American Gods: 1.03 Head Full of Snow
According to Entertainment Weekly, the gods have smiled upon American Gods, and graced them with a very early renewal. The show’s kicked off with over 5 million viewers across multiple platforms, principally Amazon Prime outside of the US. It increasingly looks like the first season is only going to get us halfway through the first novel (the second one still being written), so the renewal is excellent news for fans!
Coming to America: This week, it's Anubis, a kind Death, bringing an end to one who told his stories. Stories of the jackal god of Egypt. These little segments, some not from Gaiman's book, are becoming quite the highlight of the show. Vignettes that show us the world of these immigrant gods, but also illuminate the themes of the show. A little helping hand to explain the plot points to come.
When we left Shadow, he was under not Damocles' Sword, but Czernobog's Hammer. At least the threat of it, having failed to beat him at draughts. But, with a few words of encouragement from Zorya Polunochnaya the third of three soothsaying sisters, it's a re-match that decides it. Though it's Wednesday, or Votan as Czernobog calls him, who really wins, as always.
Somewhere in America, we're treated to a second vignette this week, and a controversial one. A homosexual encounter between a down-on-his-luck salesman and a djinn, a fire genie of the old world, has set tongues wagging on social media. Some extolling the existence of the scene, some decrying it, others still sad that scenes such as this are still controversial at all. But the scene is straight from Gaiman's book and executed well, if with less coyness. No ounce of plot is move forward by it, but this languorous scene adds to the mythic landscape of the American gods.
But back to Shadow, back to his travails. Mr Wednesday would like to rob a bank, to his endless concern. But this is no simple robbery, Wednesday is a conman, not an armed robber. And Shadow, he is not so ordinary himself. Snow. That's what Wednesday wants Shadow to fill his head with. And instead of questions, it is indeed snow that fills his mind. And, by extension, snow fills the skies and streets of Chicago. The perfect, crystalline setting for the perfect con job.
This third episode has been light of Ricky Whittle, though that's no terrible thing; the show doesn't rest on his shoulders. What it rests on is Gaiman's wider world, it rests on the theme of belief in the imaginable, over a mundane reality, and the power that has. And in that Brian Fuller continues to execute an excellent adaptation.