South Will Rise Again
Posted by Fetchland Editor | Hollywood, TV

[For Preacher “South Will Rise Again” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]

AMC Summary:
South Will Rise Again. After his stunt with Quinncannon, Jesse is Annville’s newest rock star; and Tulip and Cassidy connect. Meanwhile, the Cowboy makes a tragic decision.

“The Preacher has powers…”

This episode was directed by Executive Producer Michael Slovis, who also did some great work on Breaking Bad. So it’s not surprising that this episode was probably the most structurally sound episode of the series so far.

Halfway through the season is usually when a show needs to really start honing in on its direction and start the heading down the runway towards the finale. In the “South Will Rise Again”, they helped build off the momentum of last week’s episode, while also bringing a little more light onto some other storylines, and further tying together some of the supporting cast.

Last week Jesse came to grips with his power and put a plan into place to use it. He made a bet with Quinncannon to get him to show up to Sunday service, knowing he had an ace up his sleeve. By converting the town’s most powerful curmudgeon, he not only would gain a powerful ally in his quest to “save” the town, but he’d also inspire his congregation, and the rest of Annville, into his abilities as a “preacher”.

His plan seemed to have worked. Not only did Quinncannon apparently see the light, but word of the service spread around town, and Jesse became a local celebrity (a veritable Dr. Phil). It was cool seeing Jesse finally own his newfound powers; however it was obvious that he was flying too close to the sun. In the last episode, it looked like Jesse would be very calculated with his powers, perhaps understanding that compelling someone to do good isn’t the same as helping them understand why doing good was correct. But in this episode we see that Jesse really doesn’t understand the scope or weight of his actions, seemingly using them on trivial things like convincing a man to “be patient”. In retrospect I can understand Jesse not realizing how dangerous this could be. From his perspective he probably just thinks he’s making people see the light. He isn’t aware, like we are, that his “suggestions” can actually have devastating consequences (like in episode 1 when a former member of his congregation literally rips his heart out in front of his mother because Jesse said to “share his heart with her”).

Despite things seemingly going well for Jesse, the final ten minutes of the episode contain two scenes that change all that. The first being with Quinncannon and his meeting with the mayor and the clean energy outfit out of Austin. Throughout the episode we are led to believe that Jesse’s suggestion of “serve God” has taken hold of him, and Jackie Earl Haley does a great job turning around the tenor of the character into a charming and delightful man who realizes the error of his ways. However the meeting quickly turns Tarantino-esque as Quinncannon pulls out a shotgun and mows everyone down. Now it’s not clear, but you get the sense that Quinncannon didn’t just resort to his old ways, because even before the suggestion it’s not like we were given any indication he was a homicidal maniac. In fact, the calm in which he performed the act suggested that he still felt he was “serving God” somehow, and this is yet another devastating repercussion of Jesse’s gift.

The second scene was between Jesse and the two angels, how with the help of Sheriff Root, tracked Jesse down in the diner. While he seemed skeptical at first, it was clear to Jesse at the end that these two knew more than he did about his own powers. And more importantly, that the “gift” he believed was God speaking through him, was in fact, something else. It’ll be interesting to see how Jesse behaves now: Will he continue to believe that this was not some accident, but rather God’s will and he has to remain true to his purpose? Or will this discovery, along with some other repercussions of his suggestions coming to light, send him on a downward spiral back to his old violent ways?

I know Tulip will likely be rooting for the latter, as we finally got a glimpse to her real feelings for Jesse in this episode. It was obvious that she and Jesse had a relationship in the past, and that she still cared for him, but when she talked to Cassidy about her “boyfriend” it was very poignant. However given how she keeps referencing Carlos, and how she wants revenge for what he did, I wonder how much of her is actually in love with Jesse as opposed to just wanting him to have the same vengeful feelings she does. Perhaps she’s just resentful that Jesse can seemingly move on from that betrayal so easily and find peace, without her. Either way, Cassidy wants Tulip, Tulip wants Jesse, and Jesse wants to save the world.

A few more key thoughts:

  • Much like episode 2, this episode opens with the unnamed cowboy riding into Ratwater, although this time we’re given a little bit more back story. We learn that he fought in Gettysburg, and he didn’t get back in time with the medicine and the girl and woman who dispatched him in the first place died. I still don’t know what his purpose is in the grand scheme of things, but the next time we see him I’m pretty sure he’s gonna be getting his kill on
  • Poor Donnie. He’s had his arm broken, has an unrewarding job at Quincannon Meat & Power, and he can’t even take a sick day because his wife threatens to sleep with one of his co-workers if he doesn’t get out of bed. On the plus side, he’s starting to piece together that Jesse has powers
  • Speaking of poor souls, what about Arseface? Some kids broke into his room and left a shotgun with a message “Finish the Job” (and I have to say, that’s a pretty expensive prank considering shotguns aren’t cheap). Then his dad not only ruins the omelet he made for him, but agrees that he probably should kill himself! Jesse improved his day by roughly 10% by forcing the mother of coma girl to forgive and hug him, but still, rough week

-Osyp Lebedowicz


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