selenak: (Illyria by Kathyh)
[personal profile] selenak
In which it becomes apparant why Bryan Fuller delayed a certain reveal as much as he did.



So we'd ge a complete Laura pov episode detailing her backstory and pov during the first few episodes. It is and isn't the biggest departure from the source material so far. What I mean with isn't: until and except for her very last scene, we never get Laura's pov in the novel. She's a fascinating character and one of my favourites, but except for that last scene, we only see her from Shadow's pov. So it's entirely possible that things he sees as different between Laura alive and Laura undead - the detachment and ruthless unsentimental honesty - were always there, but he didn't see it in the flush of early love. Otoh, there are also some significant changes outside of pov explanations. For example, the change of reason for the "Puppy" nickname is significant, not just a trivial detail, because it comes with a change of how the Laura and Shadow pre prison relationship is depicted - the goofines and silliness and Shadow being a dork to amuse her is gone. (Book Shadow and Laura's married life pre prison comes across as mutually playful, silly and fun, though admittedly - these are his memories. Anyway, in the book, the reason for the nickname is that while they can't afford a pet, he offers to do for her whatever a puppy does, and proceeds to demonstrate. Since tv Laura has a cat, I kept wondering how they'd justify this dialogue until it was clear we wouldn't get it.) That fits with the episode showing Laura's mounting depression/boredom/detachment she tries to fill in different ways (with the Robbie affair being the last, but certainly the implication I got from the episode was that TV Laura started her relationship with TV Shadow for the same/a similar reason. In a way, that reverses something from the novel about Laura and Shadow and which book Laura tells book Shadow in their first post death conversation - that while she loved him, it always felt like there was something hollow in him, something not there. And one of the changes book Shadow undergoes in the course of the novel is to acknowledge this and to come alive (which he does in more than one way). Whereas on tv as of this episode it feels like tv Laura is the one who always had the hollowness in her and who seeks to come alive again. (Which book Laura also does, but for different reasons.)

Not change as much as fleshing out/adding sense making detail: Laura encountering Anubis in the time between her death and resurrection. The episode even found a way to justify this within both show rules by the fact that Laura worked for eight years in a casino full of Egyptian imagery and dealt out cards bearing Anubis' name every day (the way the gods nip and take any worship they can get, this is enough). And of course the whole part where the nothing "darkness" gives her a powerful incentive to not want to go there again, to find out a way to live.

(Speaking of imagery involving gods, I did notice first the one raven when Laura had her first sex with Robbie and then both ravens several scenes later when Laura and Robbie went on their fatal drive, thanks, Bryan Fuller. Figures that Hugin and Munin would be used in the screen version of this story.)

Big and welcome departure to the novel: Laura meets up with Audrey again post mortem. Those scenes were awesome, hilarious and moving in turn, and presented a relationship the novel barely hinted at with one circumstance (that Audrey in the book both spits in dead Laura's face and gives her Laura's favourite flowers when bending over her coffin). Audrey herself is far more interesting, and since Fuller seems determined to use her more, I'm looking forward to it.

Being in Laura's pov as there's a replay of the almost lynching of Shadow also means that this time around we see her kill all of Technological Boy's minions when rescueing Shadow, in gruesome style. The scene establishes something beyond undead Laura's sheer physical strength, though, i.e. the fact that any wound she receives won't heal anymore since she continues to be physically dead. (Owen Harper could relate.) The loss and reattachment of her arm is as good a visual illustration as any. If it were any other director, I'd guess that not wanting his main female character to rot exponentially the longer the story takes is the motive here, i.e. that tv Laura won't physically decay the same way book Laura does but will lose limbs instead. Otoh not only it's Fuller, but one of Laura's big character moments in this episode early on is her saying to Shadow that if you die, you rot, so I'm assuming Fuller will go there as well.

Date: 23 May 2017 08:15 (UTC)
lilacsigil: Beverley Katz from "Hannibal" (beverley with map)
From: [personal profile] lilacsigil
Yeah, considering it's Fuller and they've been emphasising the flies, I'm expecting full-on walking body horror any minute now! I found the first half of this episode hard to watch because of Laura's depression but I loved the second half and particularly Laura and Audrey. Poor Audrey, burgled by a "zombie whore" for her craft supplies!

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