If you’ve seen the fourth episode of American Gods then you already know where this post is going: nowhere.
If you haven’t seen it yet, don’t get excited, but also just keep on reading because I couldn’t possibly spoil anything since absolutely nothing new happens.
So strap in for a short overview of Laura and Shadow Moon’s history, as well as everything that was happening with her during the last few episodes. Hopefully now that they’re reunited we won’t get another “parallel” episode congesting an already short season.
They once again forego a “coming to America story”, but also exclude both the djinn and Bilquis scenes that made prior episodes buzzworthy—we assume they figured scenes of Laura with Shadow and them scenes cheating on him with Robbie would be enough for shock value, but since all of these things were discussed in episode one this episode felt tired and drawn out, and mostly seemed to be a budget saving after thought (even the ONE big action was just a camera B setup of the end of episode one, and showing some of the exact same footage).
The episode opens with showing us the boring, lonely repition of Laura’s life and an attempt to kill herself by locking herself in a hottub and bug spraying the air out, but surviving, followed by the backstory of Laura and Shadow meeting at the casino she works at as a blackjack dealer (note all the Egyptian iconography). She meets Shadow when he tries to run a scam on her table and she catches him and subtly warns him that he’s too obvious and gives him an out without altering security.
The Shadow we see here is much cookies and arrogant than the Shadow we’ve been seeing (Laura even explicitly says this, so we aren’t just making rude opinions). If anything the episode served to show us how Shadow has grown as a character and made us appreciate him more.
He leaves without getting caught and waits for her in the parking lot where he flirts and asks her to be is acconplice (no dice) and we get the sexy exchange where she says, “I just want to go home,” and he smugly replies, “then take me the fuck home.” And true to what we know about Laura, she takes a few liberties with the phrasing and takes him home to f*–you get the point. And thus starts a world wind romance between Laura and Shadow and we see their life together grow and their friendship with Audrey and Robbie [Insert Jaws theme].
We see Laura get bored of the repition and mundanity of their lives, and instead of another suicide attempts decides she’d like to refer back to Shadow’s original offer to help him rob casino. Of course her “master plan” goes awry (she swears someone was working against them and it wasn’t bad luck–this could be foreshadowing, but we aren’t book fans, so it’s just a fun theory).
Shadow shows devotion and takes the fall for the both of them, which is hat got him his prison sentence. We then I the next three years spiral past Laura stuck in a routine of work, phone calls and visits with Shadow, and her sinking emotional state. This all culminates into the affair with Robbie when he comes to help her bury a deceased pet cat. She a a selfish instigator and it’s hard to feel sympathy or fondness for her character, but then we get the car ride and death scene.
She meets Anubis (the Egyptian motif at the casino? The history books they kept showing her reading? The poor way she lived life?) We all know the Anubis protocol after the last episode, and so does Laura –who doesn’t take judgement well. When she asks where she’s going since apparently there IS an afterlife and she is regretting the earlier scene with Shadow when she said nothing happens after you die, it’s just dark and you rot.
So Anubis was planning to put her in a dark box with bugspray to rot for eternity since that’s what she believed in. But she is zapped back to reality by the magic coin Shadow left on her grave.
The only slight reveal was that she saved Shadow from the tech gods lynching, and also that Zombie Laura has super strength [just watch her decimate the goons]
She then walks her and her missing arm (remember from the promos?)
She then goes to her house to clean up until Shadow shows up. Notice she can see his bright gold aura? Is it because she’s a zombie or was god figure? Of course we don’t know! But stick around a few episodes to find out.
She flees to Audrey’s house and after some hilarious scenes and getting some closure they go together to find Shadow. Think Thelma and Louise if Louise is a zombie Laura who fucked Thelma’s husband and there’s “fun” tension.
Even though the episode felt like filler and was low on action, we can’t give up on it and there’s action right around the corner so ride this dry spell out with us!