American Gods (S02E07) – “Treasure of the Sun”

SWEENEY, OH SWEENEY

The penultimate episode of season 2 left us in shock and awe. The events of episode 7 are sitting up the finale to be a glorious affair. There is soo much to go through, so many twists and turns and a killer ending (no pun intended). “Treasure of the Sun” sets us up for the finale. It was riveting, suspenseful, informative and shocking in many ways. Sweeney loses his mind, Wednesday fixes Gungnir, Shadow ‘wields’ Gungnir, the banshees are at the funeral parlour, we see Kali’s true form, the Old Gods are building their team, Shadow learns the truth, Sweeney dies… What… yes, Sweeney is killed in what will be an act of worship to Wednesday. Okay, let’s break this down.

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The battle of Lugh of Tuatha de Danann

Shadow (Ricky Whittle) finds Sweeney (Pablo Schreiber) drunk out of his mind, but his mind has somewhat left him. Throughout the episode, we continue to flash back and forth in Sweeney’s memories. But because of the brokenness of his memories, the flashbacks are sudden and random. This mainly becomes true when he arrives at the funeral parlour and sees 3 women mourning and believes that they are the banshees, a woman who heralds death. And the fragility of his mind is emphasized through the random flashbacks to his days battle days, when he was a King and had a family. One flashback of the Lugh of Tuatha de Danann. When Sweeney was the mighty God of Light, Sun and Luck. He saved his people from the Fomorians when he killed One-eyed Balor, his grandfather, because of the prophecy that one of his grandkids would kill him. This was truly great to see Sweeney in a different light, a glorious and powerful light. Seeing him in battle and believing in what he is doing.

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“Guard my spear as you would guard my life… Wars are coming, Shadow. I have a big role for you.”

Back at the funeral parlour Jinn (Mousa Kraish), Ibis (Demore Barnes) and Wednesday (Ian McShane) run through who they have on their side for the coming war, basically everyone you would expect. Jinn says he knows a few more in Chicago but disagrees strongly when they mention Bilquis, as she is for herself he states. Set, Horus, Jacquel, Jinn and a few others, Mama-Ji, Czernobog, Bilquis…, Nancy, Bast and Sweeney… Wednesday states a crude comment about him and continues. Then the magic happens. Yggdrasil has grown a lot since we last saw it in the pot plant. Wednesday uses a branch from Yggdrasil to fix Gungnir. During the magical bonding, he mentions something which will bear fruit later – “… and every soul she takes is a tribute to me.” He then gives it to Shadow to keep.

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“would you rather see me as Smashana Kali, the destroyer”

At a motel in Cairo, Mama-Ji (Sakina Jaffrey) tells Laura (Emily Browning) to leave if she is here for Wednesday. But, of course, Laura snaps back with some snarky comment about her place being a diner and where her worshippers are. Mama-Ji turns the TV off, preventing New Media from seeing them. Laura continues to threaten Mama-Ji, very very very bad move. Laura may be really strong but her powers are not God-like, unlike Mama-Ji. She may see her here as Kali-ma, the nurturer, but would she rather see her in her God-form as Smashana Kali, the Destroyer. Oh, and she does see her in her God-form which very quickly puts her in her place. This was the first time we saw a God reveal themselves in their God-form outside of Wednesday’s mind in episode 1. Mama-Ji continues to tell Laura to look within her that she has what she needs inside her, not to love, but to destroy.

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“We are not the heroes, Shadow”

Sweeney visits Shadow in his room to talk. This is but a rare moment where Sweeney lets are the noise around fate and genuinely tells Shadow important. I enjoyed seeing Sweeney in this light, of course, he still had his usual tricks, but this was a more serious light. After telling Shadow about how the Horde works and making his lucky coin disappear. He makes Shadow promise that when the time comes, he would step away. Shadow agrees and Sweeney leaves, but not before telling Shadow that the Gods are not who he thinks they are.

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The death of Mad Sweeney. “You (Wednesday) were always my battle”

The last supper. The usual Old Gods and Salim, sit at a table and eat. Paying homage to the Christian belief of the Last Supper, for this, will be the last meal before the battle, a battle which some may not return from. Sweeney arrives and tells everyone to leave, but Shadow stays. Sweeney grabs one end of Gungnir and Shadow grabs the other. This is the moment Sweeney promised about, but Shadow says he made a promise to Wednesday too and they fight. All this goes on while Wednesday is sitting and eating all nonchalantly. During this fight, Sweeney tells Shadow the truth about Laura’s death and that he had sex with her in New Orleans. Shadow, somewhat unbelieving, punches Sweeney and walks to Wednesday, but Sweeney uses this opportunity to kill Wednesday. This is a moment where we all realised something was going to happen. A slow-motion moment of disbelief and anguish. Sweeney picks up Gungnir moves to Wednesday, but in a sweep, Shadow takes Gungir from Sweeney and falls down and turns Gugnir around and Sweeney falls on it. Shadow instantly regrets this. This is one of the first times we truly see Wednesday shocked. Wednesday says that he would’ve given him his battle, but Sweeney says that he was always his battle. In an act of revenge, Sweeney sends Gungnir into the Horde and middle fingers him before falling to the ground. Wow… One can almost feel the emotion and pain of this scene. This was very much unexpected.

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“The gallows tree (Yggdrasil) has deep roots. It stretches from heaven all the way down to hell. And this world… is the one branch from which the rope is swinging.”

Wow, this was my favourite episode so far. What a glorious event. Just one thing, since Gungnir was used to kill Sweeney, that death was a tribute to Wednesday, making him stronger. But I wonder how Wednesday will get it back. And since the next episode is the finale, I wonder what will happen now. Everything is but hanging by a thread and the battle is on the horizon, and the banshees screams were signalling his own death. 

Thanks for reading, catch the American Gods episode 8 “Moon Shadow” same time on Sunday and the promo below. Enjoy!