American Gods Recap: A Prayer for Mad Sweeney
In this episode, we learn a little more about how Mad Sweeney came to America.
We begin the episode with Mr. Ibis and Mr. Jacquel talking. Ibis tells the tale of British people transported to America. Specifically, Essie McGowan. She brought her belief in leprechauns with her to America, so Mad Sweeney went with her. She was several times a thief, and was also convicted for going back to England early.
The tale has much to do with luck, the gain and the loss of it. As she leaves bits of bounty for the leprechauns, she has turns of luck. As she forgets about them, she has bad luck. This echoes Sweeney’s predicament a bit, as he has all the luck when he has his lucky coin, but without it he’s in the shit. It does also show that Sweeney can be soft hearted when he wants to be.
We also see glimpses of Sweeney in the present, traveling with Salim and Laura. Laura continues to rot, and it’s obvious it’s becoming harder to travel with.
“Tell me you don’t do the full load.”
Laura begins to feel sorry for Salim, and once Sweeney lets it slip that they’re eventually headed to The House on the Rock, she tells Salim it’s where he can find the djinn. She figures her and Sweeney can find his resurrection man on their own.
They steal an ice cream truck so that Laura can have a bit of refrigeration.
Switching back and forth between past and present is an interesting juxtaposition, as the same actress is playing both Laura and Essie (Emily Browning) and we see Sweeney in both times. The differences in interaction are stark at times.
“Seeing as my stomach is sewn shut and not connected to my organs of digestion, I think I will pass.”
Laura asks Sweeney why he’s going to Wednesday’s war, and he says he ran from the one that would have killed him centuries ago, so he owes one.
As they drive toward Sweeney’s resurrection man, a rabbit runs out in front of the truck. Laura swerves to miss it, and the truck rolls. Sweeney comes to and discovers Laura has been thrown from the ice cream truck, and the coin has come flying out of the now open Y-incision in her chest. For a moment, it looks like he may just take the coin and go–after all, he’s gone through a lot of trouble to get it–but he stops, considers, and places the coin on her sternum where it sinks in and animates her again.
While we see Sweeney come for the dying Essie, he restores the already dead Laura. A strange symmetry. Then, we see that Sweeney was the one responsible for the crash that originally killed her, and he tells a raven to “Tell him it’s done.” Laura’s death was at Wednesday’s behest.
After Laura gets back up, she rights the ice cream truck and they continue on their way.
Previous Episode: A Murder of Gods
JL Jamieson is a strange book nerd who writes technical documents by day, and book news, reviews, and other assorted opinions for you by night. She is working on her own fiction, and spends time making jewelry to sell at local conventions, as well as stalking the social media accounts of all your favorite writers.