A forgotten King. A protector of his people. Cursed with madness. This is the end of Mad Sweeney’s story. Here’s our review of “Treasure of the Sun”!
Last season, we learned how Sweeney arrived on America’s shores, but in “Treasure of the Sun”, we learn what led him to being someone worthy of worship.
Throughout the episode, Sweeney hears the screaming of the banshees and knows that death is upon him. Even though his life is in terrible danger, he still warns Shadow repeatedly that Wednesday is using him and doesn’t care about him.
In Sweeney’s mind, he’s being pushed away even further because Wednesday places Gungnir in the hands of Shadow. Once upon a time, Sweeney was a warrior who protected his people, and his weapon of choice was a spear. So why not choose him?
I feel like “Treasure of the Sun” can be broken down into three important quotes, and how those lines effect the story at large. Since this episode circles around Sweeney and Laura, the quotes also have to do with these two characters and their intertwined fate.
Ibis to Sweeney
A storyteller does not concern themselves with the truth. Stories are truer than the truth. These are not literal constructs so much as imaginative recreations.
This quote stuck with me after viewing the episode for several reasons. One of which is how much of the stories we’re hearing are actually fact and how much is embellished?
Sweeney tells Bilquis and Salim two very different stories throughout the episode, so even the main character of Ibis’ writing doesn’t know what’s truth. Still, Ibis writes down a version of events in his book that Sweeney tells him is wrong.
Could this be Sweeney’s madness? Absolutely.
Do I think it’s something more? Yes.
Is Ibis an unreliable narrator? I’m starting to think so.
As Sweeney leaves the room, he gives Ibis the twenty dollar bill that Shadow gave him earlier that day. When Ibis tells him that he could still want those things (a ride out of Cairo or a drink) tomorrow, Sweeney shrugs him off.
“You’re not thinking about tomorrow?
“That ain’t none a your fuckin’ business.”
Earlier in the episode, he tells Shadow:
“Tomorrow, you’ll be me.”
He’s implying that he won’t be around to serve as Wednesday’s errand boy anymore.
I believe that Sweeney went into the room with Wednesday and the others knowing that he wouldn’t be walking out. He even had a feeling it would be Shadow who did it, since he told Shadow not to get in the way the night before.
Before Sweeney meets his end at the hand of Shadow and Gungnir, he tells Shadow of Wednesday’s involvement in Laura’s death as well as the fact that he had sex with Laura in New Orleans.
One thing I loved in this scene was that Wednesday appears genuinely frightened for a moment when Sweeney has Gungnir in his hands. We haven’t seen Wednesday truly afraid, but he’s scared of Sweeney in that moment.
We all should remember, at least in Ibis’ story, Sweeney managed to gain his God status by keeping out other Gods from Ireland, and he was handy with a spear.
I don’t think Sweeney will stay dead in the series. At least, I hope he doesn’t. Laura is on her way to Cairo with his coin, and last week we found of that the only way a God can’t be brought back is if they take their own life. Sweeney didn’t commit suicide.
Also, I’d bet money that the two drops of blood that Laura needs aren’t Shadow’s, but Sweeney’s to make her potion work.
Another issue to consider are Wednesday’s words earlier in the episode. He says that every soul Gungnir takes is a soul that goes toward his worship. Sweeney’s survival is a toss up considering that the character is already dead in the books but has become a fan favorite in the series.
We’ll just have to wait and see.
Still, Pablo Schreiber’s performance this episode was aces. I had tears in my eyes as he whispered:
“I used to be a king.”
Sweeney was never a leprechaun at all. He was a fucking king.
Sweeney to himself
The further you get from her the worse your luck gets.
This quote is important not for Laura being away from Sweeney this whole episode, but what it means at the end.
Sweeney’s luck is absolute crap when they’re far apart because she has his coin. As she gets closer, his luck is better. Take a look at the premiere, when he slips and the bullet misses him only to hit Laura or how his luck ran dry when she went with Wednesday to Argus, and he went toward NOLA.
At the end of the episode, Sweeney is dying, and Laura arrives in Cairo. I’m hoping that by the time she reaches the funeral home, she’ll be able to use his blood and his coin to restore herself, as well as restore him.
Mama-Ji to Laura
You have the power here, in your heart. The angry leprechaun gave it to you.
No, he didn’t.
The coin! Can you not see you have the power here in your own heart?
What, like, the power of love?
No. The power to destroy.
Okay, so here’s the deal, if Sweeney is actually dead, and Laura gets to keep the coin, has Wednesday created a whole lot more problems for himself by having her killed in the first place?
I mean, human Laura Moon may have had sway over Shadow, but knowing Wednesday has killed his wife and this wife now has the power to destroy? Wednesday’s pretty well screwed if she turns her ways on him.
I know I’m giving Laura a lot of credit here, but I don’t think Wednesday would see Laura coming. We already know that he underestimates her. All you have to do is watch “Muninn” again.
For what my opinion is worth, and it’s not a lot, I’d keep my eye on Laura Moon in the finale.
A few of other very important developments in “Treasure of the Sun”…
Before Sweeney collapses to the floor, he manages to hide Gungnir away in the Hoard. I’m all for this level of petty, but how will Wednesday get back his weapon of choice for the war to come?
It has to have something to do with Shadow. He’s referred to as “the light” by his mother, Laura sees a light when he’s not near her, Sweeney says Gungnir is “the sun’s treasure” when it’s in the Hoard. Shadow Moon has some connection to this place.
Bilquis is getting her worship from folks in the chapel. She gets them all hot and bothered when she reads Psalms. When Sweeney asked about it, she says she adapted. At least no more bottomless hoohaa, am I right?
Salim is a precious cinnamon roll who needs to be protected at all cost.
With Gungnir placed into the Hoard, what does this mean for Wednesday’s war? Tell us your thoughts about next week’s finale below!
American Gods season two finale airs Sunday on STARZ at 8/7c!