REVIEW: American Gods, S1 Ep 4 – Git Gone

American Gods, S1 Ep 4 – Git Gone

American Gods shifted perspective this week for an entire episode focusing on the life, death, and afterlife of Laura Moon. We finally get to know the woman Shadow loved and lost, though the exact circumstances of her return from the dead remain a mystery.

Up until now, the only things we knew about Laura Moon were based on Shadow’s memories of her and what people said of her, particularly about the unsavory circumstances of her death. She was a detail in Shadow’s story, and her surprise appearance in his motel room at the end of the last episode was a serious game-changer.

American Gods, S1 Ep 4 – Git GoneAmerican Gods changed the format this week and provided a welcome change of pace as well. We didn’t get the usual vignettes showing the arrival of foreign deities in America, although we did get some scenes with Anubis and Mr. Ibis, particularly when the former tried to fulfill his mission of delivering Laura into the darkness of her afterlife. But fate had other plans, and the power of Mad Sweeney’s gold coin yanked Laura back to the world of the living, where she began to see Shadow as the literal light of her life.

The episode switches timelines quite a bit and we get a glimpse of Laura’s life before she met Shadow. Working at a casino for 8 years, she is weighed down by the tedium of her daily routine, sometimes seeking thrills like killing herself with bug spray while in a hot tub. We witness a life of quiet despair even though Shadow describes her as someone who can get whatever she wants just by asking.

American Gods, S1 Ep 4 – Git GoneShe marries the self-confident thief who would have failed in his plan to rob the casino and they settle down. But domestic felicity does not suit Laura and she longs for something to fill the emptiness. So, she instigates the plan to rob the casino that ends so catastrophically for Shadow. Then, she cannot bear the tedium of waiting for him so she finds herself starting that disastrous affair with Robbie.

But most of her actions, while not morally acceptable, seem to stem not from a malicious nature but from a profound unhappiness. There is almost a sense that she cannot help but make bad choices, and then be burdened by their consequences.

American Gods, S1 Ep 4 – Git GoneLaura turns out to be Shadow’s rescuer in the season premiere, single-handedly destroying Technical Boy’s minions and leaving them in a bloody heap in the rain. She loses her arm in the process and in some of the surprisingly light-hearted moments of the episode, she tries to stitch her arm back on with craft supplies. She even manages to ask help from her bitter best friend, Audrey, who understandably erupts into hysterics upon first seeing her. They have a very awkward conversation over past hurts with Laura responding with impressive composure to all her friend’s anger.

Later on, Laura encounters the Egyptian gods again and they helpfully sew her up and paint her so that she can blend into the human world again. Anubis tells her that he will wait for her to conclude her unfinished business before fulfilling his mission and delivering her to her end. Somehow, this involves Laura finally realizing that she loves Shadow. She’s already saved his life once so how much she helps him in his own mission remains to be seen. But she has proven to be a fascinating character whose journey I feel invested in.

American Gods continues to intrigue and delight while building on its different characters. We learned a great deal about Laura Moon this week, and in so doing, got to know Shadow a little better as well. We’re still not sure what they will end up talking about, but we care about them enough to be very curious.