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TV Review: American Gods (Season 1, Episode 7)


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The newest episode of American Gods plays the past and the present of Mad Sweeney as he and Laura road trip across Wisconsin.

Like all episodes of American Gods, the history is just as important as the present – and this past draws the lives of Sweeney and the Moon family together tightly.

Emily Browning takes on the role of Essie, her ancestor, who experiences love and betrayal at the hands of someone of a higher status than her. Accused of theft and using her ‘feminine wiles’ to remain in England, Essie becomes an actual thief and leaves gifts to the fae folk – this is how she meets Sweeney.

The past is sliced up by the present, and succeeds in making these transitions smooth and inventive to watch. The parallels in the stories are obvious as they always are in American Gods, weaving this wonderful narrative that feels like they must have been fated – something that fits brilliantly into the dark mythology of this world.

Laura and Essie’s adventures and mischief are portrayed as one in the same, emphasis this idea of family bond that is beyond more than just physical features and makes for a cohesive episode storyline.

And it is these bonds and similarities that explain exactly why Sweeney has taken such a shine to Laura. The scenes between Essie and Sweeney – whether it’s in jail or on a porch when Essie has reached old age – are beautiful and heartbreaking.

The affection that Sweeney has for Essie is obvious and it is the fact that he never received his happy ending with her that makes his story so sad, especially now that he is faced with a woman who looks exactly like the one he might have loved.

There was also a lot of humour. As you could probably guess from the first time that Laura and Sweeney met, Laura has a sharp wit and Sweeney is callous and hot-headed at the best of times which makes for some hilarious banter.

More so, you get a huge revelation about the death of Laura Moon. No spoilers here – but it can be said that whilst it was shocking, maybe it shouldn’t have been.

American Gods took a break from some of the harshness of previous episodes, allowing the audience some fantastic moments of character development and relationship growth.

More so, it gave Mad Sweeney more character than someone so angry and bitter and violent as he has been shown in previous episodes in this series.

American Gods is available on Amazon Prime every Monday. 

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