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T his week’s opening montage of American Gods is my least favorite so far. (To be honest, its going to be hard to top Orlando Jones/Mr. Nancy in episode 2.) The reason I wasn’t excited was because we: don’t see a new god in this one, and it looks like we are going to be stuck with Laura’s backstory the whole episode. So I decided to do something a little different with this recap, because **spoiler alert** this episode was way too focused on the backstory and was pretty boring until the last fifteen minutes or so.
Here are my observations on the first forty-five minutes of the episode:
THEN we get to the interesting part of the show!
Laura has lost an arm in the altercation and is carrying it down the street to her house. We see the ‘Welcome Home Shadow’ decorations, then she takes a shower. At some point, she heads to a craft closet in someone else’s house (Audrey’s!) to sew on her arm. We hear her stomach start gurgling and she’s bent over like she had bad Mexican food the night before. Then Audrey shows up and starts screaming hysterically, because there’s a dead lady in her house, duh. Laura has big cajones, because she asks Audrey, who is “hiding” in the bathtub if she could please use the restroom, even though she understands that this would be embarrassing under any circumstance, but particularly under this one. Audrey is still hysterical, but hey when you gotta go, you gotta go. We see more than we want to as Laura sits on the pot. It’s gross.
Audrey and Laura have some bonding time. Audrey wants to know if Laura is haunting her. “Not on purpose,” she says, and tells her she needed craft supplies to sew on her arm. Audrey wants to know if Laura remembers the circumstances of her death. Laura doesn’t seem at all embarrassed by the fact that she’s a lying liarface adulterer. She’s just curious if Robbie is still dead. We get some of the best dialogue of the show now –and I keep wondering if someone else wrote the first part, because this is actually witty.
Audrey tells Laura, “I mean, he was. I haven’t seen him. I don’t know what either of you are up to now! You know, I guess I never did.” Laura goes on to tell her that she knew what they were up to, and Audrey says “I know who was in your mouth when you died. I do know that.” Laura wants to know if everyone knows this information, and Audrey tells her that she might have mentioned it a time or two at the funeral, and that Shadow knows because she propositioned him on Laura’s grave. Laura thinks that seems fair. Audrey then says “I’m not proud of myself. I had Robbie buried with his penis – you know you bit it off? – shoved up his ass. I was vulgar. I’m a vulgar woman. Anger and grief have really just made me vulgar. Laura I found out that you and Robbie were dead and having an affair in the same sentence. Maybe it wasn’t the same sentence. It was the same breath.” We get to see more female bonding, and Audrey made me think of Samantha from Sex and the City–she is very forthcoming and funny even when talking about something that pisses her off.
Laura lies and tells Audrey she feels terrible, and Audrey says “Fuck your feelings.” She really wants to know what Laura thinks about what she did. Laura tells her she thinks she did a shitty thing, but that it wasn’t about Audrey. Audrey responds that of course it wasn’t, and that she thought they were best friends, but that all that time, Laura was screwing her husband. Laura tells her “Not all the time.” (That doesn’t make it better, Laura.) Turns out Laura does have some emotion, because she feels guilty that she told Shadow she would wait for him. Oh, and she needs to borrow Audrey’s car.
I had to laugh when they are in the car together, and Laura is mad that her obituary was shitty. Audrey tells her “Well you had a shitty obituary because you had a shitty life. You were shitty.” Surprise–Laura thinks she wasn’t that shitty. Audrey asks her how she thinks she’s going to live with Shadow? “Presumably your stalking him will come to some fruition. I mean, what then? What? Happy family? Little zombie baby? Little zombie dog?” Laura says she will have her own private sunshine when she finds Shadow, and we see a giant column of light shining in the distance. Audrey tells her Shadow deserves better than Laura, but Laura insists “I love Shadow. Loved Shadow. I love Shadow. He’s the light of my life.” Audrey calls her on her shit and tells her no way. “You didn’t love him when you were alive. Come on. Not LOVE love him. He was like a pet. There’s a reason you called him Puppy.” Laura insists that she loves him now.
Then we see a man crossing the road with a dog. Audrey slams on the brakes, and its not a dog at all, but Mr. Ibis and Mr. Jacquel (who we have seen already as Anubis). Mr. Jacquel tells Laura, “You I remember!” with a smile. We see her walking into their funeral home holding her detached arm. Ibis tells her “We are a small, family-owned funeral home. What we provide is…continuity. There’s been an Ibis and Jacquel funeral home in business here for two hundred years!” She sits on their embalming table, and they stitch her up and paint her so that she looks alive rather than dead.
Ibis tells her “We need to tend to your flesh as best as we can, as it can’t tend to itself anymore. Care and maintenance is needed.” Jacquel tells her “However, there is nothing we can do to lighten your heavy heart.” When she turns her head to look, Ibis tells her not to move, because she is still tacky. (funny!) “Your heavy heart sank you like a stone. Took you back to where you left off. Lived a life interrupted. Was it love?” Jacquel wants to know. She tells him it wasn’t, but that it is now. He tells her that love will always have you at a disadvantage. She says “I think death has me at a disadvantage!” He tells her that when she is done, he will do his job and deliver her to darkness. We can tell by her facial expression that she disagrees.
We see Laura putting fly strips out in a motel room, and then staring at a bright light outside the window while sitting on the bed. Then Shadow walks in, surrounded by light, and Laura says “Hi Puppy.”
If you couldn’t tell, I was not very happy with this episode. It was entirely too full of backfill to the story. We didn’t need forty-five minutes to figure out Laura was a probably-crazy sociopath/narcissist who didn’t really seem like she loved Shadow and who sent him to prison because she wasn’t as smart as she thought she was. I feel like we had a lot of time wasted on mundane details that weren’t necessary to the story.
I understand that the writers are probably trying to make us really dislike Laura, but I think the whole “Robbie’s dick in her mouth during a car accident thing” was enough to do that. I did, however, enjoy Audrey’s banter with Laura. I imagine anyone who has been in a situation where they’ve had a partner stray would LOVE to ask and say whatever they want to one of the offending parties.
**All images courtesy of Starz**