American Gods Episode 7 A Prayer for Mad Sweeney
Sunday night premiered the latest episode of American Gods, A Prayer for Mad Sweeney. In this episode, we learned more about the angry leprechaun.
This episode entered in on the world of Mr. Ibis and Mr. Jacquel. They run a local mortuary where Mr. Jacquel prepares the bodies for the viewing and Mr. Ibis is there to help. However, Mr. Ibis has another job as well.
Turns out Mr. Ibis has been the one writing the Coming to America stories. He got the urge again to write and this time he wrote the story of Essie McGowan (Essie Tregowan for fans of the book).
Coming To America
Essie was a woman who grew up believing in fairies and leprechauns. She was taught to leave gifts for the spirits, and she continued leaving gifts for the fairies and the leprechauns when she became older. When she was old enough to work, she worked as a maid in a house. She loved fancy looking things so one night she offered the leprechauns her only gold piece, hoping that the stories of their kindness were true.
Unfortunately Essie was courted by the mistress’s of the house’s son, who gave her a necklace. Another maid had found that Essie had this necklace, a family heirloom, and told the mistress. The mistress asked her son who lied about the whole thing, and Essie was taken to jail.
Luckily the judge had mercy on her and sentenced her to 7 years transportation to the Americas. On the voyage, she never forgot to gift the leprechauns and luckily, she caught the eye of the captain. He fell in love with her and took her back to London, instead of leaving her in the Americas. They married and soon afterwards, he had to leave on his ship again. However because Essie was branded a thief, when her husband left, so did she. She took a few items as well.
Essie became an accomplished thief. Though the more things she acquired, the more she forgot to leave gifts to the leprechauns. Soon, her luck ran out and she ended up in jail again waiting to be hung for theft. She was reminded of the leprechauns and left the only food she could eat on the window sill for them.
The next morning, her luck changed and the warden of the jail took an interest in her. When it was time that she went before the judge, she was pregnant. Again she was sentenced to transportation to America since she was with child.
There, she was sold to a tobacco farmer who was in need of a wet nurse since his wife had passed away a week after giving birth to his daughter. The tobacco farmer and her child grew up together with Essie telling them stories of the fairies and the leprechauns.
Eventually Essie married the tobacco farmer. They had another child together and sadly John became sick and eventually passed away. Essie was left with the farm, which she continued to leave gifts for the leprechauns. The farm was successful and she grew old there. The children had children.
However, her grandchildren were scared of the stories she used to tell, so she kept them in her heart until one night when the leprechaun, Mad Sweeney came for her. She was happy to see him and took his hand. This was the night that Essie died.
Mad Sweeney, Laura and Salim stopped at the roadside attraction, The White Buffalo for Salim to pray. We find that Odin has been watching them, and Mad Sweeney knew this. Yet, after letting it slip to Laura that all of the gods were heading to the roadside attraction, The House on the Rock in Wisconsin, she let Salim know where to find his jinn and let him go.
Laura and Mad Sweeney then stole an ice cream truck which was cold on the inside. Laura was super happy in the ice cream truck and her body was preserved. That is when Laura and Mad Sweeney started to have quality one on one time with each other. They started talking about what Wednesday’s plans were. War is what he told her what it was, and Mad Sweeney admitted it’s probably his turn to die.
However after Mad Sweeney became lost in thought, Laura swerved the ice cream truck to miss a bunny and rolled the truck. Her chest opened up and the coin came out. Mad Sweeney woke up and found Laura dead dead.
Mad Sweeney reflected back on the first time he saw Laura. It turns out that he was responsible for Laura’s death. Even more so, Odin had put Mad Sweeney up to killing Laura in the first place. With that guilt, he placed the coin back in Laura’s chest.
She woke up punched him in the face and tried to cover up her exposed body. She then rolled the truck back to where it was. He was completely shocked, and she yelled at him to get in and they drove off like nothing happened.
In this episode, Emily Browning who plays Laura Moon also played Essie McGowan. This makes sense to me why they created this whole story of Laura and Mad Sweeney working together now. Laura could be an reincarnation of Essie, the woman who is responsible for bringing Mad Sweeney to America.
However, in the book the story of Essie McGowan happened in a Coming to America section. They changed the name and a few bits of the story but the main theme was still the same which I appreciated. I didn’t put two and two together that this was how Mad Sweeney got to America when I was reading the book, but I’ll have to re-read that section just to make sure. I’m also liking that Mr. Ibis is writing the Coming to America bits as well.
Overall, even though a lot that has happened in the show didn’t happen in the book, I’m starting to warm up to this show. I really am interested in where this Mad Sweeney and Laura story goes and to see if Mad Sweeney ends up with the same fate he did in the book. Though, next week is the season finale.