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Head Full of Snow Recap

Somewhere in America, an old woman Mrs. Fadil stands on a chair to reach a high shelf. The chair wobbles ominously, but the woman gets her jar of preserves and prepares to cook for her eight grandchildren. There's a knock at the door, and when the woman answers it, she finds a black man there that she doesn't recognize. He says that he's at the right apartment, and tells her that she's to come with him because she has died, and she has to come with him. Mrs. Fadil figures that he's a robber but the man--Anubis--assures her that he's dead and that he's there to take her. Her corpse is lying on the floor where it fell, and Anubis says that her family will come soon and find her. He assures her that her family will do right by her and bury her properly, and her son will mourn her and then name his daughter in Mrs. Fadil's honor. Mrs. Fadil tidies her body and wonders why Anubis came for her. He explains that Mrs. Fadil was taught the ways of Egypt, and he brings her to the scales.

Mrs. Fadil invites Anubis to taste what she was cooking for her family, and he obliges. He assures her that it's perfect and then leads her up the fire escape and to a temple overlooking a vast desert. Anubis then takes her to a set of scales. He sets a feather on one plate, then takes out her heart and places it on the other plate. She admits her sins but says that she did her best. The feather outweighs her heart, and Anubis tells her that her best was good. Anubis takes her to five doors and tells her to choose one, and she asks him to choose for her because he's kind. One door opens and Mrs. Fadil goes to it. She hesitates, but her cat that has been following pushes her through and the door closes.


Shadow sleeps in Vechernyaya 's apartment but wakes up when he hears someone moving. He realizes that someone has gone out the window onto the fire escape, and climbs up to the roof. The sleeping sister Polunochnaya is there, looking at the sky through a telescope. She knows Shadow and points out the Big Dipper in the sky. Polunochnaya explains that it's called Odin's Wing, and it's a bad thing chained up in the stars. If it escapes then it will eat everything, so the three sisters watch the sky. Polunochnaya is wearing a nightgown, but tells Shadow that the cold doesn't bother her because night time is her time. She asks Shadow when his birthday is, and reads his palm. Polunochnaya says that he believes in nothing so he has nothing, and once had something. She realizes that he sold his head to Czernobog, and figures that Shadow doesn't care much if he lives or dies. Polunochnaya offers to help him, but first he must kiss her. She admits that she's never been kissed, and kisses Shadow. When they're done, Polunochnaya says that kissing is disgusting but in a nice way,

Polunochnaya tells Shadow to take the moon and pulls it out of the sky. She puts it in his hand--now a small coin--and tells him not to lose it or give it away. Polunochnaya explains that Shadow once had the sun for protection, and she can give him the moon. She tells Shadow to wake up... and he wakes up back in the apartment.

Shadow goes into Czernobog's room and suggests that they play another game with the same terms. When Czernobog points out that he's already won and he only needs one blow, Shadow suggests that Czernobog might not kill him with one blow. He wants Czernobog to make sure that he can finish the job. If Shadow wins then Czernobog comes with Wednesday and he still gets his shot at Shadow afterward. Czernobog agrees and goes out to begin the game.

Wednesday visits Vechernyaya in her room and says that he's trying to go to bed. He says that she deserves better than a cheap apartment room, and tells her that she needs a court to adore her. Wednesday tells her that things will be better soon enough.

Shadow and Czernobog play checkers.

Vechernyaya tells Wednesday that in the old country she opened the gate for her father at dusk. Now she tells fortunes for dollars. Wednesday brushes her hair and asks her to tell his fortune. Vechernyaya reads his tea leaves and says that he will fail at what he intends, and they will win. He tells her that's only his fortune that day, and invites her to walk with him out in the gathering storm.

Shadow says that Czernobog is playing the same game as before, and Czernobog angrily tells him to shut his mouth.

Wednesday and Vechernyaya walk on the street, and she tells him that this time they will kill him. He reminds her of when they were young, and they kiss. As it starts to rain, Vechernyaya wonders what he's done.

Polunochnaya watches the sky as the storm clouds gather.

Vechernyaya says that she can taste Wednesday on the rain, and wonders what else she can taste. Wednesday tells her that she can taste war.

Shadow beats Czernobog and smiles. His opponent laughs and agrees to go with Wednesday to Wisconsin… and then he'll kill Shadow.

The next morning, Shadow wakes up and realizes that there's no fire escape outside the window. He finds the coin in his pocket, just as Wednesday comes in and tells him that they're going to rob a bank.

Jack goes into a restroom with a shotgun and finds Sweeney passed out on a toilet. When he wakes up, Jack tells him to move along. He warns her that if she shoots then the gun will jam or backfire, and advises her not to push her luck. Unimpressed, Jack shoots the bottle he's drinking from. Sweeney picks the glass out of his face and glares at her.

Later, Sweeney staggers along the road, heading to Wisconsin. A driver pulls up and offers him a ride as far as Madison. The kind man figures that Sweeney is drunk and says that he's been eleven years sober himself, and remembers what it was like. Sweeney gets in and insists that he's not a drunk, and dozes off. A truck ahead of them has a blowout, and a pipe flies off of the back and takes the driver in the head. The car goes off the road and the police eventually arrive. As the officer notes that it was some crazy bad luck, Sweeny realizes that he's missing his lucky coin and walks off, furious.


Somewhere in America, a salesman named Salim goes to Panglobal's office to meet with Mr. Blanding. He finally pints out to the receptionist that his appointment was 30 minutes ago, and she tells him that Blanding knows that Salim is there. Salim waits another 90 minutes and then asks the receptionist to tell Blanding that he's there. She says that Blanding is at lunch and has no idea when he'll be back. Five more hours pass, and the receptionist finally tells Salim that Blanding wont' be coming back that day. She tells him that they only take appointments by telephone, and wonders why Salim is smiling. Salim says that a salesman in America is naked without a smile, and promises that he'll telephone the next day for an appointment.

It's raining outside, and Salim tries to hail a taxi. The Jinn finally picks him up and as he drives, they chat. The driver says that he was in Samil's Oman a long time ago, at the Lost City of Towers. Salim points out that it perished over a thousand years ago, and explains that he's been in America for a week and all it's done is eat his money. He admits that he sells cheap geegaws and baubles, and they get caught in traffic. The Jinn dozes off, and Samil gently wakes him. He sees the Jinn's eyes briefly flare with fire in the rearview mirror, before the Jinn readjust his sunglasses. Samil talks about how his grandmother said she saw a spirit on the edge of the desert, and it had eyes like the Jinn's. The Jinn says that there aren't many like him in New York, and they know nothing about his people. He points out that if he could Jack wishes, he wouldn't be driving a cab. Samil puts his hand on the Jinn's shoulder, and after a moment the Jinn takes it. After a moment, Samil sits back.

The Jinn drives to Samil's cheap hotel, and the salesman pays his fare and tells the Jinn to keep the change. As another passenger gets in, Samil taps on the window and tells the Jinn his room number. The Jinn goes up with Samil, who takes his hand. Once they're in Samil's room, the Jinn takes a shower and then the two men have sex.

The next morning, Samil wakes up and discovers that the Jinn is gone. He finds the Jinn's clothing and a fresh set of ID on the floor, puts the clothing and sunglasses on, and goes out to become a cab driver in the Jinn's cab.


Wednesday has Shadow drive him to the bank he'll be robbing, and tells Shadow to have faith in him. He tells Shadow to go with him, and assures him that he'll come out of it smelling like a rose. They go inside and Shadow notices the surveillance cameras. Wednesday avoids any of them seeing his face, and they go outside. Shadow complains that Wednesday is going to get him back in prison, and Wednesday offers to buy him a hot cocoa. As they go across the street, Wednesday tells Shadow to jot down the number of a nearby pay phone. Shadow does so and when Wednesday comes back out, he tells Shadow to think of snow. He tells him to concentrate on the clouds on the horizon, making them bigger and darker. As Wednesday drives, Shadow concentrates on snow and dozes off.

Wednesday and Shadow go to a photocopying shop and Wednesday points out a woman wearing a cross and making Jesus fliers. He tells Shadow that there's plenty of suffering to go around, and Jesus is doing well for himself. Wednesday talks about all the different Jesuses, and how the Mexican Jesus came to the America illegally the same as a lot of Mexicans did. He then goes up and tells the clerk he needs some business cards, and gestures to Shadow to keep thinking about snow. Shadow does so, and the copying machine freezes up. Wednesday comes over and points out that it's snowing outside, and Shadow has done enough to immobilize the city.

The two men go to a Chinese restaurant diner and as they eat, Shadow points out that it wasn't supposed to snow that day. He insists that what Wednesday is talking about is fantasy as opposed to science, Wednesday points out that they need to deal with Shadow's imagination, just as an angry Sweeney comes in. He demands his coin from Shadow, and Shadow points out that Sweeney gave him the coin. Sweeney explains that he gave Shadow the wrong coin, and Shadow offers it back to him if he explains how he plucked it out of thin air. The leprechaun insists that he plucked it out of thin air, and Shadow tells him that he threw it away in Eagle Point at his wife's grave. Sweeney tells Wednesday that he'll see him in Wisconsin and heads for Eagle Point, and Wednesday goes to the car.

Later, Shadow and Wednesday drive back to the bank. Wednesday tells Shadow to wait by the pay phone, and gives him a business card identifying him as a security guard. The older man is wearing a security guard uniform and has a fake card of his own, and asks Shadow if he'll believe in him if he doesn't end up in jail. He tells Shadow to think about it and goes over to the ATM bank and drop-off slot and puts an "out of order" sign on each. Wednesday sits and waits, and Shadow goes to the pay phone. As Shadow watches, Wednesday collects the money from anyone trying to drop it off.

A police car pulls up to Wednesday, and he goes over and offers his card to the officer. The pay phone rings, and Shadow finally answers. It's the officer, calling the phone number that Wednesday put on the card. Shadow confirms Wednesday's story and Shadow plays along.

That night, Shadow drives Wednesday away. Wednesday points out that Shadow isn't back in jail, and gives him share of the money. As they drive, Wednesday talks about how the U.S. is the only country that wonders what it is. Anybody who claims otherwise is pretending, and Wednesday tells Shadow that he's pretending he can't believe in impossible things. A wolf walks out on the road, and Shadow brakes to a halt before he hits it. After a moment it walks off, and Wednesday tells Shadow to drive on.

Shadow asks him if he made snow, and Wednesday tells him that if he believes that he'll have to spend the rest of his life either believing that or living a delusion. When Shadow says that it feels like a dream, Wednesday tells him that it's a beautiful thing to dream when he's not asleep. He asks if Shadow always believed in love, and Shadow admits that he didn't until he met Laura. Wednesday notes that Shadow didn't believe, and then the world changed when he did believe. He tells Shadow that he's afraid of being forgotten, and he can survive most things but not that. He figures that the first thing that Shadow remembers about the evening is the snow, and dozes off.

Sweeney goes to the Eagle Point cemetery and digs into Laura's grave, looking for his lucky coin.

Shadow and Wednesday check into a hotel.

Sweeney finds a coffin and discovers a coin-shaped hole in the lid. The coffin itself is empty.

Shadow enters his hotel room and finds Laura waiting for him.

Written by Gadfly on May 15, 2017

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