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.
Looking to get caught up? Here’s a link to last week’s article.
Back in the Saddle
Last night’s episode was a welcome return to form after a couple lackluster installments. Backstory and exposition are important, I know, but they can’t compete with action and humor.
The episode starts off with…something…being extracted from a man in exchange for a large sum of money. It’s then brought by armored truck to a rich couple and exhanged for a larger sum of money (That’s Capitalism, folks). Taken as a pill, the “something” instantly seems to cure dementia in the woman who takes it.
From here we’re treated to a glimpse at Tulip’s culinary expertise (Reddi-Wip, marshmallows, and hot fudge are the cornerstones of any complete breakfast), just before The Saint of Killers arrives. Now, as we all know, a seven foot tall cowboy decapitating people with a cavalry sword tends to put a damper on the appetite, so the gang hightails it out of Denis’ apartment before said cowboy reaches them.
They decide they need to find out why Genesis doesn’t work on The Saint and whether he has any weakness, so they head to their local library (reading is fundamental, after all). The scene in the library was one of the best of the season, with the audiobook narration and the plethora of Saint of Killers-related books (shoutout to writer Mary Laws and propmaster James Rosenthal) transforming what could have been a boring scene into a delight. The research yields results: they find out that The Saint was the only living man without a soul. Perhaps this is the reason Genesis can’t control him?
Cassidy, never the most considerate vampire, realizes that he neglected to tell Denis of the murderous scalp-hunter likely waiting in his apartment and Jesse calls just in time to keep The Saint from killing Denis, because he’s on his way over.
Dominic Cooper (Jesse) and Graham McTavish (The Saint) give performances worthy of the gravity of the scene as these two foes come face to face for the first time. This time there will be no gunfire. Jesse, transitioning from preacher to sheriff, lays down the law: If you kill me, you’ll never get what you want. The Saint wants to see his family again in Heaven, but he can’t do that without a soul. The Saint agrees to terms: Jesse gets one hour to find the Saint a soul, but as collateral, he holds Tulip, Cassidy, and Denis. Jesse goes to a voodoo shop (and we find out that Jesse’s mysterious family, the L’Angells, also have ties to voodoo) but finds that they’ve been run out of business by…Soul Happy Go Go, the company from the opening scene, whose armored car (the titular Sokosha) is parked outside. After a hilarious but ineffectual attempt to break into the armored car, Jesse decides using Genesis is the way to go.
Meanwhile, Denis is dangerously ill and Cassidy reveals that he is actually Denis’s father (vampires age very well). This sets up another dramatic confrontation with The Saint, this time between him and Tulip (Ruth Negga, in another stellar performance). Tulip finds out how strong The Saint is when she makes the mistake of mentioning his daughter.
Jesse finally gets hold of the armored truck, only to find out that there’s no match for The Saint’s soul onboard (pesky rare soul-types), but that his own soul is a match. Jesse gives up a piece of his soul to The Saint. This allows Genesis to exert its influence over The Saint, so Jesse orders him to disarm.
After seeing the possible disadvantages of sending The Saint (and with him a piece of his own soul) to Hell, Jesse locks The Saint in the armored truck, drives it to Angelville and sinks it into the swamp.
Easter Eggs/Connections to the Comics
This episode contains actual images from the comic books themselves. While Jesse and crew are researching The Saint to try to find his weakness, the research montage features a few pages from the excellent Preacher Special: Saint of Killers miniseries. The miniseries is one of my favorite short comic book stories, I highly recommend it.
The comic books aren’t all, however. Also studied by the trio of scholars: a romance novel, a book of sing along songs, and a special Mad Libs.
When Jesse decides to sink the armored truck into the swamp, we hear the same music/wench sounds from the aquarium scene in Episode 1.
How long until The Saint is back after Jesse? We know that armored truck won’t hold him. I think The Grail will be the ones to find him and who knows what mayhem they’ll set him to?
To what does next episode’s title, Pig, refer? There was a file folder marked ‘Pig’ on Herr Starr’s desk in a previous episode, but nothing like it in the comics.
“Say your prayers, Preacher” – The Saint of Killers