So, I’ve gone from absolutely hating American Gods after episode 1, to absolutely loving it after episode 4!
When I read back over my review for episode 1, everything about it still stands. It made no sense, and it seemed as though it was just trying to cover that up by impressing us with style and shocking us with sex and violence. Other reviews I read stated that it wasn’t supposed to make sense and that the book was similar in that way. First episodes tend to reel you in with an impressive start, end on a high and then suffer from SED (second episode drag). I’m not used to the drag occurring right off the bat, so I am very happy that I stuck with it as it’s got increasingly better each episode.
Episode 4 primarily focuses on Laura Moon, wife of Shadow, who we haven’t seen much of so far (probably because she died…). However, after Shadow walked into a hotel room at the end of episode 3 and saw her sitting there waiting for him, it was clear that something else had been going on all this time. This episode actually takes the time to explain it all, and it turns out that behind the scenes she’s been a pretty major part of the story so far.
The first half of the episode plays out like your standard drama/love story. How sad and lonely Laura was, how she came to meet Shadow, how they got together, how Shadow ended up in jail and how Laura cheated on Shadow ultimately resulting in the death of her and her lover. When she arrives in the afterlife, she is met by Anubis, who we were introduced to last episode. She gives him some backchat, and doesn’t really seem keen on being sent to the ‘dark place’ that he’s intending on sending her to. But before he can do that, she’s whisked away, back to Earth.
The rest of the episode is hugely entertaining as zombie Laura crawls from her grave and takes out Technical Boys faceless bodyguards (plenty of that slo-mo violence, blood and body parts that I can complained about in episode 1!) and rescues Shadow from the hanging he experienced in episode 1. She goes on to meet up with Audrey, whose husband Laura was cheating with when they both died, in another enjoyable scene, followed by another meeting with Anubis. All the while she is drawn to seeking out Shadow. Which brings us to the hotel room scene at the end of episode 3…
This episode acted as a bit of backstory/explanation for some of what has happened so far, but there is still much to be explained. The continued introduction of more gods and how it will all fit together is proving to be more of an enjoyable mystery than the confusing mess that I originally took it to be, and I’m now very much looking forward to the rest of the season.