Head Full of Snow Review
The third episode of American Gods premiered Mother’s Day as the story continued to develop. This is a Head Full of Snow review.
The last time we saw Shadow, he had lost a game of checkers to Czernobog and was going to die to Czernobog’s hammer in the morning. However that night he met the third Zorya sister, Zorya Polunochanya. She was the youngest and most beautiful of all the sisters. After telling Shadow that he was once given protection but he gave it away, she plucked out of the night sky a silver dollar and gave it to him. He had protection once more.
That’s when Shadow woke up and found the silver dollar in his pocket. He decided to challenge Czernobog once again to checkers. This time, Shadow won and Czernobog has to help them. After this is all over though, Shadow will have a date with Czernobog’s hammer once again.
From there, Wednesday and Shadow were off. Their next stop was to rob a bank. Shadow, just freshly being out of prison only by a few days was very, very reluctant to help. However Mr. Wednesday’s plan was simple but brilliant.
Mad Sweeney however wasn’t having very good luck. In fact, he was having the worst luck of his life. He had discovered that he had accidentally given his luck to Shadow and went to Shadow demanding it back. Shadow told him that he had tossed it in his wife’s grave plot, and that’s where Mad Sweeney went.
During all of this, Wednesday had told Shadow to think of snow and that’s what Shadow did. Somehow, Shadow was able to summon up a snow storm which helped with Wednesday’s plan. He told Shadow to stand at a pay phone and handed him a business card of a supervisor at a security firm and told Shadow he is to be this guy.
After the targeted bank closed for the day, Wednesday put up signs that said that the ATM/ night deposit were broken. He then sat in a guard’s uniform with a briefcase holding deposit slips and took unsuspecting business owners earnings for the day that they were to deposit in the bank who all thought that Wednesday was there to help.
All was going well until the police stopped by. Shadow saw this from afar and started to freak. However, that’s where his part came in. The police called the payphone that Shadow was standing by and he played the part of Wednesday’s supervisor for the security company perfectly. It was so convincing that Wednesday and Shadow got away with enough money to fund them for a while.
Mad Sweeney however went to the grave plot and discovered that the coin and Shadow’s wife’s body were missing.
Shadow and Wednesday drove out of town and stopped at a motel. When Shadow retired to his room, he found his wife Laura sitting on his bed waiting for him. Yes, she is alive.
Somewhere in America
Also in this episode were two side stories of Somewhere in America. The first was about an old woman who was balancing on a stool trying to get a jar on a high shelf. The stool was very unstable. Once she got the jar she returned to cooking but there was a knock on her door. When she opened it, she found the Egyptian god Anubis waiting to take her to the underworld. Turns out, she had fallen off of her stool and died.
She told Anubis that her household was Muslim, but he replied that since she remembered the old Egyptian stories she was told when she was young, that she would be going with him. She was happy. He took her to the scales and weighed her heart against a feather. Her sins were lighter than the feather and she could choose where to go in the afterlife. In the end she asked Anubis to choose for her, and was pushed by her cat through the door. The cat had somehow followed her.
The next story was of a salesman from Oman who was in New York trying to sell trinkets for his brother-in-law’s company. He was having no success and hated it. However, he found himself in a cab driven by an ifrit/ jinn. The salesman had heard stories of the jinn back in the day by his grandmother. This jin was unhappy driving cabs, but the salesman found himself so lucky to be in his presence even though the jin continually told him he doesn’t grant wishes.
When they got to the salesman’s hotel room, he invited the jinn to his room and the jinn came with him. They made love that night, passionate love. Yet in the morning the salesman woke to find his clothes and trinkets to sell gone, but found everything of the jin’s including the car keys to the cab. Thus, the salesman got his wish and was no longer a salesman. He became a cab driver.
It was never explained why Mad Sweeney wanted his coin back in the book. In the book, he went to Shadow further down the road asking for it saying that he would die. The fact that it was Mad Sweeney’s luck that he had lost makes sense, but it wasn’t what I imagined when reading the book of why he needed it back. It always sounded like the gold coin belonged to someone else.
Though, I am so happy that they kept the story of the salesman and the jinn in the show. That is my favorite side story in the whole book. What they left out though, was the fact that not only did the salesman get his wish of no longer being a salesman for his brother-in-law, but the jinn got his wish too and was no longer a cab driver. Which is what I loved about that story, is that even though the jinn no longer grants wishes, he still did.
The rest of the story is so far plugging along it’s way, following the book with some minor things here and there. I liked how they added in that media was watching Wednesday and Shadow in the bank while they were checking it out.
Oh, and Laura is back, but I knew this already. Though, I really can’t wait until Shadow gets to meet Mr. Anubis and Mr. Jackal. So excited for the next episode.
American Gods premiers Sunday nights on STARZ.