Starz’ American Gods
Season 1, Episode 3: “Head Full of Snow”
Directed by David Slade
Written by Bryan Fuller & Michael Green
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “The Secret of Spoons” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Git Gone” – click here
Somewhere in America, we start with a woman cooking, complaining of her grand children. A hairless cat sits listening to her rant over the food. At the door a strange man says she has died, she must come with him. This is Anubis (Chris Obi): “I am of death.” She is actually lying dead on the floor. It is now time for her to go elsewhere. She is Muslim, and wonders why Anubis is there for her. Because she learned about “Egypt of old” as a girl, therefore he will take her to “the scales.” Love the mythology of the various religions and cultures that comes together in the boiling pot of America. A testament to the genius of Neil Gaiman’s novel.
He takes the woman up through a mountain of building, fire escapes. Then they’re on top of a mountain, where the landscape becomes desert, far as the eye can see. They walk across the sand until reaching the scales. He rips her heart out and weighs it against a feather. Her heart is equal to its weight, so she goes further with Anubis to the Duad. Past which are many worlds. She goes on into a door and his cat pushes her in. Sneaky bastard.
Last we saw ole Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle), he lost that game of checkers to Czernobog (Peter Stormare). In the middle of the night Shadow wakes to find the sky doing eerie things, the clouds crowding the city. Up top of the building he finds Zorya Polunochnaya (Erika Kaar), staring at the sky with a telescope, doing experiments or something wild. She’s watching a constellation, though takes time to read his fortune. “You believe in nothing so you have nothing,” she tells him. Very telling. Afterwards, she pulls the moon from the sky as a coin, placing it in Shadow’s hand. Then he wakes from his sleep.
Polunochnaya: “You‘d rather die than live in a world with bears in the sky”
Shadow tries making a new deal, another game of chess with Czernobog for his life. He plays upon the Old God’s vanity, saying one blow from him won’t likely kill anymore. He offers Czernobog a bit better of a deal, still resulting in his death either way. And so they play another game.
Meanwhile, Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane) sneaks in to see Zorya Vechernyaya (Cloris Leachman). He believes she deserves more in life, promising it’ll all get better soon. She tells him that he’s going to fail at his latest mission, that he will be killed. At the same time, the chess game is on, as Shadow plays a tougher game this time around and wins.
Vechernyaya: “I can taste you on the rain. What else can I taste?”
When Shadow wakes in the morning he’s informed they’ll be robbing a bank soon. Now that’s a wake-up call.
Mad Sweeney (Pablo Schreiber) is quite the party animal, waking up in a bathroom stall at the bar. He’s kicked out and makes his way along the side of the road. A guy driving (Scott Thompson) stops to offer the hitchhiker a ride. He offers Sweeney a bit of advice before a steel rod flies off a truck impaling him through the face. What a car for Mad to step inside. Then he pours his pockets out trying to find something after the accident, pissed off for having misplaced or straight up lost it.