American Gods Season 3 Episode 5 Recap: “Sister Rising”

American Gods Season 3 Episode 5
Yetide Badaki and Ricky Whittle in ‘American Gods’ season 3 episode 5 (Photo Courtesy of Starz)

Bilquis (Yetide Badaki) remains locked in a cell with loud heavy-metal music piped in as a form of torture on Starz’s American Gods season three episode five. Her captors are unaware she’s escaped inside herself and is engaged in a conversation with the Orisha. Their noise no longer bothers her. They pause the music for a little Q&A, yet Bilquis is unfazed by their arrival in her cell, not even taking notice of their appearance.

Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) and Technical Boy (Bruce Langley) arrive outside the facility and Technical Boy reveals he doesn’t have any of his skills available, thanks to what Bilquis did to him. He’s unable to unlock doors remotely or gain access to the building, so they’re forced to go old school with their break-in. Shadow refuses to use guns to attack the building.

The Orisha advise Bilquis to remember all she has learned. The earth and water have always supported her, and she needs to own her power.

The men who’ve come to question Bilquis soon learn just how powerful she is. She summons water to drown her jailors just as Shadow Moon and Technical Boy are considering how to free her. Tech Boy glitches, freaks out, and runs away as Bilquis asks Shadow if he’s there to rescue her.

A short while later they stroll the streets and Bilquis reveals what she learned while held captive. She realized she’s been locked away for thousands of years and that she had grown to believe she was how others saw her – “the exotic fantasy in the minds of others.”

The veil has been lifted and she now sees herself clearly. Bilquis believes the future is up to them to decide, and she tells Shadow he needs to tear down his veil too. When asked why he came to find her, Shadow talks about his unfinished business….Laura Moon…his mom. Bilquis thinks it’s time for him to heal and reveals she doesn’t know his destiny.

“A word of advice…the journey to spiritual awakening is better with french fries,” says Bilquis, selecting a fry and giggling as they eat dinner. (This is the happiest we’ve seen her all season.)

Shadow calls Marguerite (Lela Loren) to check in and learns Alison is still missing. He explains he’ll be gone a while longer than he expected because he’s going to stop and see his dad in the hospital. It’s a friendly, flirty conversation and both appear to be genuinely happy to be chatting.

Meanwhile, after stripping and wandering through traffic half-naked Wednesday (Ian McShane) is now a patient in the same psychiatric facility where Demeter (Blythe Danner) is being held. Wednesday claims to be exhausted as they play a game, and Demeter doubts his honesty. She believes he’s there just for her money, and they make a wager: if he lasts a week, she will give him one night in which he’ll show her what’s in his heart.

American Gods Season 3 Episode 5
Ian McShane, Blythe Danner, and Ricky Whittle in ‘American Gods’ season 3 episode 5 (Photo Credit: Starz)

Shadow shows up and takes Wednesday outside for fresh air, pushing his dad in a wheelchair as he admits he’s figured out he blew up a bar just to get himself committed. Wednesday claims he’s innocent but Shadow knows he’s after Demeter’s fortune. Wednesday gets to the meat of the matter, explaining Hutchinson’s engaged in an elder abuse scam. All the proof they need is on Hutchinson’s computer and Wednesday wants Shadow to work with Cordelia to obtain it.

Shadow’s unwilling to go back to jail for his dad. However, when Wednesday declares – again – that Demeter was his wife, Shadow appears to reconsider the situation. They find Demeter painting and Wednesday introduces her to his son. She’s briefly taken aback, but then collects herself and shakes Shadow’s hand.

Elsewhere, Salim (Omid Abtahi) has apparently decided the only way to get The Jinn back is to continuously pester Mr. Ibis (Demore Barnes). Salim even proposes going into business together just so he can stick around in Cairo. As they’re talking Laura Moon (Emily Browning) arrives and demands to know Wednesday’s whereabouts.

Mr. Ibis examines Laura while Salim wonders how she came back to life. Laura isn’t sure but Mr. Ibis initially thinks Laura took Sweeney’s body just for his blood. She corrects him and says she took it to Baron Samedi so Samedi could bring him back from the dead. Samedi “crapped out” so she gave Sweeney the coin, sacrificing herself to bring him back to life.

Mr. Ibis decides this must mean Sweeney used his blood – blood infused with love – to bring Laura back from the dead. Laura admits it’s all “voodoo shit” and she doesn’t understand how any of it works.

A little later, Salim catches Laura sitting alone with the box of Sweeney’s ashes and asks if it was his blood that brought her back. Sweeney’s coin sits above the ashes in the box and Salim picks it up. He stares at it a bit and then admits he doesn’t know why The Jinn left and may never know. But every beat of Laura’s heart is proof she was truly loved by someone.

Laura tells Salim to stop moping around and do something… anything…with his life. She explains absolutely nothing happens when you die – really, literally, nothing – and Salim admits he didn’t expect that. She suggests Salim come with her to kill Wednesday, but he responds by saying he doesn’t believe in murder. Laura then suggests he come along anyway, just to keep her company.

Mr. Ibis overhears this and understands it’s probably the only way to get Salim to stop hanging around. He hands over his car keys so they can hit the road. When asked about Wednesday’s whereabouts, he thinks he might know someone with more information.

Shadow and Cordelia (Ashley Reyes) discuss Wednesday and Shadow explains it’s just a con to swindle Demeter out of her money. Cordelia’s not sure this is just a scam; she believes Wednesday genuinely cares for Demeter.

Shadow still doesn’t want to steal the computer, but Cordelia reveals she’s got a way to clone Hutchinson’s computer.

Shadow puts their plan into action and Cordelia struts through a fancy hotel lobby. She makes contact with Hutchinson (Sebastian Spence) by commenting on his Skull & Bones tie. Cordelia claims her dad was also in that secret group and that piques Hutchinson’s interest. He’s distracted as Shadow steals his briefcase.

Shadow acts like an innocent bystander and claims he saw a guy run off with it. Hutchinson puts two and two together and thinks “that woman” is in on it. Shadow suggests he call the police and Hutchinson realizes his phone was also in the briefcase along with his computer. Shadow pretends to be helpful and gives Hutchinson his company phone, claiming he doesn’t need it any longer because he’s heading overseas.

Hutchinson uses the phone to call the cops but of course it’s Cordelia who answers. She’s shed her blonde wig as she tells him to wait where he is and a detective will meet him.

Cordelia takes the briefcase up to a room and clones the computer. Meanwhile, Shadow calls Hutchinson and demands he release Caroline/Demeter and her money immediately. If he doesn’t, then they will release everything on his laptop.

Hutchinson agrees but says he needs two days to get it done. Shadow adds a demand for $100k since Cordelia has found Hutchinson has that much hidden in an offshore account.

And now to check in on the road trip… Salim wonders where Laura went when she died. She explains this time it was purgatory. She questions why he’s not making her stop so he can pray and he confesses he doesn’t know who to pray to or for what.

Shadow visits Wednesday to fill him in on what happened. He’s shocked to hear Wednesday confess Demeter doesn’t actually want to leave. “Whatever you’re actually after here, I hope it’s worth it,” says Shadow.

And as the episode approaches its end, we finally catch up again with Technical Boy who’s going through some things. He keeps glitching and is in pain from whatever Bilquis is still putting him through.

Shadow returns to Lakeside where the crowd at the diner is in a weird mood. He learns there have been more break-ins since Alison’s disappearance. Someone is stealing women’s underwear and some of the townsfolk believe whoever is doing it also took Alison.

The final scene reveals Laura’s made it to Lakeside and has taken a seat at the counter right next to Shadow. He stares in disbelief as Laura says, “Hey stranger,” with a smile.