American Gods Recap: Head Full of Snow
We begin the episode with a look at Anubis (Mr. Jacquel). An older woman is cooking dinner when she (presumably) slips and falls to her death. The only one there to witness is a cat (I’m guessing this was Bast, as she follows the woman and Anubis, and pushes her through the door to her afterlife).
It’s a sweet glimpse of a caring god who remembers the woman listening raptly to stories of Anubis in her childhood.
“From nothing to everything.”
When we rejoin Shadow, he’s still in the Russian gods’ apartment. He’s awakened in the night, and heads to the roof where he meets the youngest Zorya sister. She talks a bit about how they watch the stars to ensure a beast does not escape. She tells Shadow’s fortune, and when she seems a little disturbed about what she sees, she seems to pluck the moon from the sky and hand it to him in the form of a silver dollar. She mentions that he ‘gave away the sun’ (I think she’s referring to Mad Sweeney’s gold coin here), and that he needs to hang on to the moon. She’s trying to give him some luck (which he clearly needs).
The imagery here is interesting, as in the first scene with Anubis, we watch the old woman, the cat, and Anubis ascend a fire escape that turns into stone steps, and they’ve clearly ascended to a spiritual realm. When Shadow goes to meet the youngest Zorya sister, he too ascends the side of the apartment building to talk to her on the roof, which has an otherworldly view of the sky.
Wednesday tries to charm the oldest Zorya sister. He talks about the old times, when she was celebrated. He assures her things will get better. She tells him he’s going to lose his fight.
When Shadow wakes up, he’s back on the couch. It’s still before dawn, but it’s clear he’s gotten an idea. He challenges Czernobog to another game, appealing to his vanity. He tells Czernobog it’s been a long time since he’s killed cattle with the hammer, and he may have grown weak. He might need more than one swing of the hammer to kill Shadow. He bets Czernobog that if he can win this round, Czernobog must go to Wednesday’s gathering, and he can crush Shadow’s head afterward. If he loses, Czernobog gets two swing if he needs it.
Of course, Shadow wins. Czernobog must come to the gathering.
We also see the fallout of Mad Sweeney giving his coin to Shadow. Apparently, this particular coin was his luck. He wakes up in the bar’s bathroom, and the barmaid is pointing a shotgun at him. Later, he hitchhikes with a man who ends up killed in a freak car accident. When he catches up to Wednesday and Shadow, he demands his coin back from Shadow. Shadow tells him he’s tossed it on Laura’s grave. Later, Sweeney figures out that it’s resurrected Laura.
“I do not grant wishes.”
We next meet the Ifrit. He’s driving a cab, and he meets a man who is a salesman, but miserable. The salesman hates who he is and what he does, but he and the Ifrit hit it off. They spend a night in the salesman’s hotel room making love, and in the morning the Ifrit is gone. However, it seems he has granted the salesman’s unasked wish. He’s left the cabbie’s ID (which clearly does not look at all like the Ifrit), permit, and cab. The salesman can become someone else.
There’s another interesting parallel in this story to the others–as the salesman and the Ifrit make love, they make an ascent of their own. We seem them transported to another realm while in the throes of passion.
As Wednesday and Shadow continue on the road, Wednesday matter of factly informs Shadow that they’ll be robbing a bank. Understandably, Shadow is dismayed and upset. He doesn’t quite understand Wednesday’s nature, yet.
While Wednesday readies their props for his scam, he tells Shadow to think about snow. To concentrate hard on making the clouds darker, and making lots of irritating snow fall.
To Shadow’s wonder, it does indeed snow.
Wednesday stations Shadow at the payphone across the street from the bank, while he dresses as a security guard collecting night deposits. He tells people that both the ATM and the night drop are inoperable, and he’s collecting night deposits for the bank. A cop stops to confirm what’s going on, and he calls the number on a card Wednesday gives him, which rings at the pay phone. Shadow convinces the cop everything is on the up and up, and they get away with the money.
“This is the only country in the world that wonders what it is.”
As they drive to their next stop, they nearly hit a wolf in the road. Shadow asks Wednesday if he made the snow. He says everything he’s experienced feels like a dream.
He enters the room they’ve rented for the night, and Laura is sitting on the bed.
Previous Episode: The Secret of Spoons