Season 1, Episode 3: “The Possibilities”
Directed by Scott Winant
Written by Chris Kelley
* For a review of the previous episode, “See” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Monster Swamp” – click here
After Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper) tried out his new found powers on young Tracy Loach, we begin this episode first with a woman named Danni giving over plenty of information to Tulip (Ruth Negga). There’s the new job at hand. The one Tulip won’t give up trying to get Jesse in on. She brings Danni the map that she so valiantly fought for, then receives a “last known address” that sends her for a trip back in time. She remembers a time before when it “all turned bad” for her and Jesse. Interesting. We’re slowly finding out more about that relationship, too. For the time being, we see Danni handing over the map to a shady character in the dark of a movie theatre. Lots of intrigue in this first few episodes, so I’m incredibly excited to see that all pay off eventually, in doses. This is an efficient way of keeping proper viewers hooked. Give a little, pay a little, never hand over too much at once and keep the mystery running.
Also, love the opening credits sequence. Good tune, solid feel, and that helps setup the show’s atmosphere nicely.
Back to Sheriff Hugo Root (W. Earl Brown) in the motel room. He’s with the suddenly reincarnated pair of Fiore (Tom Brooke) and DeBlanc (Anatol Yusef), which is awesomely confusing. They’ve convinced him they’re from a higher agency, in town to take care of a case. Low profile, undercover stuff, y’know? Poor Hugo isn’t tough to fool. I get the feeling that mostly he isn’t stupid, he’s just worn out (later with Arseface we start to get the impression the kid had something to do with Tracy and her current state; maybe, maybe not). Particularly when he tells the story of some children going missing. Dark stuff. Now the creepy, suited duo are re-evaluating their plan of attack. “Only this time no surprises,” says Fiore.
Over at the Roach place, the mother isn’t exactly distraught. She’s more in awe. Tracy is sitting up and has her lipstick on and looking well. In other news, Donnie Schenck (Derek Wilson) tries patching things up with his kid, while he’s not off doing weird work for his boss like last episode. We further get a look at Linus (Ptolemy Slocum) and the fact he’s completely forgotten, literally, about the young girl whom he creeped on before. Seems the preacher’s powers are definitely working. At the church, Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) faces more trouble being a vampire. The sun is out and there’s work Emily (Lucy Griffiths) needs done. So he sets about trying to get what he can finished, enough to keep him in a place to stay, I imagine. Then he finds Jesse lurking in the dark like a real weirdo, clearly unsettled about something.
Tulip gets pulled over. She’s in big trouble. Only the slick talking comes out, she throws on a military ring, then BAM – out of trouble. Doesn’t have to go with the same old sexist angle of a woman using her body to get out of a speeding ticket, which is also better writing than normal. Nice little scene that gives us more of her sassy character and also a better idea of the writing in this series, why it’s interesting as opposed to some others. At least for now.
Now we’re seeing the preacher and Cassidy play with the former’s powers. Another fun scene that starts off foolish, and ends foolish, but shows us the budding energy behind the power. Furthermore, we see they have no idea how wild it can get just yet. Cassidy thinks it’s a gift. Though, Jesse doesn’t seem “very stoked” in the slightest. Perhaps what I find most interesting is that they take the time to talk through everything. Instead of Jesse simply going with it, the fact he’s a preacher gives him even more of a reason to stop and ask: why? What the writing allows is a peek into what might happen to a real man, a religions one at that, if he were to become so powerful so fast. “Just imagine the possibilities here,” Cassidy tells him, taking the words right out of my mouth.
Meanwhile, the two creepy, unkillable henchmen suit up. At Quincannon’s factory, Odin (Jackie Earle Haley) is consulting with his main man Donnie. Well, main servant it seems like. I can see Donnie soon snapping. He’s taking shit from almost every angle, especially since the injury.
Once more Tulip catches up with her old flame and faithful friend Jesse. They chat about whether he’s different. He talks cryptically for the most part, “boring the shit” out of her. So she gets on about the big job. He’s adamant about not wanting to go back to his old life, assuming it’s one of thievery, ass kicking, so forth. Jesse only wants to save the town, and in turn himself along the way. She’s got no time for religion or any of his nonsense, which he feels for that old life in a similar way.
Now we get another flashback. Jesse shoots a man in the head, as he and Tulip look to be left behind. Can she talk him into tracking down their enemy?
Tulip: “That promise you made was a little boy‘s promise, made a long time ago. There‘s no such thing as good guys, Jesse. There‘s just guys. Maybe it isn‘t how you pictured it, but your daddy‘s dead, and this town is past saving.”
Cassidy ends up running down the two creepy killers headed back for their precious can and Custer. So a bit of luck puts them out of the game. For a second, before a strange flash starts surging in the sky. Yikes. At the same time, Cassidy gets ready to rid himself of the bodies all over again, and then finds the two henchmen, reappearing, healthy. A real head trip. They just need the can, though. They don’t want to mess with the vampire.
On the road to their destination, Jesse winds up with a gun to his head in a gas station bathroom. Donnie’s been following him looking for revenge; such a sad, weak little man. He wants to her the preacher squeal, like the preacher made him. Jesse uses his powers to almost make Donnie do the unthinkable and blow his brains out in the bathroom stall. Then he lets him go. Whoa. A tense moment, though it appears to make Jesse realise something important: “I get it,” he says to himself. Outside, Jesse tells Tulip he won’t be taking revenge on their enemy Carlos. She’s still not sold, you know that.
At the church, Cassidy’s sitting down now with Fiore and DeBlanc. They aren’t bad guys, so much as they’re around to keep a lid on the power that’s now cropped up inside Custer. Cassidy places himself as the “middle man” and hopes to work out something. Only I can’t imagine the preacher will be happy to give up all that power so soon.
Speaking of the preacher, he gives a tiny ceremony for the first victim of his new powers, the one that cut his heart out in the pilot episode. Only fitting the man that set him on that path sees to his burial.
Very pumped for the next episode. I thought this was even better than the second, as we start piecing things together, bit by bit, and the characters start to grow on us. Stick with me. I have a feeling the rest of this season is bound to be fun, exciting, and at times I’m sure horrific. AMC does good work. Glad to see Preacher is turning out so well, at least for those of us not stuck on their favourite books (comics, graphic novel, whatever) being exactly on screen how they were on paper. This is a good time, and I can’t wait for more. Next episode is titled “Monster Swamp” and directly links to the dialogue between Hugo and Arseface (Ian Colletti) near this one’s end.