So far, I feel like episode 3 has covered the least amount of pages from the book. A lot happened, don’t get me wrong, but this episode didn’t feel as full as the past two have. We get a few new characters, two new vignettes, and a Shadow who begins to believe…maybe.
The episode opens with a woman dying in her apartment, and a mysterious man comes in to her. Now, those of us who have read the book know that this man is Mr. Jacquel also known as the Egyptian God Anubis. He leads her to the scales upon which her heart is weighed against a feather. If it is lighter than the feather, she may pass on in peace. If not, her heart is eaten and she suffers for eternity. Lucky for her, her heart is light.
The actor playing Jacquel is fabulous so far. His voice is incredibly deep and he speaks with such presence but so softly. Perfect for Mr. Jacquel.
Shadow Moon sleeps, knowing in the morning his head belongs to Czernobog. He hears movement and climbs to the roof where Zorya Polunochnaya, the third sister, is watching the sky. She is ensuring that the great bear stays locked in the stars so that the world does not end. And she gives Shadow a gift. She pulls the moon from the sky, turns it into a coin, and warns him not to lose it. Shadow wakes up back on the couch, and decides to make a bold move.
He goes to Czernobog and taunts him into a rematch, with the same stakes as before. Either Czernobog joins them or he gets to hit Shadow twice. This time, Shadow wins, and Czernobog agrees to go to Wisconsin with Wednesday and Shadow. While they play, Wednesday charms Zorya Verchynaya and shows her what he plans. We the audience don’t get to know the details of course.
In the morning, Shadow thinks he dreamt the whole night but finds a new coin in his pocket. And Wednesday announces they’re going to rob a bank.
Mad Sweeney is found after the bar fight asleep in the bathroom and through a series of near deaths discovers his lucky coin has disappeared on him. Oh, Mad Sweeney.
Now, at this point in the show, our next vignette starts. It follows Salim, a man who has recently come to America, as he waits for an interview that is never happening. At the end of the night, he calls a cab being driven by a man from Salim’s home country. The driver begins to fall asleep and as Salim wakes him, he discovers that the man is a Jinn. He invites the Jinn into his hotel room, and they spend a passionate and intimate night together. In the morning, Salim discovers that all that remains of the Jinn are his clothes and the car keys to his cab. And so Salim begins a new life as a New York City cab driver.
We return to Shadow, who is understandably concerned about Wednesday’s plan to rob a bank. Shadow was just released from prison, he has no desire to go back. Wednesday reassures him that everything will be fine, and asks him to have faith in a higher power, any higher power. And to think snow. Good, driving snow; not enough to shut down the city but still, think snow. While Wednesday continues to plan his robbery, Shadow thinks snow.
And it snows.
There’s a great scene between Wednesday and Shadow before the snow about Jesus and his role in the world. Wednesday says that White Jesus is doing very well, and when Shadow asks skeptically what other colors Jesus comes in, Wednesday tells him there’s African Jesus, Asian Jesus, Mexican Jesus, etc etc. He says “There’s a lot of need for Jesus these days, and so there’s a lot of Jesus.” And while this may seem like a one off conversation, soon in the series Shadow will get to meet the many faces of Jesus. There’s a scene in the tenth anniversary edition of the book that didn’t fit in the actual story where Shadow meets Jesus, and the writers are incorporating this into the show.
Before the bank robbery, Wednesday and Shadow grab a bite to eat while Shadow tries to figure out how he created snow by thinking about it. Enter Mad Sweeney, looking for the coin he gave Shadow. Shadow tells him to go to his wife’s grave cause that’s where he left it. And Mad Sweeney heads for the grave of Laura Moon. Side note number I have no idea, I am loving Pablo Schrieber as my favorite giant leprechaun. He delivers his lines perfectly and he has the heart of Mad Sweeney down perfectly.
Wednesday’s plan involves him sitting in a security uniform by an ATM machine that is “out of order”. He takes people’s deposits, has them sign a form, and bam he has money. Shadow’s role is to wait for a phone call and pretend to be Wednesday’s manager. And by a miracle the con works. Shadow and Wednesday discuss this miracle as they return to their hotel. Their drive is briefly interrupted by a wolf, but they make it back to the hotel.
The episode ends with both Shadow and Mad Sweeney discovering something impossible; Laura Moon has left her grave and gone to her husband Shadow.
I love this show. I love everything about it. And I’m really hoping you all are watching the show somehow someway. I can sum up easily enough, but the heart and perfection of this show is in the acting and the writing and cinematography. It’s a beautiful show from top to bottom. And I’m thrilled it’s getting a second season. This is the perfect adaptation for one of the best written books of our time.
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