It’s a busy episode, with multiple story threads. Chris Obi starts the episode as a caring, yet somewhat creepy Anubis, before the show returns to Shadow’s narrative.
The episode parallels Shadow’s interaction with Zorya Polunochnaya, the night-time Zorya sister, and Wednesday’s interaction with Zorya Vechernaya. The latter is new, while the former was drawn largely from the book with some adjustments. Audiences continue to experience the bizarre world Shadow has been introduced to as Shadow does, over time and with a sprinkling of miracles like Zorya Polunochnaya plucking the moon from the sky. Minor changes from the book, like Shadow’s second checkers match with Czernobog happening later, help pace the show out better.
Visually, the episode is beautifully cinematic, with the weather just as much a character as the actors. Also: how many more times can we call Wednesday “Wotan” before it stops being tongue-in-cheek?
One of the greatest quotes from the book, and now in the show: Mr. Wednesday – “We’re gonna rob a bank. You want some coffee?”
There is far more of Mad Sweeney (and his change in luck since giving Shadow the wrong coin,) than in the book, who makes a great addition to the story. It also heralds a return to gorier scenes.
Equal opportunity nudity and sex scenes in the form of Salim, a down-on-his-luck trinket salesman, and an ifrit? You go, Starz.
The titular head full of snow moment, which helps Wednesday and Shadow rob the bank, adds to Shadow Moon’s air of mystery for both Shadow and the audiences. The episode ends on a powerful lead to the next episode a la Laura’s return from the dead.
Overall Rating: Head Full of Snow blurs the line between magic and reality in the best, most Gaiman sorts of ways.
By Phil Gorksi
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