Last week we didn’t have a Preacher episode, AMC decided instead to show the first episode again and also to stream it live on Facebook. While I understand what might have led to that decision I can’t really say I liked that they did that. The pilot left me wanting more and it’s already more of a challenge watching things on a week-by-week basis, but I’m willing to do that for this show, because it deserves my attention.
This episode opens with a seemingly unrelated scene set in 1881 where we see a lone, grizzled and silent man riding along the plains to get medicine for his daughter, until he gets to a town called Ratwater. After that scene I had to pause the episode for a while and gather my thoughts because most of them were “HOLY SHIT! HOLY SHIT! IT’S HIM!” and I wasn’t expecting this character in question to appear so soon. True that we haven’t been properly introduced to the character yet (which is the main reason why I’m not saying his name) but this makes me thing that he’s coming very soon, which is both exciting and scary because of the hell he’s probably going to unleash.
Still, there’s something I’m wondering about this scene. Is it a vision that the entity possessing Jesse is giving him? Or is it just something that we see as viewers? Because there are points during the episode where you get the feeling it’s part of a vision because Jesse has what seems like auditory hallucinations related to it. In the long run it doesn’t really matter but I’m curious.
Speaking of Jesse, this episode also shows us a lot more of his inner turmoil. Following his sermon at the end of the first episode, he keeps trying to be a better preacher for the people of Annville while still struggling with the demons from his past. In the beginning of the episode we see him baptising his congregation and listening to Emily’s suggestions about what they could do to improve their church, but on the other hand the demons from his past are still there, because he has Tulip becoming increasingly insisting on having him do that job with her (and there’s a lot of sexual tension in that as well) and he also has to deal both with a member of his congregation who has pedophile impulses and seems unrepentant by it (you can see that he wants to beat the shit out of that guy as he’s listening to his confession) and a girl who was in a coma after an accident.
Those struggles are also outlined when he has a heart to heart with Cassidy. Most of the conversation revolves around Jesse until he tells Cass that they never talk about him and he nonchalantly says that he’s a 119 year-old vampire (from Dublin, in another small change) and that he thinks The Big Lebowski is overrated, but Jesse doesn’t take the vampire thing seriously and shortly afterwards falls in a drunken stupor. In the comic books they bond through bar fights, but if they do the equivalent through drunken conversations in the church I’m fine with it. There’s still a fight involved though as the two weird guys that keep monitoring the entity try to get it out of Jesse (first with a lullaby, later in a more brutal way) and Cassidy ends up fighting them thinking they’re vampire hunters, leading to a really insane, balls to the wall, fighting scene.
This episode also introduces us to the character of Odin Quincannon (played by Jackie Earle Haley) owner of the meat packing plant, and presumably one of the main antagonists this season. We only get a short glimpse of him with his underlings but it’s only a matter of time that Jesse crosses paths with him, for better or worse.
Two weeks ago I said that the pilot didn’t put all the cards in the table, and this episode only puts a couple in there, as it should because there’s no point in rushing all the reveals. Still, in these first two episodes Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Sam Catlin show that they have built a well-stacked deck, and right now it looks like they’re focusing on how Jesse’s conflict clashes with his newfound power (the voice is described in the comics as sounding like nails on chalkboard, and there’s a cool sound effect that goes with it) and I’m all for that.
Angry Spaniard, adoptive Irishman. Writer, reader, tea drinker and video game player/designer.