Season 2, Episode 5: “Dallas”
Directed by Michael Morris
Written by Philip Buiser
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Viktor” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Sokosha” – click here
So Jesse (Dominic Cooper) just found out Viktor (Paul Ben-Victor) is Tulip O’Hare’s (Ruth Negga) husband. He’s got the guy in the torture room, too. He even uses Genesis to get who he thought was his lady out of the room. As she reminds him of “Dallas” and asking if he wants to “go there again.” Hinting at a dark, dark place in the preacher’s former life.
Flashback to Dallas, several months after that botched robbery and Tulip’s botched pregnancy in the wake of it. Jesse lives sort of washed up, his friend literally rolling joints out of the Bible’s pages and Tulip using the Bible to prop open the window. A far cry from where we first met Custer in Annville. We see the couple trying to get away from living the criminal life. At the same time, we see that Viktor was one of the jobs they were being offered; looks like Tulip went behind her man’s back, did a job when she pretended with him they were out. Wound up with a husband. Shiiiiet.
I mean, normal life doesn’t suit either of them. Not Tulip, and certainly not Jesse who looks wholly miserable without a bit of criminality in his existence. But there’s also the fact they were both on different wavelengths. She likely didn’t want to jump right back into conceiving a child after just losing one, whereas he seemed to feel the only way to get past it, to get over the loss was to replace the child now gone.
At Denis’ place, Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) gets a surprise when Tulip shows up with her stepdaughter Allie, while dad and the preacher are getting acquainted for the worse. It’s an awkward situation. Although the vamp does his best to entertain. He also feels responsible for letting Jesse loose, so he goes in hopes of talking sense into his buddy.
But I ain’t so sure the man’s willing to listen. He wants to hurt Viktor, to kill him. He’s still got him strung up in that torture room. Taking his sweet time. Viktor reminds him, though, how HE was the hell from which Tulip crawled to New Orleans, to Viktor. A constant, repetitive living hell of sex, drinking, fucking to get pregnant. Why wouldn’t she want to get away? Who can really blame her? Makes sense she loves him, after all their time together.
She surely felt conflicted, having to go through the motions over and over. Just the same as what we’ve seen in actual hell, with Eugene (Ian Colletti) and Hitler (Noah Taylor) and the bunch: living your worst day, from morning to night; exactly what Tulip was experiencing.
It all broke down when Jesse stumbles across something stuffed in a vent at home: a bag filled with cash. She’s been working their old contracts again, after lasting only three weeks at her real estate job. She isn’t made for the straight life. He isn’t, either. But he didn’t realise that. However, we also see Tulip’s been lying, taking birth control without telling him. That’s a bit sad, though again: her life’s been shit. Still, I can’t help feeling they’ve both done each other wrong. Plus there’s the fact Jesse beats his friend in anger, terribly, showing off that dark temper we can already see is inside him lurking.
Cassidy gets over to Viktor’s place, where he and Jesse can have a chat together. He tells a story from “years ago” when he was rich, before telling his friend he’s an idiot, that Tulip loves him and not the man she went and married. But the preacher rejects the vamp’s affection, his too-late honesty. Feeling Cassidy is trying to be “a hero” to stop him from doing what he wants to do. Jesse doesn’t trust the “lying, junkie vampire.” For his part the vamp lays it bare and honest, sympathising, and assures his friend he’s with him, thick and thin. Regardless of what he decides to do to Viktor.
Cassidy: “No more Jesse Custer and Tulip? Please. Some things‘ll never change.”
So what does he do?
He lets Viktor go, and goes back to Denis’ place with the vamp and Tulip. He chose to go with divorce papers rather than a nasty murder. All the same it feels like Cassidy was hoping his words would’ve pushed the preacher into killing Viktor, possibly ruining things with Tulip. Maybe, not sure. He’s clearly in love with the woman.
Tulip: “This is America – nut up or get out!”
We see Tulip, back with Viktor. Supposedly happy, not taking on jobs. Only until she found out more info on Carlos. Despite not acting too emotional over the past while, soon as she hears word on Carlos, the memories flooded back. And she disappeared into thin air on Viktor.
Speaking of Viktor, he’s home and paranoid after the preacher’s craziness. Prepared for anything that comes next. Except for the Saint of Killers (Graham McTavish), whose quest for the preacher continues and the trail left by the use of Genesis still warm. Viktor’s killed, but little Allie is willing to reveal where Jesse is, how to get there. Uh oh. They’re in for another chase soon.
Loved this one, filled in bits of backstory for Tulip and Jesse that I was hoping to see sooner than later. The writing in this series is great, because the characters come through so subtly, even without some of the flashbacks. Yet those moments give life to the actions, reactions, emotions of Jesse and Tulip in present day after seeing what they’ve been through. “Sokosha” is next week, looking forward to a bit of action as the Saint of Killers is hot on the gang’s trail.