‘American Gods’ Episode 3 Recap: Demeter Appears and Laura Takes a Trip
Episode 2 of American Gods focused on the Alison McGovern’s disappearance in Lakeside and Shadow’s vivid visions of his ancestors. Bilquis seemed to be having a crisis and Wednesday was on to his next scheme.
Heading into episode 3, viewers are reminded that the last time anyone saw Laura Moon, she was a pile of dust in a mausoleum next to Mad Sweeney. That changes in this next installment where the afterlife teaches her a lesson.
[Spoiler Alert: This article contains spoilers for American Gods Season 3, Episode 3]
Demeter Summoned, Laura receives a crash course in death
It’s the late 1800s and on a small Pennsylvania farm, a mother and her two daughters till the land. They struggle. That night, the mother performs a ritual using fire and the entrails of a freshly sacrificed pig. Demeter materializes from the flames and turns the barren soil into a field of lush green corn stalks.
The scene flips to modern day where Wednesday is prepping for a trip with Cordelia. They are hitting the road to visit Demeter. On their hotel TV, a news report announces the deaths of Blood Death’s metal band members. Wednesday says it’s a problem he’ll deal with later.
Laura is on frantic train ride to the underworld with other nervous and scared souls. They arrive at their cosmic stop and are given pamphlets with color-coded tickets. She’s angry and cursing because her ticket hasn’t been called yet, and the info desk worker tells her the “Acknowledge Reality” group will be called when it’s their turn.
Back in Lakeside, Shadow and Marguerite are at the search party for the missing girl. While the sheriff gives instructions, Ms. Hinzelmann bogarts with her own directives for what to look for and how to use disposable cameras. People split up and search.
Wednesday is confused when he discovers Demeter is at a “retreat,” which is an assisted living/mental health facility. He ponders which gift to bring her and decides on calla lilies. Off to the florist first before heading inside.
Laura steals another woman’s afterlife ticket, switching it with her own. Using an orange ticket, she heads through a door and quickly learns the numbers move because she’s doesn’t belong in this hall of doors. She’s chased down by a dense, aggressive black fog and barely makes it through a different door into a screening room.
Shadow taps in, Wednesday finds lost love
The search party wraps up and the sheriff attempts to apologize to Shadow for questioning him. He shuffles away from the awkward chat when he receives a radio call.
Meanwhile, Wednesday waltzes into the facility and requests to see Demeter. The staff believes she’s delusional patient who thinks she’s an ancient goddess while Wednesday doesn’t understand their satire. He’s escorted to her with his bouquet in tow, greets her, and Demeter swings around and smacks him.
Wednesday asks her to send her employees away and is stunned again when she throws back a cup of medicine. She goes back to teaching her friends how to make Demeter corn stalk dolls.
Shadow is at Marguerite’s house and they end up talking about literature. She offers up the stack of books she has about Lakeside’s history. They’re thick city journals. Marguerite’s son walks in and is introduced to Shadow.
Bilquis is recounting the events of her last encounter and finds the man’s phone is full of texts from his granddaughter. She feels guilty. There’s a sudden knock on her door and someone saws through it. She kicks the phone, grabs a large hat pin, and takes a defensive stance.
Wednesday learns from the facility’s staff that Demeter is under a court-appointed conservatorship. The guy in charge is Larry Hutchinson. He hatches a plan.
Shadow scans the books and discovers there was a missing child in Lakeside years ago. He dozes off and dreams of the convenience store again.
In his dream, Bilquis appears on magazine covers and drums play in the background. She tells Shadow to come find her. In this dream, three goddesses beckon him from behind a freezer door and he walks through.
Laura cries, Wednesday tries to woo a goddess
Two people enter the screening room where Laura is napping. She’s in purgatory and learns they’re her facilitators. She curses them out about not wanting to read the pamphlet, and they let the film roll about her life. She’s surly and rude.
A memory of Laura and her father at a hotel plays on the screen, and he’s shown flirting with another guest — with her help. Laura jumps into the screen to tell the story herself. He wound up having sex with the young woman after spending hours at the pool without Laura. One facilitator advises Laura it’s better if she just watches the video.
Wednesday shows off his fake marriage certificate to Cordelia when Shadow calls. He wants an address for Bilquis. After some smart-alecky banter, Wednesday provides the information. The All Father then meets with Hutchinson about Demeter.
He finds out she was dancing nude and declaring herself a goddess when the police picked her up. Wednesday argues in her favor and concocts a story about his absence as a husband so he can take her home.
In Lakeside, Shadow heads out for his trip to New York to see Bilquis and runs into Marguerite. He notices the headline on a newspaper about Alison, the missing girl. After Marguerite walks off, he closes his eyes and touches the paper to see if he senses anything. Nothing.
Purgatory is like school. Laura feels responsible for every bad thing that happened in her life. She arrogantly walks out of the room and drops into a deep pool of water and there’s a small opening above her. The facilitators help pull her out.
Wednesday tries to convince Demeter to leave. She’s against it. She says the people at that place accept her and worship her. Wednesday reminds her she’s a god and calls the other residents in the mental institution “loons.” Demeter thinks he has an agenda for his war and asks if he’s being honest.
Wednesday insists he’s there for love. Demeter tells him he’s an old, desperate god and challenges him to reflect on what he’s desperate for.
Laura is forced to review her memory and she remembered things wrong. Her father manipulated her, and she has an epiphany. Everything in her life wasn’t her fault. She leaves the room and retrieves her crumpled pamphlet from the floor.
Shadow arrives and Bilquis’ place and finds it in disarray. There’s blood on the floor and Techboy is crouched on the floor, shaking.