So, the book this series is based on isn’t all that long. There are a number of characters and flashbacks, but overall, it isn’t a massively thick novel.
So, that might explain why the plot for the TV adaptation moves at something of a snail’s pace. That’s not a bad thing. It’s just a thing.
See, this episode is basically rescuing Shadow from new bad guy Mr. Town. Sure, there’s some stuff with Mr. World tempting Bilquis and Technical Boy looking for and (almost) finding New Media, but that’s side stuff of questionable interest. Media can be anybody, so I’m not really on pins and needles over that one, and the World/Bilquis stuff just seemed like filler.
Instead, we see Wednesday decide he needs his spear back. He’s Odin. His spear is mythologically important. He can send the Jinn to get it (or something) and the smitten Salim will literally ride in the sidecar. Mama-Ji will stay where she is because she has a day job. Czernobog will take the Fallen Star’s body back home, knowing there aren’t enough believers to bring her bad. Wednesday and Nancy will drive off one way while Laura insists on saving Shadow. Mad Sweeney will go with her because, well, she still has his lucky coin and he isn’t going into battle without it.
Fun thing to learn: Laura is still, despite everything that she has seen and experienced firsthand, an atheist. What good is a leprechaun anyway? He can’t even change a tire without getting his foot crushed.
Then again, Laura is losing her strength for some reason. Mad Sweeney says he knows a Baron in New Orleans who might be able to fix her, but she just wants to save Shadow.
See, he’s being tortured by Mr. Town. Now, Book-Town is a man in black, someone who seems to be a regular human who doesn’t really know the gods are gods. Show-Town is a sadistic bastard who knows full well what he works for, and he wants Shadow to explain why he’s working for old gods.
Shadow is just having flashbacks. Turns out he’s an immigrant. He and his mother came to the States from France. He never fit in being a foreigner and mixed race, never really knew who his father was, lost his mother to cancer at a young age, and his mother never wanted him to use violence, even to defend others. Plus, he seems to have briefly encountered Wednesday in a hospital waiting room, where the old god showed him a coin trick.
So, where is Shadow? Laura and Sweeney find him by tracking his light (even going through the nightmare realm that is Sweeney’s storage closet) to a moving train, and the two do get on where one guard finds out using a taser on a dead woman doesn’t usually work out to much, but it does seem as if Laura and Sweeney didn’t need to bother since Wednesday did his own thing to stop the train by simply parking his classic car on the railroad tracks.
That would be about where the episode ends. See? Snail’s pace.