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Recap / American Gods S 1 E 3 "Head Full of Snow"

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Season 1, Episode 3

Head Full of Snow

Anubis: Your family will come soon and find you. They will do right by your body and will bury you as is proper. They will be sad for a time, then they will find happiness again. Your [grandson] Assaf will marry in a year, and name his first daughter for you.
Mrs. Fadil: A bullshit middle name?
Anubis: A bullshit middle name.

After some inspiration (and new protection) from Zorya Polunochnaya, Shadow challenges Czernobog to another checkers game - and this time he wins the dark god's cooperation with Wednesday, and a reprieve until after that matter is settled. Thus off the hook, Shadow is none too pleased to learn that Wednesday wants them to rob a bank. Thankfully, it's not an armed robbery, but a con involving diverting deposits to Wednesday rather than the bank. Shadow helps mostly by thinking about snow, and thus making it snow, or did he? Shadow's not sure - but then Shadow's not sure about much of anything anymore.

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Meanwhile, Mad Sweeney's in trouble - a couple of close calls have convinced him that his luck has started to run out, and it has to do with giving away to Shadow the Golden Sun coin. Sweeney manages to track them down, and eventually Shadow reveals he left it on top of Laura's grave. But there's a surprise waiting for both Sweeney and Shadow where this is concerned...

Tropes That Appear In This Episode:

  • Anachronic Order: The jinn meets Salim, and after spending the night with him, steals his suit, which he was wearing in the previous episode when he met Wednesday.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Did Shadow somehow make it snow? Did Wednesday do it to manipulate him? Or was that just a lucky coincidence?
  • Bait-and-Switch: It seems like Mrs. Fadil is going to fall off her stool, only to get down fine. Then it turns out she fell and died, she just didn't notice.
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  • Batman Gambit: Wednesday's "bank robbery" is a bit complex, but easy enough: He puts professional-looking "out of order" signs on the outdoor deposit drops and sits down in front of them with a clipboard. Any time anyone comes to deposit anything, he tells them to give it to him, and he takes down all their information so that it can supposedly be entered into the system later, complete with real deposit slips that he stole from the bank earlier. When a cop comes to ask what's going on, he gives them a business card for a private security firm, with the number for the payphone Shadow is waiting by. This is all helped by the fact that it's snowing; who would wait out in the snow for hours to scam people?
  • Chess with Death: Shadow goes another round of checkers with Czernobog, winning the reprieve of having the latter work with Wednesday before killing him.
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  • Don't Fear the Reaper: Anubis is very kind and polite throughout his interaction with Mrs. Fadil.
  • Fanservice: One of the most explicit gay sex scenes on television, and no one gets eaten this time.
  • Foreshadowing: Wednesday and Shadow have a short conversation about Jesus and his worldwide variations, which becomes two plot points in the sixth episode.
  • Humiliation Conga: Things do not go well for Mad Sweeney without his lucky coin. See the entries below.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: What with the way Mad Sweeney's insulted Laura, Shadow positively takes delight in telling him where his lucky coin ended up.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: A driver picks up Sweeney to give him a lift - and ends up impaled with a pipe through the face, courtesy of Sweeney's now rotten luck.
  • Noodle Incident: A subtle one - if you look closely, Sweeney has a new limp when he approaches Laura's grave. There's no scene of him between him leaving for Eagle Point after talking to Shadow, and that one, but it's fair to assume his bad luck is continuing to torment him.
  • Not Staying for Breakfast: The jinn isn't there the morning after he and Salim have sex.
  • Oh, Crap!: Mad Sweeney when he realizes he accidentally gave Shadow his lucky coin.
  • Reliably Unreliable Guns: Sweeney claims that guns pointed at him have a tendency to fail in interesting ways. He is quite surprised when this is subverted and a shotgun pointed at him works just fine and the shot shatters a bottle he is holding.
  • Screw Destiny: Zorya Vechernyaya reads Wednesday's fortune and tells him that it says that his plans are going to fail. He replies that that's just what his fate is today.
  • Virgin Power: Zorya Polunochnaya tells Shadow her fortune telling is better than that of her sisters because she's a virgin.
  • Wham Shot: Mad Sweeney digs up Laura's grave to retrieve his coin, only to find the coffin empty and with a rather coin-shaped hole in the lid. Then Shadow walks into his hotel room to find a very much alive Laura waiting for him.
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