[For Preacher “Monster Swamp” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]
Monster Swamp. Jesse makes Quinncannon a bet he can’t refuse; and Cassidy works to fend off the angels. Meanwhile, Tulip tries to bring justice to Annville.
Las week’s episode got me a little nervous about the future of this show. The first two episodes of the show did a great job of introducing us to the main characters, getting us invested in their storylines, and setting up the thematic style of the show. That’s exactly what you want from a new show. However, once you get to episode three, you’re hoping for a little more focus on the primary storylines and some additional development of the supporting characters. Unfortunately we didn’t really get that last week, which got me concerned and afraid they would just keep introducing weird characters and rely on gonzo action sequences to get us to tune back in.
Fortunately, this week felt much more structured and got me invested in characters other than Cassidy and Tulip.
“Monster Swamp” opened up with a really crazy sequence that was straight out of a John Carpenter movie, with a woman running around town in her underwear being chased by a pickup truck with flood lights (and as we all know, anyone who drives a pickup truck with flood lights is clearly a creep). At first I thought this might be a standalone episode, like what The X-Files used to do, where they’d take a break from the primary storylines and focus on a story that would be resolved that week. I even brought up the info on the episode in the guide and fully expected to see “Preacher uses his powers to catch a serial killer who is terrorizing Annville.” However you quickly come to realize that this isn’t a serial killer scenario as much as an ill-advised paintball game being played by the men of QM&C that ends disastrously for one of the prostitutes from the local brothel.
The sequence serves two functions:
- It helps show how much power Odin Quinncannon hand his employees have in Annville
- It gets Tulip angry which leads to an important sequence in the brothel with her and Cassidy
Much of the episode was really as much about the past as it was about the present. As Jesse comes to grips with his powers and how he feels best to use them, we start to get flashbacks of Jesse’s past, and in particlar, his father and how he acted as a preacher. Jesse’s dad was clearly an authoritarian figure, but also one who took his job as town savior very seriously. The flashbacks also gave us a little more insight into Odin Quinncannon, and what his role was in the town and how he clearly had a relationship with Jesse and his father.
Four episodes in, here are the main points we’ve learned about Odin Quinncannon (played masterfully by Jackie Earl Haley):
- He’s a powerful man in Annville
- He hates clean energy
- He has no problem urinating in briefcases
- He enjoys listening to animals being slaughtered
- He loves Q’Bert
Through the flashbacks we also learn that Jesse’s father tried to “save” Quinn back in the day but couldn’t, claiming that “Some people just can’t be saved.” Jesse realizes that if he can do what his father can’t, it would inspire his congregation, and even the town, and he could finally leverage his powers into something truly good.
On the other side of town, fueled by rage over how the men of QM&C recklessly killed (even if by accident) her friend Lacey, Tulip attacks a man in the brothel she believes to be the man responsible. However it turns out it’s actually Cassidy who falls out the window, seemingly very injured. Tulip soon discovers that Cassidy is not a normal guy and Cassidy discovers (like the rest of us) that Tulip is super cute and awesome. We’ll see how that plays out next episode, but I’m glad the vampire secret is out of the bag with at least one of the core three.
Similar to last week, there wasn’t a really amazing action sequence like there were in episodes one and two. But unlike last week, I think this episode was much more structured and grounded in helping us understand what Jesse’s objective is and what fueled that. It also helped flesh out some of the supporting characters (Quinncannon and Emily), and helped bond two of the core three (Tulip and Cassidy), so overall I’m pleased with how things went down.
Some other thoughts:
- The two angels here to collect Jesse’s powers into a coffee can don’t appear to be authorized to be here by the powers above
- They also have a phone that allows them to speak to their bosses in heaven, which was surprising because I didn’t expect God to still have a land line
- Emily is sweet and I’m glad to see that she had a sex buddy (even if it was the wimpy mayor of Annville