Mr. Nancy—played by Orlando Jones—makes his debut on the next episode of American Gods, and his fiery introduction is one of the season’s best scenes. He manifests in the cargo hold of a slave ship, bluntly telling the kidnapped Africans about the future that they and their descendants will inherit.
Known as Anansi the spider in West African and Caribbean cultures, Mr. Nancy is a trickster god. He messes with people’s heads, upends the proprieties of social order, and sows chaos. Sometimes he does it for justice; sometimes to benefit himself. The scene above is an incredibly powerful moment that gestures unflinchingly at the truth of what America’s foundation is made of.