American Gods (2017) s02e05 Episode Script

The Ways of the Dead

1 We are a funeral parlor, serving Cairo, Illinois, since 1863, when it was a flourishing town at the crossing of two rivers.
That was when we became the funeral parlor for the colored folks hereabouts.
I'm Ruby.
Ruby Goodchild.
It's good to meet you, Ruby.
MAMA-JI: Ifrit, Grimnir needs you at the Corn Palace.
Ask for Old Iktomi.
- To what end? - Gungnir.
You're getting Fire-eyes and the fairy to fetch your fucking spear for you? This is an instrument of death.
JINN: That, my very old friend, is not your motherfucking concern.
If you truly want your life back, I might have another option for you.
I will literally do anything.
MAD SWEENEY: Mark my words.
You're gonna need the Baron, dead wife.
I'll see you in New Orleans.
[THEME MUSIC] [ETHEREAL MUSIC] [NO AUDIBLE DIALOGUE] [CROWD SHOUTING] [SCREAMING] [GUNSHOTS] [CROWD SHOUTING] [DISSONANT MUSIC] [BIRD HOOTING] [CAT MEOWING] [GASPS] [TENSE MUSIC] [PANTING] [PANTING] Memento mori.
[DEEP BREATHING] MR.
WEDNESDAY: [IN OLD NORSE] Grow, Yggdrasil.
Grow.
SHADOW: You know there's a bathroom, right? Yeah.
You're pissing on a plant.
On the world tree? Don't be disgusting.
How dare you? So, where're we going today? Well, I have things to do and people to see.
But I shall be seeing them and doing them alone.
So you don't need my help? Oh, like St.
Louis, huh? You know, maybe a day with Ibis can put you back on track.
He can teach you the ways of the dead.
I mean, you're dressed for it and, considering your domestic situation, huh? Humans are dead longer than they're alive.
MR.
WEDNESDAY: And we want them on bended knee offering up their firstborn and two more kids to be named later.
Do not wait up! You are comfortable sleeping under the same roof as the dead? [SIGHS] As long as they stay that way.
[JAZZ MUSIC] MAD SWEENEY: Ah, look at you.
Stop acting so high and mighty.
I mean, were you fucking drunk the day they handed out the real causes? [LAUGHS] Ain't that right, Judie? [CHUCKLES] You're not better than me, you little fuck! Whole fucking country's a a lost cause.
- [THUD] - Oh! [WHIMPERING] Jude! Oh.
Fuck.
It's you.
Yes, it's me.
Do not say, "I told you so.
" So Wednesday lied.
See, that's "I told you so.
" You look less decomposed.
It's temporary.
We need a more permanent fix.
You said you know a guy.
MAD SWEENEY: You missed quite an adventure gettin' down here.
Oh, I'm sure I did.
Stole a party boat with the pontoons.
A party boat? That's how you got down here? No, I hitchhiked.
Boat sank.
[DRUMMING] The further I get from that coin inside your rotten innards, the more rotten my luck becomes.
Sure you're up for this? Yeah.
That's a really nice shirt.
- [BELL DINGS] - [LOUD MUSIC PLAYING] Classy! You have no idea.
WOMAN: Hell, no.
- Get that bitch outta here! - SAMEDI: Calm down, Brigitte.
The girl's gotta eat.
I'll cut your dick off with a tomato knife, serve it up real nice.
We can share it with the world! MAD SWEENEY: Best not try to serve me that.
Oh shit.
Mad Sweeney? I love you, brother, but not that much.
- [CHUCKLES] Sweeney fou, mon frère! - How are you? Okay, no, if that oversexed goat sent you, you can just turn right around, the Ghede Loa will not be joining his fool war! Don't worry.
I'm not here for Wednesday.
- I'd like a parley.
- Hi.
She's lookin' good for being dead.
Can you help her? She can join the chef's table.
After hours.
MAD SWEENEY: The chef's table? Must be a slow fuckin' night.
- [LAUGHS] Welcome home.
- We got work to do.
- BRIGITTE: More later.
- SAMEDI: Hey! Won't say no to a night of drinkin'.
Well, I can't drink.
Am I supposed to sit here and watch you all night? Ah, I warned you about the price of resurrection, didn't I? Grimnir is late, as usual.
[SPEAKING ARABIC] Alhamdu lil-lah.
I find it funny.
You find what funny? That you still thank him.
I thank him for every meal he provides me.
Don't you? You know I was born on Thursday under a scorching desert sun, long before the first wahy.
Years later, after the Prophet's revelations, we Jinn, we were given a choice.
Convert to Islam or live our lives as heretic demons.
I chose heretic demon.
After all you've seen, you still believe your god is the one true God? Yes, of course I do.
The first pillar of Islam is, "There is no God but God.
" Thomas Jefferson said all men are created equal, but he still owned slaves.
[HONKING] I'm here to pick up two gentlemen from the city of Sodom.
Hey! That reminds me.
You must have been there, old friend.
Tell me, how was the party, huh? Huh? I mean, Yahweh can be such a prude.
Huh? [SWEARS IN ARABIC] You're late.
MR.
WEDNESDAY: Keep your audience waiting.
Something I learned from my old burlesque days.
My spear? Okay, gentlemen, climb aboard.
The King of the Dwarves awaits us! Uh, what about the motorcycle? She will be just fine.
Yalla! So, it's Wednesday you worship, huh? No, no I don't worship anyone.
I've been hanging in an amulet around Odin's neck for years.
And when it suited him, that son of a bitch released me.
I'm beholden to him, but he's not my fucking god! MR.
WEDNESDAY: [CLEARS HIS THROAT LOUDLY] What am I, your fucking chauffeur? I can't have you two canoodling in Betty's back seat! I mean, this is America.
We'll be pulled over! [RAP MUSIC PLAYING LOUDLY] All I ever needed was a dope boy, dope boy All my niggas riding with that dope boy, with that dope boy Cap, cap with some dope boy.
Do it for that dope boy [POLICE SIREN BEEPS] OFFICER: You! Don't move! Hands where I can see 'em.
Shit! [POLICE SIREN WAILING] Hey! [PANTING] IBIS: Jamaar Goodchild.
Opiate overdose.
His grandmother died three days ago.
Lila Goodchild.
Her funeral is tomorrow.
SHADOW: Opiate overdose? IBIS: His wounds are posthumous, which happens quite a bit here in Cairo.
Has been happening around here for the last century, to young men of color.
Um This morning, there was a man in my bathroom mirror with the same wounds.
I had 'em too.
IBIS: Ah, Froggy James.
He provides plenty of dream fuel under this old roof.
SHADOW: What is he? Is he a ghost? Demon? Will James was an affable man whose tragic end brought a simmering dynamic to a catastrophic boil.
[PERCUSSIVE MUSIC] [HORSE NEIGHING] [INDISTINCT CHATTER] IBIS: An eyewitness confirmed that Will was seen crossing paths with a white woman in broad daylight.
When the young lady turned up dead, the math was done.
Surprisingly, the sheriff in Cairo was an honest man who staved off the inevitable, until a mob caught up to him and took William James.
Froggy was lynched, shot, beheaded, dragged through the streets and burned for an audience of 10,000 people who were having the time of their lives.
Cairo's dignity reduced to a pool of blood.
Do you know why he was in the mirror lookin' at me? Memento mori.
Remember that you have to die.
- [MUSIC PLAYING] - [INDISTINCT CHATTER] MAD SWEENEY: So, what're we doing after this? WOMAN: What do you wanna do? MAD SWEENEY: [BURPING] Oh, I don't know.
Something fun.
While you got your glass out, do you want me to fill it for you? Cheers.
[CAR ENGINE RUMBLING] Do I detect a little trouble in paradise here? The All-father knows all about the vagaries of romance.
Love who you love.
Ask and you shall be Embla'd.
I believe in the violence I saw in that diner.
The pain and death suffered by those immortals.
May Zorya's star shine on all of us.
But that does not mean I have faith in them.
I do not have the same relationship with them that I have with my god.
What Allah and I have is something I can never get from another being.
Look, there are many gods, Salim, and they're all as selfish as that one is with his women.
Don't admonish him for having faith in a god.
We need more like him.
The only thing is, Salim, monotheists like you, you've got too big a piece of the pie.
But if you do ever think of expanding who you worship and who you follow, let me present myself as a fun-loving, yet serious addition to your personal pantheon.
Wednesday's the name; good time's the game.
[SPEAKS ARABIC] MR.
WEDNESDAY: Hm? What? REVEREND: You've been through a lot.
- Can we at least agree to that? - Yes.
REVEREND: And Well, you're mourning.
You're grieving.
This is no time to make big decisions.
BILQUIS: He's right.
You should not leave Cairo with me.
I should not factor into that decision.
We will both stay here for now.
There's nothing left.
When word gets out that Grandma and Jamarr are gone, the streets ain't leaving me alone.
They coming to take what they want.
I'm not gonna let anything happen to you.
You said that same shit about Jamarr! Everything you said about things getting better was a lie! You said to pray, that it would help! It didn't! Look, let's let's place Lila and Jamarr to rest, and then we can discuss this later, all right? RUBY: It's not all on you, Reverend.
It's this place.
Cairo ain't home to me.
It's hell.
REVEREND: If these walls could talk, they'd tell you about the Freedom Movement.
They'd tell you about James Bevel.
They'd tell you about, uh Al Raby, Dr.
King.
People didn't always come to funerals just to grieve.
They-they came Well, they They came to organize.
They came to fight back.
It sustained us! I am sustained by the tranquility of love.
God's love.
Something like that.
MR.
WEDNESDAY: So, follow my lead.
And if Alviss does address you, compliment him.
Or goad him.
Dwarves can be tricky.
Which is it? Compliment or goad? Alviss, son of Vindalf.
My answer is no.
Don't you at least wanna know why I'm here? It's no.
It's still no.
[CHUCKLES] I know this Ifrit.
But him? Manat? Hubal? No.
I am Salim.
I am a mortal man.
And you are very tall for a dwarf.
The tallest dwarf in America! And that stature makes Alviss the King of the Dwarves in this godforsaken continent! I like what you've done with the place, Alviss.
ALVISS: Time was when I managed hundreds.
Welders, mechanics, even the cleaning staff.
We were busy from dawn till dusk.
- [MR.
WEDNESDAY GRUNTS] - Now, I manage only myself.
The swaying one.
No.
No, no, no.
Your war is none of my affair.
I've never been a warrior.
I'm a builder.
Oh, I know, and I realize the important work you do in this busy place.
But as we were passing through, I thought it only fair that I should swing by and show one of the greatest craftsmen of the Asgardian era - the wondrous Gungnir.
- Oh! She's seen better days.
Glorious days.
She is indeed in need of restoration, but only by one whose crafting is worthy of Ivaldi's kin.
I'm not one of the greatest craftsmen.
I bested my own kin, Sindri better known as Spark-sprayer, to forge the hammer Mjolnir and the ring Draupnir.
If there's forging to be done, I'm the one you seek.
But it's the runes that require attention, All-father.
The runes that power your 18 charms.
The runes that anoint the tip of your spear.
Like all things, runes fade.
Rubbed clean by the friction of time, the fading of memory.
And rune carving is Dvalin's domain.
[THUD] Have you seen that little bastard lately? SALIM: How how did our motorcycle get here? MR.
WEDNESDAY: This is not just a motorcycle.
This is Hildisvini, Freyja's Battle Boar and sometime lover, eh? So, do you believe me? Do I have your faith? You are not my God.
[CHUCKLES] He still believes in what he was told.
Not what he sees or has experienced.
The good little Arab boy, still doing what his parents told him to do.
What does it matter to you what I believe? Here I am.
Worship away! Because your truth, it is not my truth.
No, no.
You're entitled to your own truth, Salim, but not your own facts.
Fact is, I have to get back to Cairo.
You did good, Ifrit.
- Grimnir, do you need me there? - Yeah.
Yeah, I do.
You should come too, Salim.
You misguided monotheist.
Heh.
You know, there's still time to join the party train to Valhalla.
We shall play where the moon cannot see us.
I have faith in you.
Men only see what they want to see and you are just like them, Salim: Blind and stubborn to the truth in front of your very own eyes.
You still want to come with me? [CHUCKLING] - MAD SWEENEY: Thank you, my darlin'.
- Yeah.
- MAD SWEENEY: You're in for a treat tonight.
- [WOMAN CHUCKLING] - Best chef in the bayou.
- [CHUCKLES] Glad you like.
LAURA: Thanks.
I missed your cooking, my friend.
You smell a little rank, baby.
It's the heat.
Here, drink this Thank you.
- [COUGHING] - Mmm.
Shh.
[RETCHING] [CHUCKLES] Oh that feels better.
Thank you.
- Not bad.
- Hey.
Oh, my God.
I can taste this.
They miss the taste the most.
- Nah, they miss touch the most.
- [CHUCKLES] [ETHEREAL MUSIC] You like that, baby? - Uh-huh.
- [LAUGHS] Yeah.
Uh-huh.
- [LAUGHS] - Oh, knock it off.
I need to turn this one's clock back so I can retrieve my property and send her back to her husband.
[BREATHES DEEPLY] She's a cheater.
Like you.
Better and better.
WOMAN: And death is her true love, but she betrays him also.
Chasing after what she cannot have.
The favor is to me, Baron.
It's not for her.
Do we have a compact? I think we can make a trade.
What kinda trade? I trade in truth.
You give me truth, - and I give you what you want.
- Hm Do we have a compact? Good.
Time for business and pleasure.
Hm.
Sweeney, mon amour? Comin'? Resurrection is Samedi's business.
Yeah, we're not needed here tonight.
What's missing from someone's soul that they can do that to another? Why would he curse his own people? Race is no simple equation where one thing equals another.
No one hates the children of Israel more than the children of Israel.
What you say also happens to be true for a dozen other ethnicities.
But when you are continually reminded that you have little to no value, it's easy to be convinced that all the rules are stacked against you.
Your worst fears are not possible; they are probable.
In the case of Will James, I imagine as women pulled the rope, he rose, looked out on a sea of people, but only focused on those who looked like him, and felt abandoned by his people.
Who taught the black man to hate himself? Who has corrupted the entire world in the name of gaining power? I'll give you a hint.
He does not look like anyone in our immediate vicinity.
[CHUCKLES] Well, praise Jesus and four more white zombies.
If it isn't Shadow Moon still hanging around asking all the wrong fucking questions.
And there it is.
Why are you always trying to piss me off? Better pissed off than pissed on.
Either way, all I'd need to do is have Wednesday tell you it's raining.
[LAUGHING] [LAUGHS LOUDLY] Now, why'd you have him do that? Fuck him! Pussy! Speaking of I seen your cat.
[SIGHS] ANANSI: Now, where's the dog? Mm, business has been soft, so Jacquel took some time.
- [ANANSI CHUCKLING] - [TIRES SCREECHING] ANANSI: Thrice the great magician.
You, a conjurer of spells.
You sit at the table between good and evil, but you and Mr.
Jacquel bear no responsibility for Will fucking James! Ah, you believe we haunt this town? ANANSI: If I was in the dead body business, war would be music to my ears, unless IBIS: Unless what? Please, continue.
Unless I already had a way to keep fresh bodies coming through the back fucking door.
IBIS: I do not answer to you, Anansi.
If you are taking brown bodies from this world, you are killing my worshippers.
This cannot be.
Hm? This cannot be.
[ETHEREAL MUSIC] [LOW GROWL] Will James? I am no one.
That which I was has been taken from me.
So, you take other people's lives instead? I release those who have no hope to a life of peace.
There's always hope.
The way of the dead is to know nothing of the living.
Ecclesiastes.
I know the verse.
You worship Dante's Inferno? I worship death.
Why? We wear the same skin.
But you do not know the nature of the land in which you dwell.
Understand my anger.
Killing me was the sweet release they yearned for.
We are victims chained to their charity.
[RETCHING] They are deeply sorry for the primal disdain they carry for us.
You are not unlucky.
You are unloved.
Walk with my burden.
When you share it with the world, I will release you.
Now go.
LAURA: My husband used to look at me like like I was the sun and the moon.
- And then you married him? - Ha.
And then I fucked it up.
'Ey You lived your truth.
That's no betrayal.
Yeah.
I have a long history of, um, really shitty impulse control.
You betrayed him long before your marriage vows.
Excuse me? You betrayed him when you told him you loved him in the first place.
Poor, poor Laura Moon So many lies, she can not sleep.
So many vows she can not keep.
- [CHUCKLES] - Ha.
Because you and Brigitte are what, some fucking model of a healthy relationship? Oh, Brigitte knows that with every breath, every cell I worship only her.
The most beautiful, interesting, sexy, and powerful woman I have ever come across.
And when she's not around, I fuck a lot of other women.
Hm.
One ingredient's still missing.
I can't help you with that one.
What? What, what is it? Le vrai sang de I'amour.
It's blood infused with love.
Two drops.
But I-I have to I have to find that? [CHUCKLES] Right.
'Cause why would this be easy? Look at you.
Belly all shiny sweat on your skin You're about as close to being alive as you can be while still being dead.
Tell me something, Laura Moon.
If I give you this bottle, then what? What will you do when your skin warms for another? For me.
This is a second chance.
What will you do with it, dead girl? Hmm? For payment, I ask only for truth.
[INTENSE MUSIC] [MUSIC CONTINUES] [MUSIC CONTINUES] [MOANING] We honor the dead with flesh and sweat, maybe a little blood, no? Give back for what we take? I see you and the Baron still eating on the side, huh? [CHUCKLES] We eat what we want.
And I want you.
Again.
[MOANING] Oh, I see.
Somethin's changed.
You're too gone on the dead girl to do your part.
The fuck I am.
Oh, yeah.
I can taste it.
Salty.
You trying to pick a fight with me, is that it? Some people think they jive me [MOANING, PANTING] But I know they must be crazy Don't see their misfortune else they just lazy [MOANING] Just with a grand zombie, I ever have the joys of Ain't afraid of no tomcat Fill my brains with poison Walk through the fire Fly through the smoke See my enemy At the end of their rope Walk on pins and needles See what they can do Walk on guilded splinters With the King of the Zulu Walk to me, get it, come, Walk on guilded splinters Till I burn up Till I burn up I roll out my coffin Drink poison in my chalice Pride begins to fade And you all feel my malice Put gris-gris on your doorstep and soon you be in the gutter Melt your heart like butter And I can make you stutter Walk to me, get it, come, come, walk on guilded splinters Walk to me, get it, come, come, walk on guilded splinters [INDISTINCT LYRICS] REVEREND: The good book says, "Walk by faith, not by sight.
" But try as I may, I can no longer walk through this life with my eyes closed.
Ruby, you were right when you said I lied to you.
I've lied not only to you, but I've lied to the entire town of Cairo.
Oh, yes.
Every time I told you it was gonna be okay I was lying.
The gift of faith in the face of torment was given to us when we landed on these shores.
It was there we learned to look away from the cruelty inflicted upon us.
Well, I can look away no longer! I see a world in which little or nothing makes any sense anymore.
Amen.
Leave here.
And if you find somewhere our people aren't catching hell you let me know where it is.
I'll come running.
If there is anyone who'd like to share, come on up.
In the Middle Ages, they worshipped death.
They knew its power over life was suffocating.
I learnt that from my wife.
Now I look into the soul of death and I welcome it.
Memento mori.
Amen.
MR.
WEDNESDAY: You know, we're gonna try this once more.
[CHUCKLING] So, the 12 saffron-robed monks chanted as one ALL: Have a little melancholy baby! - [ANANSI LAUGHS] - MR.
WEDNESDAY: No? [SIGHS] America is the only country in the world that measures its food in feet! Wow.
[CAT MEOWS] Thanks for fucking up my evening! [MR.
WEDNESDAY LAUGHS] Shadow Moon! [CHUCKLES] Don't you look like pretty shit on a toddler's shoe.
Wednesday left you in the capable hands of death and you lived to tell about it.
Tiger balls to you, Nancy.
All-father.
Any of you selfish fuckers gonna elaborate on what happened to me tonight? Magic is not real, Shadow.
It's a trick.
[CHUCKLES] Stop playing checkers with your life, boy.
Mmh.
Stop avoiding the questions.
What did Will James want? Maybe Froggy keeps his memory alive to share the pain, the self-hatred, and absence of simple solutions for our people.
Or maybe he wants what we all want.
A tall glass of hops fermented by yours truly in the cold-brewed contaminated drinking water of Cairo, Illinois.
I will drink to that.
[SCOFFS] Fuck you.
Well.
Cat got his tongue.
- IBIS: Got more than his tongue.
- [ANANSI LAUGHS] Sensitivity is such an unattractive quality.
[LAUGHS] [SIGHS] The shit you be up to.
[ETHEREAL MUSIC] - [DOOR OPENS] - [BELLS DINGING] Hey.
By yourself? I don't know why you came back here.
I'm leaving.
Where're you off to? - Away from you.
- What? No, wait! Don't make me hurt you.
Might I remind you that we had a deal.
You get your life back, I get my coin.
Well, I didn't get my life back, did I? So, fuck you, deal's off, I'm keeping your fucking coin.
Like fuck you are! What happened, huh? It didn't work? Oh, please.
Bullshit.
- What? - Bullshit! Fucking bullshit! This is all Wednesday.
All of this! All the way back to the casino, he sends you to fuck my plan and then he sends you to fuck me? - [CHUCKLES] - I mean I knew you were his bitch; I didn't realize you were his whore as well.
What happened last night is not part of some grand plan, you stupid cunt! They're death Loa! They fucked us! And I don't do Wednesday's errands because I like him! I do 'em because I fucking owe him! I hate that one-eyed cunt more than you will ever know.
You do Wednesday's errands because no matter how much you claim you want a war to die in, you're too much of a fucking coward to find your own.
[IN GAELIC] [FLICKING LIGHTER] [SOFT MUSIC] It's when the light start fading the hangman come It's when the light start fading the hangman come That's when he come That's when your tired ass seen too much That's when he come that's when he come And when you see him coming you try and run Yeah when the hangman come in, you'll try and run You'll try to run You'll try and fight back for your life You'll try and run you'll try and hide The hangman come the hangman come