American Gods: A Prayer for Mad Sweeney (Episode 7 Recap and Review)

As you may have guessed from the episode title, episode seven focuses on Mad Sweeney’s past and present.  What you may not have guessed prior to watching is that we get absolutely no Shadow or Mr. Wednesday in this episode.

We do love the Laura and Sweeney dynamic, but an entire episode spent mostly in flashbacks was a little much. In fact, the episode had so much flashback we actually stopped to check we weren’t accidentally watching an odd, Irish live-action Naruto.

That being said it, it offered up a lot in terms of motivations and characterizations related to Mad Sweeney, and even Laura who we need to constantly remind ourselves is NOT her ancestor Essie, no matter how much they look and act alike.

The coming to America focused on Essie McGowan (no relation to Rose McGowan, but ancestor of Laura Moon), a woman in Ireland who’s trongly believed in their traditional myths and lore from a young age until she passed at an old age.

Her story was interesting, and had a lot of turns of luck throughout it thanks to her constant offerings to the leperchauns. First luck got her a proposal from the son for the family she was a maid for, then luck turned and she was accused of stealing the necklace he’d given her. She was sent to America as an indentured servant, and continued her offerings on the voyage. Her offerings got her enough luck to bag the captain, and a trip back across the Atlantic to live with him in London.

She decided to live up to her label as as thief and robbed him blond and lived as a thief until she got too ahead of herself and stopped making offering to the Faeries/leperchauns and she gets caught thieving and not only gets a strike 2 sentence, but also gets dinged on not finishing her first service.

In the holding cell waiting for her justice, she bonds with the person in the cell next to her, Mad Sweeney. Not knowing what he is, she still makes her offering in the window with her prison rations and he offers her a way out. As luck would have it, the warden falls for her charms and she gets pregnant, getting her out of a death sentence and into and life of service in America.

She never forgets her lesson and continues her offerings and the luck never stops and she becomes wet nurse and maid, and eventually wife to her owner. She lives to an old age, passing along her stories for tow more generations until they are deemed too scary and people stop believing, and at the end she is visited by an unaged Mad Sweeney. She comes to recognize him and he leads her into death.

On the flipside,  Laura and Sweeney are still on the road with Salim. At his next stop the pray Sweeney is visited by a raven, who Laura catches him talking to, and she decides to let Salim out of his bargain and to go find his djinn.

Sweeney doesn’t love the idea but Laura calls the shots, and let’s him leave for Minnesota while they continue their detour to Kentucky. How do they continue? By hilariously stealing an ice cream truck, of course. Keeps her body cool and fresh while also standing out and giving away their position! And you know the mileage that thing gets its just great! Good choices Laura, as always. As they drive away we see a white [Easter?] Bunny, and you know it’s going to be important because it is in super HD.

Given her history with vehicles, it’s no surprise she ends up flipping the truck and spills herself out into the road, and her coin goes flying out of her chest and she lays dead. In her defense, that demon white rabbit ran out in front of the, but who swerves for a rabbit? Oh yeah, Laura Moon does.

Of course Mad Sweeney survives and snatches up his coin, but maybe from their mutligenerational history, or a need to finish his deal, he puts the coin back in her and she arises.

She quickly socks him before popping up like nothing happened and flipping the truck back over and continuing like nothing happened, but something definitely did.


Images courtesy of Starz and Amazon Prime

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Author: Michael

Game of Nerds writer, comedian, tumblr enthusiast, twitter user. @Bonersniper for all things.

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