In the two episodes before the explosive finale of this amazing first season we get a lot of backstory, a more solid foundation on the overall plot, murder, mayhem, and hijinks so let’s dive right in. In “A Murder of Gods” we get another new addition to Neil Gaiman’s literary universe, Vulcan. Vulcan is an old god, a god of fire and the forge, and he has definitely changed with the times. Instead of sacrifice into the hot maw of a fiery volcano, now employees of Vulcan’s gun plant will once in a while fall right into some molten metal. That added to the fact that his brand of gun is like ‘having a volcano in your hand’ and it seems this old god has done quite well for himself in this new world. So, naturally, Mr. Wednesday has come to his small town to ask for his assistance in the war to come. In this episode, we get to see the results of something that were only hinted at in the previous episode, “Lemon Scented You” and that is a god rebranding themselves in order to gain power through a new kind of worship. Humanity has long since moved on from sacrificing people to volcanoes to appease the god inside, but humanity, and America, in particular, has an obsession with the power of the firearm. A volcano in your hand. Personally, I think the imagery, while vibrant and expressive, was a bit ham-handed on a point that could have been made with much more subtlety. The town of Vulcan is populated by militaristic folk, every man, woman, and child has some sort of firearm. This is juxtaposed with people in dark military uniforms with red bands on the arm, evoking a very nazi-esque picture. Now, I understand that a culture of violence is something that is pervasive in America right now, and I also know there’s a lot of heated debate about it, but I would also say it’s a stretch to compare people who are fanatic about their gun rights to people who want to commit genocide. Still, it definitely paints the picture clearly of the kind of place it is, but I can’t help feeling that any audience member who is a proud gun owner might have found that comparison a step too far. In a further departure from Gaiman’s novel, we get more action on the explosive pair of miscreants, Laura Moon and Mad Sweeney. With his recent escape from the police station after the new gods murdered everyone there, Mad Sweeney returns to the hotel to find a stranded Laura Moon trying to figure out where she’s going to go next. We get the team up that is only natural when Mad Sweeney says he knows a guy who can do a resurrection on Laura so she no longer needs his magic coin to keep her alive. In addition, we get to see Salim, the salesman-turned-taxi driver who we saw in the short story of the Djinn. It’s unclear, even after the next episode, what part he will have in the grander scheme of the show, but give me more Laura and Mad Sweeney any day. Their volatile partnership is entertaining as hell to watch, and I’m excited to see the in-between bits that shape Laura and Sweeney’s story before they hit House on the Rock. House on the Rock is the one bit of new information in “Prayer for Mad Sweeney” as the name of Mr. Wednesday and Shadow’s destination is revealed. Most of the episode is devoted to delving into the story of everyone’s favorite leprechaun. It is a beautifully told story of an old god brought to a new world, and Essie McGowan is the subject. An Irish criminal, transported to another land who kept faith with the fairy-folk to see her through her hard times. Emily Browning plays both Essie and Laura, and it provides a wonderful parallel between the story of her undeath and the story of Essie’s life. While “Prayer for Mad Sweeney” left me yearning for a bit more progression into the main story, the show is setting up for an explosive finale. I already have some theories as to what major book event will cap this eventful first season, and am super excited that we are well on our way to seeing the rest with American Gods already picked up for Season 2. I look forward to being continually surprised by Bryan Fuller’s vision for American Gods, and can’t wait to see what the finale has in store for us. American Gods 1.06 “A Murder of Gods” & 1.07 “Prayer for Mad Sweeney”4.5Overall ScoreReader Rating: (0 Votes)Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.