Origin stories are always fun.
They allow us to find out more about our favorite super heroes.
They allow to find out why said super hero donned the cape.
Or donned the claws.
Even the bad guys have origin stories.
After all, sometimes all it takes is one bad day…
So, yeah. We all have origin stories.
Even characters who at first seem to be one dimensional and boring. And actually kind of bitchy, too.
But hey, I am a sucker for a good origin story, what can I say?
If it’s written well enough, I will watch it (or read it.)
And that is exactly what this week’s episode of American Gods gave to us: an origin story for a character, who, until recently, had been kind of one dimensional. And maybe a little bitchy, too.
In other words, we were given previously un-chartered territory, in the form of a Laura Moon-centric episode.
After the episode, Laura is no longer one dimensional.
She joins the ranks of Shadow, Wednesday, Czernebog and the entire pantheon of characters, in that she is now a fully realized character, as opposed to Shadow’s wife who died under shady circumstances and then came back to life as a zombie that attracts flies because well…she is a decaying corpse, after all.
But still kinda bitchy.
A lot bitchy, actually.
But it all makes sense now. We were given a deeper understanding of the mystery that is Laura Moon.
So, join me on my recap and review of episode 4 of American Gods, titled Git Gone.
And, as always:
The episode begins with an introduction to Laura Moon, before her marriage to Shadow and before her death. Laura works at an Egyptian themed casino as a blackjack dealer. Laura lives alone, except for her cat. She is not particularly satisfied with her life. One night she inhales bug spray and closes herself in her hot tub, in a half-hearted attempt to commit suicide.
One night, a handsome, charming man approaches Laura at her blackjack table at work. The man is Shadow. Shadow is attempting to rob the casino via sleight of hand. Laura does not report him to the casino or to the authorities, but tells him to leave before he is caught.
Later that night, Shadow catches up to Laura as she is leaving work. He asks Laura out on a date, and the two end up back at her place. A few years later, they are married. Shadow reforms himself, and finds a job working for his friend Robbie at the gym Robbie owns. Robbie is married to Audrey, Laura’s best friend.
Shadow is happy. However, Laura is not, and feels unfulfilled with her life. One night, she tells Shadow that she wants to rob the casino that employs her. She tells Shadow that they will not be caught. Shadow is reluctant, but gives in to his wife’s demands.
However, Shadow is caught red-handed and arrested for the robbery. Laura offers to confess her part, so that both she and Shadow can serve reduced sentences. Shadow refuses to allow Laura to go to jail for him, and is sentenced to three years in prison. Laura promises to wait for Shadow while he serves his sentence.
Laura’s life becomes even more lonely while Shadow serves his prison sentence. One night, her cat unexpectedly dies. Laura calls Robbie to help bury the animal. Robbie comforts Laura. The comfort soon leads to an affair between Robbie and Laura.
Laura and Robbie continue their affair, right up until Shadow’s scheduled release. A few nights before Shadow is scheduled to be released, Robbie and Laura take a drive. Robbie tries to convince Laura to leave Shadow so that they can be together, but Laura refuses, telling Robbie that she does not love him. Laura then distracts Robbie with one final moment of intimacy. Robbie is not paying attention to the road, and is involved in a car crash. He and Laura are killed instantly.
Laura views her body on the side of the road. She is led into the afterlife by Jacquel, the Egyptian god of the dead. Jacquel tells Laura that he needs her heart, but Laura refuses, telling the god that she has lived her life, good and bad, and that her heart is not lighter than the feather.
Jacquel then tells Laura that since she believed in nothing, she will become nothing. Laura lets out a cry of resistance, but someone (or something) forcibly pulls her back out of the afterlife.
Laura then digs her way out of her grave. After she climbs out of the grave, she notices a man hanging from the tree. The man is Shadow, who is under the attack of Technical Boy’s goons.
Discovering that she possesses inhuman strength, Laura fights off Shadow’s attackers. She loses her arm in the process, but is able to cut Shadow down from the tree.
Instead of staying to help Shadow, Laura flees the scene. She carries her severed arm and heads home, cleaning herself up.
Laura then breaks into her friend’s Audrey’s house, and looks for Audrey’s craft supplies, so she can sew her arm back on. However, she is interrupted by Audrey. Audrey is home and sees her best friend. Audrey tries to flee, as she is frightened by the sight of her undead friend.
Laura tries to talk to Audrey, and apologizes for her actions. Audrey is still extremely angry, but helps Laura sew her severed arm back on to her body. Audrey also drives Laura to a funeral parlor, for further assistance.
The funeral parlor is one owned by Jacquel and Ibis, two Egyptian deities who also own a funeral parlor. They help Laura reattach her arm more securely, and also use their makeup and other supplies to make Laura a little more presentable.
Laura then heads to Shadow’s hotel room, and waits for him to return.
And to think, the gods were only a peripheral part of the episode, at least for this week.
However, that does not mean that we cannot have an “Ermahgerd award” just the same.
And this week’s “Eermahgerd award” goes to…
The mysterious, mystical Laura Moon!
For someone who has only been a plot device up until this episode (and throughout the entire book as well), I sure have a lot to say about Laura Moon.
So, where do I start?
Oh, shit, I think I know where…
Yes, that’s right…
This week’s *that scene.*
Apparently, being dead and resurrected is a total bitch.
Not only do you look…well…dead…
There is also the matter of that pesky embalming fluid.
And apparently that pesky embalming fluid does not really agree with anyone.
Laura suffered the indignity of puking it up when she climbed out of her grave.
But no, the writers of the show weren’t done there.
So we were graced with the zombie version of Motsuma’s revenge.
And getting called out by her former best friend for her shitty (yeah, I know) behavior.
Oh yes, speaking of…
Another character who did not get much face time in either the book or the show (so far.)
Betty Gilpin did an excellent job with Audrey in this episode.
Her nightmare literally came to life.
As in her former best friend who cheated on her now dead husband.
Now, many of us have had a so-called friend who either cheated on us with a significant other, or started dating said significant other suspiciously soon after the break up.
(Nope, no experience at all with this type of situation. None at all.)
And that is one the most horrible things that can happen. Bad enough that you have to go through the break up, but there is also the possibility of losing a friendship.
Audrey’s situation was compounded by the fact that both Laura and Robbie died in the car accident. Actually, she found out about the affair due to the car accident, as Laura had *something* in her mouth.
So, both her friend and husband were dead. It was easier for her, as she was so angry at them both.
But, on the other hand, she could not get any closure (closure would probably be her slapping husband and friend, along with the screaming match) because both were dead.
But then her “friend” came back as a zombie raiding her house for sewing supplies to sew her arm back on, as she had lost it a fight with Technical Boy’s goons, who were lynching her husband.
So Audrey gets to have her closure. She got to yell at her friend, who turned out to be a pretty terrible friend.
The fact that Laura was having the case of Motsuma’s revenge from hell while getting a ration of shit (yeah, I know) from her former best friend was just the nasty cherry on a really nasty cake. Somehow, the sounds just fit, along with the setting (the bathroom.)
And then Audrey even helped Laura sew her arm back on. I mean, who does that?
(Anyone else curious to see what Audrey’s Pinterest board would look like? She helped sew a severed arm back on. I imagine that would stand out in the sea of Pinterest boards waxing poetic about autumn, crafts and the occasional recipe for chicken parmegana.)
Okay, back to Laura now. Let’s talk some more about her.
Now, I have not liked Laura. I did not really like this character in the book. And I have not really liked her in the show, so far.
So, we got an episode centered around Laura.
And guess what?
I still really can’t say that I actually like her!
She cheated on her husband with his best friend. She was responsible for Shadow serving time in prison. She is spoiled and manipulative.
Even Shadow notes, at the beginning of their relationship, that she is someone who is probably pretty good at getting what she wants.
She has the vibe of one of those girls in high school who was probably a cheerleader, and pretty much everything came easily to her. She was not a warm and open person, but I am sure she had lots of friends, and her pick of the guys.
If you met Laura and Shadow when they were a couple, you would probably wonder what he was doing with her, as Shadow is the more approachable one.
What this episode did was provide an understanding of Laura.
Understanding someone or something does not necessarily mean that you have to like it. But it can provide even more depth to something, like a television show based on a book.
Right from the beginning of the episode, we learn about Laura.
She is someone who is quite dissatisfied with her life.
In fact, she tries to commit suicide via bug spray.
On one hand, that is actually funny, in a morbid, disturbing way.
(Only you, American Gods. Only you.)
But it is also sad. While it is half hearted, it is still someone who is attempting to take her life because she is experiencing pain.
And it is obvious that Laura has a self-destructive streak. When she and Shadow have their first encounter, she refuses oral sex from Shadow, and demands to be slapped instead. To me, that speaks volumes about Laura: it is as if she is not happy unless she is in pain.
Eventually, Shadow marries Laura. And they settle down to wedded bliss.
Well, wedded bliss to everyone but Laura.
She appears to have everything a person could want including a man who would die for her.
But she still is not happy.
Hence the botched robbery attempt, which causes her to lose her husband for a few years.
And when her cat passed away, I think that was the end for Laura.
The cat passed away. Robbie came over to help.
And comfort quickly turned to something else.
The something else sent Laura on the path of self destruction that she seemed so determined to find.
In fact, the affair with Robbie could be said to be responsible for her death, and the ensuing misery that went with it, including becoming a zombie who puked embalming fluid, along with having a horrible case of Motsuma’s revenge.
Laura is (literally) a restless soul.
Will she find peace, ever?
Can’t wait until next Sunday to find out!
Well, that’s it for Git Gone.
Tune in next week for the recap and review of episode 5, titled Lemon Scented You.
Tune in next week…
Same bat time, same bat channel!