Eccarius gives Cass a last ultimatum. Jesse and Jody face off in the Tombs.
Gran'ma calls up Satan for a favour. Meanwhile, Tulip tries not to kill Lara as they pull the job in Osaka.
Season 3, Episode 4: “The Tombs”
Directed by Wayne Yip
Written by Mark Stegemann
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Gonna Hurt” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “The Coffin” – click here
Back to Hell, for the first time in ages! A guard goes to a cell, letting the prisoner inside know: “It‘s time.” Of course, you know who it is— the Saint of Killers (Graham McTavish). They head for the elevator, so he can get back to business. Hell’s quite the place, a lot of interesting architecture. Satan (Jason Douglas) is waiting in his office with the Angel of Death. Satan and the Saint have a talk. They discuss the man’s breakout, when he went back to Earth to hunt down the preacher, Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper). Seems the Dark Lord doesn’t like what it did to his reputation, so it’ll require making “amends.” That is, a bit of torture. The Angel of Death gives the Saint of Killers a nasty whipping, though he’s not overly affected.
But it gives Satan a thrill. It’s all good, man.
In the real world, Tulip O’Hare (Ruth Negga) is busy trying to get information out of Madam Boyd (Prema Cruz). She gets trapped in Boyd territory. Luckily she’s a “crazy bitch,” and she gets herself out of there with the Madam with a bit of sheer will and gunfire.
Jump to back in the day, down in the tombs, where young Jesse (Will Kindrachuk) was ringleader of the circus in the Tombs at Angelville. He was their big presenter. Jody (Jeremy Childs) was a bare knuckle staple at those events. And TC (Colin Cunningham) had all those who gave over their souls to Madam L’Angell (Betty Buckley) locked up, awaiting a chance to fight in the middle of the ring so they might get back them back.
In present day, Jesse stands in the Tombs like years ago, watching his old pal, the vampire Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun), fend off the paedophile science teacher who’s spent an eternity down there. Eventually, Cass kills his opponent. He doesn’t get any time to celebrate, though. Jesse kicks him around a bit in front of TC and Jody. A nasty situation, even if it’s all part of an ultimate plan.
Soundtrack note: Great tune, fitting the Southern atmosphere and setting of Preacher.
More of the past. We see Madam Boyd has history with Jesse. She tells Tulip, in the present, the preacher was the “worst person” she’d ever loved. We see them when they were young. They were secretly having a relationship behind the back of those at Angelville. He was continually having a problem with reconciling the L’Angell business with life. He drove her away, purposefully, to keep her from danger. This is a recurring theme in Custer’s life— pushing people away, hurting people, whether it’s Sabina, Tulip, Cassidy, in order to keep them from being hurt worse by the fallout of his horrific personal life. Such as currently, he’s chopped Cassidy into bits and he’s putting the vamp, in pieces, inside a box to ship him out of there. The vamp thinks it’s bullshit, though this is the only way Jesse knows how to do things.
Back in day again, we see Jesse doing his thing at the Tombs. Sabina’s brother turned up looking to find Jesse, attacking him in the ring. The two men went fist to fist brutally. And Jesse strangled him to death in front of everybody. Hooooly shit. Following that he went back to hosting the sick show, even going so far as to quote Gladiator. In the present, Tulip refuses to believe Madam Boyd when she tells her the story.
In the Tombs, Jesse tells people “God has left Heaven” at the latest show. They’ve also discovered the vampire’s gone— he’s also escaped his box at the shipping store. Well, the preacher is actually shutting the place down. He refuses to let it continue. That is, until the vamp returns singing “Danny Boy.” He’s back for a fight, too. Good ole Irish lad. This pits him against Jesse. The two kick the shit out of one another, using fists and weapons alike. The preacher begs his friend to take the fall. At that moment, Tulip enters to see the carnage between the two men. She witnesses Jesse renouncing God and putting a makeshift stake into Cassidy, looking like a veritable monster. Once it’s all done Cass and Tulip take off together. Although the vampire tries to stress that Jesse’s only a “product of his environment.” And on top of that, Ms. O’Hare can’t bring herself to go. She pushes the vamp away to keep him safe. That recurring theme is the same for her right now, she’s in a position where she has to hurt someone to ensure they won’t be hurt worse by her collateral damage. Only she doesn’t realise Cassidy’s being watched by the Grail, as well.
Tulip goes back to Jesse, she knows the truth and she only wants him to be honest with her. She wants to be trusted, like a proper partner. So, Jesse tells her about what happened to Sabina’s brother. In reality, the guy was trying to kill him, and he was forced to do what he did out of self defence. It all just went to bolster Jesse’s reputation amongst the fans at the Tombs, creating a sick identity for him.
In Hell, Satan tells the Saint he has a mission for him. A bit of retrieval. He needs “two someones” brought back downstairs. They’re threats. It’s got to be a less lethal excursion, so the Saint can’t use guns this time. If he gets the job done, then he gets his weapons back, and he can go back to killing, searching for his preacher. I wonder who the two are, huh?
I will forever love this series. Enough said!
“The Coffin” is next time. Gonna get more fun from here on in, though that’s par for the course at this point, I suppose. Giddy up.
Jesse and Cassidy head down to Angelville, to ask for Madame L'Angell's help in resurrecting Tulip.
Jesse's deciding whether to kill Viktor, whether to forgive Tulip and Cassidy both, and what sort of man he is, who he'll be from here on in.
On the road, Jesse, Cassidy, and Tulip start their search for God. With the Saint of Killers nipping at their heels.
Season 1, Episode 10: “Call and Response”
Directed & Written by Sam Catlin
* For a recap & review of the penultimate Season 1 episode, “Finish the Song” – click here
* For a recap & review of the Season 2 premiere, “On the Road” – click here
With the Season 1 finale upon us, will Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper) get God to come to his church service? And where’s Eugene (Ian Colletti)? So many questions.
Well, we open on Annville, all it’s simple, rugged beauty. Love the quaint Texas charm. Meanwhile, everybody is very interested about what happens Sunday. Then Jesse goes flying down the road past one of his regular congregation, police in tow. The residents are all getting dolled up, waxing is half off, hair foils being put on all over the place. Tulip (Ruth Negga) is trying to figure out exactly where the preacher is, and realises the answer may lie with Donnie Schenck (Derek Wilson). Speaking of him, he and his wife Betsy (Jamie Anne Allman) actually do have a BDSM thing going on, so that’s actually surprising. I never believed it early in the season.
But most interesting is that Jesse’s there. Towel on, just had a shower.
In jail, Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) is chatting with other prisoners, handing out life lessons. He’s been busted up at the whorehouse. Then there’s Sheriff Hugo Root (W. Earl Brown), still requiring a bit of help to figure out exactly where his son Eugene’s ended up. Root sits down with the file on Cassidy. They go through a ton of nasty behaviour. Some extremely nasty. “I sort of lost my head a bit there; crime of passion,” he says after one photo shows an attempted murder. Strangest still are the dates. Root adds them up back to 1922. “And yet I look so young,” Cassidy quips. When the old vampire takes a run at the sheriff he gets a gunshot in the gut. Afterwards, the curious Root pumps out a little paper cup of blood and offers it up. Wow, that is an intriguing little pair. What will come of this new relationship?
Jumping back to Donnie and Jesse – the actual conversion in Annville has happened to Donnie Schenck. He decided to show the preacher mercy, as he was shown, when they confronted one another in the church. However, Tulip isn’t there for any of that sweet bullshit. She’s there for Jesse. Outside, she lures him in with the slight suggestion of sex. But really, she has a friend in the trunk. You know it: Carlos.
We flash back to Carlos himself. He is one greasy little bastard. And his flirting game is awful. He’s outside, as Jesse and Tulip are inside looking through safety deposit boxes in a bank. Then Jesse finds a double-fisted dildo: “It‘s like Lady and the Tramp except in our butts,” he jokes shaking it at his girl. The whole sequence leads to when Carlos decides to leave the two lovers behind, seeming jealous of their relationship. He cuts a security guard loose; the who ends up dead at the end of Custer’s gun. And worse? At the same time, Tulip – carrying a baby, which was hinted at a few moments earlier – obviously miscarries, or begins to, as the sirens start blaring.
In the present, Jesse asks the tied up Carlos why he did it: “You were happy,” his only response.
Back at the Quincannon factory, Pappy (Biff Yeager) stands watching a pool of bubbling filth, talking on the phone. I have a feeling we, the non-comics readers (I’ll be buying soon), are going to find out more about him soon.
In jail, Cassidy lets the newly informed Hugo in on a bit of what happened to Eugene. Then he starts questioning the father about whether he’d be happy if Eugene simply disappeared. He pushes a bit too hard before Root pumps him full of lead. Prior to letting the vampire go.
The Schencks sit in bed while in the kitchen Jesse and Tulip argue over an “eye for an eye” and if someone has to pay for their child dying. What a devastating conversation, even if it isn’t long. That river of pain between these two lovers runs deep. It’s at that moment Jesse decides to kill Carlos. Only Tulip doesn’t want to get her car dirty. Or, maybe she’s changing her mind. They let their captive go (while Johnny Cash’s “Personal Jesus” cover plays). They even arm him. Make sure he’s ready. Not long later he stumbles down the road, beaten to pieces. Yikes.
The gang is readying Custer’s church for Sunday service. The big one. On the altar, Betsy has a look at Jesse’s little phone to God, and they try sussing out how to work the thing. Love how nonchalant she discusses it with him. When the day comes, everybody’s present. Waiting to see what goes down. Pappy’s there, of course Emily (Lucy Griffiths) and her family, even the Loach family with Tracy propped up in her bed. They’re all there.
Before Jesse can get things rolling, Odin (Jackie Earle Haley) stands up to talk about how all priests and holy men and preachers are “full of shit.” So the preacher sets about using the phone, angel hand and all. There’s even a positive winding up, but the contraption doesn’t seem to work. “Just shoot its dick off,” someone yells from the crowd.
Out of nowhere, all the light disappears. The sun is darkened. And then a blast of light opens up at the altar. An image of God (Mark Harelik) appears, speaking to them from a throne in white. Although he gets a bit angry. Doesn’t please him to just be called up suddenly. This leads to Jesse lashing out at his God, telling him of “sin winning” and the good side losing. “Why don‘t you act like a father,” he scolds the Creator. Finally, he agrees to ask a few questions. Typical stuff. Then he claims that we need both love and pain, in order to understand being a human. Things devolve and people shout all their questions. Odin can’t stand it, though. He asks about his deceased daughter; God affirms she’s there in heaven. This just about floors Quincannon.
But God wants to hear from Jesse. What he’d like to know. He wants God to tell him his plan, for Jesse personally. “You have not failed,” the big man in white lets him know. God says they are all “saved” and that also extends to Eugene, apparently. Jesse says he sent the boy to hell. Seems God’s not particularly keen on letting anyone else know about Genesis. The preacher needs more answers. He knows this man is not God. The power of Genesis comes out of Jesse and discovers from the impostor: “God is missing.” Then people come on the other end of the camera to take the angel away, a rogue giving out secrets.
What will become of Annville, the world, if God is gone? The church gets trashed for now and the congregation leaves. Everyone is lost, not just God.
There’s not much hope left for anybody after finding out God’s up and vanished. Suicide, mischief, murder, maybe even worse – the paedophile bus driver gets killed and has a copper rod shoved in his ass; Tracy Loach’s mom puts her out of her misery; Hugo sits at home in a daze; even Donnie is thrown completely for a loop, not knowing where to go from here; and Odin, he’s been far gone a long time, anyway, now making a small child out of meat.
Can’t forget the basement of the factory, the Methane-Electro Reactor at Q.M.& P. Pappy’s cheated on his wife with a prostitute, who is now flicking all the switches, pushing buttons, and making the place go wild. Oh, damn. The pressure is ready to explode – these are the little valves we’ve seen blowing around the town from time to time. Now, they’re letting loose all over the place.
And after not too long, a massive explosion blows the Custer church to bits, sucking it almost right into the Earth.
After the trip from hell, Fiore (Tom Brooke) arrives back at where he’d been picked up. Alone. He looks a little sad, as well. Or maybe he just had a rough time.
At the same time, Jesse, Cassidy, and Tulip are planning on a massive roadtrip. To look for God. This pleases the ancient vampire, though Tulip wonders exactly why, or how they’ll ever find him, what they’ll do if they track him down. And this time, Custer wants answers. He’s on the side of the Lord yet he wants to take the Lord to task.
Oh and Jesse still sees Eugene now and then. Promises to get him out of that fiery pit in hell. I hope the poor kid can last. On television at the diner, we find Annville has been totally blasted off the map. Everybody dead, no survivors. Holy shit.
And so heading into Season 2 we’re likely to get into the bulk of the comics, more storylines directly from the pages. That’s my guess, as I understand there’s more of a roadtrip-type aspect to places they go, et cetera. That’ll be interesting. And now that Annville is gone – only that reincarnating lady-demon from the motel still lurching around through the rubble – the settings will have to change.
Plus, we’ve got The Cowboy (Graham McTavish) on the tail of the preacher.
What a god damn Season 1 this was! Loved every last bit of it. So good. Excited now for a second season to take things up a notch. It’ll be impressive, I’m sure.
Season 1, Episode 9: “Finish the Song”
Directed by Michael Slovis
Written by Craig Rosenberg
* For a review of the previous episode, “El Valero” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Call and Response” – click here
Back in ole Ratwater, we find ourselves discovering more about The Cowboy (Graham McTavish). In a saloon the patrons all listen to a man singing. When The Cowboy arrives, returning for his vengeance, he finds the preacher (Justice Leak) with whom he recently had a run-in before the devastation of his family. The preacher tells everyone about the “Butcher of Gettysburg” a.k.a The Cowboy before them. They’re all horrified. When the holy man asks The Cowboy whether he’ll succumb to the love of Jesus Christ, the reply is not subtle whatsoever: “I love my horse. I love my wife. And I love my little girl. As for Jesus, he can join us all in Hell.” Out come a bag filled with decapitated heads, then his dual-wielded guns. The end for everyone in that saloon is not a happy one. It is bloody, merciless. It is an act of absolute hatred because of what’s happened to him and his family. Even the poor singing man from earlier gets knocked off. As does the man using the player piano. Our Cowboy, he pours himself a drink, as a massive storm bears down on Ratwater.
What a god damn opener. One of the best, if not THE best, so far in this first season. Amazing stuff. Heavy.
Sheriff Hugo Root (W. Earl Brown) is carting Jesse (Dominic Cooper) off to jail. He’s also asking where Eugene (Ian Colletti) is, what’s happened to him. Custer only says he sent the boy to hell. Well, Hugo isn’t happy. He’s giving the preacher a little story about what happens to kid killers in jail, as if Jesse would have actually killed a young man like Eugene. Then with an “I‘ll see you Sunday,” Jesse tucks and rolls out of the cop car leaving Root completely stunned. There’s that old thief spirit.
In other news, the two angels, or whatever they are, DeBlanc (Anatol Yusef) and Fiore (Tom Brooke) are out for a stroll on a rainy Texas evening. They’re looking to go on a trip. “We wanna go to hell,” DeBlanc makes clear after their travel adviser suggests Nova Scotia, Canada, or maybe Tasmania. Fiore makes it clearer: “MUCH further South.” Anyway, they get it all done. Even after Fiore almost has to bang the lady out back. But the arrangements are made, all above board. Or, as above board as it can get with dudes from heaven trying to get into hell.
Over at Tulip’s (Ruth Negga) place, we find her and Emily (Lucy Griffiths) trying to take care of the ole vampire himself. Tulip lets goody two shoes Emily in on the fact Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) is an ancient bloodsucker. Poor guy is trying to regenerate after proving himself to be a creature of the night to Custer. Taking a lot to get him back to good health. Now, Tulip tells Emily she couldn’t care less about Jesse, as he’s done enough to break her trust already. Oh, and Emily even readily admits to dating Mayor Miles Person (Ricky Mabe). Well she does a good job pretending it’s “cool.” Learning a bit from all the liars around her. Tulip? She’s gone to “kill a man in Albuquerque.” So Emily gets left to feed the starving vampire all on her own. When she gets too curious, opening the door more than a crack, Cassidy – still burnt, bloody, a hideous creature – snarls at her.
Chilling under a bridge, having breakfast and a bit of wine, Jesse hangs out with some homeless friends. One of whom is quite curious as to how Jesse plans on bringing God right to church, as he so claims.
DeBlanc and Fiore are worried about being separated, so they don’t want to call heaven and settle things that way. Then they suggest a coin toss for whether they go to heaven, or to hell. When they do a double or nothing flip they get heaven. Excited, they then find out their precious phone is missing.
DeBlanc: “You left a telephone with a direct line to heaven‘s throne under the bed!”
Fiore: “I thought it was clever. Who checks under the bed anymore?”
Miles gets a call from Emily. Turns out Cassidy got out of the room, as he cried for help. A trick? Regardless, the trusty mayor heads over to the O’Hare place. Strange noises, guinea pigs and rabbits in cages squeaking.
Then we find out Emily’s figured a way to get Miles out of her life, after watching a bit of Psycho on television and hearing Norman Bates talk about how we’re all stuck in our lives, unable to break free. This single mother has found a way to break free. That involves feeding Miles to Cassidy. Two birds with one stone: Miles isn’t creeping around Emily, forcing himself into her bed + Cassidy can heal. Also, we get a nice shot reminiscent of Kubrick’s The Shining, as Emily keeps Miles locked in the room just like Jack Torrance pressed himself against the freezer door, ranting to his terrified wife outside. And the sounds of Mayor Person meeting his nasty demise.
At the motel, Sheriff Root finds a blood spattered room. In the tub, a woman with her arms and legs cut off. “Kill me,” she begs. Looks like the angelic duo had to leave her behind. As Root contemplates helping the woman die, our awareness makes it a tragic moment. He has no idea the trouble he’s about to cause once he strangles the dying… thing… to death. She reappears behind him before leaving the room.
DeBlanc and Fiore have to leave everything behind after they get on the bus to hell. This is the exact same spot where Walt and Jesse were respectively meant to meet the extractor nearing the end of Breaking Bad.
Over at the O’Hare house, Jesse turns up. He sees Cassidy in his low, dangerous state, curled in the corner. On the floor is the corpse of Miles. We see the two friends discovering everything about each other. Will Jesse accept Cassidy once more? “I‘m not goin‘ anywhere,” Jesse tells him: “You saw me too, Cassidy. The worst part of me.” He apologises for letting the man burn in front of him. “You put me out, that‘s what matters,” replies Cassidy. And then they’re off, getting rid of the mayor’s body. Putting all that’s right in its place.
Odin Quincannon (Jackie Earle Haley) is looking forward to seeing the preacher fail inf ront fo everybody at church on Sunday. Should be quite a show when the “greatest lie ever told” gets the rugged pulled out from under it.
The phone to heaven’s throne? Jesse has it. However, not being an angel doesn’t exactly make it easy for him to make a call. He does make a call on a regular phone, though. To Tulip. He recounts having pancakes with the homeless people, which reminded him about a story a few years ago when they were on the run from some Rodriguez Brothers; about pancakes, M&Ms, and essentially about how much he cares for her. “For me, it‘s just you ‘til the end of the world,” Jesse says while Tulip sits in Albuquerque, a man tied to a chair in front of her, a meat tenderiser in her hand.
We flash back through moments with The Cowboy. All those horrific events which led to him killing everyone in that saloon. Like going through his own personal hell.
Back at the bar, him having a drink, the storm starts to rage outside. The walls shake and everything is about to fall down around him. Yet The Cowboy drinks away.
Then we can hear footsteps coming down a dark, barely lit hallway. The feet then step onto the saloon floor, all the bodies, the bloody squishing beneath them. DeBlanc and Fiore stroll up to the bar, as our Cowboy draws his guns. “You want this to end? You want to be free of all this? We have a job for you,” DeBlanc explains to the man. Before getting a bullet in the face. Afterwards, Fiore explains they need him to kill somebody: a preacher. Ah, and things keep on coming together.
In Annville, Jesse and Cassidy dig a hole in the night, somewhere along the desert. They’re digging for angel hands from the bodies Cassidy already buried. Alongside the rest, they lay Miles to rest. So with a line to God now, is Jesse going to use those angel hands to try and convince him to come to church on Sunday? Have mercy.
My favourite episode yet! I’ve said that a couple times, but this takes the cake. Amazing. Through and through. The mystery and suspense of the series has never been better (or paid off more) than in this chapter. Finale is titled “Call and Response” and you can be sure we’re about to see something spectacular, on all fronts.
Season 1, Episode 8: “El Valero”
Directed by Kate Dennis
Written by Olivia Dufault
* For a review of the previous episode, “He Gone” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Finish the Song” – click here
In a ski lift heading up a mountain, the Quincannon family drop off the wire and to their certain death. Odin (Jackie Earle Haley) sits in his office with crates in front of him. Is this his family? He looks dishevelled and worn out.
Simultaneously we hear him talking to John Custer (Nathan Darrow), as we switch to Odin covered in blood, organs in his hands; either his daughter’s organs, or the dead cow’s next to him. In those boxes are his family, indeed. He’s looking for proof of God, though Custer will not denounce his faith. Outside waits a young Jesse, catching a slight glimpse of the horror inside before leaving with his father.
Whoa. Preacher steps up the game with this one.
At the church in present day, Odin finds his guys aren’t having much luck infiltrating the church of Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper). Speaking of the preacher, he’s inside drinking, brandishing guns and speaking with God. Or at least speaking at him.
When he makes a deal not to use his powers again, he manages to lift Eugene (Ian Colletti) right up from out of the earth beneath the floorboards. He’s back! Poor dude has been places. He’s alive, though. When they talk, Eugene says that hell was pretty “crowded.” Not surprising.
Outside Odin and his gang are frothing at the mouth. Inside, the preacher doesn’t sweat it. He’s busy trying to lay bare his ego, though I’m not so sure if that’s going to last. Either way he admits, for the time being, Eugene was right about God being the only one to judge him re: Tracy Loach. In this moment Jesse has clarity. He knows that DeBlanc (Anatol Yusef) and Fiore (Tom Brooke) were right to come take the power from him. But then we start to see that Eugene isn’t just thirsty because he’s been in hell for a little. He’s FROM hell. An apparition of Jesse’s guilty mind.
The ever fun Tulip O’Hare (Ruth Negga) is on the look for a dog. She finds one named Brewsky. Perfect. At the same time, Emily (Lucy Griffiths) is experiencing a slight crisis. She’s also got Mayor Miles Person (Ricky Mabe) sniffing around, as usual. Plus he drops the bombshell about Jesse supposedly giving up his church to Quincannon. Man, is Miles ever a creepy dude. Sure he helps out around the house, but that’s not exactly his place.
Donnie (Derek Wilson) leads the charge for Odin’s men on the church. They head in, weapons ready and bulldozer going hard. Except Jesse can shoot a rifle like nobody’s business, as well as tosses a few molotov cocktails. When Odin thinks the preacher won’t hurt anybody he’s swiftly proven wrong: one of the boys, Clive, had his dick shot “clean off” by the renegade Custer. Oh shit. Is this Custer’s last stand? Too on the nose.
Jesse asks for the agents – our heavenly hitmen. They go to see him with all their equipment in tow, as Sheriff Hugo Root (W. Earl Brown) stands out with Quincannon, wondering about his kid inside. He also doesn’t like that Odin is trying to tear down the church. We know, from that vicious opener, he is not a religious man. Not for a long time.
Everyone’s worried about Jesse and his mental state. He still sees Eugene. Although Fiore lets sleep there is actually a way to bring a person back from hell, which DeBlanc doesn’t seem too pleased about. Outside, Mayor Miles talks a good game about Quincannon and his plans to Emily, conning her in. He’s got blood on his hands, literally, so I wouldn’t trust him. That’s for sure.
DeBlanc and Fiore plan to use their little tune to draw out Genesis. For his part, Jesse wonders why he was chosen. Why he didn’t explode like the others. “No one understands God‘s plans at first,” Jesse wonders to them aloud, trying to hold onto Genesis awhile longer. “And what good have you done with it?” questions DeBlanc. Good point, dude.
Just about the whole of Annville is waiting outside to see the show at the church. They’re all hoping for more shooting. Y’know, yeehaw! Fitting that Donnie is dressed in his Civil War reenactment costume. Looking like an asshole. Then he heads over to his car, puts his head in the trunk, then places a gun inside before pulling the trigger.
It seems like Genesis has been pulled from out of Jesse. With DeBlanc and Fiore heading off, not planning on helping with Eugene, or not so concerned really, Jesse is not playing nice. Not to mention Genesis isn’t done with the preacher. It’s found a home, even blowing the can apart. Then they’ve given up. What’s the next step, though? Is there a more extreme measure DeBlanc and Fiore will take now that their basic methods aren’t working?
Now a gunfight is raging. Bullets fly through the walls of the church, as jaded Texas residents stand watching; some in awe of the violence, others nearly sexually aroused by the carnage. Jesse holds tough inside, shooting back between swigs of liquor. Then Donnie shows up. Whaaat? Has something taken hold of him? No, he’s popped his ear drums. He can’t be forced to do what it is Jesse (and Genesis) wants him to do.
Donnie gets the upper hand. Inside the church, Jesse signs over the deed to his father’s land, the church. “The God of Meat” is now a thing, ruling over the tangible and everything genuine. Well, in this comics universe, God does exist. As does the Devil. As does some other intense creation, Genesis. And so all of that logic Odin tries using means nothing. Jesse opts to make a double or nothing deal, of sorts. He says he’s literally going to bring God to Sunday’s next service. If not, he’ll denounce his faith, God, all of it.
And that dog Tulip picked up? I think she’s fed it to Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun).
Sheriff Root takes Jesse off to jail. He’s also still wondering about where his boy has gone with no answers from the preacher, either.
Down in a dark room, Pappy (Biff Yeager) stops a pressure overload, working in Quincannon’s factory. What exactly’s happening, and where is this leading? Another good bit of mystery.
Loved this episode. Very different, very cool. Also, we’re seeing the ego of Jesse come out, more and more. Likewise we’re starting to understand the power of Genesis. And all the mystery, the intrigue, it’s so gradual in the right kind of way that I dig the writing so much. Next episode is titled “Finish the Song” – the penultimate Season 1 finisher.
Season 1, Episode 7: “He Gone”
Directed by Michael Morris
Written by Mary Laws (The Neon Demon)
* For a review of the previous episode, “Sundowner” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “El Valero” – click here
Eugene (Ian Colletti) has disappeared. After Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper) told him to “Go to hell” it’s as if he’s literally done exactly that. Now, the preacher’s left to wonder if those powers of his might not finally have gotten out of control. For the time being he doesn’t seem to mind. Are those powers twisting the person he is into someone he would’ve never wanted to be? Either way, Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) witnessed what happened. Can he keep that a secret? Probably not. And for a century old vampire, he’s actually got a bit of a moral compass, for some things.
But where is Eugene exactly? And are the demons in hell going to figure out that Jesse has Genesis because of this? We’ve already got heaven in the mix with DeBlanc (Anatol Yusef) and Fiore (Tom Brooke) on Earth trying to get it back.
Despite his transgressions, Jesse is starting to realise the power within him might be a bit too powerful. To accommodate his congregation the preacher has put chairs outside, a loud speaker fixed on the awning above the entrance. As his voice bellows out there, a bit of good still inside Jesse knows there’s something not right. Even worse, poor Sheriff Hugo Root (W. Earl Brown) is wandering around asking about Eugene. Won’t be easy to explain that one away.
There’s still Odin Quincannon (Jackie Earle Haley), as well. He hasn’t changed totally, other than that he’s there to do the bidding of Genesis, not God. He still listens to livestock and the creepy tapes. His Civil War model is bloody and brutal – a tree reminiscent of the one The Cowboy passed on his way into/out of Ratwater stands with someone hanging from it. Could Genesis have something to do with the revenge of The Cowboy back then? There’s some relation. Odin’s still drinking, still in a bad mindset. No telling what’s going to happen next in his little tale. Only going to get worse for Mayor Miles Person (Ricky Mabe), too.
We flash back to a younger Jesse sitting outside the principal’s office. His father, John Custer (Nathan Darrow), is there to see why Jesse and little Tulip are in trouble. Young Donnie Schenck “lost a nipple” in the altercation. What we see is how the romantic duo of Jesse and Tulip got so close, as their childhoods were essentially intertwined. As a boy, Jesse was a religious kid. Said his prayers. Cared about being good.
In present day, Tulip O’Hare (Ruth Negga) is up to her old tricks. She runs, barefoot, through neighbourhoods holding her high heels. She pulls a kid off a bike, all to get a pair of pants. Her uncle’s – he passed out on the front steps again. Sad to seethe home life she’s been subjected to for her entire existence. Even the local mascot shakes his head walking by, seeing the uncle passed out as Tulip sits frustrated on the steps.
And Jesse, he’s meeting with Emily (Lucy Griffiths) to see what his day holds. Lots of business to take care of, naturally. Meanwhile, Eugene is still nowhere to be found. The weight of that hangs on Jesse, but I fear there’s more of him changing due to Genesis than he’d like to let on. Cassidy worries for his pal, revealing he witnessed what happened with Eugene in the church. He wants to help out. To boot, Emily hears a bit of what’s going on. Great. That’ll make things go smooth. When Tulip arrives, Cassidy antagonises her about the fact she’s staying around, cooking dinner, acting like a housewife instead of taking off to get revenge. They get into a bit of an argument over who knows Jesse best, and whether he and Cassidy are actually friends. But most of all Cassidy finds himself worrying about what Genesis might mean for any relationship Tulip has with Jesse.
Another flash back to John Custer and the kids. Jesse and Tulip developed a bond at a young age, promising themselves “to the end of the world” in reference to their undying friendship, and later what became an undying love. Two parts of one soul. Except that they were separated by Texas Human Services, taking Tulip away to place her in a proper home. Later that same night Jesse prayed for his father to die and be sent to hell.
Will Eugene meet Jesse’s father down there?
Back to the present, Odin heads to see the preacher. He confesses to having done a “terrible thing” – not the one you’re thinking of, but the fact he let his own family down with the business not thriving like they did once. Well, Odin wants the deed to the land they agreed upon signed over. Appears Quincannon isn’t exactly turned over to Christ. He says he isn’t saved, not at all. He wants the land. Or else – what, I’m not so sure. There might be some trouble on the road ahead. One thing’s certain: Jesse has underestimated the power, he does not understand it entirely.
Dinner between Jesse, Emily, Tulip, and Cassidy gets awkward. At least before Sheriff Root arrives. He still hasn’t found his boy. Obviously, he fears the worst. Right at that very moment the oven catches fire. Flames burst out. The perfect touch. Almost like Eugene is calling out from the fires of hell. After Jesse lies to Root about not seeing the kid, Cassidy lets the preacher have it with a fire extinguisher to his face. “We all make mistakes, don‘t we?” Cassidy agrees, and starts wondering what they can do to get Eugene back.
Now we discover what happened to Tracy Loach, “prom queen, queen of everything.”
Eugene confessed his love to Tracy and was rejected. Instead of letting it go, Eugene blew half her head off then tried to do the same to himself. Holy. Fucking. Shit. That is even more intense than I’d imagined on my own. Wow. Still, Jesse is not God. He can’t act like it, and that’s exactly what he’s doing right now. Cassidy knows it, we know it. Only Jesse hasn’t figured that out yet. He is all but lost in the magnificent power of Genesis. And when he finds out about Cassidy’s identity, what will he do? The old vampire takes his shirt off, stepping into the sun, and that fire extinguisher is now for more than just fighting.
More and more now, Jesse is alienating everybody around him. First it’s Cassidy, then Tulip. Poor Emily’s stuck in the middle with no clear idea of what at all is happening. He starts alienating her, too.
Then we flash back to John Custer. He tells his little boy Jesse to hide under the bed. Someone breaks into the house, cracking the preacher with baseball bats. He’s dragged out to watch his father have a pistol pointed at his head. Of course the boy blames himself, having prayed for his dad’s death. Back in present day, Jesse literally tries digging through the floor to find Eugene screaming: “Come back!”
Oh, and Quincannon is headed with a ton of men and a bulldozer, straight towards the preacher’s land. Yikes. Lots of excitement ahead of us.
A nice chapter to follow up Eugene’s disappearance into the great below. Next episode is titled “El Valero” and we’re closing in on the end of this first, glorious, gruesome, fun season! What a series. Can’t wait for more.
Season 1, Episode 6: “Sundowner”
Directed by Guillermo Navarro
Written by Nick Towne
* For a review of the previous episode, “South Will Rise Again” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “He Gone” – click here
After a whopping last episode, “Sundowner” begins with Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper) at the table with DeBlanc (Anatol Yusef) and Fiore (Tom Brooke), as they’re explaining what’s inside of him. “It‘s a mistake,” says DeBlanc. Ominous. But the preacher wants more. He wants to know its origins. He starts using his powers against them: “It‘s called Genesis,” explains DeBlanc unwillingly. Lots of talk about heaven v. hell, an “endless war” and such. An angel and a demon conjoined. Something never meant to come into existence. The whole thing is beyond powerful. A comic, dark opener that I love. When DeBlanc and Fiore start stomping on a woman outside, Jesse rushes to her aide – only to find she’s a mad woman with superwoman strength. Fiore does the job and kills her. But damn, Jesse has gotten himself into a situation over which he holds no control. Well, at least the heavenly duo have found their phone again. Because it’s time to go: the woman regenerates and they’ve got other trouble to worry about. Seraphim are on Earth. Looks like DeBlanc and Fiore aren’t doing the greatest job, someone isn’t happy. And Jesse just keeps learning more and more about the holy world.
We discover Fiore and DeBlanc are on Earth unauthorised. Thus the reason for their predicament. When the Seraphim woman tracks them down at the Sundowner Motel, she blasts the two heaven-sent hitmen before getting into one bad ass fist fight with Custer. An amazing little sequence sees Fiore and DeBlanc regenerate, as they all try and take the woman down. They do. For the time being, at least. She regenerates and comes back for more. Poor Fiore takes the brunt of most of her assault. Problem is if they keep killing her, she keeps coming back. They’ve got to keep her down, restrain her, then deal with the aftermath somehow. I couldn’t get enough of this whole sequence. It hilarious, a bit bloody, filled with action. The first twelve minutes of this episode are a complete kick in the face, in the best possible sense. One of my favourites of the first season.
Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) arrives, only to mess up all their hard work by killing the woman off. Although the deed gets done soon enough. After a ton of blood and mess. Now DeBlanc and Fiore need Genesis back, so they can get on with things. Jesse wants to know more, though, and wonders why it chose him, how it did. Then reveals he’s keeping it. He feels Genesis is part of his duty. “God does not want this,” DeBlanc pleads. Oh no. The hubris of Custer is becoming dangerous. I wonder how this is going to play out for him after the two heavenly beings take the next step; and what IS the next step from here?
At school, Eugene (Ian Colletti) finds DIE scrawled on his locker. All the same somebody says hello to him; his first response is to apologise. I’m hoping nothing bad happens to him. Still, I keep wondering exactly what it is he did to Tracy Loach. We’ll figure more of that out, those of us who haven’t read the comics yet. In other news, Tulip (Ruth Negga) barges into Emily’s (Lucy Griffiths) place and threatens her, ordering her to stay away from her boyfriend. You know who. Initially Emily doesn’t say much, but doesn’t hold back when bitching Tulip out. They have a strange little moment after Tulip agrees to fix what she broke in her rage.
Oh and poor Mayor Miles Person (Ricky Mabe). He recently watched Odin Quincannon (Jackie Earle Haley) gun down a bunch of people whom he hoped were to be business associates. Now there are calls coming in about the folks that never returned from their business trip. Yikes. That can’t mean anything good, and I feel bad that such a mild-mannered guy like Person is wrapped up in Odin’s (and partially Jesse’s) madness.
At home, Cassidy and Jesse drink morning beers, stand around in their underwear while their clothes is in the wash, and catch up on what’s happening lately in their respective lives. “You look like a men‘s room wall,” says Custer re: Cassidy and his ink, as they each talk about tattoos. Jesse even has a tattoo for Tulip. That’ll be a wedge between them if they ever talk about Cassidy and his latest friendship with Ms. O’Hare. They get on to discussing Genesis. The vampire doesn’t think it’s a great idea to keep. Whereas Jesse thinks it’s best to keep it, keep on as he did before, and use it to make things better. Oh, so sadly misguided: “God doesn‘t make mistakes,” he tells Cassidy. And with that, Jesse is setting up a loud speaker outside the church. Just downright begging for trouble.
We also figure out more from Tulip – she once had a child. Once upon a time. That’s sad. Was it her and Jesse? Or someone else? Tragic, heartbreaking if it was with Jesse. For now, Tulip helps Emily out after they develop a small bond over motherhood. Fun to see these two women together, even if it’s a tenuous friendship at best. More like Tulip wants to keep her close, to make sure there’s nothing going on between her and the preacher.
Eugene finds some people willing to sit with him at lunch, as he slurps down a liquid meal. Two of the boys are slightly apprehensive, though one says he’s a good guy. Is this for real? I keep thinking something bad and terribly high-schoolish is about to go down. After school he goes with the trio of guys to a drainage tunnel where there’s supposedly something interesting. The closer Eugene gets, the more he’s apprehensive. The more it feels dark and dangerous. Then the boys light off some sparklers, as it lights up the tunnel, and Eugene revels in its beauty.
Setting up for an outside service of some sort, Jesse receives Mayor Person for a visit. He’s, of course, on edge, sweating not simply from the heat, but also the heavy guilt on his shoulders. The Green Acre Group are still calling, wondering where their people went. Miles gives a semi-confession, very vague, to the preacher, and tries to seek out “the right thing to do” without opening up too much. There’s a great parallel between their conversation, what Miles wonders about God and his own ego – telling “one from the other” – and what Jesse is feeling about Genesis. There’s just no guessing what will happen from here re: Miles and Quincannon’s mess.
We’ve also got Cassidy and Tulip being awkward – he’s finally figuring out about her and Jesse. A whole lot of messy stuff, from dead bodies to emotional baggage. Worst part is that Cassidy seems genuinely hurt, despite being a vampire; they’ve got feelings, too!
When Jesse has his next service there are lots and lots of worshippers. All hoping to get saved. Eugene goes to see him first, saying he wants the preacher to reverse whatever he did with Mrs. Loach. “I don‘t want it,” says Eugene. He doesn’t feel worthy of redemption, clearly. You can already see the ungrateful side of Jesse, the hubris and the ego when confronted by Eugene saying that it’s cheating to be forgiven like he was, to have it all go away and be forgotten. There’s a dark side to Jesse waiting to burst forth onto Annville.
Then the unthinkable – as Eugene argues with the preacher, Jesse utters: “Go to hell, Eugene.” And nothing is left of the boy. He’s gone. Where? Oh, you know.
And Miles Person, the trusty Mayor of Annville, he gets rid of those pesky bodies. They’re all burned to a crisp now, and he plays the fool on the phone to Green Acre. There’s an amazing edit that cuts between Eugene disappearing and the burned bodies in the car that’s absolutely PERFECT. This show is so solid on every angle.
What a great episode. One of my favourites this season, so far. I can’t wait for more with “He Gone” up next. Where’s Eugene? Will we see him actually in hell? Oh, god damn, I’m excited!
Season 1, Episode 5: “South Will Rise Again”
Directed by Michael Slovis
Written by Craig Rosenberg
* For a review of the previous episode, “Monster Swamp” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Sundowner” – click here
We’re in the Old West once more. The Cowboy (Graham McTavish) rides through the dust into Ratwater. This sequence is excellent. From the music down to the way each piece is shot. Very eerie and ominous and thrilling at once. In town for the night, the Cowboy goes to a nearby saloon. As one would. These are the days when scalps are traded over the counter for cash, whiskey, whores; whatever. Across the room a preacher talks to a few men about Noah, though it ends in a dirty joke. Various terrible things happen in the wings of the saloon, a child is forced to watch awful violence, sexual assault. This is the Old Wild West, no doubt. When the Cowboy gets the medicine needed he heads back out. On his way he sees a family headed into town, hopeful and starry eyed. Likely unaware of what awaits them in that hole. Soon, he turns back. He goes to the saloon and heads to find the family. He discovers the family are trading their own scalps. The Cowboy gets beaten down by a bunch of men. Afterwards, he leaves – beaten, bruised, but with the medicine he came to get originally all safe and sound. We discover the Cowboy was in the war, a Virginian, and the preacher there has a problem with him. His horse is shot. He’s left to walk on foot. Quite a juxtaposition with this preacher and one like Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper).
When the Cowboy arrives back home, crows pick at the dead bodies left for him to find. A tragic, horrific end, and setting him on what I imagine will be an awful quest of vengeance. Can’t wait to see how this all ties in with the present. I have my ideas, but like to wait and see instead of jumping the gun.
In present day, Sheriff Hugo Root (W. Earl Brown) is out in the dark looking for intruders. Eugene “Arseface” (Ian Colletti) and his father have a tough relationship, as we can tell from their few interactions onscreen. Also, Hugo has to deal with the fallout from Eugene’s actions, one that keeps the locals up in their business constantly, and all too close for comfort.
Jesse and Emily (Lucy Griffiths) go about their church business, as the former is feeling his new rock star status. Everyone is in awe of him turning Odin Quincannon (Jackie Earle Haley) over to the Lord. Even young kids at the diner applaud him, and without irony. Will the hubris get him in a tough spot? That’s something we’ll have to wait and see. For now, Jesse revels in his new found faith in the work he does. Emily isn’t so sure about it all.
After the events of last episode, Tulip O’Hare (Ruth Negga) is now in on the secret of Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) actually being a full-blooded vampire; pun intended. What I’m interested to see is if their relationship progresses. If the charm of Cassidy works on her, as Jesse strays further from her by the minute, both on a righteous path and on a scary new path he doesn’t quite understand yet. We’ll see if Cassidy can play off that kiss he and Tulip shared during what she imagined were his dying moments last episode. She claims to have a boyfriend; does she mean Jesse as a hopeful, or someone real? Definitely Jesse. She can’t wait to be with him. More than that she’s looking forward to going to get Carlos, claiming her revenge.
Cassidy (to Tulip): “Maybe this boyfriend isn‘t the man you thought he was”
Donnie Schenck (Derek Wilson) is still having a crisis of identity. His tough guy image was knocked down by the preacher. His wife Betsy (Jamie Ann Allmann) tries consoling him, pumping that ego back up. He wallows in self pity. She threatens to screw a guy that has eyes for her, and that actually gets Donnie’s attention going. Nice strategy, Mrs. Schenck.
In the motel, DeBlanc (Anatol Yusef) talks Fiore (Tom Brooke) through what he’ll say when picking up their creepy little phone. Y’know, the one that connects to Heaven, we assume. I love this duo. They can be both eerie and hilarious at times.
Emily runs into Tulip, or the latter runs into her while she pees. An awkward encounter. Also begins to make Tulip question if Jesse is finding love in other places.
One of the most interesting relationships to me is Hugo and Eugene. The son tries to do what he can for his father, but Hugo says awful things to him. The type of stuff you can’t exactly take back. Surely the stress of what’s happened rests on Sheriff Root, yet saying that type of thing to your own blood? Unforgivable. All the same, I still don’t know what Eugene did. Obviously it was horrible. Can’t wait to find out more.
Quincannon is turning over a new leaf. He and Mayor Miles Person (Ricky Mabe) are forging a new relationship, in light of Odin’s faith since being changed. Things are deteriorating faster for Donnie now considering his boss went to the church of the man who beat him terribly. Oh man, I can see a seriously dangerous, violent situation coming to a head with Donnie concerned. Who knows what he’ll end up doing. Moreover, I’m wondering how the power of Jesse will affect Quincannon.
At the diner, still surrounded by many people, Jesse’s power affects a new man – “Be patient,” he tells him in that special voice. Ah, what will this bring? Good or evil? No telling. Just wait.
Tulip keeps on pushing Jesse, publicly this time. And the preacher is not too pleased with her behaviour. She tells a story about a Komodo dragon Jesse wound up shooting in the head. Everyone knows it’s about him. Instead of letting it embarrass or shock anybody he turns that into one of those little religious lessons. “We all wanna be good,” he preaches.
Outside the diner Eugene comes to see Jesse. He worries for his father, worries that it’s his fault (and I guess it kind of is) Hugo is in such a state.
Eugene: “After Tracy Loach, even God doesn‘t want to help me anymore.”
Over at the Loach house, Jesse goes to see Tracy. In the truck is Eugence. And so naturally Mrs. Loach loses her mind, smashing up the truck with a baseball bat. Then he uses his power to stop her from doing so. After all the commotion the preacher tries to bring everyone back together. “Forgive him,” he whispers to the mother. Then she hugs Eugene, forgiving him instantly. The power in the preacher grows stronger. I can’t help but think about the consequences. In the meantime, Donnie’s figuring out that Jesse has a power. He tells his wife about almost killing himself in that bathroom and he worries there’s nothing to be done. Really, he sounds insane. It makes him weep. Not a good image for a rough n’ tumble Texan like Donnie.
Tulip gets her mask on and heads to a drug store. To do what? Oh, you know. She gets some pills for Cassidy. Maybe a turning point in their relationship. Well, they bang in the car. That’s a step. It’s only to get back at Jesse, or to assuage her feelings that Jesse is with Emily. A right fine mess.
At the motel, the two heavenly hitmen find the phone stops ringing right before Fiore is about to pick up. That can’t be good. They decide to go find Mr. Custer for a chat. They’ve been misled by Cassidy; the drugs, all that stuff. This leads to a pretty interesting little conversation between the preacher and the good ole boys from Heaven. Pretty simply, they only want the power back. Perhaps Jesse doesn’t feel like giving it back; he likes the righteous power. “What‘s inside of you, it isn‘t God,” explains DeBlanc to a properly confused Custer.
Quincannon has all the business flowing with Mayor Person by his side. He entertains a bunch of suits, bringing out the brandy. Then he pulls out a nice rifle and blows the three people away, bloody and quick. The mayor’s rightfully surprised: “We grow or we die,” Odin advises before blasting one last body away. Yikes. I knew something was coming.
This was one of my favourite episodes yet. There’s lots of interesting drama, as well as character development. For someone who hasn’t read the comics, I dig that Preacher as a series is being drawn out gradually. The slow pacing is peppered with plenty of fun to keep it interested. So glad to know AMC has renewed the show for a bigger (by three episodes) Season 2. Next episode this Sunday is titled “Sundowner” and I’m looking forward to that like god damn crazy. Stay with me, as we dive deeper into the twisted world of Annville.