This week's review for "Treasure of the Sun," aka "The Madness of King Sweeney." Just as a warning, I'm going to be invoking New Media and using a lot of emojis.
- Pablo Schreiber. No words, just emojis 🤣😭😍😭👏👏👏
- Mad Sweeney 🍺👨🦰🍺
- King Sweeney's hair in that one scene with his pregnant wife...my gods, it's luxurious!
- In the book, Sweeney briefly returns as a ghost so I have hope it's not the complete end of Sweeney in the series. This deserves a discussion
- Mama-ji as Smashana Kali! 😱 I also LOVED the interaction between Mama-ji and Laura. I really want to see more of them together.
- The righteous sacrilege of Bilquis giving a sermon. Smash that patriarchy! Buh-bye Reverend Hutchins, hello Bishop Bilquis! It makes me want to join her religion.
- And having the Queen of Sheba recite from Song of Songs, aka Song of Solomon, was a nice wink to the audience
- Really, Yetide Badaki has been killing it this season. She is magnificent in every single scene she is in. 😍
- Salim is so adorable. I love him so much 🐶
- Gah! That fight scene between Shadow and Sweeney! ⚔️ It was as fantastic as their first fight together!
- For all my criticism of the weak structure of this season (and to be fair, also S1), the writing and directing has been fairly solid. This episode, however, the writing was particularly witty and inspired (i.e. Song of Songs, 13th fairy, etc.,) and the directing gave it a gothic chiller atmosphere that bumped it to another level.
- It's like a Christmas story but instead of the ghosts of past, present, and future, it's Bilquis, Salim, and Ibis haunting Sweeney's ass
- Sweeney points out that the gods aren't heroes. He said something similar in "Come to Jesus" that I really loved: "What do you think gods do? They do what they've always done: they fuck with us." I'm here for this kind of continuity.
- Laura sneaking into Sweeney's memories like she did in "A Prayer for Mad Sweeney"
- What did Wednesday mean at the "last supper" when he said "my presence back on earth"? Where was he besides earth? Did he die and was reborn recently? Was he in Asgard? If so, what brought him back to earth? When did he come back? Before or after "Donar the Great"?
- Even though Sweeney sent the spear to his hoard (this time, CC spelled it right), does Wednesday still get the death as a sacrifice to himself?
- I love the syncretism of Balor as Odin
- Fomorians are likened to the jötnar. Odin is a descendant of the jötnar.
- Lugh is associated with lightning and summer storms. Similar with Thor.
- Lugh is one-eyed Balor's grandson. Thor is one-eyed Odin's son
Thoughts from before
- Over hiatus, I'm going to have to go through every Motel America scene and screenshot all the unique, fun things the set designers included, aren't I?
- Did I miss another Somewhere in America again? Does every episode have one this season? That will be another project for me over hiatus....
- I still really want to see more Bast. She was mentioned this episode but no appearance in either cat or human form.
- Shadow didn't get mad at Sweeney for fucking Laura but got mad at Wednesday for orchestrating things. Is this a sign that the noxious FullMoon bullshit is finally over and done with?? Please??? Scenes from next week don't exactly look promising....
- Why does Wednesday want Sweeney to finish off Laura now after he helped Laura get rejuvenated by Argus??
- I'm still not on board with this MacGuffin MacGungnir. The payoff was not worth a season-long build-up. As a side plot, maybe, but not as the central focus of the season. Like I've said before, it's too amateur for this show/story. They really missed a stellar opportunity to use the death/rebirth angle for this season since pretty much every episode revolves around that theme. It feels like they're trying to force it to NOT be about that? I really don't know why because it leaves the whole season feeling uneven and disjointed.
Shadow killing Sweeney
In the novel, Sweeney dies of cold and alcohol and accuses Shadow of killing him (for giving him the $20 he spent on his "ticket outta here"). Shadow doesn't bear the guilt, however, because he knows it was Sweeney's own doing. That was the same feeling I got from this episode even though Shadow had a much more prominent hand in Sweeney's death than he did in the novel. In both scenarios, it's presented as if Sweeney was committing suicide by Shadow. I prefer this ending better because Sweeney finally got his battle to die in and earned his redemption for being a coward. Plus, it might give Shadow some angst to bring with him into next season (just don't turn it into wangst).
Is Sweeney gone for good?
I'll be honest that I'm not as torn up about his death as I should be because I truly hope he's not gone for good. Am I in denial? Maybe. I wouldn't mind him coming back and haunting Laura's dead ass next season but from interviews, it sounds like Pablo isn't coming back as a regular next season. I'd still settle for a guest/surprise appearance(s). Maybe Sweeney can be our gateway into the Hall of Forgotten Gods? Or back into the Underworld if Chris Obi/Jacquel doesn't ever return?
These last few episodes have been overall excellent and this episode in particular might be the best yet of this season. Grade: 97%