Season 2, Episode 4: “Viktor”
Directed by Michael Slovis
Written by Craig Rosenberg
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Damsels” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Dallas” – click here
Tulip O’Hare (Ruth Negga) is in one hell of a pickle. Men are sent by Viktor (Paul Ben-Victor) to collect her. Doesn’t look like much of a way out for her. They cart her off to an uncertain fate.
Meanwhile, Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper) meets up with Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) at Denis’ place. They catch up on things. Soon they realise Tulip’s been gone all night, even if the preacher says that’s “typical” of her.
They’ve got no idea what sort of trouble she’s in right now.
Speaking of trouble, poor Arseface aka Eugene Root (Ian Colletti) is trying his best to fit in at the prison in hell. Things are pretty tense down there. Adolf Hitler (Noah Taylor) picks up for the young man when another inmate is bullying people around. Such a strange, surreal place. Eugene gets locked out of his cell, so Adolf invites him over to his own hell. Funny enough, Hitler’s hell isn’t particularly bad because it’s Munich in 1919 and he’s totally unlike himself, no problem with Jewish people and nothing insane going on in his head. My guess is this is hell for a truly evil person: their normalcy, their world without power, fame, genocide, and so on.
The lads are still worried, more so now having not heard a word from Tulip, who’s in the clutches of Viktor. Jesse figures she’s mad with him, out letting off steam. Although the vamp’s not entirely sure of that. The priest’s worried about what he found out recently, about the men in the white suits, all the strange things that shadowy organisation is doing behind the scenes. Sounds insane to anyone else. But it ain’t.
Later on the television, Cassidy sees the man who appeared to them all in the church last season, the “fake God” who told them afterwards that God is missing. He’s on the TV with Frankie Munoz, too. Also a local actor from New Orleans! Shieeeeeeeeet.
The vamp and the preacher get to searching. All the while Tulip awkwardly talks to the people she once knew, they’re no longer interested in being her buddy after she ran out. No warm reception from any of them. She’s got a new life now, like it or not. Can’t go back to fitting in there.
One thing I enjoy is that Cassidy infantilises Tulip, whereas Jesse says “if there‘s one thing Tulip O‘Hare can do it‘s look after herself.” I mean, yes, there’s reason to be concerned for her. But I love that Jesse trusts in her, that whatever she’s into it’s something can handle. This is exactly why they’re together. She doesn’t need or want any man babying her. Despite the fact she might need a helping hand at the moment.
Cassidy and Jesse are tracking down leads on Mr. Fake God. They meet a wiry little talent agent who’s not hugely helpful. The whole scene is absolutely hilarious, between the three actors you’ll get a few good laughs.
Cassidy: “HBO‘s gonna hear about this, Gunt. I tell ya what.”
Down in hell, Eugene gets a lesson on the way the place works. “Overcrowding” and the like. He’s waiting for his cell to be fixed. Not that it’s a thrill. He’s being explained further what can happen if he gets too relaxed. Can’t get too happy: “This is hell, act accordingly.”
Jesse and Cassidy watch some audition tapes from the company where Mr. Fake God did his tests. Boring, tedious stuff. Although the obsession in the preacher’s eyes is evident, he watches each moment of the tape like a hawk. For anything worth following up on. Then at the end of the tape Fake God is killed, shot in the chest. Now that’s wild.
You’re goddamn right Tulip don’t need no man to take care of her. She starts trying to get out of Viktor’s sprawling mansion by first kicking the shit out of one of his men, taking his gun. She puts it to Viktor’s head, threatening to kill him. Before a bunch of the men show up to beat her down. Big tough boys, all beating up a woman. They’ll get theirs, you bet on that shit.
In a general population area of hell, Hitler, Eugene, all the others socialise. A rare moment for the afterlife, down there. Still shitty: even the crossword puzzles are filled in. Poor fucking Hitler, can’t do a crossword. Haha, fuck him. Strange, conflicting emotions watching Eugene being picked on by the resident bully and finding defence in the Fuhrer of Nazi Germany. Then he actually joins in as they all kick the shit out of Adolf.
Cassidy reveals that Tulip’s off taking care of personal business. This sends the preacher on a fucking rampage. Well, first he uses Genesis to keep the men in their places at Viktor’s home. He runs into the sick torturer in one room, they guy we saw earlier using a man sort of like a pinata. The guy with all sorts of weapons on his walls. He and Jesse fight to “Uptown Girl” by Billy Joel. Genesis doesn’t seem to work on him, either. An AWESOME FIGHT SEQUENCE! Possibly the best on the series out of the two seasons so far, honestly. Wild, weird, brutal. Just like the comics ordered.
Afterwards, Jesse busts in on Viktor with Tulip, putting him in a chokehold. Forcing her to reveal: “He‘s my husband.” Not what the preacher was hoping, nor expecting to hear.
At the same time, the Saint of Killers is on the road towards them. After all the use of Genesis, he’s honing in on their location. Uh oh.
Cracking episode! It wasn’t exactly a twist, just dig how the whole episode and plot with Tulip+Viktor has played out. Looking forward to “Dallas” next, to see more about this latest tension. Gonna be interesting to watch how Jesse handles things from here.