Starz’ American Gods season one episode five features the reunion of the back-from-the-dead Laura Moon (Emily Browning) with her hubby, Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle). It also features the much-anticipated introduction of Mr. World, played by Crispin Glover, and a memorable performance by Gillian Anderson. Airing on May 28, 2017, episode five titled ‘Lemon Scented You’ brings back Mad Sweeney – a character who deserves more screen time – and continues to tie together the storylines of the New Gods and the Old Gods.
The episode begins with the tale being told of a harsh journey from Siberia across the land bridge to the New World. Many people, including babies and children, died on the trip despite the fact the travelers didn’t make the trip alone. They brought their god, Nunyunnini, but still the land was unforgiving. Nunyunnini showed the people what to do, explaining their survival came at a terrible price.
The trip back in time swiftly changes to reveal Laura Moon waiting patiently for her husband while flies continue to be attracted to her dead flesh. She’s seated on the bed in his motel room and when Shadow Moon opens the door, he initially can’t believe his eyes. He picks up a pillow and throws it at her face, just to see if she’s actually real. (Good thing there wasn’t a rock nearby!) He’s hesitant to sit next to her on the bed, reminding her they have “unresolved issues.”
Shadow wants to discuss Robbie, but first Laura would like to talk about the miracle of her being in his motel room. Shadow’s over the shock surprisingly quickly, due in large part to all the crazy stuff he’s experienced since getting out of jail. He wants the details on her affair with Robbie, and she briefly discusses her history with Robbie while Shadow was gone. She says she waited 13 months before sleeping with Robbie, blaming the first time on the cat dying. Laura says she loves him, not Robbie, and wouldn’t have left him if she was alive.
Shadow asks about the night she died, and she explains it was a good-bye blowjob that caused the accident. She confesses she wasn’t scared when it happened, and she remembers being in a box and that’s it. She asks if he can get her a cigarette and when he leaves to go buy a pack, the brilliant, ethereal lights surround him as he walks out the door.
Someone’s watching from a car in the parking lot as he returns to his room.
Laura’s in the bathtub warming up her body, just in case he wants to touch her. The topic of conversation turns to a discussion of people who are dead staying in their graves.
Meanwhile, a crow knocks on Mr. Wednesday’s motel room door. He understands it when it squawks and is taken by surprise by what it has to say.
Laura lights up in the bathtub, but she can’t really taste the cigarette. Shadow places her wedding ring on the edge of the tub and then confesses he had a feeling he wouldn’t see her again when they last spoke on the phone. He thought she was going to die. He tells his undead wife a storm’s coming across the country and nothing feels okay.
Laura rises from the tub, naked and with the autopsy stitches clearly visible. There’s also stitching around her shoulder where her arm was reattached to her body, and Shadow backs away from her slightly as she approaches. (Absolutely do not blame him for this reaction!) They kiss, the gorgeous light surrounds them, and Laura’s heart beats once. She confesses she felt alive when they kissed. She tells him, again, she loves him. She also says she knows he’s mixed up in weird sh*t and she thanks him for the coin he left on her grave. When she asks if he’s still her puppy, Shadow says no.
Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane) disturbs their reunion by knocking on the door. He wants to go for a drink but Shadow doesn’t want to go with him. Shadow blocks him from coming inside the room as Laura sinks back underwater in the tub.
Squad cars race up, lights blazing as the men stand outside Shadow’s motel room. Mr. Wednesday and Shadow are placed under arrest for bank robbery while inside the room, Laura watches as Shadow’s light gets further away.
And now we catch up with the New Gods. Media, appearing as David Bowie (played by Gillian Anderson), informs Technical Boy (Bruce Langley) he has an image problem. They talk about how Technical Boy hung Shadow from a tree and Media tells him he must apologize and he reluctantly agrees, saying to pass his apology along to Mr. World. However, Mr. World doesn’t want the apology for himself. Instead, he wants Technical Boy to issue an apology to Mr. Wednesday and Shadow Moon – and to make it a sincere apology. What Technical Boy did lit a fire under Mr. Wednesday and the results could be disastrous.
Shadow Moon’s interrogated at the station, answering all questions with a request for a lawyer while Mr. Wednesday plays crazy in his interrogation. When the officer interrogating Mr. Wednesday asks what he was up to in Chicago, Mr. Wednesday pledges to only tell the truth. “I was recruiting a tired but still vital god of death into a war against the New Gods who very rightly fear him as much as they should fear me but don’t, yet,” explains Mr. Wednesday.
Officer Buffer (Tracie Thoms) reveals to Shadow it was an anonymous tip that led them to the motel. The tip came via a FAX over a FAX machine that hasn’t been turned on in years. The FAX included their GPS coordinates and exact details on their car. Buffer wonders why someone would rat them out which snags Shadow’s attention.
Back with Mr. Wednesday, he’s talking about Mad Sweeney the leprechaun who is an idiot and Mr. Nancy who comes at this from “the specific vantage of the bitterly dispossessed.”
Shadow’s interrogation has turned up the fact he and Mr. Wednesday have powerful enemies, and the officer wants to know what he knows. Shadow says he wants out, if he talks.
Back at the motel, Laura finally leaves the tub and gets dressed. Mad Sweeney (Pablo Schreiber) breaks through the motel room door and demands his coin. He sees it inside Laura, but she simply flicks his chest and he flies across the room. Laura says it’s her coin, but Mad Sweeney is sure the dead can’t actually own things. She hits him again and isn’t about to give back his coin even when Mad Sweeney says it wasn’t Shadow’s coin to give away. It was a special coin, meant for someone who was royalty or important – definitely not for Shadow’s cheating dead wife.
Mad Sweeney continues to demand the coin and Laura continues to injure him in response. She threatens to kick him in the balls if he doesn’t answer her question, so he reluctantly agrees. Laura asks how he met Shadow and he explains the bar fight and that Mr. Wednesday is the one who set it up. Mr. Wednesday is a god, and Mad Sweeney says neither she nor Shadow should trust him. Mad Sweeney then offers her dozens of gold coins in exchange for the one Shadow gave her. Laura doesn’t take him up on his offer since the coin inside her is apparently what brought her back to life. She warns him he’ll never get his coin back, but Mad Sweeney says he’ll get it once all the meat slides off her bones which could be soon if she keeps soaking in hot water.
Mad Sweeney continues his attack and tackles Laura, holding her under water in the tub as two cops rush in and grab him. He tries to tell them Laura’s not dead, but she plays dead in the water while the cops are there. (An easy acting job as she’s really dead.)
Shadow’s brought into the interrogation room with Mr. Wednesday and they’re told to talk it out. Mr. Wednesday doesn’t want to talk, even when the cop puts the photos from the robbery on the table between them. Only after Shadow and Mr. Wednesday are left alone in the room does Mr. Wednesday explains the photos are a “god’s eye view of the world.” They need to escape now or else. Mr. Wednesday pops off the handcuffs with the help of a friendly spider.
Shadow realizes Mr. Wednesday’s afraid and demands to know who’s after them. They hear screaming and destruction from somewhere close by in the police station and then Media, appearing as Marilyn Monroe, shows up in the interrogation room, floating on air. She’s wearing the iconic The Seven Year Itch white dress and claims she was murdered by the CIA who jabbed a needle into her eyeball.
Shadow’s freaking out and needs assurance this is real. As they speak, the cameras in the station all short circuit. Mr. World (Crispin Glover) arrives and greets Mr. Wednesday, apologizing for not reaching out earlier. Mr. World says only now is he seeing Mr. Wednesday clearly. When he turns his attention to Shadow, Mr. Wednesday instructs Shadow not to talk to Mr. World, advising him not to say one single word. Shadow doesn’t listen and answers Mr. World and then listens, stunned, as he describes Shadow’s life perfectly. Mr. World’s face pixelates as he speaks.
Mr. World whistles for Technical Boy who arrives quickly with an apology. Mr. World offers Technical Boy to Shadow, asking if he wants to beat him. Shadow doesn’t, and Technical Boy takes a seat at the table. Technical Boy, Media, and Mr. World all want to help Mr. Wednesday find his audience, offering a truce. They want to work together and merge, with Mr. World claiming everything is interlaced: “a single product manufactured by a single company.” Mr. World proposes the New Gods and the Old Gods become one, and Media shows off a video of the Odin rocket raining missiles down on North Korea, killing 24.9 million people. “Brand rebranded, and that’s just the start,” says Mr. World.
Mr. Wednesday realizes he’s drawn their attention for a reason, and he views their offer of a merger as an attempt to exile him. While the New Gods only occupy humans’ time, the Old Gods gave their lives meaning. Mr. World turns to leave and Technical Boy can’t believe he’s letting Mr. Wednesday go. Mr. World says he’s giving Mr. Wednesday time to consider his offer, explaining he has wisdom and knowledge and should have their respect.
Technical Boy is livid, losing what little self-control he has left and telling Mr. World, “F*ck respect!” Media blows him a kiss from across the room, blooding Technical Boy’s nose and knocking out two of his front teeth. Mr. World declares that’s a gift to Shadow. The New Gods leave, with Mr. World whispering, “I’m not your enemy.”
Shadow is unsure if what just happened actually happened. They make their way out of the police station, passing by dead officers on their way to the door. Before they can leave, a squad car pulls up with Mad Sweeney in the backseat.
Inside the station, branches of a tree make their way through walls and chase Shadow out the back door.
Mad Sweeney is still in the car when he hears the two officers who were delivering him to the station fire their guns. He kicks out a window and escapes with his arms still handcuffed behind his back.
Meanwhile, a morgue attendant watches as someone inside one of the drawers seems to be attempting to kick her way out. The drawer flies opens, knocking the attendant across the room. Laura emerges, naked, and checks herself out in the mirror. She kisses her reflection and then notices a dead woman on one of the slabs. The woman is a Jane Doe and Laura takes her clothing.
More on American Gods:
– American Gods Season 1 Episode 1 The Bone Orchard Recap
– American Gods Season 1 Episode 2 The Secret of Spoon Recap
– American Gods Season 1 Episode 3 Head Full of Snow Recap
– American Gods Season 1 Episode 4 Git Gone Recap
– American Gods Season 1 Episode 6 A Murder of Gods Recap