American Gods season 3, episode 7 recap – “Fire and Ice”

February 28, 2021
Jonathon Wilson 0
Weekly TV
4

Summary

“Fire and Ice” starts to bring the season’s subplots together and considerably raise the stakes.

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4

Summary

“Fire and Ice” starts to bring the season’s subplots together and considerably raise the stakes.

This recap of American Gods season 3, episode 7, “Fire and Ice”, contains spoilers.


If there has been a major criticism of this season of American Gods, it’s that it hasn’t seemed in much of a hurry to go anywhere (especially in the last couple of episodes.) That’s something that “Fire and Ice” works towards rectifying, pulling together the various burbling subplots and raising the stakes, giving us a slightly bigger picture of the show’s expanding mythology and the direction various characters will be heading in over the next few episodes.

Firstly, there’s Mr. Wednesday, who begins the episode sulking about Demeter’s exit but ends with renewed purposes. A flaming body falling from the sky gives him some focus, since it alerts him to a berserker assigned to protect him (Johan) having gone somewhat bonkers and started killing his followers, but it also has the knock-on effect of exposing Cordelia to a world of gods that she had no idea existed. She spends most of “Fire and Ice” in a state of sheer panic, running to Shadow for advice and then insisting on remaining with Wednesday anyway — she has never been part of anything in her life before, so she can hardly turn her head away from such important goings-on. When she accompanies Wednesday to see Johan, who you’ll recall was written out of the show thanks in large part to the allegations of abuse swirling around Marilyn Manson, she’s exposed to his little lapdog, a butcher by the name of Dunker, and she’s keen to follow him to Tyr’s dental office when he learns that’s where Johan went. But Wednesday insists it’s too dangerous for her and banishes her back to the hotel, though she leaves him a phone she can track if he doesn’t come home for dinner. Tyr’s office contains a dead, disembowelled Johan (we later saw him arrive in full demon form, and were expected to believe he killed Tyr), which should officially mark the end of the character’s short-lived run. His body is accompanied by a note that reads: “Odin, find me at Wolf’s Den with the son you hold most dear.” More on this in a bit.

Meanwhile, Mr World wants Laura and Salim to help kill Wednesday, and is willing to draft up a formal contract for their joint services, with the caveat that, if Laura fails, she and her friends will all die, a threat she doesn’t seem to take particularly seriously given that she’s a) confident she’ll succeed and b) is already undead, to begin with. Salim, though, is concerned. It’s mutually beneficial to both parties if Wednesday is removed (the New Gods can’t commit to it publicly in fear of starting a war), but he’s skeptical that the terms of the contract will be adhered to, so he’s very particular about the terms and conditions. Their next job is to go and find Odin’s spear.

Elsewhere in American Gods season 3, episode 7, Bilquis gets her next task too. She goes to see a woman named Eugenia who, after a compelling song and dance number, is able to recognize Bilquis’s importance and explains to her that she must find “the other”, the second half of whatever whole Shadow comprises 50% of. Eugenia was Shadow’s midwife, as it happens, and she warns that if he’s not helped, these days will be their last. Ominous!

Speaking of Shadow, he gets a fair amount to do in “Fire and Ice”, not least tracking down Derek, who according to Ann Marie is “troubled”. As it turns out when Shadow takes Chad to his house, he likes to wear women’s clothes but can’t exactly be seen buying them for fear of judgment, hence the thieving. But he claims not to have had anything to do with Alison’s disappearance and has an alibi for that night, so this seems like a bit of a dead-end.

Things get progressively weird for Shadow, though. While out skating with Marguerite he collapses and sees visions of an elephant deity beneath the ice and a glimmering golden coin being pushed through to the surface before disappearing. When they share a hot tub, he seems to summon snowfall on command, and then dreams of himself staggering through a blizzard and being approached by a man on horseback, only waking after collapsing in the snow and being groped for by figures all around him. As if that wasn’t enough, the episode ends with Tyr arriving to tell him that his father requires his help in a matter of great importance — a ruse, obviously, since we see Tyr smiling to himself conspiratorially as they drive away. He can probably sense the season getting better.

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