‘American Gods’ Highlights: S1E7: “A Prayer for Mad Sweeney”

Last week on American Gods, we were introduced to two new Gods Jesus (well, Mexican Jesus) and Vulcan.  Vulcan ended up being a turncoat and had joined the new Gods thanks to their rebranding efforts.  As a result, Wednesday made an example of him and at the same time made him a martyr, killing him and pretending the New Gods did it to rally the Old Gods for the upcoming war.

We ended up not seeing anything related to Wednesday and Shadow as this week focused primarily on Laura Moon as she and Mad Sweeny continued their road trip with Salim. Not only did we see this, but we also got an extended “Coming to America” episode that focused on the relationship between Essie McGowan and Mad Sweeny during the 1700s.

Here are a few highlights from tonight’s episode “A Prayer for Mad Sweeney.”

1. Extended Coming to America Episode

The "Coming to America" introductions have been just that (introductions).  They gave us the understanding of Gods and how they have impacted people as they came to the new world.  Most people came via immigration, exploration, or slavery, but all had a deep-seated faith in their gods.  

This week was a departure from the norm as the entire episode was dedicated to the tale of Essie McGowan, who looked uncannily like Laura Moon (probably because both were played by actress Emily Browning).  Essie was a young Irish woman who believed in fairies and leprechauns.  She gave continuous offerings to Mad Sweeny which had provided her with good fortune throughout her life.  Even though she had a few hiccups in her life (like continuously getting arrested and sentenced to indentured servitude in the New World), she continuously finds a way out of her predicaments (usually by sleeping with her captor and escaping the punishment she was sentenced for).  She was accused of thievery and sentenced to America, only to sleep with the ship’s captain.  Then she left him and actually became a thief.  Arrested she was sentenced to death, only to then sleep with the warden and become pregnant, commuting her sentence to servitude in America.  There she ended up married and sleeping with the man she was in service to, commuting her sentence and living out her days continuing to send an offering to Mad Sweeny.  The two eventually meet in the flesh when she in an old woman preparing for death and Mad Sweeny thanks her for her dedication as there aren’t many in the New World who believe in him.

2. Laura Knows Where The Old Gods Are Meeting Up At

Mad Sweeny tends to rattle on when angry, especially with Laura.  While the two make a pit stop, he reveals to her that they are headed to Wisconsin after she is fully resurrected and he gets his coin back.  Upon hearing that, she tells Salim where he can find his Jinn and the two of them seek out a means for her resurrection.  Next week in the season finale, we will most likely have everyone meet up in Wisconsin for the big showdown between the Old Gods and the New Gods.

3. Mad Sweeny and Laura Hit A Bump In The Road

As the two of them commander an ice cream truck (which is good for the rapidly decomposing Laura so she can stay cold and stop withering away), they literally hit a bump in the road.  To avoid hitting a bunny crossing the road, Laura swerves the ice cream truck and ends up crashing the vehicle.  While Sweeny is injured, he doesn’t get completely hurt.  Laura, on the other hand, goes through the windshield and lands on the pavement.  The impact causes her decomposing body to rip open and Mad Sweeny’s lucky coin comes out of her, rendering her a lifeless corpse once again.  Mad Sweeny sees his coin and celebrates getting it back.  In a rare moment of sympathy, he remembers an old memory as this wasn’t the first time he has stood over Laura’s lifeless corpse, which causes him to give the coin back to her bringing her back to life.

4. Mad Sweeny Is Responsible For Laura’s Death

Mad Sweeny has a flashback where he stands over her lifeless corpse after he fellatio-induced auto accident.  He then talks to one of Wednesday’s Ravens where he tells the bird that it is done.  Essentially, Sweeny (probably using the luck probability powers) is responsible for her death, and on orders from Wednesday.  Wednesday needed Shadow, and in order to get Shadow on board, he needed his wife Laura out of the picture.  This is why Wednesday is so surprised that Laura is still alive.  His plans for Shadow could be in jeopardy with her around, which is why he turned up the music and sped away when she came after the two of them.