That was an incredibly fast hour of American Gods.
As Bilquis listened to the women who had come, urging her to reconnect with her strength and see herself through her own lens, Technical Boy struggled with increasing glitches, forcing him back to where we first saw him.
And Shadow, although initially unwilling to help his father in his latest caper, wound up having a good time while learning that his father has a bigger heart than he expected.
American Gods Season 3 Episode 5 started at the 1839 Columbian Exhibition, the birthplace of Cracker Jacks, the moving sidewalk, the Ferris Wheel, and Juicy Fruit Gum.
It also appeared to kickstart Technical Boy.
How do new Gods come into existence, and who decides what they’ll represent?
I didn’t catch his name, but Technical Boy was at the exhibition with his new automaton. It was one-of-a-kind, and he was incredibly proud of his achievement.
Even the great Edison claimed he created the lightbulb before he actually did it. Like all innovators, he understood sometimes, you gotta fake it till ya make it.
But a magician who focused on sleight of hand instead of skill tricked him into making claims beyond his capabilities, ultimately outing him as a fraud when, in fact, he was the fraud.
It’s easy to imagine how that experience might have supercharged Technical Boy’s new god into existence. But what surprised me the most was that when glitching got the better of him, he retreated to the place where he began, folding himself inside of the cabinet under his automaton.
If nothing else, it proves that he has a heart because, without a heart and passion for your work, you cannot be hurt. But Technical Boy was feeling the squeeze.
He initially wanted to confront Bilquis for what she did to him, but he took off like a light when he saw her might. Perhaps he doubted her power and believed his abilities trumped hers. I honestly don’t know.
But what Bilquis learned about her power and how she had gone down a dark path came with advice we can all use.
Especially in the times of social media, we become what people believe instead of believing in ourselves, losing sight of our true selves and the power we have to do right in this world.
It took two days in prison to realize I’ve been locked away for thousands of years. I’d come to believe that what others believed of me was me. That I was the exotic fantasy in the minds of others.
Something about that also rang true to Shadow. Coming from prison, the first thing someone might see is his record and what he’d done before, not who he was.
By the same token, he saw Wednesday through his own eyes, as well, focusing on abandonment and his razor-sharp tongue. But when Cordelia told him what she witnessed when Wednesday first visited Demeter, Shadow realized there was a lot about his father that he didn’t know.
There was also a lot that Wednesday kept covered. People hail him as a great god, so showing weakness isn’t the best way to keep people under control or urge them to do your bidding.
Demeter is a weak spot for Wednesday. Maybe growing closer to Shadow made Wednesday realize how he’d hurt Demeter. She said as much to Wednesday and Shadow, describing his love as champagne, not going so far as to not how it felt when those bubbles went flat, but pretty darn close to it.
And if Wednesday can think about love, there was no reason that Laura couldn’t think of it, too.
Laura is very much alive, with an unsatisfied hunger for food and holding Wednesday accountable for her death.
Her quest to find him took her to Mr. Ibis, who was teaching Salim about the autopsy’s gentle arts. Salim is still wracked with grief over losing Jinn, so he recognizes the feeling in Laura, who is cradling Mad Sweeney’s ashes.
Ibis and Salim are certain that it was Sweeney’s blood that brought her back to life because of his love for her. Laura can’t confirm that, but thinking back to the mausoleum scenes, I recall a bit of his essence mixing with what was left of Laura.
The darn music they play when Laura thinks about Sweeney makes me miss him like crazy. It’s such a beautiful melody, both melancholy and uplifting.
Is she still carrying Sweeney’s ashes hoping that someone could bring him back to life in much the same way that she was given life again? I know she’s searching for Wednesday because he killed her, but there has to be more to it than that.
Does Laura know that Wednesday is Shadow’s father and that Shadow is a demi-god? I can’t remember if she was around when that nugget was revealed.
Whether their relationship would mean anything to how she plans on carrying out her vengeance on Wednesday is unknown, but I’d like to think that she’ll lose her thirst for blood now that it’s once again flowing in her veins.
How will Shadow react to a living, breathing Laura? A lot has happened between them, but that she’s got another chance is a miracle it would be hard to discount.
We’ll likely find out what’s next on American Gods Season 3 Episode 6, so be sure to check back here next week after you watch American Gods online.
If you think I’m off the mark in my thoughts here or agree with some, maybe you’ll drop me a line below to chat about it.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.