‘American Gods’ 1×03 Review: Head Full of Snow

American Gods “Head Full of Snow” feels like a landmark episode where the Starz show has finally hit it’s stride and left us surprised, awed, and wanting for more.

Not only did this episode have Mr. Wednesday teasing us and Shadow with the greatness of his power, it saw the return of Laura Moon, and the most intimate, beautiful, and touching scene between two men of color I’ve ever seen on TV.

Let’s dive right in and talk about “Head Full of Snow”!

Two Men Meet
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If there’s one scene that American Gods should be proud of, it’s this one. It’s the one that I plan to share, rave about, and tell my friends and family because it is a stunning symbol of intimacy between two men who come from societies that frown upon such intimacy or behavior.

I want to clarify on what I mean by intimacy and why I love this scene more than any other I’ve seen between a gay couple. We don’t see men having sex on TV too often. And when we do there’s always something off about it. It lacks a certain affection, gentleness, and feels like it wasn’t written for gay men or by gay men. It’s sensationalized.

That is not the case with Salim and the Jinn.

There is a gentleness between these two men. Quiet moments where nothing else exists besides them. Simple touches that mean more than anything in the world. A passion that only grows brighter and stronger as time passes. It feels like I’m intruding on something between two old lovers losing themselves in each other’s body.

Salim and the Jinn are just making love. Pure, simple, and beautiful. There’s nothing exploitative about it, it isn’t a coming out story of sorts, and it feels like the missing piece to every single gay story I’ve seen between two men.

Now, I’m not a man. I’m a bisexual woman. But I understood these two men. I understood their need for an accepting and comforting touch in a world that seems never ending in its disappointments. I understood their need to get lost in someone else and their hesitation in doing so. And I understood their desire to just hold someone close, hold their hand, or share a tender kiss.

Everyone at American Gods have done something truly beautiful and I hope shows, writers, and executives learn from it.

A Wife Returns
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After watching Shadow mourn Laura in the last episode, it’s kind of jarring to see her waiting for him in his hotel room. Part of me wishes that it’s a dream but it’s not. She’s real.

Shadow just started to mourn her and you better believe that mixed up in all that sadness is a burning anger for her betrayal. She couldn’t wait for him, she didn’t tell him, and then she died. So there’s definitely going to be some mixed feelings brewing inside of Shadow for the return of his late wife.

Part of Shadow is going to want to run to Laura and hold her tight, forget everything that’s happened to him and go back to the way it was. Another part is going to want to yell and ask why she did what she did. And another part is going to want to run and forget that she ever appeared in his room.

I’ve got to say I’m with Shadow here, all parts of him. None of us would know how to react to a moment like this. And luckily for us, the viewer, we’ll be better equipped to understand Laura Moon because the next episode is all about her, what led her to this place, and how she came back to life.

We’ll get the perspective Shadow will never get.

Think “Snow”
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If you’re gonna start a war then you need money. Well that and snow.

Shadow’s faith was tested in “Head Full of Snow”. He doesn’t know it yet  but Mr. Wednesday is more than just a old con-man. (Well, maybe he’s got an inkling but he hasn’t decided if he’s crazy or if the world is.) He’s a God slowly introducing him to the fantastical world that surrounds Shadow everyday.

This episode felt like Shadow’s faith in himself and Mr. Wednesday is growing and his skepticism just got another chunk chipped off of it. And as this happens Mr. Wednesday is going to grow more powerful because of Shadow’s faith.

He’s like a beautiful, strong, hot chocolate loving, battery for all the crazy things this God is going to get up to. I can’t wait.

American Gods airs Sundays at 9/8c on Starz.

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