Shadow and Mr. Wednesday sit in bathrobes while Mr. Nancy sews them suits. Nancy wants to tell them a story but Wednesday doesn't think they have time. Nancy insists and starts a tale about a queen who had everything long ago.
864 b.c., Temple of Bar'an
Bilquis is in her temple, bedecked in body jewelry and diaphanous robes. Her worshipers dance and writhe naked as Bilquis anoints them with a black substance on their foreheads. A king approaches to knock her off her throne. She welcomes him and they have sex with him transforming into a black liquid when she finishes with him. The orgy of worshipers also transform into black liquid for Bilquis to absorb.
Bilquis makes her way through a disco club where she encounters a young woman and asks her to dance. Men with guns storm the club and destroy it as people flee in terror. Bilquis is saved by the young woman.
Bilquis is on a flight to America seated several rows behind the woman who helped her escape the disco. She asks the man seated next to her where the bathroom is at and takes him into the bathroom with her. She returns to her row alone. The flight attendant gives her a "Hollywood, California" postcard.
Bilquis visits the woman she followed to America as she lays dying in the hospital of AIDS.
Bilquis has been reduced to homelessness and is pushing a cart along the street when she stops in front of an Ethiopian restaurant named Marib. The menus have drawings of Bilquis on the front, reminding her she was once a queen. The TV in the restaurant shows live footage of her ancient temple in Yemen being destroyed by ISIS. Later, as she is sleeping on the street, Technical Boy pulls up to offer her a new altar, giving her a cell phone. She scrolls through an online dating app, and sees a picture of herself at her most beautiful.
Mr. Nancy asks Wednesday and Shadow if they understand the moral of the story. Shadow guesses wrong but Wednesday says he needs to get himself a queen because the New Gods now have a queen. Shadow threatens to walk because Wednesday killed Vulcan and he still doesn't even know who Wednesday really is. Wednesday disagrees and explains that Shadow is not pissed-off enough to leave; he's just confused and intrigued.
Shadow dreams of digging out from a pile of skulls and climbing to the top of it where he encounters a massive tree. The Buffalo approaches him and he is surrounded by the smoke from its eyes. He awakens in the passenger seat of Betty with Wednesday driving them to Kentucky. Bunnies follow along behind their car and line up in front, blocking the road. Wednesday drives over them.
They arrive at a mansion and Wednesday leads Shadow inside where a banquet is laid out for Easter Sunday. The guests are decked out in holiday costumes and Shadow sees a Madonna nursing a baby Jesus. Wednesday points out Ostara to Shadow, the queen they've come to enlist. One of the many Jesus figures (Jesus Prime) stops next to Shadow and says hello.
Wednesday tells Shadow that "believing is seeing. Gods are real if you believe in them." Shadow looks around and sees another Jesus figure bleeding jelly beans from his stigmata and halos around the Madonna and child. Wednesday explains there is a Jesus Christ for every belief, branch, and denomination. Shadow asks again who Wednesday is as Easter approaches.
Shadow is in awe of Ostara and escorts her around the grounds of her estate. Wednesday tries swaying her to his side but she insists she's doing fine without his help. Wednesday argues that millions might observe some of the rituals of Easter but not many actually speak her name in worship. Ostara does all the work of bringing spring, yet Jesus gets all the prayers. Jesus feels bad for stealing Ostara's day and Ostara tries to comfort him before she drags Wednesday and Shadow inside to speak in private.
She is angry that Wednesday has insulted Jesus, especially on their shared day. Wednesday insists that it is her day, not theirs. He lies to her that the New Gods killed Vulcan and presents to her the sword Vulcan crafted for him. He promises her she will be worshiped if she makes them worship her.
Bilquis once again visits the museum housing a collection of her artifacts. She ignores a phone call from "The Man" (Technical Boy). He appears behind her and scolds her for avoiding him. He is calling in the favor she owes him.
Shadow finds his way to an indoor pool where Jesus Prime is sitting on top of the water. Shadow still wants to believe everything is a vivid dream. Jesus replies that it doesn't matter if Shadow believes or not, he is still on the same journey.
Wednesday suggests to Ostara that she should take away the spring to make the people pray to her. A rabbit whispers into Ostara's ear and she hurriedly leaves Wednesday alone to find Laura and Sweeney. Laura is in a bathroom, coughing up maggots. Easter is angry Mad Sweeney brought a dead girl into her home but she owes Sweeney a favor. Easter quizzes Laura on her dead state. Laura admits that she is always thirsty and cold. Easter explains she doesn't resurrect, she grants "relife" but first she needs to know the specifics of Laura's death. She looks into Laura's eyes to see the exact moment of death and spots a raven and Mad Sweeney as the last image on Laura's retinas. Easter asks Sweeney if he was working for Wednesday and explains to Laura that she was killed by a god, making it so she can't regift life to Laura. A rabbit alerts Easter that more guests have arrived and she leaves while Laura demands Mad Sweeney to tell her which god killed her.
Easter opens the door to greet Hannah Brown (Judy Garland from Easter Parade) and one of the Children dressed as Don Hewes (Fred Astaire). Hannah reminds Ostara of their tradition of celebrating Easter together, having merged pagan beliefs into media gimmicks, like peeps and bunnies and brunch. Easter guides her outside to meet her sheep.
Laura questions Sweeney about which god had her killed. She knows Sweeney isn't a god and squeezes his balls to make him say out loud which god it was. Sweeney admits it was Wednesday who had her sacrificed to get Shadow to a place where he had nothing left. Wednesday has been interfering in Shadow's life since the casino heist because gods like to "fuck with us."
Shadow rejoins Wednesday as Wednesday spots Hannah and Easter strolling the grounds outside. Hannah asks about Wednesday and Easter admits he was trying to recruit her. The faceless Don begins to split into multiple Dons as Hannah questions Easter. The New Gods make Old Gods new again and she wants to know why Easter would listen to Wednesday. Easter replies that it is because she is feeling "misrepresented in the media." Hannah explains that the Old Gods have to evolve in order to survive in an atheist world.
Mr. Wednesday arrives as the Children circle protectively around Easter and Hannah. He argues with Hannah about the distribution methods of worship. Technical Boy takes over one of the Children and enters the conversation, warning Wednesday that he can't fight progress. Wednesday points out the New Gods wouldn't be there if he wasn't a threat. Hannah claims they are there for Easter because Wednesday doesn't matter anymore. Wednesday insists he still matters because gods make things happen to cause belief.
Mr. World takes over another one of the Children. As Mr. World speaks, storm clouds gather above. He tells Wednesday that he only matters when it comes to war and there isn't going to be a war. The New Gods have all the advanced technology while the Old Gods are left with swords and hammers. Whether they fight or not makes no difference because the Old Gods will die out either way. Wednesday responds by dedicating deaths to Ostara just as lightning strikes the circle of Children, killing them all.
Wednesday turns to Shadow and asks if he has faith. Shadow asks for a third time for Wednesday to tell him who he is. Wednesday recites some of his many names to Shadow before finally revealing himself to be Odin. He commands Ostara to show the New Gods who she really is. Easter steps forward and lifts her arms to the air, bringing a change in the wind and clearing the thunderclouds. She takes away the spring, causing life to retreat underground throughout the country as it returns to its winter state.
Mr. World tells Wednesday he has his war. Wednesday announces the believers and non-believers can have their spring back when they pray for it. He asks Shadow if he believes and Shadow answers that he believes "everything." Laura clears her throat to announce her presence and asks to speak with her husband.
Bilquis is on a bus trip to the House on the Rock in Wisconsin and invites the man seated next to her to the bathroom.
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