American Gods – Season 3 Episode 3 Recap & Review


Ashes and Demons

Episode 3 of American Gods Season 3 begins in 1765, West Pennsylvania. Times are hard, farmers work long hours and one among them passes out. The woman in charge begins researching ancient rituals, eventually gutting a pig and using it as a sacrifice.

As flames dance up in the air, the wooden doll she has suddenly bursts into life and becomes a God. This is Demeter, the Greek goddess of agriculture and as she raises her head, crops suddenly spring up all around her.

Back in the present, Wednesday prepares to leave in search of this very same goddess. According to him, Demeter is special and sets out to bring a gift for her. That gift comes in the form of flowers, which he shows up with at the Nursing home she’s being held in.

Upon their greeting, she gives him a swift right hook across the face. Well, Wednesday isn’t able to bust her out but does receive a new thread to follow, that being a man by the name of Larry.

Meanwhile, Laura Moon finds herself on an elevator to parts unknown. As the doors open, a brilliant orange light floods the room as an announcement calls for those with green cards to step forward.

It turns out each different colored card is called forward at different times. Well, Laura manages to switch hers and finds herself trapped in a hallway of doors. Like a scene ripped right from Matrix Reloaded, Laura searches for her room but finds a cupboard full of bug repellent instead. The same bug repellent she used while alive.

Eventually she rushes into an auditorium where two figures show her home videos of her past. Well, Laura decides to tell us what happened and takes herself into the projection and spews exposition about her Father growing closer to a young lady in the room across the hallway from them. While her Father neglects her, she’s forced to watch the rest of this play out.

Eventually she has enough and as Laura walks away, she falls into a pool of water. Water, of course, being symbolic of emotions. Eventually though, she’s brought back into the auditorium again . This time though, there’s no exposition and narration as this same chain of events play out. Without Laura’s hasty narration, Laura learns it’s not her fault for what happened and the blame lies squarely with her Father.

With Alison missing, the residents in Lakeside team up with the police as they prepare to try and find her. The search comes up short, and eventually ends with Chad’s pussyfooted message about police brutality and race to Shadow. Not long after, Shadow winds up with another dream depicting different celebrated African-Americans in the same supermarket from before.

Bilquis meanwhile, continues to reel over what happened with Bill. With Shadow dreaming of her, he phones Wednesday and manages to grab her address. Shadow heads off and  eventually makes it to Bilquis’ apartment. Inside though, he finds blood stained across the room and Technical Boy sitting on the floor.

The Episode Review

So far season 3 has been pretty uninspiring, with Wednesday off visiting different gods and receiving frosty receptions while Laura winds up in parts unknown to keep the fantasy elements going.

Shadow’s adventures in Lakeside are pretty boring to be honest, driven by a simple mystery surrounding a missing person while teasing something extra going on but keeping it at arm’s length for now.

While the fantasy elements with Laura are certainly welcome, for a show that’s all about the fantastical, everything here just seems so grounded and formulaic, which is a real shame.

Some of this can be attributed to the way American Gods continues to tease this fight between the Old Gods and New Gods but coming no closer to seeing an end-game to this cold war. Given season 2 didn’t really go anywhere with the story, it remains to be seen whether season 3 follows suit.

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