American Gods has been on for three weeks now and I swear each episode gets better and better. From the cinematography to the sound to the acting, the bar keeps getting raised. This past week, “Head Full of Snow” focused mainly upon belief. Belief in yourself, in others, in love, and the Gods. Shadow Moon struggles through the episode(s) with this. He doesn’t believe in himself, he believed in love but lost it with Laura being killed, and he’s having a hard time believing and following along with what Mr. Wednesday is having him do.
“Head Full of Snow” starts off with the God Anubis visiting a woman who has died and he takes her to a form of purgatory. He then goes through the traditional way of determining if she is worthy of going to the afterlife. For a moment the woman has doubt—a lack of faith or belief—in her ability to go to the afterlife; however, she is deemed a good soul and is able to go.
We then see Shadow meeting the final Zorya sister—Zorya Polunochnaya. In the previous episodes we saw that Mad Sweeney gave Shadow a coin which he then threw out; however, he is now given another coin by Polunochnaya that she plucks seemingly from the moon. The coin that was given to Shadow by Sweeney was protection that he didn’t believe in, but she gave him a second chance with another silver coin. This coin gives Shadow the luck, confidence, and belief that he could win against Czernobog in another checkers game. The conditions were these: if Shadow wins, Czernobog accompanies Mr. Wednesday in his plan, but if he loses Czernobog gets to hit Shadow with his hammer two times instead of one. But with this coin that he was given, he beats Czernobog and is able to recruit him in Mr. Wednesday’s plan.
The most memorable part of this episode is the interaction between the salesmen and the genie in the cab. Now I have watched a lot of television and some of those shows have had sex scenes in them. But I have never in my life seen such a sequence so intimate in my life. But what makes this scene memorable isn’t mainly the blatant nudity or the fact that it is so passionate you can feel the emotion through the television. What makes it memorable is it’s a homosexual scene between to men who are of Middle Eastern origin. It’s definitely something that, I believe (don’t quote me on this), is the first of its kind and definitely revolutionary.
One thing that I literally screamed over was the fact that Scott Thompson (Jimmy Page from Hannibal) was in this episode. Even though his luck turned sour quick, it was nice to see him again. What’s cool is that this sequence followed the theme of belief as well. Mad Sweeney, down on his luck, because he found out he gave Shadow his lucky coin, is banged up and walking down the side of the road when Scott Thompson’s character stops to help him. Scott Thompson’s character believed that he could help Mad Sweeney. It was short lived however still followed the central theme.
More instances of the theme of belief happen with Shadow and Mr. Wednesday’s bank robbery; Shadow doesn’t believe it’ll go well. Mr. Wednesday asks Shadow to make it snow, but Shadow doesn’t believe he has the power to do that (but…spoiler alert…he does).
The final scene of the episode is the last large moment that showcases belief. Shadow, after all that went down in the day, goes to his hotel room where he is faced with his deceased wife, Laura. She is sitting there waiting for him and the episode ends with Shadow having to make the decision to believe that she is really there or not.
TLDR; this episode is jam packed with belief. It furthers the plot and gives insight into whats happening and what is going to happen. More Gods in this universe are revealed and Shadow Moon and Mr. Wednesday’s adventures continue. Shadow struggles with believing whats happening, gains luck, and at the end of the episode is confronted by his deceased wife. So many storylines are being introduced and woven together that it’s exciting to witness it all come together with these episodes.
I cannot wait for the next episode and am over the moon about how well this show is doing.