[For Preacher “See” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]
See. Jesse tries to be a “good preacher,” unaware that a mysterious duo is after him. Meanwhile we meet the enigmatic Cowboy.
Before we get into it, I want to emphasize that these recaps will be focused on the show itself, and not so much on how it adapts the comic book. So for those of you who’ve never read the book, don’t worry, each episode will be taken at face value.
“What if this is the me God wants?”
– Eugene (aka Arseface)
Preacher had a solid sophomore effort in episode 2, keeping up with the cool visuals and continuing to try and build up the core three of Jesse, Tulip and Cassidy. So far Preacher hasn’t cared too much about explaining itself very much, trusting that the visuals, intriguing characters, and suspenseful plot twists will hold the audience until the inevitable (hopefully) payoff. Similar to the Pilot, the show opens in a location totally distinct from where the majority of action of the rest of the episode takes place. Last week it was in outer space, while this week it was in a western prairie in 1881 (brought to you by the awesome title cards that are a delightful touch). There are a handful of scenes centered around a bedridden sick girl, her caretaker, and a shadowy, quiet figure who’s sent on a mission (presumably to help the sick girl). I got the sense that most of the scenes were just an excuse for Rogen & Goldberg (who directed this episode along with the Pilot) to have some cool western visuals and a sick score similar to something you’d see in a Sergio Leone film. We’re not really given any insight into what these scenes have to do with the show in the broader sense, except for a slight call back later in the show to the town of Ratwater, which is the town the shadowy figures rides through and we get a glimpse of a tree full of dismembered and disfigured Native Americans. (Please note: while Ratwater sounds like a town in New Jersey, I believe it’s likely located somewhere in Texas).
The rest of the episode is mostly focused on Jesse (THE titular “Preacher”) and him going about trying to be the Ppreacher he promised his congregation he’d be at the end of the Pilot. Tulip and Cassidy have their moments as well (including a sweet chainsaw fight that’s comparable to the airplane fight Cassidy got into in the Pilot), but the focus was really on Jesse and him reconciling how he thinks he should be acting versus what his inner urges are telling him to do. He baptizes his flock, he sits bedside with a girl who was kicked in the head by a horse, and he even tries to recruit more church members in front of a supermarket. All the while, he’s chided by Tulip as well as his inner demons to take a different course of action. This was most evident when he takes the confession of a bus driving pedophile. Jesse can tell that, while this man hasn’t done anything yet other than have sick thoughts about a girl on his school bus, he could be headed down a dangerous path. At first Jesse seems to just take the confession and move on, but the constant site of the school bus driving by is a haunting reminder of what could happen, and his impotence at stopping it. It finally took a conversation with Eugene (who we learned became disfigured when he tried to kill himself with a shotgun) to open Jesse’s eyes to what he needed to do. Eugene was talking about himself when he asked, “what if this is the me God wants?”, but Jesse asked that question of himself. Was it really wrong for him to ignore what his body was telling him to do if God placed these urges in him? So Jesse breaks into the pedophile’s house, and in true Preacher fashion, baptizes him in scalding water.
The other key thing about that scene was that we got another glimpse of Jesse’s new found ability of persuasion. As he was dunking the pedophile into the bathtub, Jesse keeps repeating “You will forget her!” When his voice gets deeper, we know that the power of persuasion is kicking in, and suddenly, so does Jesse. He can sense something big just happened, and when the creepy bus driver can’t remember anything, Jesse realizes what he can do. The episode ends with him sitting bedside of the unconscious girl and whispers… “Open your eyes!”
A few other things:
- Cassidy had yet another sweet fight scene, this time in the church between the two mystery men who were outside the church at the end of the pilot. It involved a chainsaw and was very Sam Raimi-esque in its choreography
- Line of the Week: “Thanks for getting me all wet” – Tulip after getting baptized
- The mystery men Cassidy killed in the church clearly are in the know about this mystery space force that has possessed the preacher and attempted to get it out of him with a coffee can and some lullabies. This show can feel like a David Lynch movie at times
- The Great Jackie Earl Haley made an appearance as the head of the Quincannon Meat & Power Company. His whole seen was typical for the show as it felt mundane and surreal all at the same time. Similar to other things so far, the show hasn’t really explained what their relevance is to the broader story, but its compelling nonetheless