It was perhaps the worst-kept secret on television, but one that was finally revealed in the Season 1 finale of American Gods: Mr. Wednesday is Odin, the Norse deity also known as Grimnir or the Allfather. The revelation came as something of a surprise to Shadow Moon, even if it didn't to the audience — or at least the members of the audience who either read the Neil Gaiman novel on which the show is based, or those who picked up on the many hints scattered throughout the eight episodes, such as his glass eye and his two raven sidekicks. Even if it wasn't a surprise, the "twist" still felt climactic, as it came hand-in-hand with the official declaration of war between the Old Gods and the New Gods.
The tension between the two groups had been simmering all season long; but despite Mr. World's best efforts to keep it at bay, Wednesday finally shattered the tenuous peace for good… which means Season 2 should be even more explosive when it arrives next year.
Wednesday's road to recruitment hit a snag when he realized that the New Gods had already been recruiting new gods to their side by offering to "rebrand" them — like Vulcan with his bullets or their offer to put Odin's name on a missile. But if Wednesday's killing of Vulcan was the "first shot across the bow," then his attack against the New Gods in the Season 1 finale was the official declaration of war… and he has at least one powerful Old God on his side, thanks to Easter.
In the finale, the Germanic goddess of the spring — embittered by centuries of having to share her holiday (and therefore her worship) with the usurper Jesus Christ in all his manifold iterations — accepts Wednesday's offer of alliance; and while he strikes down the New Gods' faceless droogs with lightning, she blights the landscape of America with a drought that will force the people to worship her again, acknowledging the Old Gods and increasing her strength. Technical Boy and Media (this time masquerading as Judy Garland in the 1948 film Easter Parade) look on in horror, while Mr. World lets it be known that they've reached the point of no return. There will be no truce.
But that's exactly how Mr. Wednesday wants it. I don't know about you, but I'm starting to get the sense that he's not really pursuing this war out of some sense of altruism or kinship with his fellow Old Gods… but that he just might be pursuing his own secret agenda. This is brought home by the fact that he has to lie to Easter to get her on his side, claiming that the New Gods killed Vulcan when really he was the one who decapitated the god of fire. Wednesday is a con man who is spinning lies to pit the two sides against one another — but to what end?
If there's any hiccup to Wednesday's master plan, it's Bilquis, who the audience learns in the finale is actually working for Technical Boy, ever since the New God introduced her to online dating as a way to attract worship and regain her strength. While Wednesday and Mr. Nancy plot about getting Bilquis on the side of the Old Gods, she's already been dispatched to the House On The Rock by Technical Boy as a double agent.
What is Wednesday's ultimate goal? Will Bilquis' treachery be revealed in time? Who will be the next casualty in the war between the Old Gods and the New Gods? Sadly, audiences will have to wait until next year to find out, when American Gods finally returns for Season 2.