American Gods season 1, episode 5 recap: ‘Lemon Scented You’


After a rather slow episode last week, American Gods returned with a bang t with ‘Lemon Scented You.’

After two weeks of teasing us with what was essentially the same cliffhanger, we finally got the payoff this week on American Gods. Seems as if we have been waiting all season for Shadow and Laura’s reunion (which happens fairly early in the books) and this week we finally got it.

The good news is, it was worth the wait and then some. Ricky Whittle is outstanding in this scene, realistically expressing both shock and confusion at the return of his dead wife. Emily Browning plays the scene aloof and somewhat cold, but that seems to be an intentional choice. Do zombies even have feelings?

Ricky Whittle (Shadow) is outstanding in this scene, realistically expressing both shock and confusion at the return of his dead wife. Emily Browning (Laura) plays the scene aloof and somewhat cold, but that seems to be an intentional choice. Do zombies even have feelings?

As it turns out, Laura does. After Shadow rejects her, declaring himself no longer her “puppy” (the most annoying nickname in the history of TV?) Laura is understandably bereft of a purpose. Laura seemingly thought her and Shadow would ride off into the sunset, but Shadow is having none of it, and Laura is left emptier than even a woman without any internal organs.


Shadow and Wednesday however, are just getting started in this episode. After offering to buy Shadow a drink “or five or six,” the duo are quickly picked up by the local police department who know all about their robbery back in Chicago. Know, not suspect, but more on that later.

Shadow and Wednesday are whisked away in handcuffs, and we pick things up with Technical Boy, who is coming out of some club that only exists in TV and movies because nobody has that many lasers. Anyways, Tech Boy has a meeting with Media, Gillian Anderson (disguised as David Bowie this time). Anderson continues to be a master chameleon, perfectly portraying the Star Man. Media, it seems, is appearing on behalf of the mysterious Mr. World, of whom Tech Boy is clearly afraid of. After ordering Tech Boy to apologize to Shadow for lynching him in the series’ first episode, Media departs.

Photo Credit: Starz

At the local police station, Shadow and Wednesday are being interrogated, and the two are taking wildly different tactics. Shadow is silent and continuously chants “lawyer,” while Wednesday goes all in and tells the cops everything. Of course, no one believes Wednesday but they are certainly about to.

Before that happens though, it’s back to Laura sulking in the hotel room. It isn’t long before Mad Sweeney shows up, and as always, Pablo Schrieber is downright delightful. Unlike her scene with Shadow, Emily Browning shows some real fire here as Laura refuses to give up the lucky coin given to her by Shadow. Laura and Sweeney discuss Shadow, and we get our first hints that all may not be as it seems with Mr. Wednesday (we also get his real name, though most likely did not recognize it).

Sweeney is desperate to get the coin back though, and a one-sided fight breaks out. When the cops show up to discover Sweeney drowning Laura in the bathtub, Laura instantly pretends to be dead for real, or really dead depending on your English preference, and Sweeney’s reaction is priceless. Once again I wish for a show consisting solely of Pablo Schrieber’s drunken escapades.

Wednesday and Shadow are allowed to speak, and after a brief appearance by Mr. Nancy is spider form, its time for the big introduction. In a massive departure from the book (this whole scene in the police department is not in the book), we are introduced to Mr. World (Crispin Glover) alongside Media and Tech Boy. This time Media’s facade is that of Marilyn Monroe, which is only slightly less fun than David Bowie.

Anyways, Mr. World is the real attraction here, and Glover OWNS the room from the moment he waltzes in a la Michael Jackson in the “Billie Jean” video.

More from Show Snob

Mr. World is here to offer Wednesday a place in the new world order, promising all the love and admiration Wednesday could ever want thanks to the machinations of Media and Tech Boy.

Wednesday is of course, not interested because he’s a solo act. Mr. World is unperturbed and creepily convincing in his attempt to woo Wednesday.

Tech Boy is an idiot, of course, insulting Wednesday before losing his two front teeth to a Media kiss. The trio of New Gods depart, leaving Shadow and Wednesday to escape the police department, where apparently all the cops have been killed by Mr. Wood.

Once again departing from the novel, Mr. Wood is here amorphous tree creature who attacks Shadow, as opposed to another “Men in Black” like he is in the novel. It’s an odd change, and one I only picked up on after seeing some of the after the episode material.

We get one more glimpse of Mad Sweeney, as he escapes the foolish cops who rush headlong into the police station where they clearly shouldn’t. It’s back to Laura, who senselessly kills a morgue tech escaping from her fridge, and then cue the end credits.

All and all, ‘Lemon Scented You’ was one of the better episodes of the season so far, as all the best parts are here together to form one cohesive whole. Sweeney, Media, Mr. World, and all the rest are front and center, and the episode benefits highly from it.

It was a slight disappointment to see Mr. World introduced so early, I’d have much rather they went the ‘Adversary’ route from Fables, but damn if Crispin Glover didn’t nail the role so completely.

Next: Who is your favorite God on American Gods? Meet the #GodSquad

Bring on next Sunday’s episode, ‘A Murder of Gods.’ Just don’t take any of my favorites.