Preacher: A Running Diary of Episode 1

I have a confession to make, which seems like a fitting way to start a review about a show called Preacher, I know absolutely nothing about it. I mean zero. Until the news broke last year that Seth Rogen and his pal Evan Goldberg were making a television adaptation for AMC, I’d never heard of Preacher.

But I was intrigued for three reasons:

  1. I love The Walking Dead (TWD), Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul so every AMC show gets the benefit of the doubt to begin with as far as I’m concerned.
  2. I really like the first half of This is the End, the Rogen/Goldberg collaboration dealing with God and religion in a humorous way, so I thought they might do a good job with this.
  3. Finally—I thought there’s a good chance that everyone else reviewing this will compare it to the comic the way people often compare TWD or Game of Thrones to the source material. I won’t have anything to compare it too, so I’ll be a completely fresh set of eyes.

To that end—I tried to stay away from any pre-show build up. I avoided any spoilers or interviews that might give too much away. I wanted a clean slate as I kept a running diary while watching the pilot episode. So here we go…

The Preacher Diary

  • This space scene (complete with meteor) looks like it should be the open to Lost in Space not Preacher. This is an interesting start.
  • Cut to a priest in Africa giving an impassioned sermon when he’s hit by the aforementioned meteor. He’s now apparently possessed. Maybe he’s the villain?
  • Maybe not, he just exploded all over his congregation. This is what I would call a tone-setter.
  • Now we get another preacher in black and white, cut to Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper) waking up. For a preacher he seems to have a lot of scars on his back. You get the feeling he’s hung over.
  • Oh he is, there’s the alcohol to prove it.
  • Ass and holes. Funny sign.
  • So he sucks at giving sermons. Not exactly inspiring as a preacher.
  • This young boy fills in the back story by letting us in on Jesse’s past of doing bad things asking the Preacher to hurt his dad. For Jesse’s part he says he doesn’t do those things anymore. Sure he doesn’t.
  • Don’t try to shove your PC Prairie Dog down this town’s throat!
  • The sheriff is more concerned about the mascot than the preacher who’s obviously about to drink and drive. OK.
  • Cut to… The Wolf of Wall Street? A bunch of suits (bachelor party maybe) doing lots of drugs and drinking on a plane, listening to a pretty amazing story from this Irish guy, who’s name tag says Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun).
  • Uh oh… Cassidy finds a bible in the bathroom with weird writing. His level of concern means either everyone on the plane is a devil worshiper or he’s some kind of demon.
  • It’s Kill Bill on a plane! Where did all the weapons come from? You’d have thought the ax sitting with the magazines would have been pretty noticeable.
  • The old half bottle stuck in someone’s chest and used to drain them of blood trick. Seen it a million times. (OK, I’ve never seen that). Between that and the neck bite I assume Cassidy’s a vampire?
  • Cassidy grabs an umbrella before jumping out of the plane. Please let him be some kind of messed up Mary Poppins.
  • Looks like some guys are investigating the priest explosion from the top of the show. Gonna be a tough autopsy.
  • Preacher now checking on a guy on the couch. Oh, there’s a woman in the bathroom and Jesse ain’t having it. Afraid to be tempted by the flesh perhaps?
  • Flashback!
  • Damn, this lady just  killed a man with a cob of corn. And then offered to do arts and crafts with the witnesses who also happen to be small children.
  • Oh I just realized that Raina (Ruth Negga)! I loved her on Agents of Shield.
  • My arts and crafts projects were never that fun. Who knew you could make a bazooka from some empty cans.
  • Raina (now called Tulip) has some history with Jesse. She wants him to do a job. He says no.
  • Guess that umbrella didn’t help Cassidy keep his intestines on the inside.
  • Jesse meets with the abused wife. At the start of the scene I didn’t see it coming, but as they went on I just knew the wife was going to say she and hubby were into Fifty Shades kind of stuff.
  • Now to Russia…. OK. Guess another religious guy exploded there. It’s hard out there for a priest.
  • The young Howard Stark and Raina are parked in a dark car. “I created Captain America!” “I turned into a Porcupine that can see the future!” “Touche!”
  • I did know there was a character in this called “Arseface” and now I know why. This has to be a terrible role to play. Nobody will recognize this guy without the makeup.
  • Anyway—this kid seems to have some real guilt about something.
  • Tom Cruise Explodes! Talk about an excellent Easter egg type thing.
  • A vampire and a preacher are in a bar…
  • Do dive bars still have payphones?
  • Finally—I think we’re going to see what the Preacher is all about as abusive husband/Civil War Reenactor isn’t pleased with him.
  • Preacher is putting the hurt on these confederate soldiers. Oh snap… I mean he literally snapped that dude’s arm right through the skin. Ouch.
  • Preacher tells the woman who clearly has a thing for him he’s leaving, so she breaks her kids’ iPad?!?! That’s messed up.
  • Are you there God, it’s me Preacher?
  • Oh wait, there is something there. Watch out that thing killed TOM CRUISE!
  • Seems the mystery blob didn’t killed Jesse… but turned him into Kilgrave?
  • Seems he’s also more dedicated to the church, but the way he’s saying it is sort of creeping me out.
  • Is this guy going to literally open his heart?
  • Yes he is.
  • Does this mean Jesse is the bad guy? My guess is they explore the moral dilemma of how the power of persuasion. If nothing else, he’ll have to watch what he says or at least how he says it.
  • Looking forward to the next episode. I have to wait two weeks?!?!

Final Thoughts

It’s not at The Walking Dead‘s level, but TWD wasn’t at TWD’s level until mid-season three so there’s plenty of time. It’s also much lighter in terms of tone than TWD so I don’t feel depressed after watching it. The cast is really good and after one episode I’m certainly curious where it’s going from here. I’m in.

Justin Chechourka
Justin Chechourka
By day, I am the Multimedia Manager for a major infrastructure project. By night, I am a sports loving, pop culture addicted, craft beer swirling, technology enhanced father of 3 small super heroes. I was a TV news producer for nearly 15 years, but I have a passion for writing. It’s a passion that is only matched by what my wife calls my uncanny ability to maintain a brain full of (mostly useless) facts about sports, beer and comic book-based movies & TV.