Review: ‘Preacher’ 1.2 – ‘See’ Keeps the Show Unclear

Many of the complaints around Preacher – not that there are an overwhelming amount, but any show brings with it some dissent – point to the show’s separation from the source material. This Jesse Custer seems vastly different from the one on Garth Ennis’s pages, all the action seems to be funneling into Anneville, whereas the books saw Custer travel to many different places… Things purists of the books can see. I never read the books, so I bring a clean slate with me to the show; tonally and aesthetically, Preacher is wonderfully warped. Narratively, I’m lost.

Now, we are in episode two of the entire series so these things will iron themselves out, and there’s no real way to slow things down it seems. Things are coming fast and furious, explanations are left for another time, and once you can ease your brain and begin to allow the show to work on you rather than aching to figure this thing out, Preacher is great fun.

Jesse is trying to do this preacher thing, but internal and external forces are making it difficult. He baptizes people, he listens to their problems (at least he pretends to listen), but Tulip (Ruth Negga) won’t let him just keep pretending to be something he clearly is not. Tulip is a playful antoganoist, and we still aren’t completely clear about their history together. At the same time, Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) continues to forge a friendship with Jesse,  but it seems his confession early in the episode where the two are sharing a drink in the church, when he tells Jesse he’s a hundred-year old vampire, will cause some issues in the future. He also tells Jesse The Big Lebowski is overrated, so he clearly isn’t about making friends with the audience.


When Jesse takes a drink of Cassidy’s poisonous concoction he passes smooth out and Cassidy takes his truck. In the meantime, two mysterious figures arrive and try and do… something… to him. It’s unclear both who they are and what they’re trying to do, but it involves some sort of extraction, perhaps of Jesse’s newfound powers. Whatever the case, these two men aren’t in cahoots with Cassidy since he shows up and subsequently throws down with them in a brutally violent fight that will probably end up being one of the staples of the series moving forward. The bloodshed is counteracted by macabre humor – like a chainsaw vibrating across the floor carrying a severed arm with it – and it’s a great Robert Rodriguez-like moment in a show that seems inspired by the director in several ways.


Meanwhile, we meet Odin Quincannon (Jackie Earle Haley), proprietor of a meat company that employs some interesting characters. In the only scene we have, Odin and his staff strong-arm an older Mexican couple into signing over their home, which is immediately (and I mean immediately) bulldozed. Shortly thereafter, a bewildering interaction happens between Odin’s right hand man – who’s right hand is actually in a cast – and a worker who dropped a pen. It’s weird for sure, but it will be explained before long.

Along the way we get more of Arseface (Ian Colletti), who’s hard to look at but counterbalanced by a sweet and pitiful persona. Arseface appears to be some sort of accidental therapist for Jesse later in the episode, because Jesse realizes after their conversation that perhaps God wants him to be who he really is, despite the fact he is probably a very bad man.

“See” is about the push and pull inside Jesse, who tries mightily to keep his evil urges at bay. But when he figures out he has a distinct power, the ability to speak from somewhere deep inside him and control people (and dogs), he finds a new motivation. The end of this Preacher episode clears nothing up really, and it adds a few more external plot lines to iron out in the coming weeks. Don’t try and figure these things out right now, just let them happen. Enjoy the scorches aesthetic of the show, the pitch-black humor working furiously, and the fleshing out of this rogues gallery. You’ll understand eventually.

Larry Taylor - Managing Editor
Larry Taylor - Managing Editor
Larry is the managing editor for Monkeys Fighting Robots. The Dalai Lama once told him when he dies he will receive total consciousness. So he's got that going for him... Which is nice.