Starz’ American Gods
Season 1, Episode 4: “Git Gone”
Directed by Craig Zobel
Written by Michael Green & Bryan Fuller
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Head Full of Snow” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Lemon Scented You” – click here
Love the opening shot, as the music and the hieroglyphics imply Egypt, but of course we’re actually in a casino, American Egypt. This is where we find Laura Moon (Emily Browning) before she’s Mrs. Moon, dealing cards at a blackjack table. There’s almost a relation to how detached the Egyptian symbols are to the location we find them, and how technology also replaces the everyday, such as how Laura says “I like to shuffle” in a simple response to automated machines now doing her job. Just terrifically written.
Note: Anubis is branded on the playing cards they use as the casino.
The episode’s title – “Git Gone” – is in reference to the bug spray Laura uses at home. She uses it while covering herself in the hot tub outside. A suicide attempt she decides at the last minute she does not want to complete. Next shift at the casino, Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) is hustling at the tables. When he tries rolling Laura she gives him a few friendly words of advice, telling him not to try his grift there, or else.
“Ooh, bad luck.”
Except it isn’t, it’s the beginning of their relationship. An interesting one, at that. They head back to her place falling into each other’s arms, and the rest is history. The next morning they’re going over their respective card talents, though his are slightly more magical than hers, even if she’s a pro at dealing them.
We also see Robbie (Dane Cook), whom she later cheated on Shadow with, as they all become a big, happy group. Meanwhile, Laura’s worried about her new man, what happens if he keeps on grifting and stealing. They get around to talking about belief. She doesn’t believe in anything religious whatsoever. Funny when that’s juxtaposed with what we’ve seen so far from Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane) and all he’s introduced Shadow to since they’ve known one another.
Laura: “And it‘s like everything that made the world anything more than what it is is just… is just stories. Just snake oil, but worse because snakes are real.”
Also, a great tune “Queen of the Bored” by Shirley Manson – produced by series composer Brian Reitzell – shows up during a montage of Shadow and Laura, fucking, each of them going about their day. However, it’s more than that. We see how Laura’s going through the motions. She was in a bad space before meeting her husband, and she never recovered or get healthy. Now she’s quickly getting tired of married life. So she decides it’s time to rob the casino. He doesn’t feel good about how things are happening, after she admits being unhappy.
Ahhh, you see where this is going, right?
Directly to Shadow sitting in jail. Serving time for their botched robbery. She wants to cut a deal that would put her in prison, too. But they’d get out faster. He refuses, he accepts his fate. Problem is she can’t do the time, we know that. The night her cat dies is when her affair with Robbie begins.
Cut to Shadow getting ready to be released, at home Laura’s prepping the place for his big welcome home party. When he’s still unaware of the nasty affair going on. At the same time Robbie wants to reveal the affair, she wants to forget what they’ve been doing together. The Band’s “The Weight” plays as the two lovers drive, agreeing to let their affair be the last of it all, and Laura gives him a bit of road head. This sends them into oncoming traffic.
Laura finds herself in a strange place. Anubis (Chris Obi) has come to take her to the scales, to see her judgement. She won’t let him take her heart, explaining it’s certainly heavier than that feather. She refuses to go to death, she wants to go home. Anubis isn’t impressed, but then Laura’s pulled away out of sight.
Anubis: “In life, you believed in nothing. You will go to nothing.”
And where does Laura go? Back to her grave. She pulls herself out of the earth into the world again, autopsy stitches and all. She wanders into a field and finds the Children surrounding Shadow, hanged from a tree by the neck. So she does what any woman would in that situation: punches holes through them, punches their heads off, flicking blood everywhere. Now we know who saved poor Shadow in his time of need. Coming back to life has given Laura some exciting abilities. She even kicks one guy in the balls, splitting him up the middle.
She’s a little worse for wear afterwards, one arm literally off her body. But she carries it with her and sews it back on later. Except her stomach’s hurting, too. Being reanimated from death isn’t exactly all the rage. Not to mention all those lingering, terrible memories of the betrayal she visited upon Shadow. When Audrey (Betty Gilpin) walks in it’s a frightening scene, seeing the dead woman who banged her husband. Hilarious and scary all at once. Even more so because Laura has to shit out a load of embalming fluid in front of her.
After patching things up, literally and figuratively, Betty and Laura head out on the road. Laura’s dealing with the fallout of being shitty in life, now that she has returned. She continually sees a bright, shining light beaming from Shadow on the horizon; the actual light of her life. Not before the women run into Anubis and Mr. Ibis (Demore Barnes).
They take her back to the funeral home Mr. Ibis runs, so they can take care of her properly. Get that arm in place, paint her skin a lively colour. “Care and maintenance is needed for your dead body,” Ibis explains. Ah, the joys of coming back to life!
Laura also discovers that when she’s finished with her unfinished love business on Earth, she’ll be taken to death by Anubis once and for all. The Git Gone bug spray is now replaced with fly tape; symbolic of her newfound will to live, ironic in that she had to die to discover it. She sits and waits for Shadow to come back.
So what comes next for them? How does he deal with her betrayal and her reincarnation?
What a fucking show! Goddamn I love Mr. Fuller and Mr. Green, they’re amazing together. Such imagination inside an already imaginative story from Neil Gaiman. Their powers of adaptation are strong.
Next is “Lemon Scented You” and I look forward to more madness, more psychedelic sequences, more heavy drama. Dig.