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Why did Wednesday tell Shadow to toss the cell phone when "2 Cell Phones" was on his shopping list? Why didn't he note that to Wednesday?

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  • This is in reference to the TV show only, right? As I remember, it doesn't happen the same way in the book. (Both book and TV show are on-topic here, but you can distinguish by adding the books or tv tag to your question if it's only relevant to one.) – Rand al'Thor Nov 6 '18 at 10:00
  • Yes, TV show. Thanks for noting the difference. (The show is very good artistically but has just a few things to explain.) – Randy Zeitman Nov 6 '18 at 14:58
  • On balance I suspect that this was a simple prop malfunction. The prop-master most likely read the script wrong and nobody from continuity noticed. – Valorum Nov 6 '18 at 23:46
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The "2 cell phones" on the list is most likely a continuity error, it is even written as such on the fan-written IMDB

In the presented scene, Wednesday is clearly surprised (and annoyed) at the purchase of the phones. Shadow doesn't respond with "It was on your list" or anything similar, hence it is most likely a prop list written by someone in studio, who misunderstood the scene.

As to why Wednesday doesn't want them - he doesn't trust technology as it is the domain of the New Gods.

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    The thing is that the "goofs" on IMDB are fan-written. they carry no more weight than this comment. – Valorum Nov 7 '18 at 10:12
  • @Valorum that's true, but it means that without any official comment, this seems to be the a plausible theory. – Yasskier Nov 7 '18 at 21:31
  • It's as plausible as any other fan-theory, but if I went on to IMDB and edited the goofs to say "This was deliberate on the part of the production crew because they wanted to mess with fans", would you add it to your answer? – Valorum Nov 7 '18 at 21:41
  • @Valorum I would put it as a counter-argument. Yet since I cannot find any other convincing theory (i.e. Reddit is very confused about it) and without official statement, I use the IMDB to enhance the weight of my post. It is not a "final decisive proof", but one of the arguments. – Yasskier Nov 7 '18 at 21:48
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The only explanation I can come up with for the shopping list: it was Shadow's addition to the shopping list, not an original item by Wednesday. Shadow explains in the car that Wednesday needs a mobile phone, for that crucial thing called communication.

As to why Wednesday refuses to have one - it's because he knows the New Gods have eyes and ears everywhere, and modern technology is their forte. As seen later in the series, Wednesday immediately recognises a particular god's eye when

shown the satellite imagery in the police station.

I think it's safe to assume the same god (or some other god, doesn't matter) has easy access to mobile networks as well. In order not to supply them intelligence about himself, Wednesday prefers not to use the technology.


As to why this wasn't in the novel - it was written in 2000, I imagine mobile technology wasn't as popular or widely available back then as it is now, and certainly Wednesday wouldn't want to mess with that new stuff anyway, likely for the reasons I proposed above.

  • I'm pretty sure Wednesday gives Shadow the list rather than Shadow writing it from dictation. I'd have to check the episode though – Valorum Nov 6 '18 at 23:52
  • I agree with Valorum, It does look like written by the same person. – Yasskier Nov 7 '18 at 1:31

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