American Gods: 1.04 Git Gone
When we left Shadow, he'd just been reunited with his dead wife. So, instead of starting with a Coming to America story, we start with her story. Their story. The conman and his perfect match. But even alive, there's something broken about Laura, something not quite whole. None of this prequel, of this extra characterisation, was in the book, and it stretches out the material. It adds weight to the theory that series one won't make it past the book's halfway point, if that. And it also adds weight to the show, a filling in of the corners, lending heft.
This Laura was never as good as Shadow saw her. She herself says that he was too good for her. Here, in this episode centred around her, that is driven home. Emily Browing may not have been given stellar material in Suckerpunch, but here she shines. Fractured, broken Laura Moon and her empty world.
Until she too meets Anubis on the path to the neverworlds. Briefly. Just long enough to insult Death before being snatched back to our world. All thanks to Shadow's, to Mad Sweenie's, lucky coin, the sun itself.
And now the Patchwork Girl is free to make amends, start piecing herself together. Free to try to make things right for Shadow, and with Audrey with whine she has some excellently morbidly banter. And a re-encounter with Anubis and his colleague Thoth, undertakers and embalmers at large.
It's not just the plethora of buzzing pests that makes this standalone episode reminiscent of Breaking Bad's 'Fly' crossed with an episode of Six Feet Under. This full episode vignette was a solid accomplishment. Not needed for the story, but enriching the whole experience, make it more than the sum of its parts. If it carries on like this, American Gods will be counted as classic cult TV.