The premiere of American Gods ends with a cliffhanger: Shadow Moon is lynched by the Technical Boy's faceless goons, but is saved by someone who ripped his would-be killers to bloody shreds. Well, the fourth episode finally gave viewers a solution to that mystery. Laura saves Shadow on American Gods after rising from the dead… and that's not the only thing the audience learns about the protagonist's undead wife in this flashback-heavy hour of the Starz drama, titled "Git Gone."
The episode rewinds time to let viewers get to know Laura before she perished in that unfortunate car accident in the series premiere, works all the way through her resurrection, and climaxes right where last week's episode left off, with a surprised Shadow entering his hotel room to find his formerly deceased bride sitting on his bed.
In expanding Laura's role from the relatively minor presence she is in Neil Gaiman's novel, a few things have also changed in translation. Laura is no longer a travel agent; she's now a blackjack dealer working at a casino. That's also where she meets Shadow, who is already leading a life of petty crime, using his sleight of hand to swap out poker chips and increase his winnings. In the books, they meet on a blind date and Shadow isn't a criminal until Laura talks him into robbing a VCR store. Speaking of the robbery, in the source material, Shadow actually goes to prison for beating up his two fellow thieves after they tried to stiff him out of his cut of the loot; but in Bryan Fuller's adaptation, Shadow simply gets caught while trying to pull off a heist at the casino using Laura's inside knowledge.
The episode also reveals that, before Laura met Shadow, she was suicidal — she gets close to taking her own life one time, filling the air underneath her hot tub cover with poisonous bug spray (the "Git Gone" of the title) before changing her mind at the last moment. In fact, Laura doesn't seem very much in love with Shadow at all — treating him more like a pet than a partner (hence the nickname "Puppy") — until she rises from the dead, that is.
Now Laura is literally guided by her love for Shadow, with her husband seeming to radiate a light that she can follow across vast distances… which is what leads her to the scene of the lynching. Laura quickly discovers that her zombified state has also apparently given her superpowers, as she rips through the goons as though they were made of wet paper. (The confrontation also costs Laura one of her arms, but she enlists the help of her former friend Audrey — and then of Egyptian gods Anubis and Thoth — in helping to sew it back on.)
Now that viewers know more about who Laura is, what her relationship with Shadow is like, how she came back to life, and what she's been up to since she died, the show has a lot more questions to answer about what happens next. How will Shadow react to the resurrection of his wife? What role will Laura play in the brewing war between the Old Gods and the New Gods? What will Mad Sweeney do to get his lucky coin back? Will Shadow be able to keep Laura alive permanently? Or is she destined to return to the grave at some point?
I don't know the answers — but I do know that I'm thankful the show took the time to flesh out one of its female characters. Now I would like to know more about Bilquis, Media, and Kristin Chenoweth's Easter, please!