TO EACH HIS OWN JOURNEY
After sacrificing Betty to crash the train, Betty reincarnated herself back into the black 1966 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham. What a beauty. During the opening scenes coloured smoke is seen, and in some instances seen in shapes of horses. Again to bring back to Betty being Odin’s horses. Wednesday (Ian McShane) and Sweeney (Pablo Schreiber) find Laura (Emily Browning) without an arm and legless, which Wednesday makes a joke comparing her to Humpty Dumpty. A fitting Wednesday comment. They pick her up and put her in the trunk. After a few words with Betty, they get ready to leave. But Sweeney asks about Shadow, and Wednesday responds with “Am I the only one that has faith in Shadow?” but Sweeney says he’s is waining. Wednesday says “the quickest way for Shadow to get where he’s going is sometimes the longest.” All this is being said over the shouts of Laura from the trunk, and then they’re off.
Back on Shadow (Ricky Whittle), badly injured, gets to his feet, steals a pair of shoes and begins to walk somewhere. Walking through the forest, he falls over and rolls down a hill and crawls towards a natural spring of sorts. Lying unconscious, barely able to move, a crow begins to talk to him. One of Wednesday’s, Muninn in particular, caws the words “Cairo” and “Egyptian” before flying away. Making his way to a gas station, he buys water and a map for $7.02 and uses his charm and confuses the lady into giving him $20. But before he can make off with the $20, a young lady walks in and instead of exposing him, makes him pay for her gas. Outside, he meets up with her and they chat and she agrees to give him a lift to Cairo.
Back at Ibis and Jacquel funeral parlour, Wednesday speaks to Munnin and hears that Shadow is on his way. Laura seems fakes being in a trance and Sweeney tries to shake her out of it, before she flicks him against the wall. Wednesday slyly gets Laura to join him on his journey to Argus and Sweeney begins his journey to New Orleans where the Baron is. Who can help Laura better than what Wednesday can. Nonetheless, they all go on their separate journeys. But before Wednesday leaves, he tells Ibis to look out for Shadow as he is on his way to Cairo. As everyone leaves, Ibis (Demore Barnes) begins to tell his cat, Bast, a story about Argus (Christian Lloyd). Based on Greek mythology, Zeus was madly infatuated with IO and acted without a thought of the consequences. Once Hero learned of this she grew angry and turned IO into a cow and had Argus watch over her. But Zeus found out about this and sent Hermes to kill Argus. In an act of vengeance, Hera channelled her will and Argus reborn in America as the God of Surveillance. Honestly, Ibis telling stories is just amazing.
Back at Black-Briar, one of their drones watching Shadow and his friend is taken out by one of Wednesday’s crows. But Tech Boy (Bruce Langley) reassures them that he has 9 more on the way and will know when they find him. But because of the corrupted software, they can’t track where the drone went down. Tach Boy blames this on Argus as he told him aeons ago to upgrade this place and has some choice words to say about this. Mr World (Crispin Glover) losing his cool slightly tells him to get his house because his shortfalls affect the image of the New Gods. Tech Boy just agrees to save face and reluctantly agrees to go and see Argus. On the screen behind them, the download completes and the screen is sent into a frenzy and New Media (Kahyun Kim) emerges from the screen. Mr World says to go to Argus and she, very happily, agrees because fibre optics are “her jam”. Tech Boy just stands in confusion, about how Argus’ fibre optics are going to be an upgrade.
At Argus, Wednesday and Laura’s journey continues. Argus a hub of information and information will win you the war, such is said by Wednesday. He takes them on the scenic room, through a door they’re in a field, where green pastures stretch as far as the eye can see. Laura asks who’s body is lying there and Wednesday tells her it’s Argus’ old form. And he begins to question her about herself and why she’s here. And Wednesday questions everything she says and makes it seem wrong. He also says that Shadow has a good journey ahead of him and asks why he would pick her over him. Wednesday moves over to a cow, says some good things about her and not being forgotten, before thanking her personally and slitting her throat. As he does this she becomes human again and falls on her back and dies. Bringing us back to Ibis’ story and now we know that this was IO. Wednesday says he does this because change requires sacrifice, he then takes a wooden peacock feather from her body and leaves.
Back on Sweeney’s journey to New Orleans, his luck is very quickly running out. Trying to steal a car goes sideways when the car he chooses has a dog in the backseat. Yeah, that didn’t end well for him. Things go further south when he tries to steal a boat and the motor falls in the water, the gas begins to leak on the boat, he slips and falls and his joint lands in the gas and the boat is set alight. Sweeney’s journey is becoming harder and harder without his lucky coin. Now at the Corn Palace, Jinn (Mousa Kraish) and Salim’s (Omid Abtahi) journey continues. Jinn warns Salim about Old Inktomi (Julian Richings). Old Iktomi is like Nancy, a trickster God, so he must not look into his eyes. Jinn meets a man who says that Iktomi will grant his request, but expects a favour in return. The man walks them to where Iktomi is. Iktomi tells Jinn that when the time comes Voltan will have to pay homage and Jinn responds in Arabic that it is worship that he wants. Iktomi has Gungnir handed to Salim and warns that Thoth, God of Death, might not allow it. He also hands a seedling in a handkerchief to Jinn saying that Wednesday will need this too. And Jinn and Salim are back on their journey.
Back at Argus, Wednesday and Laura’s next stop is a library – The Great Library of Alexandria. They find another version of Argus lying dead on the table. Wednesday shows off by asking her about the book she never returned to the library when she was a kid because her dad spilt beer on it. He says he also knows what she wants, and it’s not Shadow. What she wants again is to feel and they both know that Shadow is afraid of that Laura. Understanding another sacrifice is needed, Laura sets everything alight.
Back on the journey to Cairo, Shadow and Sam Blackcrow (Devery Jacobs) make small talk. She talks about an audiobook she was listening to before he joined her. About a Crow Nation Warrior named Finds Them and Kills Them, who is like her two-spirited. He sees the Bison tattoo on her arm and asks if she’s human. She responds by saying yes, but if this were back in the day she would be considered Godlike for having two spirits in one body. Time passes and he falls asleep, she takes a picture of him and writes something on the polaroid. When he wakes up she asks if he’s hungry and he says yeah. They make their way to a food truck called Cats & Dogs. She asks what he’s looking for in Cairo and he says he’s looking for Egyptians in Cairo and she knows where. He begins to talk about Laura, and then their order is called.
Back at Argus, New Media and Tech Boy arrive to meet Argus. Tech Boy begins threatening Argus for not upgrading the tech at Black-Briar when Wednesday and Laura arrive. Wednesday convinces Laura to go and kill Argus by stabbing him in the tattoo on his neck with the wooden peacock feather and in doing so will recharge her coin. After some choice words and Wednesday telling her what she really wants, she agrees. Back with Argus, New Media takes over and begins to seduce Argus, convincing him that they should merge because everyone watches her and he watches everyone. One of his wires begins to move up her leg and they soon begin to merge. Tech Boy notices Laura but lets her be. She stabs Argus in the neck and the merge with New Media is stopped. Tech Boy drags away a reluctant New Media and tells Laura to tell Wednesday that he’s welcome, with an added choice word. Wednesday comes into the room and warns Argus to remember which side he’s on when he returns. As Argues dies, Laura’s coin recharges and she looks new again. But Wednesday doesn’t allow her to come back with him, because the Laura that Shadow loves is no more. But in some sense, she realizes this too. That the girl Shadow fell in love with is not who she is now.
Back on the journey to Cairo, Sam hands Shadow the polaroid of his sleeping with “Blackcrow meets Sleeping Beauty” written on it. He talks about the dreams/nightmares he’s had about the buffalos and skulls, but all he wants now is peace. She responds with how her father was a full-Cherokee and called her a half-breed. And her mother raised her with a bible by her side, there was no peace for her in their world. She found peace through the stories of her ancestors and encouraged him to keep looking or give up. As he arrives, fireflies begin to surround him. He makes his way inside to find Wednesday waiting for him. Just wanting to know why and answers about what is happening, Wednesday convinces him to stay the night and he’ll know more in time.
Thanks for reading. This episode was more about understanding the journey and each completing part of what’s needed for the battle. But on Shadow’s part, Wednesday must’ve known who he is going to meet. So I wonder if we will see Sam again in the future. I continue to enjoy American Gods and the excitement continues to build for the battle that is to come. Catch the promo for “The Greatest Story Ever Told” below. Enjoy!