Season 3, Episode 8
The Rapture of Burning
Laura and Salim's quest forces them outside of their comfort zones as they learn to let go of their pasts. Shadow is surprised by a new side of Wednesday, while Technical Boy attempts to escape the prison of his own mind.
Tropes That Appear In This Episode:
- Ambiguously Human: The Annual Jamboree being held at Grand Peacock Hotel in present day is organized by an organization known as The Seelie Court of America. To those unfamiliar with Scottish folklore, the Seelie Court were a collective term for the more benevolent (though no less dangerous) of The Fair Folk. It is uncertain if the attendants there are actual fairies or if this is just a Pun for the more observant viewer, but considering the Hotel is a Place of Power for a god and a Leprechaun runs the bar, the former is more likely.
- Armoured Closet Gay: One of the cops chasing Tu'er Shen was originally in a homosexual relationship with Toni before she transitioned. In adulthood he is a cop who helps hunt homosexuals by acting as a plant.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Tyr originally intended to put Shadow to a form of execution similar to the Blood Eagle — splaying his ribs open — as Revenge against Wednesday.
- Inevitably Broken Rule: When Laura asks Liam to retrieve Gungnir from Sweeney's horde, he at first refuses on the grounds that invading the horde of a fellow leprechaun is against the Hibernian Code, a Code of Honor that magical beings of Irish folklore apparently live by. Eventually he agrees on the condition that he keeps Sweeney's coin as payment.
- Karmic Jackpot: Toni helps a gay man evade police who are after him for violating sodomy laws. In response, the guest — who is revealed to be the Chinese rabbit god Tu'er Shen — declares the Hotel as one of his temples and blesses the property. Seventy years later, the Grand Peacock Hotel has become an incredibly popular location for the LGBT community, Toni having not aged a day since then.
- Rule of Symbolism:
- What convinces Toni that Tu'er Shen is what he says is is when hundreds of butterflies — which are symbols of young love in China — fly out of his mouth and rejuvenate the hotel's peacock sign, the peacock representing dignity and beauty.
- In the credits, Toni is credited as "Toni Rykener," sharing a name with the Real Life 14th-century transwoman and sex-worker Eleanor Rykener who was arrested for sodomy. Whether or not this is just symbolism on the writer's part or if Toni is a faith-based recreation similar to Shadow is never explained.
- After his night with Kai, Salim admits to having lost his sweater (a momento from the Djinn), meaning he more or less let the Djinn go and has decided to move on.
- Slipping a Mickey: By the time Shadow realizes that Tyr is up to something, he passes out from the coffee he gave him.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Liam Doyle is very similar to Mad Sweeney in that he's a leprechaun who develops a love-hate relationship with Laura based around his lucky coin. Though while Mad Sweeney stole Gungnir off to his horde, Liam is the one who takes it out.
- Transgender: Toni is a transwoman who runs the Royal Peacock Hotel, having transitioned at some point after high school.
- Virtue Is Weakness: Wednesday flat-out calls Tyr's sense of honesty as his biggest weakness, Wednesday himself a Consummate Liar.
- Wham Episode: Wednesday has absolved Shadow of his responsibilities, Salim has decided to move on from the Djinn and has regained his faith, Laura has let Sweeney go (dumping his ashes in a river) and is now in possession of Gungnir.