'American Gods': Why is Salim obsessed with the Jinn and where will it lead to?
While we've been introduced to many new and old Gods, a peculiar couple in the series has definitely caught our eye.
Neil Gaiman's ongoing flirtation with the fantasy genre has given us many highly compelling, intricately woven, and award-winning stories over the years like 'Sandman', 'Coraline' and let's not forget, his best-selling novel 'American Gods,' which has been turned into a hit series on Starz network.
'American Gods' focuses on an upcoming battle between the fading Old Gods and the New Gods of technology and globalism. The relevance of the Old Gods is dying out due to lack of worship from their followers, who are now turning to technology in order to fill the voids in their lives.
The Jinn and Salim, though they may seem like minor characters, have been given a lot of screen time ever since their introduction in season 1, and this makes us believe that the two together may just be more than they seem.
In the battle between old and new gods, where does the contemporary couple stand? While Salim may seem like a mild-mannered, easy-to-apologize sidekick, his doting for the Jinn seems quite child-like if not obsessive.
To give a little background, the term "Jinn" dates back to early Arabian and Islamic mythology and is the basis for the anglicized word "Genie". According to the Quran, they were created from a smokeless and “scorching fire” and can be either good or evil, and the Jinn in 'American Gods' is not exactly one who'll grant you three wishes.
In Gaiman's version, we see the Jinn as a beaten-down taxi driver who possesses fiery eyes (literally) behind his jet-black shades. The Jinn welcomes an immigrant client named Salim into his car, and the two develop a strong emotional connection as they reminisce about their tales of the Middle-East and how they hate their jobs. After the bonding session, Salim invites the Jinn back to his place where the two embark on a sexual journey in what would be one of the most controversial, yet, most beautiful scenes in the series.
Not only is the scene explicit, but the taboo love between the two men is overshadowed by the fact that they are Muslims. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, showrunner Bryan Fuller tells us that he wanted to make sure the audience, no matter how narrow-minded, are able to see the sex between the two men as a beautiful thing. The erotic act was visually stunning and at the end of it, we didn't see just two men making love, but rather, the whole world becoming one through their love.
It is no wonder that Salim is obsessed with his lover.
The Jinn was kind enough to leave his identification and taxi keys with Salim the next day, in order for them to exchange places and take up new roles in life.
While the Jinn is content with moving on, Salim feels that they share a much deeper connection than the Jinn realizes. While we're still not sure what purpose the Jinn will serve to the Gods of old, we're quite certain that Salim is definitely not what he seems to be, and may just be another God in disguise.
'American Gods' season 2 will return for another mind-bending trip on March 10 on Starz network.