On the Black Briar Golf Course, a golfer goes out, carefully checks the green, and prepares to tee off. Technical Boy runs him over in his limo and follows his GPS to his destination. He pulls into the country club's parking garage and parks. Mr. World gets out, his body fluctuating, and has Technical Boy hold a paperclip up to the security camera. The wall opens revealing and an elderly Caretaker comes out and challenges them... until he recognizes World. Technical Boy says that if they take Wednesday out then they'll eliminate the others, but World insists that they have to proceed carefully and wait until the right time. He explains that it's a time for preparation and needs his best salesman. World tells Technical Boy to find Media and takes the elevator to Black Briar.
Shadow, Laura, Mad Sweeney, and Wednesday drive north from Kentucky to Wisconsin. Wednesday sleeps in the back and Sweeney tosses his Big Gulp out on the highway. Later, Wednesday takes over and Shadow sits in the back, and Laura puts on her glasses and avoids touching Shadow's hand. She finally speaks up, wondering how Wednesday has so many enemies. Wednesday says that everyone wants the good time that accompanies with him, and Sweeney points out that Laura is feeding on his lucky. They head toward the House on the Rock and Wednesday talks about mermaids in Florida. Laura asks Shadow if he believes in mermaids, and he says that kind of does and wants to believe in her.
At Alex Jordan's House on the Rock, the tunnels beneath the House are filled with strange things. Bilquis arrives and gets pass the security guard, and then walks through the tunnels The Jinn is there and greets her, and figures that she's there for the meeting. Bilquis says that she wasn't formally invited. Salim comes over and greets his lover, and the Jinn wonders why he's there.
World tells the Caretaker that he needs the Eyes of Argus to see his enemies. When the guard says that Black Bair is for the President, World dismisses the President as a cutout and reminds the Caretaker that he has always worked for him.
Mama-Ji in her human form finishes making up a motel room and goes out on the balcony. She looks around apprehensively.
Shadow tries to open the gate to the House, and Mr. Nancy opens it. He smells Laura's rotting corpse and tells Wednesday that Easter told him to tell Wednesday that she isn't coming. Nancy then complains about Shadow's lack of stylish clothing, and goes to the House with Sweeney. Wednesday tells Laura that she's welcome at the House but isn't invited to the party. She says that she's keeping an eye on Shadow, and Wednesday tells her that she doesn't have to be road kill forever and they can come to an arrangement. Laura isn't interested and Wednesday goes inside.
As the group go to the House, Sweeney tells Shadow that he found Laura and asks Shadow if he really wants her.
The Jinn wonders why Salim is there when he gave him the freedom to go anywhere he wanted, and Salim tells him that he's following his heart. He insists that the Jinn needs him, and the Jinn says that his desire is to do his job. The Jinn warns that the House isn't safe and tells Salim to go, and Salim says that he doesn't grant wishes. The group comes in and Salim says that he's with the Jinn. The Jinn tells Wednesday that a dozen came up and he took them to the carousel, and points out Bilquis and warns that she's not invited.
When Shadow gets a coin from the Jinn, the Jinn lets him pass but refuses to give a coin to Sweeney and Laura. Sweeney insists that he's working for Wednesday, but the Jinn says that Wednesday was very specific not to let Sweeney in. Meanwhile, Nancy, and Wednesday go over to Bilquis as Shadow watches over Wednesday. Bilquis insists that she will be heard unless he's afraid, and Wednesday says that it behooves them to consult the Norns. He goes over to a fortune telling machine and invites Bilquis to put in a coin. She does and a fortune comes out. Bilquis looks at the fortune and then Shadow, and walks away. Wednesday puts in a coin himself and gets a fortune, and chuckles at the fortune. He refuses to tell Shadow what it says. Shadow puts in a coin and gets his fortune: "Every ending is a new beginning. Your lucky number is none. Your lucky color is dead. Motto: Like father, like son."
Shadow, Wednesday, Nancy, and Bilquis continue on into a series of houses. Wednesday tells them to continue on and goes down a pathway. He finds Zorya waiting and compliments her. Wednesday flirts with her, saying that there will better times in the days to come. Chernobog arrives and asks how the bank robbery went, and Wednesday says that it got him there and he needs Chernobog's wisdom. The god points out that he's only there because he lost checkers to Shadow, and Zorya says that she'll be along in her own time. Once Wednesday leaves, Chernobog hits a player and invites Zorya top dance.
Bilquis admires Shadow, and Nancy says that when he took Shadow's measurement he got a measure of his life. He describes how Shadow was a shrimpy kid until he had a growth spurt, and is still shrimpy on the inside. Shadow refuses to be baited, and Nancy admits that Wednesday might have made a good choice.
Laura tells the Jinn that she wants a coin so she can get a fortune. The Jinn hands over a coin and Laura gets a blank fortune. Sweeney complains that Laura has all of his luck because she has her coin.
Wednesday joins the others and says that the House is a shrine to the imminent like roadside attractions throughout the U.S., and people come there to worship even if they don't know it. He leads them to the Carousel Room and Wednesday tells Shadow to feel the power as the giant carousel turns. Wednesday, Bilquis, and Nancy get on and Wednesday invites Shadow to join them even though a sign says no riding. Shadow gets on and mounts a horse. And the gods laugh as the carousel speeds up until the world around it is a blur. Power flows into them, and the horse Wednesday is riding breaks apart to reveal a cosmos beyond. The group find themselves riding their mounts through the cosmos,
Later, Shadow wakes up on a beach. Bilquis is standing over him, and Shadow sees an aurora borealis in the distance. She tells him that they're back stage inside of Wednesday's memories and walks along the beach. Bilquis says that the meeting is taking place there instead of her memories. They enter a vast longhouse and the gods stand around a table at the center. They look at Shadow as he approaches, and Nancy in African garb says that they've been fighting for millennia. Nancy tells the gods that they are not lost even if they're outnumbered.
Wednesday is at the head of the table, one eye missing and the socket glowing with power. He says that when people came to America, they brought him and the others with them. They eventually abandoned them for a new life in a new land, and the true believers passed away or stopped believing. The gods got by on what little smidgens of belief they could find, living in the cracks of society. The new gods have replaced them and want to destroy them completely.
One goddess, Mama-Ji, steps forward and says that Wednesday's plans are foolish. She talks about how she's seen new gods rise and fall. Wednesday says that Chernobog has brought his hammer to the fight, and Chernobog promises that when the time is right, his hammer will swing. Mama- tells Wednesday that she sees no battlefields, and Wednesday tells her that she's not looking properly. Bilquis says that the new gods showed her how to use their tools, and she can bring her worship to her people and she grows in power. She tells the gods to evolve or die.
Shadow says that he believes Wednesday, and explains that he lost everyone that he ever cared about. He forgot who he was and lost his way, and Wednesday--Odin--is helping him remember and made him worthy to be worthy of what Shadow's mother believed in him. Shadow tells the gods to take the chance to be worthy of their believers' belief, and Wednesday takes his human form and says that they will continue things in the real world.
Later, the gods gather at an all-you-can-eat buffet near Mama-Ji's motel. Shadow sees Laura at a table and smiles as she looks back at him. He sits down with Nancy and Wednesday joins them and congratulates Shadow on his speech. Shadow asks Nancy if it happened, and Nancy feigns ignorance. Chernobog comes over and blows smoke in Shadow's face, chuckling. He says that cigarettes remind him of the burnt offerings that his believers lit for him. Shadow asks if everyone in there is a god, and Nancy and Chernobog chuckles. Chernobog says that they're idiots and he's there because he lost a game of checkers. He suggests that they play best of three and then he kills Shadow and goes home.
Bilquis approaches Laura and asks to hear a story, pointing out that Wednesday isn't trying to sell her anything. The goddess says that she's a god of death, and Laura tells her that Shadow is her husband and she'll kill Bilquis if she hurts him. Bilquis kisses Laura as Sweeney watches, and then the goddess walks out of the building.
Technical Boy returns to Black Briar, and he and World watch Bilquis depart. When Technical Boy offers to recover Shadow himself, World says that he needs her to feel complicit. He then calls to tell someone to recover the package.
Shadow joins Laura and says that he didn't think that he'd see her outside of a dream. Laura assures him that she can always see him and asks what was backstage. Shadow explains that most of the gods don't want to fight, and he feels something special is going on and he feels a part of it. Laura warns that Wednesday is dangerous and she needs Shadow to believe in them. Wednesday calls Shadow over to meet Mama-Ji, and Shadow tells Laura that he'll be back and goes over. Sweeney has been listening and tells Laura that they all make their choices. Laura says that Shadow isn't choosing and insists that Shadow is still hers. Sweeney sits down and tells her that it hurts when someone takes what belongs to them.
World sends a message to Mr. Town requesting a strike package to eliminate the target. He then tells the Caretaker not to tell anyone that he figures that sometimes the old ways are best. World says that the old gods need to feel shock and awe.
A sniper opens fire and blows out one god's brain. Shadow yells and takes cover as the Sniper keeps shooting and killing gods. Wednesday stares at the chaos around him, and Shadow runs outside toward the Sniper. He fires and when Sweeney slips in a puddle of blood, the bullet hits Laura in the shoulder.
Wednesday attacks the Sniper, who summons a column of light that pulls Wednesday away.
In the buffet, Wednesday finds a dying Zorya. He kisses her on the forehead and Zorya tells him that he's a good man. Chernobog joins them and holds her hand as she says that they're men. Crying, Chenobog curses the killer, vowing that he'll fuck them and the horse they rode in. He promises that no one alive will take their life, and "she" will find him and he'll die with a sweet kiss on his lips and eternal darkness in his soul. Wednesday wonders if that's what it takes and kisses Zorya on the forehead again. Laura runs out and looks for Shadow, and sees his light being taken away.
Written by Gadfly on Mar 10, 2019