It took an unexpected trip to Chicago for Shadow to learn that not everything in Lakeside is as it seems on American Gods Season 3 Episode 2.
His initial introduction to all things Lakeside was warm and fuzzy, from the generous townsfolk to the clothes on his back to the tasty pasties at Mabel's.
Now he has to be wondering if he'll be viewed the same in his new if temporary, home after Allison went missing.
What wasn't warm was Shadow's first meeting with his property manager, Marguerite. She was the woman holding a gun to his head outside of his window.
It made sense in context, but she remained frosty without reason, even intentionally freezing Shadow in his own home. But when Shadow was cleared in Allison's disappearance, she warmed a bit, finally offering a hand in friendship, admitting that they had gotten off on the wrong foot.
If you haven't figured it out yet, Lakeside's history with children isn't favorable.
Now, while Lakeside is know for its fishing, it's the to-die-for pasties that put us on the map. Every delicious bite is like a warm hug. But you know what really makes this place special? The people! Everyone here genuinely cares for their neighbor. It's in everything they do. This spirit was passed down to us by the town's first citizen and benefactor, Lester Hamilton. And when he died, he left Lakeside his fortune so that its citizens would propser. All he asked in return was that we held onto some of his old world traditions. So every year, we hold an ice festival to celebrate his generosity and give thanks for our magical little town and its nordic heritage. I think you're gonna like it here.Ann-Marie
I don't think the massacre we saw in 1690 was Lester Hamilton, but whoever initially set foot on that land, killing all, including a child as a sacrifice to the weather god, Odekin, seems to have set a dangerous precedent.
Lakeside is a great place to live, but maybe you wouldn't want to raise a family there.
Shadow's trip to Zorya's funeral required a vehicle, and Chad kindly connected Shadow with his property manager, Marguerite, to rent her son's car. It's not a coincidence that Sandy's car was sitting out back for over two years, still with one of his recordings on CD in the back.
By the time Shadow returned, a little worse for the wear after a stressful time on the road and some necessary repairs, he was the number one suspect in Allison's disappearance.
Being the new guy in town was bad enough, but taking an overnight trip the same night of the disappearance after Allison sold him his new duds put him in a spot where he had to prove his whereabouts.
Thankfully, he had an airtight alibi, and everyone along the road backed him up. Hopefully, that awkwardness with Chad won't ruin Shadow's burgeoning friendship with the Sherriff.
Being cleared paved the way for Marguerite's repentance, but she wasn't as eager to share anything about Sandy. Perhaps Sandy isn't in Florida after all.
Wednesday is still recruiting for war, and he considered Zorya's death to be beneficial, gathering so many gods ripe for recruitment under one roof. Czernobog wasn't thrilled for Wednesday to use the occasion to that end, but they got in a good dance-fight and were giggling like schoolboys afterward.
Shadow also learned a little something about Wednesday's proclaimed fiance, Cordelia. She sees things differently. Answering an ad on Craig's List for her position, she's benefitted financially and thinks Wednesday is a hoot.
Shadow knows differently, of course, how draining his father can be, and he extended the hand of friendship for Cordelia when Wednesday's shenanigan's eventually become too much for her to bear.
Salim, too, was in attendance at Zorya's funeral, but he's aching to understand why Jinn loved and ran. Wednesday told him to get over it and assured Salim he had no part in pulling Jinn away from him.
It's a story as old as time. The person ditched needs closure to move on from a relationship that took a turn for the worse.
If he truly does not love me, then I need to hear it from his face.Salim
As Salim didn't make it very far in the novel, this is an undiscovered area for the character. And he's so heartbroken that you have to hope he discovers that love was real, even if it didn't last.
We didn't get much screentime with Bilquis and none with Tech Boy. Bilquis was up to her old tricks, and she devoured another useless male. This one made her sick. It was fun seeing Gil Bellows as Bill Sanders, and if the credits are true, he'll be seen again.
Do we often see Bilquis' victims again? I don't know why I can't remember that right now, but it's interesting that he'll be back.
There is something so disturbing about the reverse birth of those scenes, and kudos go out to Yetide Badaki and all of the men who have played her victims for making the events so damn fascinating.
Ricky Whittle is also super enjoyable this season. Shadow has always been kind, but Whittle gets to play that a little more generously in Lakeside. He smiles more easily and has eased Shadow into small-town life realistically, even if it's only been about 24 hours.
And we can't discuss "Serious Moonlight" without touching on the magical side of things, including Zorya replacing the coin in the sky to light Shadow's way or the magnificent peacock Shadow met in the woods.
What the heck does any of it mean? Somehow, the messaging escaped me, so hopefully, one of you can clue me in. Shadow's dream of childhood and meeting the white buffalo was also interesting.
Has he had these dreams all of his life or is he dreaming of the buffalo now in adulthood because there were patterns in his life that alluded to what was to come?
Admittedly, there is a lot of the book that isn't easily recalled, and it's little bits and pieces like that that elude me. What is clear as day, though, is everything about the Lakeside Klunker.
Lakeside's mystery residing in the middle of the novel made it a standout.
Ann-Marie: What a beautiful klunker.
Ann-Marie: Every year, we take a wreck, we put it out on the lake, and then folks guess the date and the time when it will break through the ice come spring. And then the winner splits the pot with the high school. It's really fun! You're gonna love it.
And the veracity with which people want Shadow to participate always seemed suspect. Just as suspect as sacrifices to the gods in 1690 and Wednesday's choice of Lakeside as Shadow's destination of choice.
Shadow got his bet on the board. What are the odds that he wins?
Let me know what you're enjoying about the season so far. Two episodes in, and it's one of my favorites. American Gods Season 2 was more style over substance with some portions of the story, and this grounding works very well for me.
If you're behind, you can watch American Gods online, but no matter where or how you watch, please share your thoughts below.
I'd love to hear from you!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.