Stories are ending, and stories are beginning.
Everything that has been on the table during American Gods Season 3 came to fruition, and by the end of the hour, Laura had done the impossible, using the spear to end Wednesday.
Also conveniently coming to a close, Shadow's time in Lakeside is over. What does it all mean?
The most surprising development came from Wednesday as he laid his plans for war to rest.
Wednesday's about-face on American Gods Season 3 Episode 9 wasn't viewed with any enthusiasm.
Czernbog thought his old frenemy had gone crazy. Peace talks were out of the question. They had been promised a war.
But Wednesday has something up his sleeve.
Before we investigate further, there is more to unpack from the episode, including the Lakeside wrap-up.
Shadow has a warm heart. By going to Florida to investigate Sandy's whereabouts, Shadow hoped to bring Marguerite some peace. Perhaps, knowing the truth, she could let go and move on.
As it happens, it did work out that way, but Shadow was wrong thinking that Marguerite was entirely in the dark. She had purposefully put herself there so that she could continue living.
Shadow: You deserve the truth.
Marguerite: The truth doesn't get me out of bed in the morning. It doesn't do my job, or take Leon to school or hockey practice or sleepovers, so don't fuckin' preach to me about the truth!
The realization that the town has been making sacrifices to keep Lakeside a thriving little community in the middle of nowhere surely shook Marguerite out of her reverie.
Upon arriving in Lakeside, Shadow noticed the Ice Festival was in full swing. Ann-Marie believed that keeping people's spirits up under the duress of Allison's disappearance was paramount, even more so when Derek took his own life.
People agreed, probably because they're under Lakeside's spell. Once Shadow made short work of Ann-Marie, that spell was broken.
It's hard to imagine how the people of Lakeside will carry on in the wake of Ann-Marie's loss. They've managed to survive harsh winter conditions for years not because they're a hearty people, necessarily, but because of the protection pact from the gods.
You have to understand. They are a necessary sacrifice, in accordance with Norse tradition. Just one child every few years to give thousands of townsfolk a lifetime of prosperity. You know anyone here could put the pieces together if they wanted to, but they don't. They don't want to know the price, and you don't have to burden them with it. The world is a dark and dangerous place. I provide shelter from the storm.Ann-Marie
We'll likely never know what comes next. Yes, it's a real problem for those that live there.
But it's not Shadow's problem anymore. Wednesday is dead, and his life is about to change again.
I'll sleep when I'm dead.Wednesday
Yep, Laura Moon was victorious. Thank God for Liam and the lucky coin because without those factors, she wouldn't have succeeded with her quest.
When she was trying to master the spear, she didn't have the patience for it. Her half-hearted attempts only annoyed her, and why not? She knows what she can do with the coin, and she didn't have it anymore.
Has anyone ever told you that you're very cynical and more than slightly overdramatic? I'm not talking about destiny. I meant you needed a challenge, like bowling.Liam
Laura settled on failure, and the first thing she wanted to do was feel again. She hadn't had human sex since her affair, and she ached to be held at least one more time before she died.
Good on Laura for stopping herself at the last moment. Her time in purgatory changed her. She's just as sassy, determined, and foul-mouthed as ever, but she doesn't hate herself anymore. She's given herself a break and doesn't want to fall into old patterns, even on the last night of her life.
That's a significant development, and it wasn't lost on Liam, who loaned her the coin again. One toss and she hit her target. Damn, that thing works.
While Laura makes her way to Wednesday to carry out her vengeance, he's attempting peace talks with Mr. World.
Since Wednesday has never once even considered peace of any sort, this drastic change of course should be concerning. It is concerning.
Even after Laura nails him with the spear, it's still concerning because he wasn't surprised in the least. It was too easy, walking right into the path of Laura's aim.
And Wednesday never thought Mr. World was going to accept peace talks anymore than Czernbog accepted the idea on his end.
All of this means that it's likely Wednesday will still be pulling the strings long after his death, at least into American Gods Season 3 Episode 10.
With Shadow's dreams of a family crushed yet again, how will he react to Wednesday's death? Will he consider stepping into his father's shoes? And can he even do that given that he's a demi-god?
Surely, Odin's followers wouldn't have the same respect for a half-human in light of the impressive figure Odin was to those who served him. It just seems very unlikely that Shadow could succeed. He's still tethered to his humanity, in any case, as his disappointment over Marguerite showed.
Then there is Technical Boy. How will he play into all of this?
No longer trapped in the face mask, he's on the hunt for Artifact One. Will he use that artifact to change the outcome of Wednesday's death and the new gods believing they've won?
Tech Boy has no love for Mr. World but a whole heap of respect for Bilquis. Experiencing human emotions makes him a wildcard. As a result, he can analyze things in ways he never could in the past.
We didn't see Bilquis this time around, but my hope is that she and Tech Boy and what they've shared will play into the gods' future, especially since neither of them made it to the end of the American Gods novel.
It offers an entirely new direction, and that's a thrilling possibility.
After you watch American Gods online, make sure you share your thoughts on the upcoming finale below. What does Wednesday's death really mean?
What's ahead for Shadow, Laura, Bilquis, and Tech Boy?
And, as always, if you have a nit to pick about this review, lay it on the line. I'll be reading!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.