American Gods Season 1 Episode 7 “A Prayer of Mad Sweeney” Review

“Malice Draped In Pretty Can Get Away With Murder”

I’ve been all in from the beginning with American Gods. Shadow Moon has been charismatic and befuddled and the perfect audience surrogate for this world beneath the world. That neither he nor his patron, appear in this episode at all speaks to the depth of the characters and the sophistication of the complex story. There is a lot going on and everybody plays a part.

Sweeney may be an idiot in Mr. Wednesday’s estimation, but this week’s examination of the Leprechaun’s introduction to the New World goes a long way to making him a more sympathetic character. Ibis’ telling of his origin story builds a stronger connection between the dead wife and Sweeney. We see Emily Browning as Essie McGowan, the self-reliant Irish lass with the tales of the Aes Sidhe. Her devotion to the people of the Fairy Mound allow for Sweeney’s manifestation. Essie’s behavior and personality are not that different than Laura Moon’s. The two of them are intertwined as by now we know so are the ancient and the modern beliefs.

In this episode, Laura has become a character to be reckoned with. I especially liked the ice cream truck solution to her fly attracting decomposing corpse.

American Gods Season 1 Episode 7 “A Prayer of Mad Sweeney”
The Bottom Line
American Gods has been consistent in atmosphere and storytelling skillfully making the gods more human and the humans more godlike. Next week is the finale and I’ll be sorry to see it end.
A more introspective approach making Sweeney more vulnerable actually makes his character more interesting. He may be an idiot after all, but he’s become more likable.
With only eight episodes, the season is too short and definitely feels rushed.