American Gods: Season 1, Episode 4 review

By Ryan Keating-Lambert



Despite Emily Browning getting a chance to show off the intriguing and powerful character that is the dead wife Laura, Ricky Whittle’s Shadow continues to be little more than just a pretty face.

Episode 4 focuses on the history of Laura and Shadow’s relationship from beginning to end, before some obvious complications due to Laura rising from the grave.

American Gods, so far, has been bursting at the seams with light and magic. An intoxicating novel by Neil Gaiman brought to life by the quirk and visual poetry of Hannibal’s Bryan Fuller.

The only problem with this week’s episode is that, for the most part, it lacked the loud visuals that gives the series that dream like Neil Gaiman edge. There was nothing to really pull you in and give you that ‘wow’ factor…

Then there’s Shadow (Ricky Whittle). Whittle’s acting skills continue to be slightly out of whack, and you really feel it in the couple’s chemistry. If this series spends a lot of time revolving around Laura and Shadow, it might get a bit awkward. Poor choice for Shadow.

Laura (Emily Browning) is an interesting character and does get fleshed out over the course of this episode. We know that she’s clearly got issues with self-harm and has some wicked kinks, but she also cares for Shadow and is certainly not the conniving manipulative woman that Audrey led her to be in the first episode. As a matter of fact, she seems to be the only main character that is completely self-aware and knows what she has to do, which at this point we presume is to protect Shadow.

We also get another visit from Anubis (Chris Obi), and his fellow funeral associate buddy Mr Ibis (), who reassemble Laura and send her on her way, but not without a warning of her impending doom when this is all over. Where is this going to take their relationship? Will she find a way to live again?

Either way, that scene of her walking down the street holding her own severed arm was an incredibly creepy shot – like something straight out of the Walking Dead. Gore and blood was once again on point. The show employs brilliant use of slow motion to capture that rain and blood in that scene that answered some pressing questions from episode 1. Just how many times is Laura going to have to save Shadow?

Overall, episode 3 gets better as it goes along. I’m interested to see how Laura gets involved in this goddy mess… and when the leprechaun is going to come knocking on her door demanding that coin back.

Photo: BWA Crew



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