American Gods 1×05 Review: Lemon Scented You
From beginning to end, “Lemon Scented You” was written for the express purpose of proving that the gods of American Gods aren’t, in fact, immortal – not truly, anyway.
The cold opening of “Lemon Scented You” had a very different feel than previous weeks; everything was in dull shades (mostly grays), though the animation itself was very sharp. It told a sad story, though, of the god Nynyunnini and how he was eventually forgotten and therefore disappeared from the Earth – how he, essentially, ‘died’. To be honest, this was probably my favorite cold opening/god origin story so far, though I’ll admit that’s because the animation very much reminded me of that in the movie Kubo and the Two Strings (which is great and everyone should watch it).
After gaining a lot more – if not respect, then at least something like empathy – for Laura Moon thanks to last week’s “Git Gone”, I was very disappointed in her first real interaction with Shadow. I was hoping she would feel, you know, worse about the fact that she cheated on him with his best friend, but instead she was far more matter-of-fact about it than I expected after how much she was mooning over him (as always, pun intended). Thankfully she made up for this a bit when she essentially kicked Mad Sweeney’s ass, and even though he did get the upper hand in the end, it’s not like she wasn’t going to come back to ‘life’ again – as we now know, he couldn’t take his coin back from her. She would have to give it to him, and she’s not about to do that while she believes she still has work to do.
Personally, for me the main highlight of “Lemon Scented You” was Gillian Anderson as Media as Bowie. I mean, everything about it was *perfect* – her outfit, her makeup, her hair, her posture, her voice. I wish I could have said the same for her Marilyn Monroe, which was a much more jarring portrayal, though I find myself wondering if they chose one of the few characters Gillian couldn’t portray well on purpose. After all, the whole point of the scene between Media, Mr. World, Technical Boy, Shadow, and Mr. Wednesday is to show us who we’re supposed to believe the bad guys are (in this case, the former three characters, of course). Between Media’s empty portrayal of Marilyn Monroe, Technical Boy’s forced apology and disbelief that they’re going to just let Mr. Wednesday go, and the latter leading to Mr. World losing his temper with one of his own people, it’s easy to see why Mr. Wednesday wouldn’t agree to a merger with them, despite our newfound knowledge that his spark was being smothered and that gods can in fact ‘die’.
All this said, I’m of the opinion that “Lemon Scented You” was the weakest episode of the season so far. Other than the brief mention of the fax machine, the interrogation scene bored me, and despite the highlights of both Laura Moon and Media’s scenes, I can’t let go of how off-putting certain bits were. Still, I believe that the writers are generally weaving a beautiful portrayal of the book that I love, so I’m keeping my overall complaints to a minimum.
What did you think of this episode of American Gods? Did you enjoy it, or do you agree that it was on the weaker side compared to the first four episodes? Let us know in the comments!
Author: Tara Lynne
Tara Lynne is an author, fandom and geek culture expert, and public speaker. She founded Ice & Fire Con, the first ever Game of Thrones convention in the US, and now runs its parent company Saga Event Planning.
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