Preacher Feature is a weekly analysis of the AMC show Preacher based on the comic book of the same name by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon. In this column, we will give a breakdown of the events from the previous night’s show, including how they relate to the comics, and speculate as to what’s going on and what might be coming up. This is to say that there will be spoilers, both actual and potential. If you have not yet watched the episode in question or are watching the show without reading the comics and don’t want to have any foreknowledge of what might happen to Jesse and company, then you would do well to stop reading this now.
The Story So Far
Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper) was a violent criminal turned small town preacher who is inhabited by Genesis, a powerful being that allows Jesse to command anyone who hears his voice to do what he says. Tulip O’ Hare (Ruth Negga), his former girlfriend and partner-in-crime came back get him to reclaim both those titles. Individually, they meet Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun), a 120-year-old Irish vampire who befriends Jesse and falls for Tulip before realizing they are/were an item. Together the three of them are making their way across the country to find God, who has gone AWOL from Heaven, and sort him out, one way or another. Chasing after them is The Saint of Killers (Graham McTavish), an unstoppable killing machine, and The Grail, a shadowy organization bent on world domination.
Into the Past
Much of this episode takes place in flashback, showing the aftermath of the botched bank robbery from season one, during which Tulip miscarried. Jesse (rocking a hairstyle reminiscent of Steve Dillon’s artwork from the comics) has sworn off the life of crime in favor of sitting on the couch in a warehouse-sized apartment and drinking beer. Tulip takes a job as a realtor’s assistant, but wants to get back into crime. We see how lost Jesse is and how monotonous his life has become: working, buying cigarettes, trying to make another baby. Despite their repeated efforts and Jesse’s prayers, they seem unable to conceive again. When Jesse finds out the reason for this is that Tulip has been secretly taking birth control (not to mention working with criminal liaison Dany again), he is furious. Unable to take his anger out on Tulip, he beats the bejeezus out of his friend Reggie. After this, Jesse decides to go back to Annville to take over his father’s church, Tulip decides to go back into crime full-time, and Reggie presumably goes to a plastic surgeon to get his face put back together.
Hoisted by One’s Own
Last episode we found out that Tulip is actually married to Viktor, a New Orleans gangster. Jesse hoists Viktor up to the apparatus in his torture room (they say 50% of all household accidents happen in torture rooms) while Tulip pleads with Jesse not to kill him. Jesse is too enraged to hear her out, so he uses Genesis to order her away from the house. Tulip never liked Jesse using Genesis on anyone, be it a bunch of cops or an obstinate strip club manager, so you can imagine how pissed off she is that he uses it on her. She tells Cassidy that if Jesse kills Viktor, she is through with Jesse. Cassidy says he’s going to talk Jesse into sparing Viktor but, being secretly in love with Tulip; he actually goes to do the opposite. Despite Cassidy’s encouragement, Jesse spares Viktor’s life. This respite is brief, however, as The Saint of Killers shows up and kills Viktor’s crew, then Viktor himself before setting his sights on Viktor’s daughter, Allie (Stella Allen). The quick-thinking tween says she knows where to find the preacher just as the episode ends.
Easter Eggs/Connections to the Comics
Early in the flashback, Jesse and his pothead friend Reggie (Robbie Tann) discuss John Wayne. In the comics, Jesse had an imaginary friend who appeared to him in the guise of his hero John Wayne to give him advice and help him through hard times. While there are probably some legal issues that prevent the show from using John Wayne’s likeness as a regular character, it was nice to see a shout-out to him.
“He’s got two pools. Who wouldn’t marry him?” – Tulip, on why she married Viktor.