WARNING: Spoilers ahead for American Gods season 2 and the American Gods novel.
American Gods season 2's ending left viewers with far more questions than resolutions. The season finale, "Moon Shadow", was incredibly surreal, even by the standards of the series so far, and failed to address a number of ongoing subplots, such as how Mr. Wednesday will move forward with his master plan now that his spear, Gungnir, has been added to Mad Sweeney's treasure horde.
Most of "Moon Shadow" was devoted to the New Gods striking back at Mr. Wednesday and his followers, now that Media and Technical Boy have been reborn in new forms. The two combined their powers under the direction of Mr. World, with Technical Boy arranging a massive data breach and the new Media stirring up a cyclone of fake news accusing Mr. Wednesday, Shadow Moon and Salim of being terrorists. This resulted in multiple teams of law enforcement personnel converging on Mr. Ibis' funeral parlor in Cairo, Illinois, with most of the show's cast stuck inside the building with no time to escape and no way out, in a scene that was a major departure from the original novel.
American Gods season 2 ended with the fates of the cast uncertain. Most of them were on the road, trying to get away from Cairo, but where they will wind up in American Gods season 3 is yet to be revealed. Assuming that the show continues to mirror the books, it seems likely that Shadow Moon will wind up in the small town of Lakeside and try to lay low for a time until the heat dies down.
Here is everything we know about season 3 of American Gods, based on the revelations in "Moon Shadow."
What Is Laura Doing With Mad Sweeney's Corpse?
The interactions between Laura Moon and Mad Sweeney were one of the best parts of American Gods' first two seasons. They were also a major departure from the original novel, where Laura and Mad Sweeney never met. Indeed, Mad Sweeney was a minor character who only appeared in two scenes of the book.
When we last see Laura Moon in "Moon Shadow," she is walking down the side of a road while carrying the corpse of Mad Sweeney. The image is doubly humorous, first due to the visual incongruity of the short, slight Laura carrying the tall, lanky form of the leprechaun and doing so without any apparent difficulty due to her zombie strength. Then there's the irony of the situation and that Laura is intentionally burdening herself with Mad Sweeney's bulk, after spending most of American Gods season 2 working to rid herself of the Celtic god-king, whose lucky coin was responsible for her resurrection.
So why is Laura doing this? Is she going to try and resurrect Mad Sweeney in the hope that he will join her in her newfound crusade to kill Mr. Wednesday, knowing that Mad Sweeney hated Wednesday even more than he hated her? Or is she going to bury her old frenemy personally because she thinks she has more right to do it than anyone else? While either one seems likely from a storytelling standpoint, it should be noted that Pablo Schreiber was recently cast in the role of Master Chief in the Halo TV series, so he may not have time to return as Mad Sweeney depending on the shows' shooting schedules.
Does Anyone Want To Work With Mr. Wednesday?
Mr. Wednesday was largely absent from the American Gods season 2 finale, having snuck out of the funeral parlor in the middle of the night. By the end of the episode, he had two characters actively swearing to kill him (The Jinn and Laura Moon) and even his man, Shadow Moon, seemed to have given up on his plan to start a war between the Old Gods and the New Gods. Despite this, when we last see Mr. Wednesday, he is in a bar watching the news and happily noting that "My boy's gonna be just fine."
At this point, is there anyone in American Gods who likes Mr. Wednesday and is working with him because they honestly believe in his cause? The events of season 2 revealed that many of Mr. Wednesday's allies had been tricked into owing him favors which required them to work for him. In the case of the Jinn, he was literally enslaved by Mr. Wednesday using the rules regarding his kind being freed from an item that trapped them. Even the characters who seem to believe in the cause, like Mr. Nancy, only seem to begrudgingly tolerate Mr. Wednesday on a personal level.
Is Mr. Wednesday Shadow's Father?
As Shadow tried to escape from the funeral home, he found himself snared by a miniature Yggdrasil - the world tree of Norse mythology, which Mr. Wednesday had grown in Mr. Ibis' greenhouse. As he was dragged upside down into the tree's branches, Shadow had visions of his mother and of Mr. Wednesday and several things they both had said. The implication of all this was that Mr. Wednesday was Shadow's father.
The show has dropped hints about this before, such as when a man with Ian McShane's voice offered Shadow a few words while he was in the hospital with his dying mother. Still, the montage seemed to confirm what fans of the books already knew. It should be noted, however, that Shadow does not learn about his divine heritage until closer to the end of the American Gods novel, suggesting another major divergence heading into season 3.
Who Changed Shadow's Driver's License?
The final scene of the American Gods season 2 finale sees Shadow on a bus trying to get away from Cairo. The bus is stopped by the police, who are looking for any sign of the terrorists that were said to be in the city. Shadow is ready to be arrested, but is stunned when the police say he is free to go. It is then that Shadow looks at his license and finds that it has magically been changed, identifying him as Michel Ainsel of Lakeside, Wisconsin.
In the novel, Shadow spent some time in Lakeside, Wisconsin pretending to be a man named Michael Ainsel; a false identity given by Mr. Wednesday, who specifically guided him to stay there. It's entirely possible that Mr. Wednesday is doing the same thing in the show, only with much more subtlety. Then again, it could be the work of another God, such as Bilquis, who told Shadow that her fortune was tied to his when he left Cairo. It could also be the work of the Jinn, who performed a similar trick for Salim. Regardless of who is responsible, it seems clear where we can expect to find Shadow when American Gods returns for season 3.