Thus far on the American Gods TV series, we have seen a goddess consume people with her vagina, a spider God convince slaves to burn their ship with them on it, and a saucy offer from Lucy Ricardo to show off her tits. Where can Head Full of Snow, the third episode in the series, take viewers this time around?
In this episode, we see, for the most part, how comforting the Gods of old can be. And, in the world we live in today, we could all use a little more comfort.
Anubis, the Egyptian God of death, is comforting to an older woman coming to the realization she has passed on. Though the God is an intimidating physical presence, he offers the woman solace, and even a little humor, as he takes her on to the next life.
Shadow, angered and confused by the world he has been thrust into, is comforted by Zorya Polunochnaya, who offers him the moon in the form of a coin, in exchange for a kiss. With a boost of confidence, he proposes a second game with Czernobog, after attacking his ego that he might not be able to kill Shadow with just one blow. Shadow taunts Czernobog, and eventually wins the rematch, so the Old God agrees to come with him and Wednesday to Wisconsin… and then kill him after.
Wednesday offers comfort to Shadow as well, in the midst of a planned bank robbery. Shadow, not wanting to go back to prison a week after being released, is inspired by Wednesday to make it snow, using only the power of his mind. Shadow, as logical a mind as any, sees the world as science and fantasy. But Wednesday offers Shadow a new perspective, that the world isn’t so black and white, but on a spectrum.
The bank robbery gave this episode a humor that previous episodes had not had a chance to do. Wednesday may be dangerous and enigmatic, but, here, he is also a delight – clever, charismatic, and confident in his plan. His only fear, as is with anyone, is being forgotten.
Lo and behold, Shadow makes it snow, and also plays along in Wednesday’s robbery, and plays it well. He is becoming more and more comfortable in this world, standing toe-to-toe with Gods.
The Gods can also be of comfort sexually. An immigrant, Muslim salesman, down on his luck, finds an unexpected romance in his taxi-driver – who happens to be a Jinn. What happens is one of the most honest scenes of graphic sexuality to ever appear on television. The two took comfort in one another, finding a companionship they had yet to find in their new home.
Oh yes, and Mad Sweeney returns. Only this time, he is a bit down on his luck, and taking down others in his path. His lucky coin is missing, and Shadow is the only one who knows where to find it. When Shadow reveals where he left the coin, Sweeney goes to retrieve it, only to find it missing still. The result leaves the episode on a cliffhanger that will make Shadow believe that the things that he once presumed impossible are anything but.
After only three episodes, American Gods has set the bar high for others to follow, in terms of striking visuals and compelling messaging.
If you haven’t yet, read the Monkeys Fighting Robots reviews of the previous episodes: