What does World have up his sleeve, especially with the battle so close? Tech Boy has been retired, and he’s relying solely on New Media. Argus is gone and so are his eyes.
Only time will tell what World will do. If he can stay in the bunker at Black Briar and still wage his part of the war, he’ll have a huge advantage.
What did you think of “Donar The Great”? Was this look into Wednesday’s past helpful? I feel like Wednesday hasn’t learned from his mistakes. He tells Shadow that he reminds him of his son, yet Wednesday had a big hand in separating Laura and Shadow. He’s done things to keep them separated after they’ve been reunited, too.
P.S. Someone please give Orlando Jones all the awards. His portrayal of Anansi is insanely good, and the parts of the episode he was in were incredible.
American Gods airs Sundays at 8/7c on STARZ.