Another week, another episode of American Gods to review. Much like the previous episodes Bryan Fuller and Michael Green wrote it and David Slade directed it. I wonder if this will happen the whole season, but if it does I can’t complain. This season has been exceptional.
“-I tried my best. -Your best is good”
This episode didn’t stray too far from the book, but the opening scene did while remaining faithful to it. In the book the whole thing with the feather and the scales in the afterlife was explained in a conversation. This time it was a case of “Show, don’t tell” and it did wonders.
The scene was in line with the tone of the book anyway. It was moving, bittersweet and it looked amazing. But all in all the most important thing is that after the brief glimpses we get of Mr. Ibis we’ve finally met Mr. Jacquel. And maybe Bast as well, but if that’s Bast and not a random cat then she looks completely different to how I pictured her (in cat form, that is).
I’m looking forward to having him appear again, hopefully we’ll get to the Cairo part soon.
“We’re going to rob a bank!”
On the Shadow front, things seem to be going ok. Sure, Czernobog is going to bash his head in with a hammer, but at least he convinced him to join Wednesday, that’s something! And we’ve finally seen the third Zorya sister and her encounter with Shadow is even cuter than in the book, but that scene looks stunning. I’ve said a lot that there’s no show like American Gods on TV at this moment and one of the things that make me say that is the way it looks.
And we’re getting to see a bit more of Mad Sweeney too. His appearance in the book was quite short, so seeing him again was nice. Especially because the whole thing of a down-on-his-luck Leprechaun is funny to me. I hope the next episodes just have a series of scenes where weird shit happens to Mad Sweeney just because he’s lost his coin. Though I wonder if this is just a leftover of hating Pablo Schreiber when he played Pornstache in Orange is the New Black.
No Bilquis in this episode, but that’s fine because we’ve got a scene that will surely be a talking point of this episode.
“I do not grant wishes”
After seeing the scene with Bilquis in episode 1 I immediately thought “I wonder how the one with the jinn will go like.” As a teaser, so to speak, we saw the jinn last week, and it looks like that scene happened after the one in this episode.
I was always struck by the scene with the jinn and Salim in the book. And it translates quite well in the book, how Salim feels out of place in America and how the jinn is just fed up with the taxi. The dialogue looked exactly as it was in the book.
And seeing them getting down and dirty was quite surprising. The scene was quite explicit but tasteful at the same time, though there surely have been some post production shenanigans involved. And I’m not talking just about the jinn’s eyes!
The rest of the episode explores Shadow and Wednesday’s thing with the bank. Shadow is understandably paranoid when they’re casing the joint. Like sure, he’s being observed but who’s observing him is not who he expects.
I’ve mentioned before how Shadow is mostly a blank slate. He has no idea what’s going on so in that way he’s an audience surrogate. It’s what Wednesday means when he points out his failure of imagination, so he gives him something to believe in. And I don’t mean just the snow, when he gives him the task of pretending to be A. Haddock you see him getting quite comfortable in it, as if he were a totally different person.
Their conversation about Jesus was quite interesting and funny as well, especially considering that Jesus is going to appear at some point this season. In a way it kinda answers some questions.
But not enough, this show is quite slow about revealing what’s going on. But it doesn’t matter. American Gods is a journey, and journeys are never about the destination.
This third episode maintains the level that the previous ones had. I wonder if this streak will continue of it will be broken at some point. And at risk of repeating myself, there's no show like this on TV at this moment and that makes it worth watching.