American Gods (2017 – Present) – S01E07 “A Prayer for Mad Sweeney” Review

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Having an entire episode devoted to Mad Sweeney (Pablo Schreiber) and Laura Moon (Emily Browning) is a thing that I have wanted since we were first introduced to the two characters. With Sweeney’s quick to anger demeanor, and Laura’s inability to like Sweeney, it makes for great viewing. So to now not only having an episode based around the two, we also get to see the roots of Sweeney and his trip to America via the belief of Essie MacGowan who is also played by Browning.

We quickly learn in the beginning of this episode the story of the fairy folk through the stories of Essie’s grandmother. This prompts Essie to begin leaving bowls of milk out and bread on the windowsill as gifts to the little folk. As time progresses through these visions, we see that Essie does not wavier with this, and continues to do so well in to her adult hood, even through times where it may have seemed impossible. So much so that when Essie has made her way to America to forge a new life for herself, and she has become old and her time near, she becomes face to face with Sweeney as he takes her soul away. It is a touching moment for his character, given that every other time we have seen him his foul mouthed or fighting. It is a great insight and detail in to his journey to America, and his thankfulness to the few such as Essie who still told his tales and continued the traditions.

Cut back to the present and Sweeney and Laura have commandeered an ice-cream truck in order for Laura to delay her rot. The atypical conversation is had between the two while Sweeney is nearly frozen to death, up until Laura swerves to not run over a small rabbit in the middle of the road. The truck overturns and the Laura is thrown from the truck, her wounds ripped open, and Sweeney’s lucky coin finally made available for him to grab.

Now, you would think that with his coin ripe for the taking, he would do just that. However, whether it be the uncanny resemblance to Essie, or his oath to Wednesday, or both, he places his coin back in the belly of Laura to being her back to the living. This was another great moment, with Sweeney having an obvious and loud struggle with himself to give the coin back. All he has wanted from the beginning is to have his luck back, and that have it again briefly, and then give it away again would have been an excruciatingly difficult task.

As I have previously stated, this pairing of characters has to be one of my favourites in not just this show, but most others. If it is one thing that the casting crew have done for “American Gods” is that they have nailed every character they have been tasked to bring to life. Let’s hope in the final episode we get to see more of Anansi/Mr. Nancy.

Check out the promo for episode five below:

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