From its neon opening crawl to its gutter punch ending, Episode 3 of this unique television series continues in much the way as the previous two. Continuing from last episodes cliffhanger, with Shadow Moon losing his checkers wager and deemed for death, episode 3 continues the mysterious manner in which the shows major players are introduced. With three new entity’s introduced (Anubis, Djinn and the final sister Polunochnaya) American Gods continues to expand into exciting and mystical directions – which results in a continual growth of substance from which little is actually known at present.
Having lost the bet for his life with Czernobog (Peter Stormare), Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) is disturbed in his sleep by Polunochnaya whom he converses with upon the roof of the building. Told that the sisters watch over a captured bear held in the stars, who if freed would destroy the world as they know it, Shadow is seen to begin to understand the magnitude of his employment. Told that he has nothing, due to not believing in anything, the final sister explains that he is on a journey to understand everything. This poses the narrative that is to come for the series’ main character, heightening expectation in the process. Given a coin for protection, from the plucking of the moon, Shadow wakes up to find it was all a dream except the coin that still resides his pocket.
The episode than continues with a rematch of the checkers game, before Wednesday (Ian McShane) plans and robs a bank. A simple coin that plays out in a fashion that explores this characters con artist background, episode 3 manages to present a lot of context to already established characters – with Shadow effectively seen beginning to belief in the world he now resides.
Broken up with the introduction of both the God of Death (Anubis) and a powerful sequence involving a Djinn, that although explicit throughout is expertly portrayed, American Gods actively widens the grandeur of its premise, showcasing that the main characters that feature are not its sole focus and instead is more interested in the wider picture of its televised universe.
With a further development regarding Shadow’s wife Laura, as well as the return of Leprechaun Sweeney, Episode 3 carries a lot of narrative progression within its one hour runtime. It is brilliant to see Shadow developing into one of televisions most intriguing characters, and the dynamic he shares with Wednesday is really beginning to become a crux of the shows forthcoming success. With an ever growing roster of gods being introduced and the final sequence shaking up the shows main partnership, Episode 4 promises to be as equally engrossing and can not come soon enough.
Overall : 9.5/10