‘American Gods’ Highlights: S1E3: “Head Full of Snow”

When we last left of American Gods, Shadow seemed to be in trouble.  After losing a checkers match with the Slavic god Czernobog, his life was forfeit as he agreed that if he lost he would take a mallet to the head.  If he won, Czernobog would join Wednesday on his quest for war against the New Gods.  Lucky for our hero, he managed to find a way out through the magic of a rematch.  While a little anticlimactic, it cleared the way for some of the more interesting parts of this week’s episode “Head Full of Snow.”

Here are a few highlights from tonight’s episode “The Secret of Spoons.”

1. Departing America and the Introduction of Mr. Jacquel

Instead of doing the usual “Coming to America” introduction as done with the previous two episodes, this week, we a treated to the opposite.  Instead of telling an immigration story intersectional with the introduction of yet another god, we meet one through the tale of death.  We meet a Middle Eastern woman who is preparing dinner for her family who gets an unlikely visitor from Mr. Jacquel.  Mr. Jacquel tells her that he is there for her and that she is dead.  At first, the woman doesn’t believe him, but after he shows the woman her own lifeless body, she sees the writing on the wall.  Mr. Jacquel is the contemporary version of the Egyptian god Anubis, the god of the dead, so he takes her on to her next stage.  There we are treated to yet again another Bryan Fuller visual smorgasbord as she takes a bunch of stairs to the afterlife where he first judges her and then allows her to choose 1 of 5 forms of the afterlife.  

2. Mad Sweeny’s Bad Luck

Having skipped seeing the giant leprechaun last week, Mad Sweeny makes his return.  He’s not in good shape this week.  After waking up in the stall of Jack’s Bar and getting kicked out at gunpoint, he has to hitchhike his way to meet up with Wednesday.  He does get a ride from a nice driver.  Thanks to a freak accident, a pipe lands through the drivers face.  Mad Sweeny realizes that he gave Shadow his lucky coin, which means bad luck’s a coming for him until he retrieves the coin.  After confronting Shadow, later on, he realizes that Shadow no longer has it as he dropped it in his wife’s grave.  

3. Jinn and That Entire Scene

Starz is not afraid to show off some skin.  Anyone who has watch Outlander, Power, or Spartacus knows they can be extremely explicit with their sex scenes.  Hell, Bilquis has been swallowing people into her vagina the last two episodes during her sex scenes.  Tonight marked a new milestone not only for Starz, but probably for TV in general as we got treated to probably the most explicit gay sex scenes seen on TV with the introduction of Jinn and Salim.  Salim, a down and out salesman meets a cab driver with fire in his eyes.  Jinn reveals that he is a type of God called a Jinn, who complains that people just think he “grants wishes.”  The two head to Salim’s home for some sex, and we saw all the details.  This is unique as it shows very explicit gay sex, but it also shows two Middle Eastern men engaging in the act, something that historically has been a cultural taboo.

4. Shadow and Wednesday’s Heist

This week Wednesday need some money and convinces Shadow to come along with him on a bank heist.  At first, we think they are going to go all Bonnie and Clyde at the bank and rob them through brute force.  Shadow wants nothing to do with this, but Wednesday as calm and cool as ever tells him they have nothing to worry about.  Remember, Wednesday is a con man, so if he’s going to rob a bank, it’s going to be via a con.  It was creative, and totally believable.  With just an “out of order sign” a fake security guard outfit, fake company cards, and a “corporate office” at a payphone is all it took to con multiple people out of their money.

5. Shadow Makes It Snow

Before the heist, a worrisome Shadow is told just to concentrate on snow by Wednesday.  Later on, it stars to snow outside.  Shadow (who is our avatar for the world of the surreal) is just as flabbergasted as we were that it actually happened.  Does this mean that Shadow has powers?  This is probably why everyone is after him.  He had Media and the Technical Boy after him over the first two episodes, it’s gotta be because he is special.  

6. Laura Moon’s Back

Looks like Mad Sweeny’s lucky coin is capable of bringing people back from the dead.  The giant leprechaun heads to Shadow’s wife’s grave in search of his coin.  He doesn’t find the coin, nor does he find her body.  When Shadow heads to his motel to unwind, he finds his wife there waiting for him.  This should make a very interesting icebreaker as he has to get to the bottom of the whole “giving his best friend fellatio car crash” incident.