American Gods Git Gone Review
Starz‘s American Gods: Season 1, Episode 4: Git Gone broadened the story that American Gods is trying to tell. In all three previous episodes of American Gods, the story focused on Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle) and Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane), their growing working relationship, and their sometimes felonious adventures. In Git Gone, the viewer was given something completely different. Seen as a bit character previously, someone who would only occupy flash backs and day dreams, Laura Moon (Emily Browning) and how Shadow and she became man and wife, were the centerpieces of Git Gone.
The former could have easily been folly on writers Bryan Fuller and Michael Green‘s parts if Laura Moon was not such a morally ambiguous person. The personality of that type of person was explored in Git Gone through Laura. In its Laura focus and Laura character-building, Git Gone was like the All About Allison episode from Season 5 of Homeland. Laura was more complex, when it came to relationships, than the viewer had suspected.
Laura didn’t see what she was doing (the affair) as betraying Shadow since she never truly loved Shadow. She saw it, after the first drunk escapade, as doing something, or rather someone, that was there. As she recounted the events of the affair to Shadow as unemotional flings, she spoke of them in a raw, honest, and matter-of-fact way. She wanted to convey to Shadow how empty and meaningless they were to her. It was a clever approach (though there was no tactic or guile on her part), especially since Shadow already knew part of the tale from a third party.
It took her death and resurrection for Laura Moon to finally start caring about Shadow the way he cared about her. She was actually taking his feeling into account in Git Gone when she spoke to him in the hotel room and soaked her cold body in a tub just in case things got physical. Trauma often spurs personal growth. Dying and being resurrected are probably the most traumatic events that someone can endure. Through that crucible, Laura’s selfishness was left in her coffin instead of her lifeless corpse.
It was Laura’s resurrection and her dealing with her new status that made Git Gone the funniest episode of American Gods-to-date. Laura’s resurrection also made Git Gone the most confounding American Gods episodes-to-date. Watching Audrey (Betty Gilpin)’s realistic reaction to un-dead Laura was hilarious but it was not as funny as a watching Laura’s numerous embalming fluid excretions.
Where Laura’s resurrection became fanciful was when Laura appeared in her old neighborhood. It was completely unbelievable that a blood-covered woman could hobble down the center of a neighborhood street, holding her severed arm, and no one saw her, called the police, or an ambulance. She was walking in broad daylight. It was preposterous and it harmed the realism that American Gods had striven for since the beginning. To be fair, however, the scene was beautifully captured. That moment in Git Gone was shot with the same center-centrist eye that director George Miller used in Mad Max: Fury Road.
The car crash flashback in Git Gone and Laura’s body rolling behind the car as it scraped the road (the camera showing the action from a specific angle and then the entire scene from overhead) was the most cinematic sequence in Git Gone. Cinematographer Darran Tiernan did a fantastic job envisioning and visually constructing that key moment in Laura’s life.
The un-dead, zombie vision of Laura was also realized in an interesting way during Git Gone. From miles away, she could see Shadow’s aura. The questions that these occurrences in Git Gone created were: what did that aura represent? Is Shadow special in some undisclosed way? He would have to be to be singled-out by a God to be its traveling companion. Shadow Moon is a more complex character than his exterior and simple ways betray.
Death and her living dead status made the exterior, then the interior, of Laura Moon complex. Not even death, though, could change Laura’s pugnacious nature when pushed. The verbal fisticuffs between Laura and Anubis (Chris Obi) in Git Gone was amusing e.g. Anubis’ contempt for Laura. Both were looking at Laura “crossing over” after her death from completely different vantage points. Laura was not in awe in the slightest by her spiritual locale or by what had happened to her. Perhaps she was still in shock but since she had no body (or living mind) right after she died, how was that possible? Anubis, on the other hand, had heard it and seen it all before. He was a dispassionate manager clocked in, unimpressed with Laura or the life that she had led.
What was impressive in Git Gone – regarding the plot of the series – was how much forethought had been put into the creation of Laura’s character arc. Git Gone explained a key nebulous event from the first episode of American Gods. I thought that an undisclosed God had intervened on Shadow Moon’s behalf when he was being hanged. It turned out that something completely different and far more fantastical had transpired involving post-resurrection Laura.
The violins (or violas) that played during Laura Moon’s resurrection and the sublimely savage Laura Moon / Technical Boy stooge fight (I loved how her arm just dropped off at the end of the scene) was an excellent musical choice. It really added an old school horror feel to both events. The fight scene that followed the resurrection was like a director Zack Snyder fight scene: style-heavy, falling rain, fisticuffs in slow motion, and tons of gore.
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