AMC’s Preacher
Season 2, Episode 9: “Puzzle Piece”
Directed by Michael Dowse
Written by Craig Rosenberg

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Holes” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Dirty Little Secret” – click here
Pic 1We see a young Jesse Custer, watching a pistol put to his father’s head. The boy says he “prayed for this.” He feels he did that to his dad. In present day, the memories still remain with Jesse (Dominic Cooper). Deep, dark.
He’s online looking for sightings of God on YouTube. Various videos, all varieties of nutjobs certainly. Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) says that Denis (Ronald Guttman) is feeling better, turning around; did he give him the bite? Seems the vamp and the preacher at odds, in more ways than one. And Tulip (Ruth Negga), she’s still taking bullets to the chest with the bulletproof vest on, making cash hand over fist. Also not getting any rest, either. She isn’t well. So Jesse uses Genesis to put her out for a while. This doesn’t exactly thrill Cassidy, who couldn’t get him to use it to save his son. Yikes, that’ll drive a bad wedge between the two of them.
Jesse: “Without God, theres no structure, no order.”
Meanwhile, Herr Starr (Pip Torrens) is filled in on the situation at the apartment by Hoover (Malcolm Barrett) and Lara Featherstone (Julie Ann Emery). But he’s not so interested. Merely ordering the two Grail operatives to “kill them all.” He has better places to be.
Pic 1A (1)Now there’s a Grail SWAT team headed directly for the apartment, locked, loaded, and loving Jesus Christ! Amen. They head in, equipped with night vision and assault rifles, the whole nine yards. Inside they come across Cassidy, attacking a group of them. Another one shoots Denis. Jesse kicks the shit out of him, then orders him using Genesis: “Kill your friends.” As they stab the vampire, he takes them out one by one. Unable to stop himself. Before the preacher can get answers from the last remaining man, vampire Denis attacks, sucking him dry of blood.
Cut to Herr Starr’s date, sitting in an empty restaurant with a woman he doesn’t particularly take a liking to, mostly sitting through listening to her talk. Once he’s had enough he makes her take off her shirt, then tuck a stick of butter under her chin. He asks how long she can hold her breath. However, this is all interrupted. Assume he’s heard of how things are going at the apartment building.
We hear about someone, or something, called Brad. Instead of getting killed, Lara makes sure she and Hoover stick around. Between Brad and corralling prostitutes for his “rape fantasy” they’re set. They’re sent to get things prepared. Although if they fuck up again, the murder tarp will be waiting in Herr Starr’s office.
After the sleep of Genesis, Tulip wakes to the carnage in the apartment. We see the police, all kinds of people are there. They’re being ordered around by Jesse and Genesis. And y’know, this is great, in a way. They’ve got protection, for now. Only thing is that the Saint of Killers (Graham McTavish) will be drawn more and more as he uses it without much thought.
Pic 2Starr is educating himself more on the preacher, watching the surveillance footage of him. As well as digging into the man’s past, from his boyhood right up to before he left Annville. I wonder if he’ll come up with something to use against Jesse, something that might hurt bad.
At the apartment, Denis is happy to be alive. Forever. He’s nursing dad back to health, but also discovering that the “suns bad” and there are other drawbacks to being a vampire. He’s not really adverse to drinking blood, though. At the same time Jesse’s trying to get through to Tulip as she’s falling apart in front of his eyes. She doesn’t like that he used Genesis on her, something she previously said wouldn’t sit well with her, being forced to do something, out of her control.
Tulip winds up going to the other apartment, asking Lara if she can borrow a gun. So the woman, in her disguise, hands one over. No questions asked, though fairly helpful in tone. Because a “guns not gonna stop Brad.” Oh, man, I can’t wait to figure out what Brad is. Something fucking bad, I know that.
Things are tense at the apartment. Doesn’t help Denis throws on a record at full volume, refusing to turn it down even with dad scolding. Just as a massive man in an Obama mask shows up outside. He attacks a cop, sending a bunch of others to the officer’s aid. Tulip also shoots a guy in the apartment, believing he had a gun; he doesn’t.
None of it matters with B.R.A.D (Battle-Ready Remote Operated Aerial Drone) on the way. Back at HQ, Herr Starr gets the fantasy he wasn’t exactly looking for – three professionals show up, indeed, to wreck him. Instead of the other way around. He takes the time bent over to figure out his “missing puzzle piece.” After getting fucked with a boring look on his face, he calls Lara up to call off the use of B.R.A.D. Just barely averting the destruction of Jesse and his friends. The drone hits Harry Connick Jr’s house instead.
Pic 3Fantastic fucking episode! Loving the inclusion of the Grail more, Herr Starr is terrifying. After this episode I’m especially unsettled by him, which I didn’t think was any more possible.
Moreover, I’m highly interested in the last scene, as Starr sits down next to Jesse on a bar stool. Ready for a chat, just the two of them. Might just be the eerie German’s got answers about God. Hmm.
Pic 4

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I'm a Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) graduate and a Master's student with a concentration in early modern literature and print culture. Although I've studied everything from Medieval literature onward, also spending an extensive time studying post-modern critical theory; I have a large interest in both Marshall McLuhan and Jean Baudrillard. I completed my Honours thesis on John Milton's Paradise Lost + the communal aspects of its conception, writing, and its later printing/publication. This thesis will serve as the basis for a book about Milton's authorship and his influence on pop culture (that continues to this day). My Master's program involves a Creative Thesis, which will be a full-length, semi-autobiographical novel. Author Lisa Moore is supervising the writing of this thesis. I'm also already looking towards doing a dissertation for a PhD in 2019, focusing on early modern print culture in Europe and the constructions of gender identities. - I'm also a writer and a freelance editor. My short stories have been printed in Canada and the U.S. I edited Newfoundland author Earl B. Pilgrim's latest novel The Adventures of Ernest Doane Volume I. Aside from that I have a short screenplay titled "New Woman" that went into post-production during early 2018. I was part of a pilot episode for "The Ship" on CBC; I told a non-fiction story of mine about my own addiction/alcoholism live for an audience with nine other storytellers. - Meanwhile, I'm writing more screenplays, working on editing a couple novels I've finished, and running this website/writing all of its content. I used to write for Film Inquiry frequently during 2016-17. I'm currently contributing to a new website launching in May 2018, Scriptophobic; my column is titled Serial Killer Cinema. Contact me at u39cjhn@mun.ca or hit me up on Twitter (@fathergore) if you want to chat, collaborate, or have any questions for me. I'm also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fathersonholygore. Cheers!

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