Preacher recap: season one, episode two See

Cassidy has stolen the churchs wine, Jesse deals with temptation and The Saint of Killers might have made his first appearance. Preacher is heating up.

Preacher recap: season one, episode two  See

Its definitely not paradise

The year is 1881 and a mans child is sick so he must go procure medicine on horseback. He looks like hes seen some things. (The camera holds, briefly, on his gun, but he doesnt take it.) He rides across open plains, taking in the barren, creeping beauty of the land. Encountering a family that has escaped the city of St Louis to come out to the country. The taciturn traveller speaks for the first time to reject the supposed mystical allure of the open sky. No, this is most definitely not paradise, confirmed by the presence of a tree full of the scalped bodies of Native Americans.

The man sees this tree heading into the town of Ratwater. You know this is significant if youve read the comics, and if you havent, well, suffice to say, Ratwater is more pleasant than its name would suggest (it was also the name of the whiskey Jesse orders in the first episode). More importantly: is this the Saint of Killers, one of the more powerful (and important) characters in the Preacher universe? Certainly looks like it.

Borings not the worst thing a person can be

Preacher recap: season one, episode two  See
Derek Wilson as Donnie Schenck. Photograph: Lewis Jacobs/Sony Pictures Telev/AMC

Jesse is having a tough time at the church. There are plenty of attendees for his baptism revivals (including a smirking Tulip), but all the dramatic POV shots in the world wont help his flock. Cassidy has stolen the churchs communion wine, is rather rude to the disfigured Eugene, and continues to comically avoid direct sunlight without anyone really noticing. Linus, a newly spotlighted denizen of Annville, who drives the school bus and is an unrepentant pedophile, tells Jesse about the fixation he has on one of the schoolgirls.

Meanwhile, we get our first look at Odin Quincannon, the man who owns everything around Annville. Jackie Earle Haleys hunched and ruthless Quincannon is introduced surrounded by goons (including the injured Donnie), talking an elderly couple into allowing him to bulldoze their house. He is definitely the villain and a representative of the relentless, onward march of progress. His employees take similar license to do what they want, beating each other up and frequenting the Toadvine Whorehouse, where Tulip almost starts a fight after cleaning them all out in a poker game.

Tulip isnt the only one close to fisticuffs: Cassidy and Jesse get into a fight over their obviously divergent values and approaches to life, neatly summed up in the preacher telling the vampire, Borings not the worst thing a person can be only to elicit the response, I think youre wrong. After insulting The Big Lebowski, Cassidy drugs Jesse and runs off, a decision that might be a lot of things, but is certainly not boring.

Cassidy comes through, thankfully, and returns to the church to find the two mysterious men (DeBlanc, played by one of cable TVs most relable actors Anatol Yusef and Fiore, played by Tom Brooke) who have been watching the congregation and who we saw in Africa at the start of the first episode. Theyve come for the shrieking cosmic being that is stuck inside Jesses head, which they attempt to extract by playing a lullaby on a music box before attempting to usher it into a tin can. They dont get far though, because in another great fight scene, Cassidy bashes one of their heads in with a bible, then uses a chainsaw to cut the others arm off, dismembers them, and (in a neat touch) buries them under the same tree the man passed over a century earlier.

Its only a matter of time til youre you all over again

Jesse spends the rest of this episode waking up in a daze, physically and spiritually. First, hes dragged out of the church from his Cassidy-induced stupor to an appointment with a woman whose daughter is in a coma. (Say what you will about Cassidy, hes a pretty great cleaner.) But in an attempt to be present in the community, Jesse comes up against a wall: his job as a preacher is just to say nice things, but that doesnt necessarily help anyone. The girls mother only appreciates the casserole he brought, because she can feed it to her dogs.

Later on, Jesses knocked out again and wakes up shackled to a bed, observed by a creepy figure in a gas mask who turns out to be Tulip. Shes trying to convince him to go back to their old life, and its hard to blame her she loved a version of Jesse, and she wants that person back. As she puts it, Its only a matter of time til youre you all over again. (This refrain will be familiar to anyone who has watched a prestige drama where the anti-hero tries to quit doing whatever bad thing they like doing.)

Stymied by this confrontation with Tulip and a subsequent encounter with Eugene in which Jesse seems to run up against a wall of personal responsibility, he takes matters into his own hands (or voice). In the middle of the night, Jesse goes to Linuss house, knocks him around, re-baptises him in a bathtub, and tells him to forget the girl hes been so focused on, with evidently immediate results. Fueled by the success of this endeavor, he returns to the comatose girl and tells her to open her eyes. As much as Tulip and Cassidy have been trying to jolt Jesse out of complacency, it looks like he has the power now.

Notes from the nave

Preacher recap: season one, episode two  See
Preacher Photograph: Lewis Jacobs/AMC

  • Forgive me for being ignorant about priest/client confidentiality (I plead Jewish), but Jesse could probably tell law enforcement about Linus, right? He definitely should not be driving a school bus.
  • Were from the government. This is what the two mysterious men tell sheriff Root when they show up at his office, after Cassidy has already killed them. They must have a nice retirement package.
  • Eugene asks Jesse to try baptizing him again, because he doesnt feel any different after and doesnt know how to be a good person. Welcome to the club.
  • Nothing good can come from the town of Annville being built essentially on top of a Native American burial ground, right? Thats horror movie 101.

Obligatory Johnny Cash song

Most ridiculous death

Its a tough choice between the two we have this episode. The first death by chainsaw has a certain Evil Dead quality to it,but Ive got to go with the literal bible-bashing. Good work, Cassidy.

Cassidys kill count

Two (maybe?)

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