One major reason why these reviews have been so delayed is this episode. It’s been weeks and I’m not sure what to make of it yet. I’m struggling to find my words because I didn’t care much for it. Season one could be very slow, but this episode is painstakingly so. It’s season two’s worst episode for now, which is a pity because the show had been on a roll.
Anyway, time to get this out of the way.
“That’s right. She’s my wife, asshole!”
The cliffhanger at the end of episode four had me confused and I almost shouted “What the fuck!” at my laptop. Fortunately, I showed more restraint than Jesse in the opening scene.
I kept saying that Tulip and Jesse keeping secrets from each other was going to explode at some point. And this is all of Tulip’s secrets exploding. I’m guessing that when they confront Jesse’s own secrets that’s going to be messier for sure, because Jesse’s own past is very fucked up.
I couldn’t take Viktor seriously in this episode. Out of three words he said, five of them were “asshole” and yes, Jesse is kind of an asshole, but having a character constantly being “asshole this” and “asshole that” gets boring after five minutes. At least add some variety to the swear words!
“You should take a shower. All of, like, North America would appreciate it.”
The episode alternates the scenes in the present (basically Viktor calling Jesse an asshole) with the moment when Tulip and Jesse’s relationship first fell apart, right before Jesse decided to return to Annville to be a preacher. After that failed heist, and Tulip’s miscarriage, they abandon their life of crime and Tulip starts working for a realtor.
Jesse gets a job as a bartender, apparently. I say apparently because mostly he lounges on a couch, gets stoned with an annoying guy, goes to church, and drinks beer. He also tries to have another baby with Tulip, but to no avail.
Not even Dany (who was previously seen last season) dangling jobs like a carrot appeals to him. They’re done. One funny thing I will mention is the scene where Tulip makes a “peanut butter pot roast”. I don’t know why this show keeps making this joke about Tulip being so awful at cooking but I don’t care, her ingredients of choice always make me laugh.
“Shut up, Reggie.”
I get that these flashbacks are there to show Jesse Custer’s dark side – he’s a man of honour but his honour has a dark side – that’s shown both in the present scenes and the moment he discovers Tulip is working with Dany again, and that she’s taking birth control.
It’s a very awkward scene, especially since Jesse starts beating the shit out of Reggie. Granted, he’s an obnoxious character but that beating is particularly dark. It’s evident that he hits Reggie so that he won’t hit Tulip. Reggie is obnoxious, true, but I still found this disturbing.
This episode showcases that dark, seemingly righteous (to him), fury that Jesse has. It’s strange because the comics focused on his macho tendencies masquerading as honour, and this is definitely darker. However, it comes too little, too late. But the good thing is that this won’t be the last we see of it and it will probably be explored much better in future.
I don’t know, this week’s episode felt a bit like a bottle episode. Bottle episodes can be pretty good at times but this one wasn’t the good kind. I felt like I was watching a shaggy dog story because everyone was worried that Jesse would kill Viktor. And I knew it wouldn’t happen because the better side of him would prevail.
So when the Saint of Killers appears and kills Viktor I was pretty angry. This could’ve been done much better, and I expected this flashback to at least feature a reason why that Angelville place upsets Jesse so much! Or at least this show’s version of it. But when the Saint appeared, I realised that could only mean one thing. Shit will get real next episode. So that was a consolation.
What did you think of this episode? Let me know in the comments!
The scenes of domestic woe between Jesse and Tulip couldn't interest me enough. Jesse Custer certainly has a dark side but there are better ways of exploring that dark side than this episode.