‘American Gods’ 2×02 Review: “The Beguiling Man”

American Gods is slowly but surely making us fall in love with Laura Moon and Mad Sweeney in “The Beguiling Man.” We could resist. I could resist…but I won’t. There’s a spark there, a bond, that I don’t think I’ve ever seen before or that Laura Moon and Mad Sweeney have ever felt before. AND. I’M. HERE. FOR IT.

I’m also here for all the exploration of Laura Moon’s journey, character, or journey. She’s such a raw portrayal of a woman plagued by mental health issues, death, and a resurrection. And I love every moment we spend getting to know her. What I’m not here for, is what is happening to her ex-husband. Mr. Wednesday, whether he wants to admit it or not, has been circling Shadow Moon for a long while, making all of this part of his carefully curated plan to get his power back.

This Close to Shipping Laura Moon & Mad Sweeney

Fuck. I think I ship Laura Moon and Mad Sweeney. I mean, I had little flutterings of OTP in my heart every moment they sassed the hell out of each other. But this…this look…oh, it’s fucking different! There’s something there. There’s potential for something more, something strong, and something that surpasses death and the current state that she’s in.

I think it took Laura Moon to THIS very moment for her to understand that yes, everything has gone to shit. But she’s not alone. She has Mad Sweeney. And they might’ve had the strangest and pretty fucked up beginning, but they’re still here at each other’s side. He didn’t have to give the coin back to her, he didn’t have to take her where she wanted to go, and he didn’t have to her through the Horde.

But Mad Sweeney did. For her.

Moments like this on the bridge are character and relationship defining. Laura’s seen something in herself, her relationship with Mad Sweeney, and in Mad Sweeney himself that will cause a shift in the way they act/interact around each other. And I can’t wait! Both of these characters are fucked up hot messes that are just trying to survive. But I dig that and sometimes I am that. Maybe that’s why I really like what I’m seeing when it comes to these two.

I see it and want more of it.

The Evolution of Laura Moon

One of the greatest triumphs of American Gods is the expansion of Laura Moon’s story. We got to see her in the book and knew of the influence she had on Shadow Moon’s adventure with Mr. Wednesday. But we never got a chance to understand her as a person, a woman, and a hot damn mess. Because that’s what she: a mess. And I love her for it.

Laura Moon goes against the grain of the prim and proper young lady that we are TOLD and SHOWN for the entirety of our lives to be the norm for women. Shocker that it’s not the norm and that we are so much more, only comes as a surprise to those who do not think of us as fully formed characters, people, women, or humans. Women are capable of hate, cheating, murder, and having a foul mouth to make your grandma gasp in shock in her grave.

Coming into season two I was hopeful that we would see more of Laura Moon and “The Beguiling Man” delivered, BIG TIME! Yes, she’s still blunt AF and will stand up to anyone even if you’re a 6 foot leprechaun with a foul mouth to match. And yes, she’s still got Shadow’s best interests alive and well. But something has changed in her these past two episodes.

Laura Moon is starting to truly realize the situation that she’s in. She’s not as strong as she was before, the fly count has skyrocketed around her, and she’s two seconds from falling apart. And one of the only people that has her back is this leprechaun she sasses and who she has had epic fights with. What matters is becoming more apparent for Laura and I can’t wait to see more of this evolution in season two of American Gods!

From Youth to Adulthood

Beguiling is defined as charming or enchanting, often in a deceptive way. And I see that in the way that Mr. Wednesday has influenced the aspects of Shadow Moon’s life for his own means and purposes. Now, we didn’t get to specifically see Mr. Wednesday in Shadow’s past. But we saw bits of him that are undeniable proof that he’s been circling this young man for a while.

The coin he gave Shadow acted as a tether to keep him in the mind of Shadow Moon. It’s a small dose of belief that is and was buried in this young man’s mind, making Mr. Wednesday’s chances of survival even better. And in makes you wonder how many times Mr. Wednesday has done this and how many other poor saps are out there, tethered by a man’s charm and coin flipping abilities.

From what we know about Laura Moon’s death, and what is the most concerning part of all of this, who’s to say that Mr. Wednesday wasn’t responsible for Shadow Moon’s mom getting sick, dying, and leaving him to brave his world all on his lonesome? I believe he did and that he’s been pulling a Dumbledore by helping guide Shadow Moon to slaughter. What Mr. Wednesday doesn’t understand is that Shadow is building his strenth up and learning more about the situation he has found himself in.

So when Mr. Wednesday comes to throw it down∆ and use Shadow for what he has been raised, he won’t expect what comes next or how Shadow Moon stands up for himself in the face of a once powerful god.

Favorite Scene from American Gods “The Beguiling Man”:

First off, this scene is visually stunning. From the wide field to the flowers, I can’t take my eyes off this scene. Secondly, Mad Sweeney didn’t have to do this. Yes, Dead Wife has his coin and they’ve been traveling all over trying to find her Puppy, but he didn’t have to go through the Horde. Sweeney could’ve been a little shit and let them continue being lost and clueless. But he made a choice to bring Laura Moon close and go through something painful to get what she needed the most at the moment. This kindness was acknowledged by Laura Moon when she freed him from the cuffs and then sassed him right after. I don’t think she’ll ever see him in the same manner again.

https://deadwifesweeney.tumblr.com/post/183523825650/what-if-i-told-you-i-had-a-shortcut

American Gods airs Sundays at 8/7c On Starz.

Lyra enjoys loud mouthed, damaged characters, with a penchant for rescuing people and drinking their sorrows away. When she isn’t splurging on Netflix shows she’s not so quietly ranting about Teen Wolf, The Walking Dead, and Supernatural!