American Gods “The Rapture of Burning” set the stage for the final episodes of season three of the season. Shadow was pushed out of his comfort zone, almost killed, and then made a surprising decision. Laura opened herself up to love and finally started grieving Sweeney, to our hearts lament. And Salim finally started moving on from the Jinn, knowing in his heart that he’s a changed man. All together it was an interesting episode of American Gods that felt like the culmination of years in the making.
Shadow and His Destiny
All season long Shadow has hidden away from his destiny. He’s been adamant that he wants nothing to do with Wednesday and his battle between the Gods. But when push came to shove…Shadow went. He got into a car with a man he didn’t know because he was supposedly “sent by his father.” This proves that he doesn’t want that sweet and quiet life as much as he says he does.
Shadow’s life has been changed forever by Wednesday; both in positive and negative ways. But change came in bucket loads when the Old God came knocking and there’s no going back to a “regular” life now. Sorry Lakeside and every connection that he’s made along the way. Shadow is no regular human and the extraordinary will always tempt him because that’s who he truly is tied to.
Finding out from Wednesday that that was everything he needed from Shadow…kind of hurt in “The Rapture of Burning.” Shadow thought there was this big plan brewing, that he was part of. But nope. One Berserker God down and dead after seeking revenge and Odin was like, “Peace out.” Shadow’s reaction and his subsequent decision to go to Florida is our lead chasing questions as a means of getting answers. And the cost? Well, his life in Lakeside.
Laura Opened Herself Up to Love
This is definitely the hardest part of this American Gods review. We’ve got a special place in our hearts for Laura and her development over these past three seasons. And her bond with Mad Sweeney has been a favorite part of the show from the very start; what can we say, we’ve got a soft spot for assholes. Watching Laura mourn Sweeney in “The Rapture of Burning” and then let him go broke our hearts and left us feeling her pain.
We don’t think she’s ever loved someone like she loved Mad Sweeney. He saw her, ugly bits and all, and still loved her enough to bring her back to life with his blood. And that moved Laura, no matter how much she denies it with via colorful swearwords. She didn’t even love Shadow in the same way because she could never be her honest self with him, no matter how hard she tried or how hard Shadow tried. It was a lost cause for those two from the very start.
Letting Sweeney go is super important to Laura because she’s letting that love in and accepting that she is worth loving. It hurts that she can’t tell Sweeney how she feels, but to know that she can feel love has to be revolutionary and eye-opening for someone like Laura. And whatever comes next, she’s going to have to hold onto this new feeling with an iron grip because she is worth all the things and more.
Laura is worth loving, worth knowing, and worth saving. Anyone who finally discovers that about themselves knows how that changes things. So, get ready Odin. There’s a battle coming and her name is Laura. And she won’t be defined by what you think of her or what the world does. She writes her own destiny and charts her own path. And what is it grounded in? Love for herself and those she cares about.
Salim Moved on from The Jinn
Salim has been holding onto his past with an iron grip. After all, meeting the Jinn changed him and made him question parts of himself Salim never knew even existed. Who wouldn’t want to hold onto that feeling? “The Rapture of Burning” changed things for Salim and opened his eyes to the range of possibilities that lay before him because of the Jinn.
In a way, Salim is letting go of the Jinn. He’s no longer going to be waiting for his return, his kisses, or his embrace. Salim will remember all these bits until the day he dies. But he now knows that there is more of what the Jinn gave him out in the world. And Salim, he can grab a hold of it if he chooses to. And in this American Gods episode he decided to do just that.
The man that we saw at the end of the episode was a man liberated from his past and future. He’s going to live in the present, with no fear at what’s to come, and an appreciation for every breath that he takes. And honestly, it’s beautiful AF. We’d like to be in that place in our lives and we’re so proud that Salim has found the road to his most honest version of himself.
That takes bravery and Salim has it in bucket-loads.
American Gods airs Sundays on Starz.