American Gods Season 2 Episode 7 – Reaction Breakdown Review

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The episode opens with Shadow walking down a dirt road and finding Sweeney laying under a bridge asleep.  Shadow says if you keep hanging out under bridges people will start thinking you’re a troll.  Sweeney is throwing coins around and says the only coin that matters is locked up in dead wife.  Sweeney is hallucinating, and Shadow is trying to get him to tell him where Laura is, and he said he thought she might be here when she ran away.  Sweeney tells shadow I’ll tell you something, you’re walking on gallows ground, and there’s a rope around your neck and a raven-bird on each shoulder waiting for your eyes, and the gallows tree has deep roots, for it stretches from heaven to hell, and our world is only the branch from which the rope is swinging.  It seems to imply that Wednesday is the puppeteer and fear of death keeps you in his service, but death may be freedom.  It also seems to refer to Will James somewhat.  However, but I could be way off.

In the next scene, Wednesday is admiring his tree that has grown considerably.  He asks Ibis and Jinn who are on their side for the war.  They name: Anubis, Anansi, Seth, Horus, Czernobog, Mama-ji and Bilquis but then question her loyalty.  Shadow comes in and Wednesday reassures them that they can speak freely.  Ibis says they can add Bast to the list.  Shadow says that Sweeney is in bad shape.  Wednesday makes light of it and Shadow appears irritated.  Wednesday excuses Jinn and Ibis and shows the Spear to Shadow.  He cuts a branch from the tree, apologizes, and says a spell over the branch and broken spear and it lights up as it is repaired.  He hands the spear to Shadow and tells him to guard it as they are the same.

Laura is in a diner giving Mama-ji sass and she displays her destroyer goddess form and shuts down Laura’s sass immediately.  Laura tells her that she needs the blood to bring her back to life.   Mama-ji tells her that she doesn’t need voodoo, she has the power to destroy in her heart with the coin.  Bilquis also mentioned that Laura was a warrior goddess.  I was also pretty sure she has some power associated with her death and strength.

Back at Ibis’ we see Sweeney outside and he is still having visions and he sees some spirits in the front.  Salim lets him in the house and Sweeney asks Salim if he can hear the banshee outside and Salim says they are women who lost their family last night.  Sweeney is falling apart. Inside the chapel, Bilquis is preaching to several people from the bible, I think she mentions Solomon, who are being seduced by her words.  Sweeney asks if that’s what she does these days and Bilquis says that she adapts.  She reminds Sweeney that he was a King and he says he doesn’t remember much of it these days.  She says that she will take his confession.

We get a flashback of Sweeney in the woods having sex with a woman, he stopped and says he can’t remember and Bilquis’ voice tells him to keep going.  She interrupts and tells him this story isn’t true, he had a wife.  Sweeney wakes up and it is night time.  Wednesday throws some insults his way and Sweeney tells him that he is welcome for every task he has done then quits.  Wednesday says his contract is not fulfilled.  Sweeney continues to refuse to be in Wednesday’s service to which Wednesday tells him to finish off Laura Moon, ignoring Sweeney’s objections.  Sweeney goes back outside and sees the banshees again, punches a beer bottle and sees ants in his hand.  He immediately has a flashback of him in the woods eating ants from a tree.  His wife approaches, he calls her a witch and she reminds him that she is his wife.  She tells their daughter to basically remember that her father is mad.  He asks his wife why she is dressed in rags and recalls their wedding day when she was dressed beautifully.  She reminds him that they lost the dress, lands, castle, their people and the war because he abandoned his people in the field and they’ve been cursed since.

Salim joins Sweeney outside and Sweeney asks him what does Wednesday have on him.  Salim says he is there because the Jinn is there, the Jinn owes Wednesday.  Sweeney tries to encourage him to leave but Salim says he is staying because he loves him and that’s how love works.  He says Sweeney can’t understand because he has never been in love.  Sweeney says that he has been in love and it is time to remember.

Sweeney flashes back to he and his pregnant wife dressed as king and queen in the woods and she asks him to change with the world.  Church bells ring and Sweeney becomes angry because they are building churches on their land, they can’t stay.  He said he spears one of the bishop’s priest and is cursed with madness and that he would die by the spear.  He runs off and sees a battlefield in flames and his wife appears and then changes into Laura saying help us.  We hear Bilquis saying this is not the version he told her, and Sweeney snaps out of the flashback and Salim is gone.  Sweeney has multiple versions of his past in his head and can’t figure out the real story.

Shadow is sitting on the bed admiring Gungnir and Sweeney tells him not to let Laura near it.  He further tells him that he is Wednesday’s favorite today, but it won’t last, there will be a cost.  Shadow is cocky and doesn’t head the warning.  Sweeney says that he takes his coin from the hoard, he can keep whatever is precious in the hoard.  He sends Shadow’s coin to the hoard and makes a deal with Shadow.  He tells Shadow that death is coming to that house and when the time comes don’t get in the way.  Shadow asks what that means, and Sweeney says you’ll know and brings Shadow’s coin back from the hoard.  He says that the Gods are not the Heroes.

Ibis is writing about Ireland.  Sweeney asks what he was writing, and Ibis responds the same story Sweeney has been writing all day.  Sweeney says that it’s hard to keep the stories straight.  Ibis says a story teller does not concern themselves with the truth.  Sweeney recalls all the different people coming into Ireland and changing their stories.  This is most likely why Sweeney is recalling multiple versions of his past.  Every time a new inhabitant came into their lands, their history was changed slightly as history is written by the victors.  Ibis says they made them small and that the story he is writing is of the ancient race of gods in old Ireland.  He tells Ibis he was a God not a king known as The Shining One and Long Hand because he was deadly with a sword.   Sweeney is recalling bits and Ibis is telling him other accounts.  Sweeney says it is wrong and remembers himself killing Grimnir.  Ibis says story are truer than truth.  Sweeney gives Ibis 20 dollars and says that he won’t need it.  Ibis asks if he is not thinking about tomorrow and Sweeney says that’s none of Ibis’ business.

Laura hitches a ride to Cairo and heads towards Ibis’.  Wednesday is in the room with the tree speaking to Salim, Ibis, Jinn, Bilquis and Shadow.  Sweeney enters and says someone forgot to invite him.  He says that he doesn’t owe Wednesday anymore and reminds Shadow not to get in the way and goes for Gungnir.  Shadow holds Gungnir and everyone else leaves the room.  Shadow tells Sweeney to back down and the two fight as Wednesday eats his meal.  Sweeney says can you feel the poison, Wednesday has been lying to him from the start.  He tells Shadow that he killed Laura on Wednesday’s orders and tells Shadow to leave.  Shadow is conflicted but doesn’t leave and Sweeney tells him that he slept with Laura.  Shadow becomes enraged and turns to Wednesday and Sweeney tries to throw the spear at Wednesday and Shadow turns it and stabs Sweeney.  Sweeney, dying, grabs it and sends it to the hoard, sticking it to Wednesday as he dies saying he used to be a King.

Sweeney’s farewell episode was filled with rich symbolism that I am sure will take a few rewatches to grasp it all; however, it was another nicely done episode by the showrunners.

Another great episode. Still catching up on Season 1 reviews, I’ll be back soon with my review of Season 2 Episode 1.

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