Coming to America
Mr. Ibis narrates a story about the first immigrants who crossed over the land bridge from Siberia to North America. Atsula says goodbye to her dead baby, Aputi, before laying her in the snow. They follow the woolly mammoths at the behest of their god, Nunyunnini, represented by a mammoth skull. In the new lands, they were unable to find food. Nunyunnini shows Atsula what is needed to do for food. Atsula allows herself to be gored by the Buffalo in sacrifice. The gods are made within people's hearts and with Atsula gone, Nunyunnini soon becomes forgotten and dies.
Laura awaits Shadow in his motel room. He asks her what she is doing there and throws a pillow at her to see if she is real. He asks her about her affair with Robbie. She acknowledges that she wasn't able to wait for him as she had promised but she wasn't going to leave Shadow for Robbie. She tells him how Robbie was upset so she was giving Robbie a "goodbye blowjob" when the accident happened. She sends Shadow to get her cigarettes from the motel vending machine. When he returns, she is taking a bath to warm herself up.
A raven taps on Mr. Wednesday's door. He relays a message to Mr. Wednesday.
As Laura smokes in the bathtub, Shadow returns her wedding ring. They discuss their relationship and Laura tells him they have some things to work on. They kiss and Laura's insides glow golden and her heart gives a beat. She tells Shadow she loves him and is looking out for him and thanks him for giving her the gold coin. She asks if he is still her puppy and Shadow responds that he is not. There is a knock on the door and Wednesday invites Shadow out for drinks. Shadow refuses just as police drive up and arrest them both for the bank robbery in Chicago. Laura is left behind alone in the bathroom.
Technical Boy leaves a club and heads to his limo. The lights overhead go out and a virtual reality box is waiting for him. Technical Boy is transported to a meeting with Ziggy Stardust. Ziggy scolds Technical Boy for hanging Shadow and beating up the wrong guy. He states that Mr. World is demanding for Technical Boy to apologize to Wednesday and Shadow. Technical Boy argues that Mr. Wednesday is recruiting gods and should be stopped but Ziggy says Technical Boy is turning Wednesday into a martyr. Technical Boy claims it is delusional that an apology will make any difference. Ziggy explains that delusions create gods all on their own and that's all Wednesday needs is just enough, even just one person, to believe.
Shadow is in an interrogation room, being questioned by Agent Buffer. Shadow demands a lawyer in answer to all of her questions regarding the bank robbery and his past history. Wednesday is being questioned in another room and plays off as a confused man reciting poetry. He rambles on about being in Chicago to recruit Czernobog and how Mad Sweeney and Mr. Nancy are also on his side for different reasons while the police officer looks on dubiously.
Buffer warns Shadow that his boss pissed off some big players and an anonymous tip is what got them caught. She received a fax on a fax machine that wasn't even turned on, giving their precise GPS location. If Shadow helps her by telling her what he knows about these big players then she might offer him something in return.
Laura gets dressed just as the motel room door bangs open and Mad Sweeney comes barging in, demanding his coin back. He grabs her by the throat and the coin glows out from her throat. She flicks him in the throat and he flies across the room, momentarily stunned. She tells him her husband gave her the coin and it is hers. Sweeney explains he gave Shadow a coin meant for royalty on accident. He demands it back and Laura refuses, breaking his finger when he points it at her. She grills him, asking him how he knows Shadow. He reveals he was hired by Wednesday to pick a fight with Shadow at Jack's Crocodile Bar to see what Shadow was made of. Sweeney offers Laura as many gold coins as she wants if she will give back the one she has. Laura realizes that Sweeney can't just take the coin from her; she has to give it to him. He tells her all he has to do is wait for her to decompose enough for the coin to just fall right out of her. He attacks her and shoves her into the bathtub, holding her head underwater. Cops burst in and take down Mad Sweeney as Laura plays dead in the bathtub.
Buffer takes Shadow into the same interrogation room as Wednesday and handcuffs him across from Wednesday. She lays out the pictures of them from the bank robbery and leaves them to talk with each other. Wednesday explains that the photographs belong to a particular "god's eye view" of the world just as a spider unlocks his handcuffs. Shadow stops Wednesday, realizing Wednesday is afraid of whoever is after him and demands to know who it is.
The lights dim, the door opens, and Marilyn Monroe (from The Seven Year Itch) floats into the room. Wednesday tells her they don't have any business with her. Shadow begs for it to not be real as footsteps sound down the hallway. Mr. World enters and apologizes to Wednesday for not seeing him. Wednesday warns Shadow to not speak to Mr. World. Mr. World frees Shadow from his handcuffs and tells him he already knows all about him from his blood type to his nightmares. Everything about Shadow is stored and recorded in the Book of Life.
Marilyn coughs politely to remind Mr. World to stay on track. He whistles for Technical Boy. Technical Boy enters and apologizes for lynching Shadow. Mr. World slams Technical Boy onto the table and offers to let Shadow hit him and knock out his front teeth. Shadow refuses. Mr. World absolves Technical Boy for his crime against Shadow and has him sit next to Wednesday to offer his sales pitch. Technical Boy explains how the New Gods want to offer Wednesday the opportunity to evolve with them and they will help him find his own audience. Mr. World is offering a merger with the Old Gods and to upgrade Wednesday.
Marilyn clicks a remote and the walls light up with images of the ODIN guidance satellite to be launched over North Korea. Wednesday will be re-branded and 24.9 million people will know his name, giving him a lasting place in tomorrow. Wednesday pounds his hand on the table and refuses, saying they offer him exile, not a merger. The New Gods simply occupy time while the Old Gods gave people meaning. Mr. World tells Wednesday to give them meaning again before he leaves with Marilyn following after.
Technical Boy stops them, asking why Mr. World is letting Wednesday go when he has him right there. Mr. World explains that Wednesday is older than Technical Boy will ever be and has wisdom and knowledge that Technical Boy does not have. He is giving Wednesday an opportunity and respect. Technical Boy says, "fuck respect." Marilyn blows a kiss to Technical Boy and knocks out his two front teeth. As the New Gods leave, Mr. World tells them he is not their enemy.
Shadow asks Wednesday if that really happened and Wednesday replies it's still happening. They leave the interrogation room and make their way through the destroyed police station. Everyone is dead and horribly mangled. Shadow wonders what story is going to be told for what happened.
The police car with Mad Sweeney in the backseat arrives at the station forcing Wednesday and Shadow to head out the back. A tree is growing up from within the station, consuming the bodies. One of the branches stabs Shadow in his side. As the tree continues to grow, Shadow and Wednesday make it out of the precinct. The two remaining police officers who arrested Sweeney run into the building, their guns firing as they're also consumed by the tree. Mad Sweeney uses it as his opportunity to escape out the back of the cop car.
In the morgue, the medical examiner hears a noise and goes to investigate. He turns around as Laura bursts out from the morgue drawer, accidentally killing him with the door. She sees her reflection in the mirror and blows on it, producing no condensation. She gets dressed and walks out of the morgue.