TV review: American Gods (Episode 3)

It probably says something about American Gods’ somewhat assaultive nature that an episode where a man is suddenly, and gruesomely, impaled by a pole flying through his car windshield feels pretty tame. That bit of goriness aside, as well as a brief moment with Mad Sweeney pulling a shard of glass out of his cheek, “Head Full of Snow”, the third episode of the series, is relatively free of the show’s ostentatious violence to date.

That’s not to say that death is not in the air, for the episode is bookended by an entry to an afterlife and a surprise resurrection. But the general mood is one of retrospection over retaliation; belief guided by despair, loneliness and longing, rather than as fuel for power. Or, if there’s a bit of the latter, it’s in unison with a dash of one of the former: see Wednesday, in a rare moment of vulnerability, still layered with his trademark charm, telling Shadow that the only thing that scares him is losing the belief of others…

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