During the previous episode of American Gods, we assumed the biggest question needing answered would be Shadow’s fate at the hands of a game of checkers. Little did we know that an even bigger surprise awaits Shadow just in time to make him stumble as he begins to regain his grip on the prospect of the unknown. In this episode, titled “Git Gone,” Egyptian hieroglyphics flash across the screen as a themed party appears to be in full swing. A woman deals Blackjack at a casino and is instructed to stop shuffling. After she gets home from work, the woman cooks an egg for dinner and sprays insect repellent in her kitchen before taking a soak in her hot tub with the lid on. She sprays the repellent inside the hot tub, presumably on an unsuccessful suicide mission.
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Shadow shows up at the casino’s Blackjack table and begins inquiring into her life as he works the table. As he makes a move to cheat, she warns him of the strict consequences and security upgrades. He approaches her again as she leaves work and proposes a collaboration to rob the casino. When she shoots him down, Shadow asks her out for a drink but ends up going home with her. She indicates wanting it rough, so he obliges and stays the night. This is apparently the meet-cute between Shadow and his wife, Laura, which speaks volumes of their tumultuous ending.
In the morning, Shadow woos her with his card tricks, and the two bond over the scheme of cards and money. The pair discusses the possibility of an afterlife, which serves as a voice-over while the two get married. Shadow begins boxing classes as his blushing bride continues to go through the motions at the casino, her life beginning to become monotonous to her yet again.
The Beginning of the End
One morning, she beckons Shadow into the dining room to talk over coffee and expresses her unhappiness, proposing an inside job of casino robbery. Flash forward post-robbery and Shadow is busted during the theft. His wife offers to serve time along with him, but Shadow refuses to let Laura take any of the responsibility. She agrees when he asks her to wait for him, but it’s obvious that she’s severely unhappy yet again. One evening, she comes home to find her cat dead. Her best friend’s husband comes over to bury the cat for her, and one thing leads to another.
We then witness Shadow’s original phone conversation with Laura from his last day in prison, and Robbie is lying in her bed during the entire call. Robbie expresses his desire to be with her during a car ride, but Laura continue to express her plans to be with Shadow when he comes home. She goes down on him as a farewell, which leads to the accident that causes both of their deaths.
Laura is suddenly alive, though. During the in-between, she’s confronted by a mysterious man who demands to weigh her heart. He yells at her, and she passes through and goes to nothing, darkness. Just as he rejects her plea to return to Earth, she’s ripped from the sky and returns to claw out of her own grave.
After a walk through the pouring rain, Laura discovers Shadow hanging from a tree in flames and runs toward the Techno gods’ minions. We finally learn how Shadow is freed from his impending death, as we watch her cut him down and slaughter the men who had strung him up.
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The Zombie Bride
The next morning, a bloody, battered, armless Laura saunters back to the neighborhood, where she is reminded of the remnants of Shadow’s anticipated return from prison. She showers off the blood of her husband’s attackers and stitches her own severed arm back on at her ex-bestie’s home. While she’s reattaching her limb, Laura is crippled by stomach pains, but she’s cheerily interrupted by Robbie’s wife. Apparently, Laura just needed to expel the embalming fluid from the morgue. The two have a frank conversation about the state of Laura and Robbie’s relationship while she sews Laura’s arm back on.
Laura decides to recruit said bestie to track her surviving husband down, but the pair is stopped by the same man she had met on her way to the afterlife. He brings her to a funeral home, where a man properly reattaches her arm and reanimates her body. The mysterious man promises to take her to the darkness once her determines that the task is complete.
Shadow returns to his hotel room to find Laura sitting on his bed, awaiting him. The magnified focus on Laura’s story is new to the formula that we’ve become accustomed to in previous episodes of American Gods. Devoid of the various enigmatic gods and the always cryptic Mr. Wednesday, this episode relies on the investment we as an audience have in Laura’s side of the story. While she’s a more than unsympathetic presence, Laura’s detached indifference to life makes her an enigmatic and intriguing present to the game of the gods.
Why do you think Laura is back? Do you think her presence will help Shadow or hurt him? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
American Gods season 1 airs Sundays at 9/8c on Starz. Want more news? Like BuddyTV’s Facebook page.
(Image courtesy of Starz)