‘American Gods’ 1×05 Review: Lemon Scented You

American Gods ‘Lemon Scented You’ continued where it left off last week with the return of Laura Moon and introduced us to the leader of the New Gods, Mr. World. And as we’re experiencing everything from Shadow Moon’s perspective, it was one WTF moment followed by another.

As the show continues to progress I’ve got to say that I’m loving Shadow more than his book counterpart. His reactions are exactly what I would’ve done and it’s clear to see that he’s trying the best he can, which is something we’re not used to with our heroes. He’s fumbling, trying to make his way in a world he knows nothing about, and we’re right along for the ride with him.

So without further ado, let’s talk about American Gods ‘Lemon Scented You’!

How to Deal with a Zombie Wife 101
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Pride is what I feel when I think of how Shadow Moon dealt with the return of his wife. Any other show would’ve taken this moment as an opportunity to return the two lost lovers into each other’s arms so they could declare their love. Fortunately, this isn’t that kind of story.

Shadow has seen some crazy stuff since getting out of jail and smacking her with a pillow to check if he was dreaming or not, was appropriate behavior. What followed was also right in line with the kind of man he is. He questioned Laura, hesitated and didn’t let the fact that she was back, erase the cheating and how she broke his heart.

When he told her that he wasn’t her “puppy” it was his way of telling her that her words weren’t enough. He understands what she said to him, listened and kept a steel grip on his emotions, because at one point this woman was his wife. But he didn’t let her off the hook or forgive her because she broke him and she’s not sorry for what she did.

In fact, Laura kind of seemed blase about it, as if cheating was an inevitable fact of life but she’s over it and now she wants to get back together with Shadow. Wrong. Cheating is not an inevitable fact of life and Shadow has some self respect. If Laura wants him back in her life, and if she wants to come back to life, she’s going to have to work harder, figure out what she wants, and truly apologize for breaking their marriage apart.

Two Assholes Meet in a Hotel Room
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I feel like we saw the birth of something insane when Mad Sweeney finally met Laura Moon, the current holder of his Sun coin. Both are assholes of epic proportions, unapologetically themselves, and on the cusp of an epic road-trip akin to Bonnie & Clyde, without the love but with a zombie and a leprechaun.

It doesn’t matter how strong Laura is or how she got one over him by pretending to be dead, he’s coming for her and won’t stop until he gets that coin. And with the way that Shadow reacted to Laura’s advances she’s probably going to rot right off her bones like Mad Sweeney predicted.

And talking about how strong Laura was…that mini fight scene was fantastic. With a flick of her hand this tiny woman made this tall tree of a man quake and spill vital information. And what made it even better is that Sweeney didn’t care that she was strong as an ox or that she was a woman. When he saw an opportunity he took it and tried to take her down.

Part of me feels like maybe I shouldn’t be so excited for the amount of trouble, fights, and back sassing that these two are going to be giving each other. And another part of me doesn’t care and is looking forward to seeing the expansion of two characters who are honestly a pair of funny, rude, and smart assholes.

The New Gods Don’t Want a Truce
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The only reason why the New Gods came to Shadow and Mr. Wednesday is because they’re scared and they want to control the fire that Mr. Wednesday is lighting under the Old Gods. Instead of it becoming a wild fire that gets the Old Gods to rise the New Gods want to keep it docile, controlled, and just a flame the size of a tea light.

That’s why Mr. World is all buddy buddy with Mr. Wednesday while keeping his air of superiority and that’s why Tech Boy is forced to apologize and punished after. It’s a show of power to keep what came before the New Gods from rebelling against them. They can feel the storm brewing and this is a preventative measure that ultimately fails.

Mr. Wednesday has been at this for a long time, longer than most in the room. He knows a con when he sees it and Mr. World, Media, and Tech Boy (kind of because he’s the most realistic and doesn’t want to play nice with Shadow or Mr. Wednesday) are pulling a con on him and his man Shadow.

Both Mr. Wednesday and Mr. World know that the measure/warning to back down from recruiting for a war didn’t work. But most importantly, they both know that the time of civility is drawing to a close as Gods choose their sides. It’s going to get bloody by the time this is all done.

Additional Notes from Lemon Scented You:
  1. We are all Shadow Moon when Mr. World was talking about salsa or when Marilyn Monroe floated into the room. WTF’s all around!
  2. Orlando Jones was right. Crispin Glover’s Mr. World was scary/sexy.
  3. While we’re on Orlando, it was nice to see a glimpse of Anansi and to hear Mr. Wednesday talking about him. But I miss Orlando’s face. The face is needed!
  4. If you don’t know who Mr. Wednesday is by now then we need to have a nice long chat about missing the obvious clues laid out in front of you.
  5. iZombie could learn something from Gillian Anderson’s Media. (I know it’s a strange comparison but bear with me.) Liv Moore, the lead actress of iZombie eats brains and becomes an extension of said brain, picking up their mannerisms and making them her own. Lately she’s been drowning in these brains and we have lost sight of who Liv is because week after week it’s “how extreme can we go with this brain!” Media does something similar. She uses iconic actors and musicians to become part of our world, becoming them entirely, from the clothes all the way down to the little ticks like how they speak. Difference is that we can still see who Media is. We understand where she’s coming from and what drives her to do what she does for the New Gods. American Gods has made sure we haven’t lost sight of her.
  6. What the hell was up with that tree?
  7. And in case you didn’t hear me, WHAT THE HELL WAS UP WITH THAT TREE?!
Favorite Scene from Lemon Scented You:

Leave it to Media to take something so feminine, demure, and dedicate and turn it into something so deadly!

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

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