Git Gone comes at the halfway point through American God’s first season, and here we finally get to know a little more about Laura Moon, the woman Shadow loved and was looking forward to being reunited with until her untimely death and his discovery of what caused it. Laura Moon for me is a rather important and interesting character as she is a flawed woman who is at once dislikable and sympathetic, essentially she is real.
The opening scene finds Laura working a dead end job at a trashy Egyptian themed casino. The clever camera work at the beginning of the episode made me think we were getting a Coming to America story about Thoth, but the quick reveal of a casino was a rather clever one and set the scene perfectly. She lives an absolutely ordinary and mundane life and the highlight of her day is killing a fly with Git Gone bug spray and then potentially using the aptly named spray to try and kill herself with or get high on. Soon after she meets Shadow, albeit while he’s trying to cheat at her blackjack table. Amusingly Shadow’s cocky con-man tricks are quickly foiled by Laura’s observations which is something he is rather surprised by. This moment piques his interest and the rest is pretty much history.
The relationship that she shares with Shadow feels very one-sided as she is almost never truly present especially as routine kicks in. It’s clear that Laura wants more, which is something she declares to Shadow when she suggests that they rob the Casino that she works at. This dissatisfaction with mundanity is ultimately what lead her to her grave, as when Shadow was put in prison she was alone again and the temptation of his best friend was too easy to give into. Through this exploration of Laura before her death we get to see just how broken and fragile she is, she drinks too much and she likes teetering on the precipice of destruction. This also fleshes her out much better than she was in the book which is one thing I think could have been done better.
Just over the half way point of Git Gone Laura dies exactly how the rumours told it, and she is then transported to the galactic desert scape of Anubis. Interestingly the thoughtform idea extends to death and afterlife for humans as well as the existence of gods. Anubis explains that because Laura believed in nothing (as was demonstrated in an earlier conversation between her and Shadow) and the non-existence of an afterlife that is exactly what she would receive. Clearly disappointed by this and annoyed at the prospect of dying Laura refuses to ‘go into the darkness’ with a simple ‘Fuck You’ which coincides with Shadow fliping Mad Sweeney’s coin onto her grave, thus resurrecting her and causing her to literally fly out of the desert scape and back into her corpse. This made for quite the amusing moment as Anubis was being all serious and waxing poetic about his sacred duty for her to suddenly fly away backwards.
Her resurrection is just plain weird, disturbing and comical at the same time. We find out that Laura was the cause of all that blood after Shadows showdown with technical boy’s goons and that she was home when Shadow visited home and packed up his belongings. Shortly after Laura is discovered by her scorned friend as she has broken into her house to try and reattach her severed arm. Audrey’s reaction to one armed ‘zombie’ Laura has the be the funniest moment in the episode which helped relieve us from the darker material that was in the episode up to that point. Then a drive in the direction of Shadows literal ‘beacon’ of light Anubis and Thoth appear and take Laura away to their Funeral business where she gets a makeover by the very god that promises her that when she’s done ‘I will complete my task’. That is a promise I can believe will be made, and I must say that I am loving Chris Obi as Anubis, as he brings a brilliant gravitas to the character which is proving to be really great to watch on screen.
In Conclusion, Git Gone takes us back to the beginning of Laura and Shadow and gives Emily Browning a much more fleshed out version of the character to play as in the book she was, for the most part, just a plot device. As a result of this episode, I am more excited to see what else they do with Laura in this season and the next and see if she does truly become more than what the book made her.