As the oncoming train collides with Betty, flames arise in shapes resembling a horse and Betty is reborn in the wreckage. A broken apart Laura calls for Shadow while Shadow climbs a mountain of skulls, trapped in his nightmares. Wednesday has Mad Sweeney collect Laura's body parts and stash her in New Betty's trunk as they leave Shadow behind.
Shadow rises from the debris, removing the tentacled shackles. He changes into the dead Mr. Stone's clothes and staggers away from the train and into the forest. He wanders about in a daze as morning comes, finding a spring and drinking water from it. Wednesday's raven, Muninn, caws at him the words "Cairo" and "Egyptian" before flying off.
Muninn flies to Ibis and Jacquel Funeral Parlor to let Wednesday know Shadow has been found and is on his way. Ibis is busy putting Laura back together, eating pieces of her as he works. Laura worries about how much longer she will have before her body falls irreparably apart. Wednesday invites her to come with him to find Argus Panoptes, someone who might be able to help her condition while Sweeney invites Laura to join him in New Orleans to meet the Baron. Laura opts to go with Wednesday.
Shadow reaches a highway and is almost hit by an old Ford Bronco with "wash me" written in the dust on the back window. It pulls into the gas station and Shadow follows. He puts on his charm as he enters the gas station and grabs a bottle of water and a map for $7.02. He asks for change for his twenty dollar bill, distracting the cashier from seeing it is actually a ten dollar bill. She begins to give him $13 change as he gives her another $3 and confuses her into giving him "back" his $20. The driver of the bronco (Sam Black Crow) catches him and makes him buy her $20 of gas to not expose his scam to the cashier.
Shadow follows Sam out to her car and asks her for a ride to Cairo, which is actually pronounced "Kay-ro." Shadow explains away his disheveled appearance that he fell hiking and she calls him a liar. She snaps a Polaroid of him for "evidence" and offers him a ride.
Mr. Ibis uses a praxinoscope to tell Bast the tale of Argus, symbolized by a peacock. Zeus became lovers with the river nymph, Io, so Hera turned her into a heifer and sent Argus to protect her. Zeus sent Hermes to kill Argus and eventually Argus was reborn in America as the God of Surveillance.
An "Argus" drone flies overhead tracking Shadow and Sam before it is knocked out of the sky by a raven. The Caretaker replays the drone footage for Technical Boy and Mr. World in the Black Briar bunker. The Caretaker blames the outdated network and that they were unable to get an exact GPS location from the drone. Technical Boy complains about Argus not updating the bunker like he asked. Mr. World is angered that Technical Boy failed to keep Argus in order and demands he go in person to sort out the upgrade. Behind them, the screens are overtaken by a completed download as pop music plays and a form steps forward out of the monitor. New Media introduces herself, fresh from her upgrade. Technical Boy asks how is it an upgrade.
Wednesday and Laura enter the Argus headquarters and walk down a long corridor and up a set of stairs. A door opens and they enter Argus' memories where the body of the first incarnation of Argus lies dead in a field. Wednesday questions Laura's purpose for returning from the dead. Laura insists it is for Shadow because she sees a golden beam of light shining from him. Wednesday points out to her it is selfish of her to only see Shadow as her means to an end instead of thinking about what his needs might be. He walks over to a cow and personally thanks it for its gift before slicing its neck open. The cow changes into Io and falls to the ground, dead. Wednesday retrieves a wooden peacock feather from her body.
Sweeney searches for an unlocked car in a parking lot. He finds one and gets in, discovering the car keys in the visor. In the visor mirror, he spots a pit bull in the back seat, who begins barking and attacking Sweeney.
Somewhere in America
Jinn and Salim travel down the highway on Jinn's sidecar motorcycle. They arrive at a strip club named the "Porn Palace," however, the broken P in the sign makes it look like "Corn Palace." The Jinn explains how roadside attractions are all about making money. They enter the club as Jinn warns Salim about looking directly into Iktomi's eyes. He is a trickster spider and shape-shifter like Mr. Nancy. Gnaskinyan greets Jinn and tells him that Iktomi will grant Wednesday's request in return for a favor.
Shadow plays with his silver dollar coin as Sam drives them to Cairo. She asks if he ever heard of Finds Them and Kills Them. He was a Crow Nation warrior, and two-spirited like her. Shadow notices the tattoo of a bison skull on her bicep and asks if she is human. She replies that because she has two spirits in one body, she would have been considered godlike at one time.
Sweeney steals a boat and tries to start it but it won't turn over. He tries to manually start it with the motor but knocks the motor into the water. The gas line disconnects and leaks all over the boat, causing Sweeney to slip and drop his cigarette, lighting the boat on fire with Sweeney still on it.
Wednesday and Laura have arrived at a vast library deep within Argus' Backstage. Another version of Argus lies dead on a table. Wednesday reveals that he knows about the book she borrowed from the library when she was ten (Tiger Eyes). Her drunk dad spilled alcohol so she never returned it, nor did she ever return to a library. Wednesday points out that Laura needs excitement to get her heart beating again and it scares Shadow, who fell in love with the old Laura. In order to move on through Argus' mind, they need a sacrifice: the burnt offerings of the books within the Library of Alexandria. Laura begins lighting the scrolls on fire.
As Shadow sleeps in the passenger seat, Sam sneaks another Polaroid of him. She writes on it with a sharpie. Shadow wakes up and she asks if he is hungry.
Somewhere in America
Iktomi opens up a small metal case and removes a seed. He deposits the seed in a glass of water and it quickly sprouts. Gnaskinyan leads Jinn and Salim to into another area of the club that has been converted into a growroom and is where Iktomi sit in a wheelchair. Salim avoids eye contact with Iktomi while the Jinn reminds Iktomi that his tricks do not work on him. Iktomi gestures to Gnaskinyan who retrieves a triangular guitar cases and passes it to Salim. Iktomi warns the Jinn that since Gungnir is an instrument of death, Thoth, the God of Death, might not allow it. Iktomi removes the seedling from the glass of water and places it in a cloth handkerchief before passing it to Jinn to also give to Wednesday. The Jinn and Salim leave the strip club and once again set off on their motorcycle.
Sam and Shadow have stopped at a roadside food truck called "Cats and Dogs" that sells catfish and hotdogs. He explains to her that he needs to find "Egyptians" in Cairo and she knows what he is referring to. He begins to tell her about Laura as their order is called.
Technical Boy and New Media have arrived at Argus' office. New Media hints at their similarities now that she has upgraded. She tries to finagle bandwidth from him.
Sweeney stumbles down a highway and tries to hitchhike, almost getting hit by a tour bus. The bus pulls over and he is invited to join a Christian rock band on their way to New Orleans.
Wednesday and Laura have finally made it to the final level of Argus' lives, except Technical Boy and New Media got there first and Technical Boy is threatening Argus for not upgrading his tech. Argus has been playing both the New Gods and the Old Gods and Wednesday tells Laura that she needs to kill Argus by aiming for the tattoo on his neck. Laura calls him a fraud and he calls her his puppet. She is full of self-interest and right now, it is in her interest to kill Argus. He passes her the wooden peacock feather.
Technical Boy continues arguing with Argus before New Media interrupts and begins seducing Argus. She grabs one of his wires as she offers him the opportunity to merge since everyone watches her and he watches everyone. One of his wires snakes up her leg and up her skirt as they begin to synergize their marketing opportunities.
Laura enters the room and is spotted by Technical Boy, who momentarily feints protest. She stabs Argus in his neck tattoo, breaking his bond with New Media. With Argus in his death throes, Technical Boy drags New Media off and Laura calls Wednesday to enter. Wednesday warns Argus to remember which side he is on when he comes back. When Argus dies, the coin within Laura glows, her heart starts to beat, and she is rejuvenated. Wednesday warns her it is not permanent before leaving her behind because the Laura Shadow loves does not exist anymore.
Sam gives Shadow the Polaroid she took of him sleeping earlier where she had written, "Blackcrow meets Sleeping Beauty." Shadow talks about his nightmares of buffalo and skulls and how he is looking for peace. Sam sympathizes with him and tells him how her full-Cherokee father called her a half-breed and her mother raised her with a bible so she found a home in the stories of her ancestors. They arrive at "Ibis and Jacquel Funeral Home 1863" and they finally exchange names. A swarm of fireflies greets Shadow as he enters the gated compound. Wednesday stops him on his way to the house. Shadow asks why the New Gods are after him. Wednesday tosses Shadow a bottle of alcohol and promises him that if he doesn't feel better in the morning, he can take Betty and leave. Shadow drinks from the bottle before following him inside.