Monkeys Fighting Robots

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.

Afterschool Special

The episode starts with the real story of Eugene’s transformation into Arseface.  If you’re like me, you probably had a feeling that the story Jesse was told (that Eugene took a shotgun to Tracy Loach after she spurned his affections) was not entirely true.  Instead, in the darkly funny style that Preacher is known for, we find out that Tracy, distraught over her boyfriend cheating on her, tries to kill herself.  Eugene thinks he has convinced her to keep living, but when he tries to kiss her, she decides to go throw with it after all, though as we’ve seen she was less than 100% successful.  After she blows out most of her frontal lobe, her mom comes home and Eugene, panicking, tries to shoot himself with the other barrel of the shotgun.  When it misfires, he does an eye-check on the barrel (not recommended, from what I understand) and Arseface is born.

Arseface
A face even a mother would have a hard time loving

14 Best Songs No One’s Ever Heard Of

I’m sure I’m not the only one excited to hear the return of the opening theme by Dave Porter.  The trio are back on the road, though the tone is a bit more somber (A Walk to the Peak < Come On Eileen).  When they get to New Orleans, we finally find out what’s going on with that dog/man from the trailer.  Tulip is once again pursued, this time by standard issue black SUVs with tinted windows, so she decides to split and Cassidy walks her to his mate Denis’s place, where they’ll be staying.

Denis seems less than happy to see him, but like Cassidy and Tulip, I don’t speak French, so maybe his greeting was warmer than it sounded.  By the way, Denis is watching The Three Stooges, one of the few shows to utilize violence in as hilarious a manner as Preacher.

Emotions Aplenty

This episode is by far the most emotional of the series so far.  Tulip is stressed out, with things between her and Jesse being tense (as things are wont to be when a wedding is proposed, nearly enacted, and then cancelled all in a couple of hours) and now being on the home turf of Victor, the mysterious man from her past that is hunting her down.  Cassidy is tired of being treated like an “idiot Irish sidekick”.  Jesse is getting worn down by the lack of success so far in the search for God.

After a classic “neon signs to denote the various bars he’s visited” montage, Jesse is told by a friendly bartender (they have all the answers) to talk to Lara, the singer at Le Chamonix.  When she tries to evade Jesse she is abducted by a vanful of agents of The Grail, only to be then saved by Jesse.  “What’s The Grail?” you may ask, assuming you’ve not read the comics.  Well, I think the singer put it best herself when she calls it “a super-secret crypto-religious fascist organization with designs on total world domination”.

After getting Lara safely in a taxi to the airport, he sees a poster telling him to Come See Angelville and the normally unflappable Jesse is very much flapped (more on this in the Easter Eggs section below).

Angelville

An awkward cell phone non-conversation between Tulip and Jesse follows, after which Tulip goes to “get smokes”.  What Big Tobacco won’t tell you is that buying cigarettes from a vending machine is one of the leading causes of gangs of menacing thugs cornering you in a laundromat.  Those things can be deadly.

All Hell Breaks Loose

After a fault in the security system in Hell causes all the cells in Eugene’s block to open, we see that among his neighbors is a mousy little dark haired man with a mustache (If you’re not a student of history, relax, I don’t think it’s the beloved star of Modern Times.

Jesse, still unclear about why A Walk to the Peak holds such interest for God is enlightened by a friendly Jazzbo “Now you’re diggin’ it, Daddy-O.  End of the world.”  Of course “the end of the world” takes on multiple meanings for Jesse.  It could be quite literal, given that God is missing, but “Until the End of the World” is also the phrase him and Tulip have used to signify that they will always be there for each other.

We also see that what we thought were a friendly bartender (Malcolm Barrett) and a singer in need of a rescue (Julie Ann Emery) are actually agents of The Grail gathering intel on Jesse.  Furthermore, some will recognize them as Featherstone and Hoover, two of the funniest characters from the comics.  Their report on Jesse ends up on the desk of the one-eyed Herr Starr, arguably the main antagonist from the comics.

Easter Eggs/Connections to the Comics

The “You Are Now Leaving Texas” road sign with the graffitied “Your Loss, Dipshit” is straight out of issue #7 of the comics.

The eagle-eyed of you may remember The Skull and Lone Star logo in the poster is the same as the tattoo between Jesse’s shoulder blades from the pilot and from the wrist of the man who shoots Jesse’s father in a flashback.  Fans of the comics will also recognize it as the symbol of Angelville, the home of Jesse’s sadistic “family”, the L’Angells.

Questions and Theories

What causes the systems issues in Hell?  My guess would be the fact that Eugene isn’t actually dead, but was ordered to “Go to Hell” by Jesse/Genesis and not through the more traditional route of committing sins and then dying without absolution.

We all saw what short work The Saint of Killers made of the bar in Ratwater back in the 1800s.  Will anything be left of The Big Easy after he gets there?

So, what easter eggs did I miss?  There were plenty of posters in the backgrounds of bars, and I’m sure at least one of them had a reference that went over my head.  Let me know in the comments.

Josh is a writer and a lover of The Simpsons, Monty Python, The State, Breaking Bad, Arrested Development, and Preacher. He spends probably too much time reading and has lately been attempting to eat the occasional vegetable, with limited success.