American Gods: Git Gone   Books Included 
May 21, 2017 7:00 PM - Season 1, Episode 4 - Subscribe

Alternating between the past and present, Laura's life and death are explored - how she met Shadow, how she died, and how exactly she came to be sitting on the edge of his motel room bed.

Shadow is ... super charming? Who knew. The show finally gets to invent more than minor details and, oh man, do they run with it. Or walk. While carrying a severed arm.
posted by sparkletone (64 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Great episode! We get their back-story, Laura's story, how Shadow escaped the Technical Boy, and more insight to the "American Gods" with a quick visit with Ibis and Jackal.
posted by jazon at 7:06 PM on May 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

I am so here for Pissy Anubis. I hope we get more of that.
posted by sparkletone at 7:10 PM on May 21, 2017 [8 favorites]

Why is it that Laura went to Anubis when she died? He said 'the circumstances of your death permit me' but I don't know what circumstances those are.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:00 PM on May 21, 2017

Also - why did Anubis and Jaquel come find Laura?
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:03 PM on May 21, 2017

My assumption was that her time around Shadow meant she got a god-connected treatment, rather than some other form of arrival to the after life, but maybe I'm wrong about that.
posted by sparkletone at 8:04 PM on May 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

Oh and why they went looking for her is way easier: She got literally yanked out of the whole process by Mad Sweeney's coin so they're all "what the hell" and trying to figure out what that was.
posted by sparkletone at 8:05 PM on May 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

But Anubis should only appear to people who've believed in him, right? He's not just THE god of death. And, for the latter point, they didn't seem all that interested in obtaining or providing information...
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:06 PM on May 21, 2017

Yeah this was almost all off book stuff and it was great, the Aubrey/Laura scene was like peak Fuller, a darkly comic very emotional discussion between two people with some bodily function happening. Laura's whole deal of taking huge risks when she gets in the real bad black dog depression ("you want to rob the casino?" "I think I need to rob the casino") and her treating Shadow like a pet , dummy/puppy and all.

Check out that name of the casino! Wow, also all the Egyptian Gods we see are the face cards in the casino.

All those eyes of troth motif and talk of camera, media is seeing all, people have been watching Shadow for a while (also the ravens that follow Laura around, Odis's Ravens)

AMERICANA OUT THR ASS: the rattlesnake sound during the snake scene, TV cartoons, hot tubs, running through cornfields, the most country music tragic sad story song for how Laura in the most country music sad story ever.

And then , BAM Laura gets a brand new paradigm and isn't there for it l she comes out of the ground straight up Buffy style and then she goes Evil Desd with the arm and then Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas with sewining her arm back on (wait get a zombie husband and zombie dog?) and then the Death Becomes Her japes "don't move, you're still tacky"
posted by The Whelk at 8:20 PM on May 21, 2017 [10 favorites]

I still really don't know what to make of this show. I liked this episode a lot as an hour of TV, but when that 'next week on' popped up, I was like... wait, yeah, all that stuff is still going on and the season is halfway over already! It's not that I thought this episode was a bad use of time per se but it did kinda take the already meandering plot action and stop it in its tracks, and now it feels like the season is barely getting started when, again, it's already half-over.

With all that out of the way, though, I thought this episode was very effective in making you care about Laura and understand what she did without condoning it, exactly.

(On another note, I always assumed that Shadow picked up all the sleight of hand stuff in prison, so it was surprising seeing him do it before then.)
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:21 PM on May 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

I mean, I've just resigned myself that's it's going to be super slowburn and decompressed and we've already got another season confirmed so I'm just happy for the ride. I'll take my hour of weird artsy fantasy and when it all stitched together as a 16 hour long miniseries I'll be great.
posted by The Whelk at 8:38 PM on May 21, 2017 [5 favorites]

Also, making her sucidice attempt with bug spray when, as a living corpse, she keeps attracting flies.... talk about not being able to escape your bad decisions

I also like that thier relationship started as blind risky lust first.
posted by The Whelk at 8:40 PM on May 21, 2017 [11 favorites]

That being said fuller likes his long set ups with explosive payoffs so imagine first four is all backstory and worldbuilding and last four is plot plot plot
posted by The Whelk at 8:43 PM on May 21, 2017

"Get out of my house, you zombie whore" is my line of the night. I love Audrey so much. I would watch an entire series of her being pissy to Laura and stitching her up with various craft supplies.

In the book, aren't Anubis and Ibis (hi Tobias Budge!) working with Odin? I guess he could have sent them to check up on Laura, since he apparently manipulated her into circumstances that should have gotten her out of the way.

On twitter, Bryan Fuller claims that Laura's multi-orifice embalming fluid expulsion was something ABC wouldn't let him do on Pushing Daisies.
posted by bibliowench at 9:08 PM on May 21, 2017 [11 favorites]

My assumption about the afterlife is that Laura lied when she avowed herself to being a strict materialist atheist. She seems to have lied a lot, and perhaps told Shadow what she thought he'd want to hear, or what she thought he'd think she'd say in that situation.

I suppose that she could've picked up some sort of belief (or fantasy, maybe) from the place she worked.

Did Laura get this much story in the book? I really liked her story in this episode. I think Fuller's treatment turned a tropey tale of betrayal into a really human one of depression, stagnation, and desperation.
posted by codacorolla at 9:09 PM on May 21, 2017 [5 favorites]

Laura doesn't get nearly this much story in the book, making her in on a casino robbery is great, and I assume - since we see Odin/Wednesday's Ravens watching laura while she's alive that she meets the Egyptian afterlife as part of of the Old God power sharing/mutual protection racket. You don't let the wife of your biggest mark out of your sight that easily, which makes it even more hilarious that Shadow fucked uo thier plans by giving her Mad Sweeny's Lucky Coin and wishing her back to life.
posted by The Whelk at 9:21 PM on May 21, 2017 [4 favorites]

And again, mountains of foreshadowing, Zoryah on the roof saying "you give away everything, you gave away protection, the sun itself" and the gives him the moon/silver dollar instead. Mad Sweeny has lost his magic luck cause he accidently gave it away to someone who accidently gave it away to a dead woman who gets the best luck ever and sees the person who gave it to her as literally the shining sun.

It all slides together like tumblers in a lock
posted by The Whelk at 9:29 PM on May 21, 2017 [9 favorites]

all this new context and backstory changes Laura's character in interesting ways, before she was like a trope subversion, the Dead Wife Who Starts The Hero's Journey except, she's still around, in her undead mess and he has to deal with her that way. I always thought it was kind of a metaphor for having a close ex-wife in the book.

Now it's more like she has to both fit back into the world and Shadow's life while also seeking forgiveness for the things she did . She has a reason, not an excuse, basically, and that makes her kind of delightfully troubled and fits into both the Fullerisn black comedy and the lapsed Catholic sense of , "dying isn't going to solve any of your problems"
posted by The Whelk at 10:11 PM on May 21, 2017 [3 favorites]

The scene between Laura and Audrey was everything. "I feel terribl--" "FUCK your feelings."

What was the ending credits song? It is TANTALIZINGLY familiar.
posted by KathrynT at 10:14 PM on May 21, 2017 [7 favorites]

I kept thinking it was a riff on Marylin Manson's Beautiful People or the opening riff to Dope Show cause everyone in the production is a full adult goth

I do love how Laura was trying to salvage the relationship and take the blunt of the emotional gale force cause well, she did cause it contrition!
posted by The Whelk at 10:19 PM on May 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

This was so goddamn good I don't even care if it's off book because Laura was /never/ written well and this is perfect.

Things I love:

1) Giving an explanation for the cheating that wasn't just "women amirite" - that she was desperately unhappy even with Shadow, the idea he had of them being happy in love is just that - his idea.

2) That Anubis gets a piece of those that pray in his temple - her work meaning that she ties to him even though she believes in nothing

3) That bathroom scene, all the love forever. "Is Robbie...still dead?"

4) Thoth saying, "He will be grateful to whatever god brings even a piece of you back to him" - foreshadowing they know how important Shadow himself is.
posted by corb at 10:30 PM on May 21, 2017 [15 favorites]

Also I loved how they portrayed her depression. It's not an emotion! Sad is an emotion! Depression is a disease that makes it impossible to feel joy!
posted by KathrynT at 10:56 PM on May 21, 2017 [25 favorites]

I think the end credits song was an instrumental version of the Shirley Manson song "Queen of the Bored" which was written for this episode.
posted by KathrynT at 11:19 PM on May 21, 2017

queen of the bored is my new favourite song,

I really loved this episode, and I think the way that Audrey has been given life is fantastic. like she's all "Get out of my house, you zombie whore", and she is so angry, but she'll still sew Laura back together because they are friends after all.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 11:25 PM on May 21, 2017 [3 favorites]

An interview with Neil Gaiman about why this episode is his favorite.
posted by KathrynT at 11:59 PM on May 21, 2017 [3 favorites]

I love that the show has kept the unusual form of the book. It, like a lot of Gaiman's writing, is not a continuous narrative, but a series of related vignettes, so the experience of reading the book, and following the show, is like a collection of related short stories, or a beautifully curated art show, where each piece in the gallery enhances your understanding of every other piece.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 1:16 AM on May 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

I think the latter half of this episode may have been where I crossed the event horizon into loving this show as its own thing and not just for sharing so much DNA with my beloved Hannibal.

Having said that, I also recognize that stopping the action cold for an entire episode of Laura backstory makes no sense. But I apparently don't care. The book and the show are too much of a sausage fest anyway, which is my biggest complaint with them both. So I'm fine with putting the brakes on that for an hour of the Laura and Audrey Comedy Show, ft. Demore Barnes.
posted by Stacey at 5:46 AM on May 22, 2017 [9 favorites]

One review I saw last night made a point that also occurred to me while I was watching - if Shadow really understood Laura, he would have let her go to prison.
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:27 AM on May 22, 2017 [19 favorites]

Oh, one detail I really liked as someone who's done a little shift work was the way they slowly brought in the sunlight during Laura's first post-work scene. I thought they really captured how wrong it seems to get home when it's just getting light.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:05 AM on May 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

I found it interesting how differently I, a depressive. and my wife, who, doesn't really understand depression, viewed the character of Laura. I found her much more sympathetic than my wife, but I couldn't really describe how, especially the Hoge selfishness that depression promotes..
posted by happyroach at 9:13 AM on May 22, 2017 [4 favorites]

I'm not sure what it says about me, but I definitely can understand what Laura did, even if I don't think it was a good thing to do. I had the feeling that a major idea was the notion of loathing yourself to the degree that you also hate anyone who is able to uncritically love you - hence "puppy" as a term of both endearment and scorn. It felt very real to my own experiences with self-destructive behavior.
posted by codacorolla at 9:23 AM on May 22, 2017 [7 favorites]

Oh hey I have an incredibly difficult time hearing and understanding lyrics, so if you are like me, here are the lyrics to Queen of the Bored!

As a depressed person myself, this song really does kinda perfectly capture the frustration that comes with depression (because you know exactly what's going on with you but you can't seem to stop it), and the resulting semi-self-aware desire to poke at things in your life until you really fuck something up because then at least something is happening.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:51 AM on May 22, 2017 [7 favorites]

I liked this episode a lot. It's been years since I read the book, but I don't remember finding Laura particularly compelling and this has her much more firmly fixed in my head as a character. The depression was handled wonderfully, the affair seems much more in keeping, too.

Loving grumpy Anubis.
posted by rmd1023 at 9:58 AM on May 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

PS: I had absolutely no idea until the credits that the friend was Dane Cook. That's incredible.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:01 AM on May 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

I love reading through different reviews because so often they'll pick up on some little thing that didn't occur to me - like this, which I'm loving:

Her boss calls her over to introduce the latest addition to the casino: an electronic shuffler, a new appliance that makes her trade, the only part of the job she loves, obsolete. Laura is very much like the Old Gods in this regard: the casino is a temple where patrons come to play cards at her alter, and, like the prying eyes of Media and Technical Boy, the casino keeps close watch over its flock through security cameras and even the eyes stitched into Laura’s bow tie. But her shuffling skills are no longer needed in the modern world of technological conveniences.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:08 AM on May 22, 2017 [20 favorites]

Ugh I promise I'll stop popping back into this thread in a second but i just realized- now that that song is stuck in my head - that "I'm like Cleopatra, I get what I want" is ironic because Cleopatra famously committed suicide.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:23 AM on May 22, 2017 [3 favorites]

I didn't like this episode, although I understand why it was necessary from a storytelling perspective.

I just didn't like book!Laura and I don't much care for tv!Laura either.

Also the whole arm and toilet bit with Audrey was gross. (I agree Audrey was great) I guess it conveys the "Laura is still dead" sense that you get when book!Shadow describes the faint smell of gravedirt and what not that clings to her.
posted by INFJ at 7:34 PM on May 22, 2017

Why is it that Laura went to Anubis when she died? He said 'the circumstances of your death permit me' but I don't know what circumstances those are.

My understanding of the situation, buoyed by Hugin and Munin following Robbie's truck just before everything went wrong, is that Odin had taken a direct hand in Laura's untimely death. A god-related death gets attention, and since Laura didn't have any other god to claim her, it opened the door for Anubis.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 9:02 PM on May 22, 2017 [3 favorites]

Also - why did Anubis and Jaquel come find Laura?

Laura is very much like the Old Gods in this regard: the casino is a temple where patrons come to play cards at her alter

I think the second comment answers the question of the first. I suspect her years of working in the Egyptian themed casino constitutes 'worship' so far as Anubis is concerned (they don't exactly have a wealth of followers these days).
posted by leotrotsky at 11:05 AM on May 23, 2017 [7 favorites]

PS: I had absolutely no idea until the credits that the friend was Dane Cook. That's incredible.

Talk about perfect casting. One look, before he even says a word, and you're like, "That guy's a piece of shit."

If he develops his acting skills he might even be able to leverage that into a decent gig as a character actor.
posted by leotrotsky at 11:13 AM on May 23, 2017 [6 favorites]

My understanding of the situation, buoyed by Hugin and Munin following Robbie's truck just before everything went wrong, is that Odin had taken a direct hand in Laura's untimely death.

Either Gods don't like it when you betray their children or Wednesday probably believed that she would have interfered. Ironic, because she probably would have jumped at the chance just to feel something different.
posted by leotrotsky at 11:16 AM on May 23, 2017 [2 favorites]

Either Gods don't like it when you betray their children or Wednesday probably believed that she would have interfered.

My theory is that Laura and Robbie died for more practical aims. One thing that American Gods keeps coming back to is that belief is nice, but sacrifice is where the real power comes from.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 1:36 PM on May 23, 2017 [6 favorites]

If that's the case, consider where she died. Wouldn't that make her a pawn of one of the most powerful gods of America?
posted by happyroach at 9:55 PM on May 23, 2017

It's alluded to in the book that part of the reason Laura had to die is that Shadow would have just stayed in Eagle Point with her forever otherwise. Wednesday has need for Shadow to be mobile; for that Laura had to go. Pure pragmatics.
posted by Jilder at 2:28 AM on May 24, 2017 [4 favorites]

So, as a Hoosier, a few quick points. From the coroner's box, Eagle Point is located in Kosciusko County, the county seat of which is Warsaw.

The county's greatest claim to fame is that it is home to Indiana's largest natural lake, Lake Wawasee, a popular vacation spot for folks like Al Capone and Eli Lilly.

There are no casinos in Kosciusko County, but there are several if you head a little bit north to Lake County.

In recent local news, the Kosciusko County Sheriff was just sentenced for intimidating a Warsaw police officer who was investigating him for corruption.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:12 AM on May 24, 2017 [2 favorites]

Oh, and Shakamak State Park doesn't have any of the dramatic vistas seen in the show. It's flat and full of trees. Good fishing, apparently.
posted by leotrotsky at 6:18 AM on May 24, 2017

So Laura got fridged in order to kickstart Shadow's Heroic Journey. Wow Odin is an asshole. But I repeat myself.

This was one problem I had with the book- Laura really didnt have much of an existence outside of being a motive for Shadow to leave. God "woman as the guy's motivator" is such a tired old sexist cliche.
posted by happyroach at 11:58 AM on May 24, 2017 [3 favorites]

I'd always thought that it was Laura's death that sparked Wednesday to go find Shadow. Otherwise, why have the ravens watch her (and ostensibly report back to him)?

Also, I don't recall any of the old gods being able to kill at a distance; from what we see, they've got to be in the immediate physical vicinity of a mortal, and their sacrifices are generally willing… at least on the surface. If Wednesday could just kill random mortals, he'd gain power from their deaths, and not be in the sorry state he is now.
posted by culfinglin at 3:39 PM on May 24, 2017

happyroach: Happily, she subverts the fuck out of that trope the further along things proceed. Wednesday gets his on that regard.
posted by Jilder at 3:14 AM on May 25, 2017 [1 favorite]

I like that this makes Laura a character, as she is mostly just an accessory to shadow in the book.

Also I like that it does still inform an important detail about Shadow, he makes everything about himself, he very much is Baldur in that way, the favored/blessed child. He can't even see her crippling depression and disconnect from life as anything but a reflection on him and their love.

I also enjoyed the depiction of super strength vs normal humans, because that is what every super hero fight scene would look like. Like a forklift accident.
posted by French Fry at 6:29 AM on May 25, 2017 [5 favorites]

I like that this makes Laura a character, as she is mostly just an accessory to shadow in the book.

Say - so I read the book 8 or 10 years ago, and while I remember the broad strokes and some particular moments, there's a lot I've forgotten. As a matter of fact, before they cast Laura I had forgotten that she actually came back to life at all - I only remembered that she had died in that car crash. And even once the casting news reminded me, I still didn't really remember what her role in the story had been.

After this episode, several reviews were speculating about how Laura's story was going to diverge from the books based on the changes made here, so I got more curious and checked the Wikipedia page to see if I could kickstart my memory of what Laura did in the book.

And, uh... aside from her death, the beatdown she delivered to the goons in this episode, and a specific thing she does at the climatic final battle, there is absolutely no information on Wikipedia about what Laura does or where she is for the entire rest of the narrative.

Can someone like... fill me in? I mean this IS the book spoiler thread...
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:50 AM on May 25, 2017

This wiki has a good summary of Stuff Laura Does In The Book. Which isn't a ton, but it sounds like there may be a couple of things in there that aren't in the wikipedia page.
posted by Stacey at 10:55 AM on May 25, 2017 [2 favorites]

Shadow is ... super charming?

Not when he's coming up fast on a woman he doesn't know in a parking lot at night, holy shit! Fortunately it all kinda worked out, for a while.
posted by ODiV at 10:52 PM on May 27, 2017 [3 favorites]

Not when he's coming up fast on a woman he doesn't know in a parking lot at night, holy shit!

I'm really glad Laura's getting more action and development than she did in the book, but that bit bothered me so much. Dude staked out the parking lot and blew off all Laura's refusals until she brought him home with her. And then they had hot sex because she was secretly attracted to him even though she kept telling him to go away. There had to have been a way to get them together without invoking that set of creepy toxic tropes.
posted by Fish, fish, are you doing your duty? at 2:01 PM on May 28, 2017 [11 favorites]

I don't want to normalize Shadow's behavior, and IRL that sort of thing would be unacceptable, but I think it fits with her overall self-destructive nature, and Shadow's social awkwardness outside of his con artist persona.
posted by codacorolla at 11:51 AM on May 29, 2017 [7 favorites]

So, a couple notes on Laura and Anubis, from the perspective of an amateur Osiris appropriator of a good decade's standing. I would observe that Anubis may be called to her as she has a role familiar to him.

Her restitched resurrection - sewed up after dismemberment with scars like like Elsa Lanchester, the occasional jokes about the severed member, and her ongoing problem of managing to live and walk despite her rotting dead flesh - read to me in the context of the show as a genderflipped take on aspects of the tale of Osiris.

He was ripped limb from limb and scattered across the Nile until his remains were gathered in secret by his wife, Isis, and their posthumously-conceived son, Horus. Isis apparently found the Osiran man-parts early on in the process and, well, undead love being what it is when your husband is a fertility symbol...

Osiris' post-resurrection appearance unambiguously involves the trappings of a mummy, visibly-stitched body parts, and, most delightfully from my perspective, green skin, as being dead, his flesh ripens with new life, bacterial, sporific, pupate, and otherwise. Presumably it is fragrant and one can imagine him having a need for flypaper.

I am by no means saying that either Gaiman or Fuller mapped Laura, returned, on to Osiris, risen again. But I am saying the elements, the pieces if you will, are there lying on the delta awaiting your needle and thread.
posted by mwhybark at 12:30 AM on June 8, 2017 [13 favorites]

Now it's more like she has to both fit back into the world and Shadow's life while also seeking forgiveness for the things she did

She saved his life! that would earn forgiveness for a whole lot more than breaking his heart. he doesn't have to take her back, especially cause she's dead and that's a little disgusting, but he is indebted to her now. she didn't get to be a big man and go to prison like a hero, because she let him have that instead of her, since he wanted it so much. and when you are depressed you have to put other people's wants first because they are better at wanting things.

she didn't get to do that, but she saved his goddamn life with her own hands. she's free and clear whether he says so or not. I hated her so much up to this episode because the whole time she was just a squinchy face saying "puppy." but now everything is better. personalities for women, what a good idea.

getting forgiveness from Audrey would seem like a much more difficult thing. but Laura just needs to sit her down and explain really carefully that Robbie was Dane Cook and that when she really thinks about that, Audrey will feel better about how things turned out.

(also man that self-awareness thing depressed and self-hating women do, where she said "I'm alone, I'm drunk, my cat just died" and Dane Cook pretends to feel badly about what he's doing, and she's like 'just kidding, I am completely responsible for my own actions, I am only pointing out that you are a shit, like the kind of man I deserve, but it's a joke that you would be taking advantage of me because anything anybody does to me is my own fault.'

but in fact she was alone, she was drunk, her cat had just died. that was actually true.

so consequently she did it a few more times just to make sure it would really be her fault, since you can never be too careful. don't want to leave any room for pity.)

anyway I like Shadow but it's such a fucking shame that she does, as you say, have to fit back into his life. at least in order to be on the show. when she should have been able to break completely free of her past. she died! she atoned! she should get to go do something new, something where she's the main character.

and something else I have to say into the void even if nobody ever reads this: I figured out what it is about Ricky Whittle that makes him compelling even when he is being boring and why he keeps reminding me of somebody and why I sort of like him even though I sort of don't: he has the same voice as Scott Patterson. close your eyes when he's talking and it is LUKE DANES stomping around bitching about things that aren't real and so on. not only do they have the same voice but they are kind of the same character, in a way. not counting the way he is in flashbacks.

this is so weird because SP is from Philadelphia and Shadow is from Indiana, right? but Ricky Whittle is putting on the accent, and the only way to do a decent national accent is to make it region-specific, but what region did he and his accent coach pick and why was it the land of Luke?

and Anubis can go fuck himself, you don't get to give big pompous god speeches after you ask a woman to climb into the hot tub with the bug spray forever. god privileges revoked.
posted by queenofbithynia at 10:07 PM on June 16, 2017 [3 favorites]

In the book, Shadow is not from any particular place - he seems to have been raised internationally. I believe his ties to Eagle Point, Indiana both in the show and the book stem from Laura, entirely, although both sources seem in my memory to be somewhat obscure on this point, possibly with intent.
posted by mwhybark at 1:33 AM on June 17, 2017

Early on in Good Omens we learn how Crowley has bribed, cajoled and, even in one case gone out in the dead of night to move surveyer markers around, in order to turn the M25 into the shape of the rune Odega such that all the traffic running through it will act "like water on a prayer wheel" churning out low-level evil.

That's what's going on with Laura and Anubis. She believed in nothing (hence his disdain for her, which given the premise of the show is kind of understandable - these gods are more or less starving for belief, so resenting a nihilist makes a lot of sense) but spent her days for eight years constantly pulling out cards imprinted with the name ANUBIS at the casino. 8 p.m. to 4 a.m., eight hours a day doing a low-level ritual in his name.

She believed in nothing, but "the circumstances of her life permitted him..."
posted by Navelgazer at 9:34 PM on June 21, 2017 [5 favorites]

And yeah, this show has been making a point to be as wild and off-the-wall and ballsy about what it can be and do as possible in those first three episodes, but it turns out that the coolest thing it's done yet is devote one of it's first eight episodes entirely to off-book development of Laura, an underdeveloped semi-plot device in the source material. Giving us a compelling and hyper-real depiction of depression is just icing on the cake at that point.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:51 PM on June 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

these gods are more or less starving for belief, so resenting a nihilist makes a lot of sense

man LAURA was starving for belief. any god worth recognition, never mind worship, would have seen that miles away. maybe said "hi" to her once when she was alive, out of basic self-interest. these gods as shown so far wouldn't know an existential crisis from a hole in the ground. they don't know what real starvation is. that is why they can't push her around. maybe instead of trying to exact petty yet unspeakably horrifying revenge ("Will there be peace?" "There will be..darkness") on a woman who never harmed them, they should get hold of some kind of Tony Robbins motivational tape about believing in yourself.

she lays it all out for Shadow in the flashback: she believed in all sorts of things when she was a kid, and one by one she was forced to discover they weren't real, until nothing was left. she never chose unbelief: she chose not to lie to herself. never in a million years would she have pulled a Shadow, if what happened to him had happened to her. imagine god after god walking up to Laura and her doing the Luke-grumble of refusing to commit herself because it seems real but it can't be real and this isn't sensible, and so on. she is honest to a self-punishing degree, she'd have recognized the truth of it in an instant and been happy about it. that's why she toys with the suffocating darkness and the bug spray, instead of razor blades and weepy music, you know? she taunts herself with what's real about death, not what she wants to be real. the gods are terrified of truth, not of unbelief. Laura freaks them out because she can handle it, and they can't, even though it's worse for her than for them.

also, she never lets Anubis weigh her heart against the feather. he is pissy more than anything because she tells him to keep his hands to himself, but he could have forced the issue, and he doesn't know she couldn't have passed the test. she thinks she couldn't, but she's depressed.
posted by queenofbithynia at 7:06 AM on June 22, 2017 [6 favorites]

Betty Gilpin needs to stop dating assholes who cheat on her with her brunette best friend.
posted by tobascodagama at 7:50 PM on January 13, 2018

It almost looks like Laura's view of the world was cross-processed or shot on IR film.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:03 AM on April 24, 2018

The DVD extras mentioned using an infrared camera, though I forget in which scenes.
posted by Pronoiac at 2:20 PM on April 24, 2018

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