American Gods Season 1 Episode 7 – Reaction Breakdown Review

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This episode opens in a funeral home and Anubis is playing music on an old record player as he prepares a body while Ibis gets them a beer. Anubis mentions they have more bodies coming in, that have not yet died, and Ibis asks if he needs help and encourages Ibis to tell the story he is holding on to. Ibis looks at a map of New England, gets his book and prepares to write.

1721 – Ibis writes about the myth that pilgrims came to America seeking the new world and opportunity when in fact they were most likely sent as terms of a prison sentence or in lieu of death by hanging. They arrived as indentured servants. We see Mad Sweeney, in a former life, as he comes up to a house and says Essie McGowan. We then go further back in time to when Essie was a little girl on a hill overlooking the sea in the countryside of Ireland awaiting her father’s ship to return. Her grandmother tells her tales of history or mythology of leprechauns and fairies. She teaches her that they leave leprechauns gifts for their blessings.

Essie grew into a woman who also told these stories to children. Essie appears to be Laura in a former life. She kept belief and still made offerings to leprechauns. She left an offering of hair, bread and gold to ask a favor of the leprechauns. She also left milk in the window every night. She worked in the kitchen of a wealthy family and was having a romantic relationship with the son. She told him that he would forget her when he went of to Oxford and met a society lady. He gave her a token of his affection and promised to marry her when he returned at Christmas. When asked about it by his mother, he lied and said that Essie had stolen it.

She was sentenced to 7 years transportation, also known as indentured servitude in the Americas. Still holding on to her beliefs, she continued leaving her offerings. As luck would have it, she began a relationship with the ships captain and returned to London with him and they married. Within a few weeks he was off to see again. No sooner than he was out the door did Essie leave the home and took to the streets. Dion’s “Runaround Sue” is playing in the background as Essie takes to the street, which leaves nothing to the imagination suggesting what she would be up to in his absence.

In the next scene we catch up with Laura, Mad Sweeney and Salim. They’ve stopped again for Salim to pray and Sweeney is becoming more irritated and impatient. He sees one of Wednesday’s crows and updates him on his plans. Laura releases Salim as though he were also a Jinn. He takes the cab and is off to find the Jinn at House on a Rock. Sweeney is pretty upset that she let him go. The pair steal an ice-cream truck for the rest of their journey.

The next scene returns to Essie’s escapades and with men and buying cats. Eventually she begins to forget her offerings to the leprechauns as Ibis puts it ‘the more abundant the blessings the more we forget to pray’. Essie is caught stealing and is again imprisoned to face the gallows. Her neighbor cellmate is Sweeney in a previous life. They speak about the Americas and he advises her to bribe her way out of hanging for another opportunity to go to the Americas.

The next morning, her cellmate is gone, the warden brings her food and she takes him up on an offer to escape the gallows by sleeping with him. When it was time for her trial she was pregnant and she was not hung but allowed to go to the Americas. She is placed on a plantation in Virginia. The owner needed a wet nurse. She cared for his baby and her own, all the while telling them tales of Leprechauns in a new land.

Sweeney is freezing in the ice-cream truck as Laura has the ac on max and the freezers in the back open and going. As the two gets closer to their destination they pass a bunny on the side of the road. Sweeney throws three gold coins out the window. Laura asks him how much gold he has and he responds how much is in a Hoard. He says he was a king, then a bird, then saints and fairies, then General Mills turned them into cereal.

We get a flashback to Sweeney’s past life on a battle field covered in fire. He says he knew he would die that day if he stayed so he pulled up his boots and dropped his sword and flew, now he owes a battle. Seems like the upcoming war has happened before and Sweeney is destined to keep fighting it. Another bunny crosses in front of the ice-cream truck and as Laura tries to avoid hitting it, the truck flips and they are thrown. The coin is tossed from Laura’s mangled body.

Essie is telling the children tales of the night of Samhain and wearing disguises to blending in with the spirits. That night she and the plantation owner fell in love. The two lived together for ten years before he died. Essie continued on as the farm owner, the widow Richardson. As she grew older, she told the stories to her grandchildren, who respond in fear and crying. She realizes that there was no place for her tales in Virginia and she stopped telling them. One night as she sat on her porch remembering her youth, she saw a man, Sweeney, approach and call her name.

Sweeney survives the wreck and sees his coin then realizes that Laura is dead and without the coin would remain so. He has a flashback of the night Laura dies. A crow watches him and the tells the crow to tell him its done. Wednesday had him run Laura off the road on the night she died. He speaks an ancient language and is angry, probably a curse as he places the coin back into her body reviving her. She immediately awakens and punches him in the face. She flips the truck back over and hurries Sweeney back in to continue their journey.

Sweeney approaches Essie and she recognizes him who he is. She says you have done me many a good turn and he responds, like the wind we blow both ways. He asks for her hand and she willingly goes with him.

Another great episode. Still catching up on Season 1 reviews, I’ll be back soon with my review of Season 1 Episode 8.

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