The Dominant Paradigm is a weekly podcast where Geeks of Doom Podcast hosts Dwayne D, Andrew Sorcini, and Tosin Onafowokan discuss STARZ’s TV series American Gods, the works that inspired it, and the larger questions about the lenses in which we see our world, AKA, the paradigms.
In this episode of The Dominant Paradigm, Dwayne, Andrew and Tosin delve into American Gods, episode 4, “Git Gone.” Beyond the recap, the three discuss the salient imagery of cats, the power of luck, and the reason Laura wants Robbie to sing to her while giving him road head. We also talk about the way the show has radically departed from the from the 2001 novel, and why that’s for the better.
Finally, you’ll find Ephemera – links to content that is either related to American Gods or that gives insight to the show.
We meet Laura (Emily Browning), who works as a dealer in a casino, lives alone, is depressed and disillusioned with life. She tries to kill herself in her hot tub with bug spray and fails in the attempt. The next evening at work she encounter’s Shadow, who tries to steal from the casino. She warns him that there are video cameras and that he will get caught. She tells him to leave. Shadow (Ricky Whittle) waits for her to come out of the casino at the end of her shift and thanks her for helping him, and admits that he fancies her. Laura takes Shadow home and they make love and start a relationship.
Shadow teaches Laura some card trick talents and becomes a part of her life, and friends with her friends Audrey (Betty Gilpin) and Robbie (Dane Cook). Laura and Shadow get married. Shadow begins working in Robbie’s Gym.
Shadow becomes friends with Robbie, the husband of Laura’s best friend Audrey
Laura falls back into depression and declares she needs to rob the casino. She has a perfect plan. Shadow gets caught and sent to jail. Laura says she will wait for him for 3 years. Laura’s cat dies, and she begins an affair with Robbie, agreeing that the affair will be over when Shadow returns from jail. Upon Shadow’s return, she and Robbie have one last tryst in his car and they die. She finds herself in front of Anubis (Chris Obi), who says she is destined to spend the rest of eternity in her hot tub. Just before she’s condemned, she’s yanked from the afterlife. She wakes up in the real world, climbs from her coffin and sees a light, which she follows to Shadow. She finds him being lynched by Technical Boy’s (Bruce Langley) henchmen, and kills all those around him, hurting her arm.
Laura finds her way to Audrey’s craft room to sew her arm back on and Audrey confronts her. Laura and Audrey encounter Mr. Ibus (Demore Barnes) and Mr. Jacquel and the two undertakers work to repair her arm.
Understanding that she’s undead, Laura goes to Shadow’s hotel room to confront her husband.
Salient Imagery: The cats, the luck and the fellatio.
The role of luck Last week we spoke about Mad Sweeney and his luck. We’ve got more bad luck here:
Bad luck at the casino
Bad luck with the cat dying
Bad luck with Shadow not allowing Laura to go to jail with him. (It’s what leads her to infidelity and consequently death
Cats are all over American Gods
Laura: “My grandma always had cats. She said they could see ghosts.”
Last week Mrs. Fadil, the egyptian woman, had a cat who not only followed her to the judgment place, but pushed her into.
Ibus and Jacquel had cats in their funeral parlour
If she hadn’t asked Robbie to sing The Weight, she probably wouldn’t be dead.
The Band’s song, “The Weight” (aka The Song of Death for episode 4) I picked up my bag, I went lookin’ for a place to hide Laura is out of view when she goes down on him When I saw Carmen and the Devil walkin’ side by side Laura’s doing a pretty devilish thing. I said, “Hey, Carmen, come on let’s go downtown” Another reference to fellatio
She said, “I gotta go but my friend can stick around” Take a load off, Fanny Take a load for free Take a load off, Fanny And (and) (and) you put the load right on me (You put the load right on me) Here Laura is basically absolving Robbie of the sin of the affair, but letting him know it’s over with this goodbye action. She’s taking the emotional weight of their affair off of him.
Supernatural characters introduced in “Git Gone” Mr. Ibus is TOTH
In the later history of ancient Egypt, Thoth became heavily associated with the arbitration of godly disputes, the arts of magic, the system of writing, the development of science, and the judgment of the dead.(Wikipedia)
Ibis records the Coming to America and Somewhere in America scenes, which ties in nicely to the system of writing.
He also works in the funeral home with Anubis, AKA Jacquel, which also links him to this judgment of the dead.
Laura Moon – Not a god, but she definitely Supernatural.
Presumably the coin Mad Sweeney gave to Shadow has something to do with her reanimation
She’s physically powerful
She’s not immune to damage, but she seems immune from pain
She sees in muted colours
Shadow is a bright light in that muted world.
As she waits for Shadow in his hotel room, time means less, possibly because she’s dead.
Significant changes between American Gods the book and the STARZ TV show (by no means exhaustive)
Shadow attempts to trick Laura at the blackjack tables. A great way to make a first impression
Laura as a casino dealer and Shadow attempting to trick her
The house on the rock, is a haven for shadow outside of Eagle Point Indiana. That’s where we find Ibus and Anubis”Jacquel. But in the TV show, they exist in Eagle Point, IN.
Laura’s entire back story. How she ended up with Robbie.
While giving Robbie road-head, Laura hit’s the gearshift, so Robbie can’t accelerate away from the oncoming truck. In the show, she’s the reason why they die on multiple levels.
Laura and Audrey’s interaction
Ephemera: Stuff to read or watch related to this episode, “Git Gone”