American Gods is filled with personifications of some of history's most recognizable mythological figures and gives offers up new kinds of gods of media and technology for the 21st century, yet the most interesting character so far may just be a mortal human — or appears to be a mortal human, at least. We don't spend much time with her, but it seems likely that Sam Black Crow of American Gods will return at some point after leaving a big impression on Shadow during their road trip to Cairo. Especially if the book continues to follow the path of the books.
Sam Black Crow is a young half-Cherokee woman that Shadow gets a ride from in her car to get to his intended location — Cairo, Illinois. Sam does Shadow the favor of driving him along the way, and the two talk about the nature of humanity and self while Shadow tries to discern if she's human or god. Sam Black Crow assures Shadow that she's nothing more than a two-spirited American with a car before she drops Shadow off at the end of this week's episode.
The two part ways, but the show seems to be suggesting that these two may cross paths in the future and that Sam Black Crow will have some sort of role to play in the upcoming war between the Gods.
Sam Black Crow is played by Devery Jacobs, a Kanien'kehá:ka woman from Kahnawà:ke Mohawk Territory, and is two-spirited, just as Sam is. Jacobs told The TV Junkies that she had been a fan of the American Gods novel for years and explained that "as a Mohawk queer actor, [Sam] was a character I hugely identified with." She also revealed that should the show continue, Sam could return in a much more prominent role, saying that if there is a Season 3 in the works, she'd return as a series regular.
Sam Black Crow's introductory car ride with Shadow is but a short period in the book, just like it is in this episode. However, in the books, Sam is a hitchhiker that Shadow picks up — in the series, they swapped those two roles. In the book, Sam and Shadow part ways prior to Shadow getting to Cairo, but Sam becomes part of the trail that the New Gods are following to try and find Shadow. In the books, Sam is tracked down by Mr. Town and asked if she knows where Shadow is, refusing to cooperate. Sam later turns up in Lakeside, a crucial location in the book, and comes across Shadow by coincidence, where Shadow reveals the nature of the people who are looking for him and the war he's involved in.
The show has already given minor book characters like Mad Sweeney and The Jinn expanded roles in the show, so it's likely that Sam Black Crow will enjoy the benefit of an expanded role in some way. In a series populated by Gods, revenants, and the living emoji that is New Media, it could make for a nice change of pace to have another actual human in the mix.