In last night’s fourth episode of American Gods we got the backstory of how Shadow Moon and Laura Moon first met.
The story starts with Laura — played by Emily Browning — working as croupier at a casino. She is bored and sick of her job. That is, until Shadow walks up to her Black Jack table and tries to pull a fast one.
Laura warns Shadow about the cameras and the casino’s security and tells him that if he puts the gambling tokens back she will not give him away. Shadow agrees, loses his final hand and walks away.
Later as Laura’s shift ends Shadow catches up to her and tries to talk her into a partnership where they rob the casino together.
He promises a 50/50 split. Laura isn’t game but she does take Shadow home with her for a bit of the vertical lambada.
Events in the episode then fast-forward a little as we see Laura and Shadow’s relationship blossom and their eventual marriage.
We are also introduced to Shadow’s best friend Robbie and his partner Betty, and see a little of their friendship.
As things move along we eventually get to the moment in which Shadow gets into trouble.
Basically Laura is tired and bored of life and wants to rob the casino. She claims to have come up with the fool-proof plan and gets Shadow to agree to help her do the deed.
Unfortunately for Shadow, the plan was not as fool-proof as Laura thought and he goes down for six years.
He even went as far as to turn down a deal that would lighten the sentence if Laura admitted her part and agreed to serve a year and a half in prison.
Shadow says he will serve the time and asks Laura if she will wait for him. Laura agrees.
We then see events fast-forward again as Laura accepts calls from the prison and visits Shadow on a number of occasions.
When her cat dies with Shadow in prison, Laura is an emotional wreck. However, Robbie is on hand to lend a little bit more than a sympathetic ear.
The two begin an affair. They agree that the arrangement is only valid until Shadow is released from prison.
Then we get to the fateful night of the accident that kills Laura and Robbie.
She is carrying out a sex act on him while he is driving. He loses control of the car as it swerves into an oncoming vehicle and is thrown clear of the road.
At this point Laura is dead and looking at the scene of her death when she is met by Anubis — the Egyptian god of the afterlife (with his Greek name) — who wishes to weigh Laura’s heart to determine her place in the afterlife.
Laura refuses to be weighed and shoves the scale down. Anubis says, however, that if you believe in nothing then nothing is where you will go.
In that moment Laura is pulled back to earth by an unseen force — possibly Mad Sweeney the leprechaun‘s lucky coin.
Then she sees a light. It is Shadow. She sees him hanging from a tree and Technical Boy’s lynch mob, as took place in the first episode of American Gods.
She proceeds to massacre the lynch mob, losing her arm in the process, then frees Shadow and walks away before he sees her.
We then see Laura walking in the middle of the road carrying her dismembered arm.
Eventually she arrives at Betty and Robbie’s and proceeds to shower and clean all the blood off of herself.
As Laura begins to try and put her arm back on with needle and thread, her stomach starts to make noise and Betty comes in on her and screams.
Laura follows Betty into the bathroom and calms her down enough to have a very difficult conversation about how she died and what she was up to.
Eventually, Laura persuades Betty to drive her to where she thinks Shadow is and they set off.
A little way into their journey, two figures appear in the middle of the road. One of them is Anubis.
Anubis and his companion take Laura to their funeral parlour where they moisturise her skin and put her arm back on with a hinge, needle and thread.
Laura and Anubis have another conversation in which she admits that she realised now how much she loved Shadow.
Anubis warns her that once she has concluded her unfinished business with Shadow that he will come for her.
The episode then ends where Episode 3 left off with Shadow arriving at the hotel to be greeted by his deceased wife.
American Gods: The big questions
- Will Laura honour the terms of her deal and let Anubis take her once her business is done?
- How will Shadow handle hearing his late wife out over the way that she died and who she was with?
- Will Sweeney interrupt Laura and Shadow’s reunion looking for his coin?
American Gods airs Sundays at 9/8c on Starz.