Clearly there are multiple SPOILERS ahead concerning the exploits of Jesse Custer, Cassidy, Tulip and Arseface. Episode 1 Recap and Review can be found here.
We’re world building this week. The barnstorming, batshit nuttiness of the premier episode is still very much present but after the initial introduction to these weird characters, the story must be set in motion, antagonists have to enter the fray and be fleshed out and Jesse needs to start to come to terms with his new-found powers and abilities. So we start in 1881 with a mysterious gunman setting out to get medicine for his gravely ill daughter. Wait. What?
Those of us unfamiliar with the comic series are likely to be a might confused but patience is counselled here for it will all tie-in later. We hope. This silent man is the “Saint of Killers” and the comic’s fans know well of his story and importance. Pay attention! This tree is familiar, as is the town name of Ratwater.
Ok, just park all that for later. Back in the present day, Jesse is conducting baptisms on the church front lawn. Tulip is there, keen to be dunked – “Jesse! You’ve made me all wet!” – in her continued attempt to tempt the man back into no good. It doesn’t work. For now. Also being baptised is local school bus driver Linus who has paedophilic tendencies. Confiding in Jesse, he first wants reassurance that this is all confidential and Jesse can’t inform the authorities. Little does he know Jesse can deal with his problem in ways he can’t imagine.
Deblanc and Fiore, teased at episodes end last week, make their play. Clearly out for Cassidy, they mistake a drunk and past-out Jesse for the vampire and begin an exorcism of sorts. It doesn’t work and they realise their mistake when Cassidy turns up and despatches them in a balls-out, bloody, chainsaw-heavy manner. He manages to dismember, clean-up and bury the bodies before Jesse wakes up. That’s some strong drink Cassidy gave him. And that tree these two vampire hunters are buried under sure does look familiar. See?
As mysterious as the opening is the introduction of Odin Quincannon, another comic staple non-readers will initially scratch their head at. A meat-processing magnate, we see him buy a house out from under an intimidated couple before it’s immediately bulldozed to make way for another plant. Boss of the “QM&P” business, park him away also. He’ll be back plenty more later.
Tulip won’t let up, eventually resorting to tasering and chaining Jesse to try to get him to help her pull off her planned next job and help a mutual friend from their past, ‘Danny’. Seems a bit extreme. Except Jesse isn’t chained up but has been free all along – a metaphor in case you missed it. Jesse’s eye-rolling, aw shucks response to such violence toward his person speaks volumes as to the relationship between these two.
Jesse begins to realise he has some strong powers and visits Linus for a bit of water-torture. Linus is remarkably calm on having the Preacher enter his bathroom unannounced but soon gets the picture when he’s half-drowned in a bath of scalding water. As Jesse commands him to forget the schoolgirl he’s been fantasising about all memories and urges are instantly wiped, causing as much fear in our holy man as Linus, who’s shocked to find himself sodden on his bathroom floor with Jesse standing over him. Meanwhile, across town and despite recently being killed, butchered and buried, Deblanc and Fiore are being quizzed and warned by Sheriff Root. They’re back. And seemingly very hard to keep dead.
Now fully attuned to what he is capable of, Jesse visits a local comatose girl who’s been bedridden and unresponsive for years. Her mother has lost all faith but Jesse asks if he can sit and pray with her daughter regardless. Alone, he commands her to open her eyes.
- A slower, somewhat confusing episode that could lose a few less patient and untrusting viewers. Their loss. We’re hooked.
- This is not a simple re-telling of the comic, more a re-interpretation. There are plenty of new characters and locations not seen in print and some big names – Odin for one – are making their appearances way sooner than in the funny books. This is good; the two are vastly different storytelling formats and it keeps it fresh even for the hardest-boiled Preacher fans.
- Arseface and Dad Sheriff Root had the taunt “Murderer” hissed behind their backs. Which one is it? And who got murdered?
- The fight between Cassidy and Deblanc and Fiore was brutal and hilarious. And if you were in any doubt as to Cassidy’s regenerative powers….
- And talking of coming back from the dead, just what are these two hitmen exactly?
Preacher airs AMC Sunday nights in the US and is available Mondays on Amazon Prime in the UK. Follow each and every episode right here on XO.TV.