This episode focuses entirely on Laura Moon: who she was, and who she is now. It is, in essence, an hour long showcase for Emily Browning, who plays this vulnerable, flawed woman with a raw humanity that could have been lost on a less nuanced actress.
Laura works in a Vegas casino, clearly one of the seedier ones off the strip. Like Shadow Moon, she enjoys shuffling cards, and little slight of hand tricks. She lives an unfulfilled life with her cat, to the point where she tries to kill herself with some ‘Git Gone’ bug spray in what appears to be sheer boredom. It of course, doesn’t work, and she goes about her life once more.
Moon happens to play at her table one night, and she keeps him from cheating, saving him from getting arrested. He seems to find this charming, and tries to hit on her after her shift. While most people might find this creepy, stalkerish behavior, it apparently works wonders on Laura, as she takes Moon home, and honestly, it seems he just never leaves. One morning they discuss the afterlife, and Laura states that she believes that everyone just rots–there is nothing else for them after this. Joke’s on you, girl.
We see the evolution of not only Laura and Moon’s relationship, but their relationship with Robbie (played by Dane Cook, in probably the only role I’ve enjoyed him in) and Audrey.
It seems fine on the surface, but we all know it’s going to go sour, soon enough. Laura can’t seem to stay interested in anything, and it’s this boredom that drives her to plan the heist that gets Moon put in jail. Laura, by all rights, should be there too, but Moon loves her so dearly that he takes the fall entirely on himself.
Laura, for her part, starts to get bored with being a prison-wife and starts to not take his calls, and one day comes home to find her cat dead on the floor. Robbie comes over to bury it, and a drunk Laura comes onto him, which starts the affair. From her eyes this is a finite thing–something to do while Moon is in jail. Still, it seems Robbie has fallen in love with her, and that blow job she gave him in the car? The one that got them both killed? It was an apology/goodbye blowjob. What a way to say goodbye.
After the crash, Laura ends up in the afterlife with Anubis, who quickly becomes annoyed with her–it was great to see a God get frustrated with someone. She refuses to allow her heart to be weighed, and before he can take her for her insolence, she is brought back by the coin. She seems drawn to Moon, now, whom she sees bathed in golden light, always. We now know it was her that saved him from the Technical Boy’s goons–apparently being brought to life gave her super strength. She does, however, lose an arm in the process, which she simply tries to sew back on. This is what I love about the show’s portrayal of Laura–she accepts her situation, and simply tries to improve upon it as best she can. There isn’t crying, or mourning–there is only action and onwards movement.
Audrey happens upon Laura and freaks out, but then after some time manages to calm down. You really have to hand it to that woman–instead of questioning why a dead woman is alive, she instead berates her for being a cheating whore. It’s a great scene. Also…Laura is a great example of why not to embalm your loved ones. So much fluid coming from so many holes.
Eventually Laura convinces Audrey to drive her around, as she needs to find Moon; they run into Anubis and his partner, Ibis. They run a funeral parlor, and they are the ones who make the final repairs to Laura’s arm, and inform her, “Your heavy heart sank you like a stone.” She can only hope she can lighten her heart before her time is fully up.
She finally arrives at the motel that Moon finds her in, and we reach our end. This episode was amazing, humanizing a character who might have been demonized otherwise. It made for great television, and again, I’m so glad that American Gods is being made–it shows that all of us should be allowed our stories, flaws and all.