American Gods S1E7 "A Prayer for Mad Sweeney" Recap

The episode opens with Mr. Ibis offering to assist Mr. Jaquel, who is tending to a corpose at the funeral home. Mr. Jaquel tells him that he appears to have a story to tell, instead. Mr. Ibis goes to his office and begins to write a story from 1721 about coming-to-America. He begins by explaining that the colonies were only partially a place for the colonists to live with religious freedom. They were also a place for criminals from England to be sent so they could work off their punishment as indentured servants instead of receiving the death penalty.

This relates to the tale of a young Irish woman named Essie MacGowan, who was raised to believe in leprechauns along with other mystical creatures due to the teachings of her grandmother. She leaves offerings for these creatures and begins a relationship with the son of the household where she works. He gives her a family heirloom necklace, promising to return at Christmas and marry her. But when the mother of the household spots Essie wearing the necklace, the son claims that she stole it and Essie is sent on a ship headed for the colonies.

Essie hits it off with the captain of the ship and he agrees to bring her back to London instead. But as soon as he leaves for his next journey, she steals his silver and runs off, beginning a life of thievery so as to maintain her independence. Essie is eventually caught shoplifting and thrown back into prison where she meets another Irish prisoner, Mad Sweeney. The two talk about the new life that the colonies may promise but the next day, he's gone.

Essie is pressured to have sex with the warden so that her stay will be more comfortable and the encounter results in a pregnancy. This grants her the opportunity to go to the colonies with her baby where she works as a wet nurse for a tobacco farmer, who is a recent widower with a new infant. As soon as he becomes interested in Essie, she uses that to get him to commute her indentures servitude so they can get marry. The two are happy together for 10 years before he dies. She lives much longer and shares stories to her children and grandchildren about the supernatural creatures from Ireland. She receives one final visit from Mad Sweeney, who shares how she and others like her are the reason he made it to America.

Back in the present day plot, Laura and Mad are still on the road with Salim, who pulls over so he can pray. When Mad lets the name "House on the Rock" slip, Laura runs back to Salim and tells him to go there to find the Jinn. This results in Salim leaving them stranded, as he leaves with his taxi. Laura proceeds to steal an ice cream truck so she and Mad can carry on their journey. Time is of the essence since Laura's body is deteriorating quickly. Mad shares some cryptic ramblings about his origins, including how he foresaw his death in a war that he proceeded to stay out of. Since he now "owes a battle" this is why he is beholden to Wednesday and his battle. But his story is interrupted by a rabbit hopping into the road.

Laura swerves to avoid hitting the rabbit but this causes the truck to flip and she gets thrown through the windshield. Her Y-incision splits and then Mad's coin goes rolling out onto the street. This causes Laura to be fully dead once more. Once Mad wakes, he climbs out of the truck and spots Laura, causing him to flash back to the accident that killed her. He was there as she was breathing her last breaths and once she died, he spoke to a raven and told it, "Tell him it's done." Assuming that the raven was Wednesday's, this is a point of some serious plot-thickening.

Back in the present, Mad's happiness at having his coin back is short-lived, as he begins cursing before stuffing the coin and Laura's organs back into her body. This causes her to awaken immediately and she punches him in the face, sending him flying. After using her jacket to cover herself back up, she flips the truck back upright and tells Mad to "come on" and "move it" so the two can resume their journey.

American Gods airs on Sundays on Starz at 9/8c.


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