After three seasons, war has (maybe) finally come to Starz’s American Gods. “Lake Effect,” the penultimate episode of season three, saw Laura Moon (Emily Browning) make good on her promise/threat to kill Wednesday/Odin (Ian McShane). The season finale, titled “Tears Of The Wrath-Bearing Tree,” is poised to be a mournful affair, as Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) and the Old Gods arrange to meet with the New Gods to reclaim Wednesday’s body. But it’s still unclear if Wednesday’s death is in fact the final opening salvo before the long-awaited confrontation.
In its setting, “Tears Of The Wrath-Bearing Tree” does remain faithful to Neil Gaiman’s novel, as old gods and new descend upon the Center of America (more specifically, the center of the contiguous U.S.). But the episode takes a decidedly more somber tone compared to Gaiman’s humorous description of this location, which was decided upon by the townspeople because they didn’t think anyone would want to go to the real Center of America and be ankle-deep in pig shit. As we see in this exclusive sneak peek at the season finale, the “doomed tourist attraction” aesthetic remains intact, though Shadow and Mr. Ibis (Demore Barnes) are way past caring about tourism.
As Mr. Ibis intones, the meeting locale is “ground zero, the least sacred place in America. If the House On The Rock is a place of spiritual power, this is a soulless void. A wasteland gods fear and men avoid. The perfect spot to conduct diplomacy between enemies of the divine persuasion.” Whether or not diplomacy is actually on the agenda remains to be seen.
“Tears Of The Wrath-Bearing Tree” airs Sunday, March 21 at 8 p.m. ET on Starz.