Season 2, Episode 11: “Backdoors”
Directed by Norberto Barba
Written by Sara Goodman
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Dirty Little Secret” – click here
* For a recap & review of the penultimate Season 2 episode, “On Your Knees” – click here
A swamp is dredged. An old box hauled from the bottom of its murky waters. Inside, a boy. He’s pulled out as a woman’s brought to him. She asks his name, he replies Jesse Custer. But this isn’t what the woman wants to hear: “Put him back,” she says. So in he goes, back to the swamp floor once again.
Holy fuck. What kind of upbringing did he have? I didn’t think there could’ve been more than there already was, what with his father, that whole mess. Things just turned even darker.
From another swamp, where the Saint of Killers (Graham McTavish) was last plunged in the Grail’s armoured truck, we see the cowboy from Hell being pulled up. I mean, he is in there, right? Apparently not. And I tell ya, Tulip (Ruth Negga) is none too fucking pleased. This is what Herr Starr (Pip Torrens) likes hearing. He’s gained “new perspective” after his subverted rape fantasy. He has a coup in mind. To break Jesse (Dominic Cooper) away from his old life, to replace the Messiah, Humperdoo with him and the power of Genesis. Only he’s not discussed that with the preacher as of yet.
Meanwhile, down in Hell, they’re still searching for the one who’s not meant to be down there. They’ve also gotten word about the Saint of Killers, though nothing about what the word IS, exactly. Eugene (Ian Colletti) is navigating the choppy waters, between Hitler (Noah Taylor) and Tyler (Justin Prentice) trying to exert his influence it’s tough going.
“Everyone knows you can‘t trust Hitler”
Tulip and Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) aren’t impressed that Jesse didn’t do away with the cowboy. Worried he’ll come back. Of course the preacher keeps saying it’s no big deal, but tell that to the other two who barely made it out of the undead killer’s grip. The trio are falling apart. Cass and Tulip are feeling alienated. Jesse isn’t keeping them properly in the loop, nor is he making their lives too exciting. Finally he tells them he met Jesus, or well the descendant of Christ, the new Jesus. Only he’s “not right in the head.” But Tulip doesn’t give a shit, leading to a truly bad argument.
Through it all, Denis’ (Ronald Guttman) new dog gives him a clue – Jesse knows where God is now. And he’s going alone.
In Hell, Hitler’s being bullied by Tyler and Eugene. They take him to his cell, to see his own personal Hell. They want to see. Inside, we watch Munich in 1919 where Adolf eats a restaurant, sketching in his journal. A Jew bumps into him, then he politely excuses himself. Life goes on. The woman he’s with urges him to show his artwork to a gallery owner. Adolf does and the man says he “lacks conviction” and that his drawing is “bloodless.” Communists bust in causing a scene, so he picks up a gun, heading towards them as a hero. Except he does nothing but return the weapon, everyone watching him with shame. His lady friend leaves, unimpressed with his lack of manliness. He can’t even get the plum cake he ordered, watching the Jew who bumped into him eat the one he was meant to have.
Later Eugene has to be screened. Not before he and Hitler discuss escape, setting things into motion. Oh, and Adolf’s got his groove back. Scary.
Hitler: “That was the day, the last day that I was good. That was the moment I lost myself.”
What’s just as scary is seeing Denis become a darker vampire than his father Cassidy. He suggests his dad just “take” Tulip. Because, that’s what they do, right? Nah. Not how Cass rolls. He’s starting to see he should never have bitten his son. It’s going to backfire even further.
So the dog stuff leads Jesse to learn from Herr Starr that God was… kind of a pervert. He’s been having troubles. Moreover, the preacher discovers his new friend knows so much about him. The deepest, darkest fears in him, his past; the truth. We watch as there are genuine recordings of people’s prayers from Heaven. Starr got his hands on those belonging to Jesse.
Tulip and Lara (Julie Ann Emery) are down at the local smelter’s place, the former wanting to get rid of the Saint’s guns. Once and for all. The guy throws them in, even though they’re loaded. I can’t help wonder if something bad’ll happen. You know it will. Nothing’s that easy. The smelter can’t melt the guns; he can’t even get them to heat up. They’re stone fuckin’ cold.
In Hell, Eugene’s being screened. To see if he’s… the one. At the very same time Hitler has everyone in the common room singing hymns. Gives him enough time to sneak in to Eugene, to enact their plan. There’s a manhole in the floor where they slip through.
Jesse listens to all his prayers, from the time he was a boy to manhood. All the various things he wanted forgiveness for, his perceived sins across the years. So many different prayers. “Forgive me for touchin‘ myself… forgive me for shootin‘ that Komodo dragon…” and all kinds of things. The granddaddy of them all involves the earlier scene of him being hauled from that swamp, thanking God for killing his father. Who was doing it all? Dear ole grandma L’Angell.
Oh, and the Saint? I think he’s back.
Man, I fucking love Preacher! Always surprising me, from characters and their development to plot devices and some of the stories that come out. Just fantastic stuff. Can’t wait to dig more into the comics later. “On Your Knees” is next week, our penultimate Season 2 finisher. Really, truly hope they’re gonna give us Season 3! Don’t fuck us AMC. We love this show.