The train crashes after destroying Wednesday's sacrifice. As the ca rebuilds itself, Shadow climbs the mound of skulls.
Wednesday and Sweeney find Emily lying among the wreckage, her legs cut off. She says that Shadow is sometimes among the wreckage, and begs Sweeney not to help Wednesday as he puts her body to the trunk of the car. Laura begs Sweeney not to do it, and he says that he's helping her. As Shadow climbs out of the wreckage, Wednesday and Sweeney get into the car and Wednesday says that the quickest way for Shadow to get to where he's going is sometimes the longest.
The next morning, Shadow staggers through the forest and makes his way to a stream. He drinks and looks at a raven nearby, screeching at him. It flies off as Shadow passes out.
The raven flies to Wednesday, who is waiting in Ibis's funeral home workshop as Ibis works on Laura's body. The bird reports to Wednesday, saying that it found Shadow, and Wednesday tells it that it' can go. Ibis checks the necrosis in Laura's body, and Sweeney asks her if she's just going to lie there. She wakes up and throws Sweeney across the room, and is shocked to see Ibis eating parts of her severed limbs. Ibis realizes that she believes in something, and Laura says that she believes in Shadow and calls Sweeney a coward. She wonders how long she'll be fixable, and Wednesday tells Ibis to hurry it up because the two of them have a date with Argus. Ibis says that Laura has another week before she rots, and Wednesday says that Argus can recharge Sweeney's coin. Sweeney tells her that Wednesday is lying and she should come with him to New Orleans to meet with the Baron. Laura smiles and walks out, ignoring Sweeney, and Wednesday tells Ibis that Shadow is on his way.
Shadow staggers down the road to a gas station. He goes in and flirts with the cashier, and claims that he went hiking and fell over. Shadow buys water and a map, and a woman truck driver comes in. She listens as Shadow cons the cashier, and then comes over and points out that Shadow didn't pay her. The woman orders gas and says that she knows Shadow, and goes back to her truck. He goes out after her and says that he has to get to Cairo, and the woman tells him that he's a liar. She takes a Polaroid photo of Shadow and says that it's evidence in case he turns into a psycho, and offers him a ride.
Ibis tells his cat that Hera ruled over marriage in the old days, and often fought with Zeus over his affairs and illegitimate children. He plays images of ancient Egypt and explains that Hera turned one of Zeus' women, Io, into a cow and summoned Argo to watch the heifer. Zeus delivered a fatal "message" to Argus, and Argus' death angered Hera. She brought Argus back to life as the agent of surveillance, but when his believers waned he made an alliance with the new gods.
Technical Boy tells World that they spotted Shadow on a drone but then a raven crashed into it. The Caretaker can't find the drone, and Technical Boy complains that Argus didn't update the hub. World tells him that Technical Boy has given the message to the undecided old gods that World's systems aren't in order, and tells Technical Boy to get Argus in line or he'll solve it. After a moment, Technical Boy agrees and World tells him to go to him in person.
The Caretaker finishes compiling the program for World that he's running, and New Media appears. She asks what their play is, and World tells her that it's Argus. New Media assures him that she can deal with him, and Technical Boy wonders how New Media is an upgrade.
Wednesday and Laura go to Argus and says that it's the secret HQ for the Men in Black according to the conspiracy theorists. They enter the memory of a field and Wednesday sees a corpse lying on the ground. Wednesday says that it's the cast-off husk of Argus when he became something else, and tells Laura that the revenants come back to do one thing and then die for good. Laura says that her mission is Shadow and doesn't know how it will end. She points out that she sees a golden beam of light trained on Shadow, and Wednesday points out that there's no beam there. Laura tells him that Shadow brought her back to death, and Wednesday asks if she can compete with what Wednesday can offer hm.
A cow appears and Wednesday thanks it for the gift of its life and then cuts its throat. The cow turns back into Io and falls to the ground, and Wednesday removes a metal knife from Io's belt. He then goes back to the doorway they came in.
Sweeney finally finds an unlocked vehicle, gets in, and the keys from the sun visor drop into his keys. However, there's a dog in the back seat and it attacks him.
The Djinn and Salim head cross country to the Corn Palace. It's a strip club, and as they go in the Djinn tells Salim that Iktomi is a trickster god and to not look him in the eyes. Iktomi's bodyguard Gnaskinyan sees them and greets the Djinn, and tells him that Iktomi will grant Wednesday's request but expect a favor in return and takes him.
The woman, Sam Blackcrow, drives down the highway with Shadow riding along. Sam talks about a Crow warrior, Finds Them and Kills Them, and says that he was like her: two-spirited. Shadow asks if she's human rather than a god, and Sam says that back in the day she would have been godlike. She has masculine and feminine spirits in one body, which is considered a gift from the gods, and Shadow notes that the gods always expect something in return.
Sweeney takes a boat and discovers that it doesn't start. When he tries to start the outboard, it falls off the boat and sinks into the water. Sweeney accidentally starts a fire and watches it burn.
Wednesday goes to the memory of the Great Library of Alexandria and there's a corpse of Argus laying at its desk. He says that he knows everything about Laura and describes an incident from when she was 10 when her father threw up on a library book. Laura tells him that Wednesday knows nothing about her, and Wednesday says that Argus isn't expecting them. He says that Laura wants to feel and Laura is frightened of that girl, and tells her that she's not the girl he fell in love with. Laura informs him that it's none of his business, and Wednesday tells her that they have to sacrifice to get out. He describes how Caesar sacked the real Great Library as a sacrifice, and Laura takes the hint. She lights a match and sets the memory of the Library on fire.
Sam takes a photo of the sleeping Shadow and writes a few words on it. Shadow wakes up, and tells Sam that he could eat.
Gnaskinyan takes the Djinn and Salim to Iktomi, who is in a vast greenhouse. Iktomi says that when the time comes, Wednesday must pay homage. The Djinn tells him that Iktomi needs the belief, and Gnaskinyan takes out a guitar case holding Gungnir. As Salim takes it, Iktomi tells the Djinn that Gungnir is an instrument of death and takes a sprout of a glass and says that Wednesday will need that as well. He wraps it up in a handkerchief and tells the Djinn to leave him. The god and man get on the motorcycle and drive off.
Sam and Shadow stop at a roadside food place and eat, and Sam asks Shadow what is in Cairo. He says that he has to find the Egyptians, and Sam tells him that she knows a place. Sam asks what Laura's name is, and Shadow tells her. He explains that Laura is dead and Sam considers that.
Technical Boy tells Media that they need a plan of attack and insists that he's in charge. Media agrees but points out that World sent both of them. She says that they have different audiences but are basically the same, and she needs bandwidth. Media asks Technical Boy to hook her up as they take the elevator into Argus.
Sweeney staggers down the road to New Orleans and gets hit by a bus. It stops and the driver helps him aboard. He's a Christian rocker, and asks Sweeney if he's accepted Jesus as his lord and savior.
Wednesday and Laura enter a room where Technical Boy and Media are talking to Zeus, who is wired into the system. Technical Boy threatens him, reminding him that he gave Argus his tech so Argus belongs to him. Wednesday tells Laura to kill Argus, who has been playing both sides. The tattoo on his Argus' neck is his weak spot, and if she kills him then it will recharge her coin. Laura refuses and Wednesday tells her that she's his puppet. He knows that she's interested in herself, not Shadow, and he's giving her what she wants.
Media says that she'll handle Argus and suggests that they do something on their own. She takes Argus' hand and says that he's someone who can handle her demands. A probe extends itself and Media grabs it, and says that she has millions of followers and needs someone who can watch them back. Another probe enters her body and two of them digitally merge.
Laura slips into the chamber and stabs Argus in the neck. Technical Boy sees her and tries to interrupt, but then realizes what she's there to do. He watches as Laura stabs Argus in the neck, and Technical Boy leads Media away and tells Laura to tell Wednesday that he's welcome. Once they leave, Wednesday comes in and says that the others were World's people. He tells the twitching Argus that it was nothing personal and when he comes back, he should remember what side that he's on. Argus dies and the coin in Laura glows with energy as she heals. Wednesday says that should hold the rot for a way and that makes them square, and then tells her that she can't come back to Shadow after what she's done. He tells her that Laura loved the girl who tried to kill herself and she doesn't exist anymore, wishes her luck, and goes.
As night falls and Sam drives on, she gives the photo to Sam. She wrote "Blackcrow meets Sleeping Beauty" on it, and Shadow says that he dreams of buffalos and skulls and doesn't understand. He tells Sam that he wants peace, and Sam says that her father called her a half-breed. Her mother raised her as a Christian and there was no place for her in the Indian world. Sam found her home in the stories of her ancestors, and tells Shadow that they either keep searching or give up.
Sam pulls up to Ibis' funeral home and Shadow gets out of the truck. They exchange names for the first time, and glowing fireflies circle around Shadow. Sam drives off and Shadow limps up to the funeral home. He sees Wednesday's car parked outside, and Wednesday calls to him from the patio. Shadow tells him that he's going to ask questions and Wednesday is going to answer, and Wednesday refuses. Undeterred, Shadow asks why World's people are after him. Wednesday avoids the question and tells Shadow that he'll wake up in the morning feeling like a million bucks. He tosses Shadow a bottle of beer and asks if they have a compact, and Shadow drinks. Wednesday calls him in, and Shadow follows him.
Written by Gadfly on Mar 24, 2019