TV Review: American Gods – Season 1 Episode 5 “Lemon Scented You”

Last Updated on October 12, 2021

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EPISODE 5: "Lemon Scented You"

SYNOPSIS:  Trying to work things out with his dead and unfaithful wife, Shadow’s emotional reunion is interrupted when he and Mr. Wednesday are kidnapped by the New Gods.

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REVIEW: My biggest complaint regarding the first half of American Gods' debut run was the lack of clarity as to just what the hell is going on. Tonight's fifth hour does an amazing job of drawing the battle lines without giving too much away. But, it does pull together a lot of our characters and unveils the motives behind Mr. Wednesday's chief rival, the appropriately named Mr. World (Crispin Glover). Broken into two distinct plotlines, "Lemon Scented You" picks up right where the prior two episodes left off: with Laura and Shadow reunited in a motel room. Giving this pair an unexpected reunion sets in motion the events that will represent the turning point for this series. Up until now, American Gods has been setting the board by introducing us to various deities, old and new. Now, the game begins. Like last week, I can easily say this has been one of the series finest outings and holds the bar pretty high for what will come next.

"Lemon Scented You" opens with a brief fable about Native American gods. Told in an animation style reminiscent of Laika's work on KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS, this fable is somewhat disconnected from the rest of the hour. But, like prior episodes, it will most assuredly be of significance down the line. Picking up the main story, Shadow finds his resurrected wife sitting on his bed and proceeds to throw a pillow at her face to see if she is real. This levity is perfect in what would otherwise be an overwhelming development. Almost nonplussed, the Moons discuss Laura's infidelity and her return. Shadow has seen some crazy things lately so his wife being alive doesn't seem too bizarre. Still, Laura declares her true love for her husband despite cheating on him and takes a bath to warm up her dead skin. Shadow listens to her and she kisses him which momentarily makes her heart beat again. But, when she asks Shadow if he is still her "puppy", he says no. It will take a lot for Shadow to forgive Laura, if he even can, but it does showcase the split in their reunion and makes me think it will take a lot for that to ever happen.

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After getting a knock at the door from Mr. Wednesday, Shadow and his employer are ambushed by the police who received evidence that the pair were responsible for the bank robbery in Chicago. Taking them in, the pair are interrogated but neither gives up anything. As they are put into a room together, they soon are confronted by Media in the guise of Marilyn Monroe who then introduces Mr. World. World is there to facilitate the apology by Technical Boy for lynching Shadow, but it also provides him the chance to be face to face with Mr. Wednesday for the first time. World wants the legacy and power of Wednesday, whose true identity is still not known to us or to Shadow, and gives a rousing speech to try and sway him. Crispin Glover has not had a meaty role like this in some time but it is pretty damn impressive. Glover is a weird due but this role was tailor made for his kind of intense oddness. Seeing these three new gods in a room together also gives a nice vibe to how these figures operate compared to Wednesday and the older gods. There is also an clear respect from Mr. World for Mr. Wednesday but just how that plays out remains to be seen,

Across town, Laura is confronted by Mad Sweeney who wants his lucky coin back. Laura's strength allows her to fend of Sweeney who uses some…colorful names for the deceased Mrs. Moon. Laura is still focused on getting back to Shadow but Sweeney wants his gold back. The pair tussle resulting in the police arriving and arresting Sweeney for supposedly murdering the apparently dead Laura. Sweeney is taken back to the police station where he witnesses the cops brutally murdered by a living tree. This same tree stabs a branch into Shadow's side but he and Wednesday still manage to escape. On the road again, Shadow and Wednesday continue their journey while we see Laura awaken in a body bag. She then dresses herself and heads out of to resume her own quest. Everyone here has a mission, even if they aren't quite sure of what that may be.

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Another outstanding chapter of American Gods, this episode finally starts bringing everything together. While we still don't know why these events are unfolding, we do have a line drawn between the New and the Old Gods.. What this means for Shadow and Laura is still unclear, but hot damn if this hour wasn't a great showcase for Crispin Glover and Gillian Anderson. I am still not entirely convinced of the worthiness of Technical Boy to be alongside Media and Mr. World, but the trio here are great opposite the scene-stealing Ian McShane who underplays Wednesday at times that I cannot tell exactly who we should trust. Everyone on American Gods has an ulterior motive and this is the turning point episode where those begin to make themselves evident. American Gods has improved with each successive episode and now that the disparate storylines are coming together, it is getting even better.

Key Observations From "Lemon Scented You":

  • Mr. Wednesday talking to a crow was the funniest scene in this series to date. I don't know why but it reminded me of Deadwood.
  • Crispin Glover would have made an amazing Joker or Riddler.
  • Gillian Anderson got to have some fun this week, dressing up as David Bowie and Marilyn Monroe. Is it weird that she was hot while dressed as Bowie?
  • That has got to be the rapiest tree since the original EVIL DEAD.
  • Mad Sweeney needs his own series.

NEXT ON AMERICAN GODS: "A Murder of Gods" airs June 4th – On the run after the New Gods’ show of force, Shadow and Mr. Wednesday seek safe haven with one of Mr. Wednesday’s oldest friends, Vulcan, God of the Fire and the Forge.

TV Review: American Gods – Season 1 Episode 5 “Lemon Scented You”




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Alex Maidy has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. A Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic and a member of Chicago Indie Critics, Alex has been's primary TV critic and ran columns including Top Ten and The UnPopular Opinion. When not riling up fans with his hot takes, Alex is an avid reader and aspiring novelist.