Previously on Preacher: Jesse Custer became physically and spiritually bound to Genesis, an all-powerful entity unleashed from Heaven that allows anyone who hears his voice to do exactly as he commands. Tulip is a hitwoman whose Golden Rule is that absolutely no one fucks with her, and who is also Jesse’s childhood best friend and ex-girlfriend. Cassidy is a vampire who has ended up in the town of Annville, Texas (where Jesse lives and where Tulip grew up alongside Jesse) while escaping from a group of people who really don’t like vampires all that much, and none of them are named Buffy. Two angels named Fiore and Deblanc were sent from Heaven to retrieve Genesis, even if it meant killing Jesse to make that happen. Tulip and Cassidy crossed paths and ended up having sex (something that they’re both keeping a secret from Jesse), which was as enjoyable for me to watch as it was for Tulip to experience. Jesse, Tulip, Cassidy, and the entire town of Annville found out directly from Heaven that God has abandoned His post and gone missing, and no one knows where he is. Due to
Juliet repeatedly hitting a nuclear bomb with a nearby rock the town’s methane reactor going into meltdown, the entire town of Annville explodes and is completely wiped off the map, but not before Jesse, Tulip, and Cassidy leave town in order to track down God and make Him answer for abandoning His post and all of the people who believe in Him.
Oh yeah, and a merciless and near-invulnerable cowboy (who is known only as The Cowboy) has been released from Hell by Fiore and Deblanc in order to hunt down Jesse and Genesis and kill them both, but not before Cowboy puts a bullet right through Deblanc’s face and leaves Fiore all alone.
And that’s really all you need to remember about Season 1 of Preacher. There’s certainly more, but the majority of it moved slower than a turtle swimming in molasses, so if you want to find out the rest, well…Google is your friend.
THE STORY SO FAR: Jesse, Tulip, and Cassidy are driving across the country at 90 MPH as their search for God begins. That attracts the attention of the local authorities for driving at 90 MPH who attempt to arrest them, as well as the Cowboy, who has tracked our heroes down and blasts every single highway-patrol officer into pieces with his revolvers. They seek out help from an old family friend of Jesse’s in order to figure our where God might be hiding and when that doesn’t work, they seek out Fiore, who is working in Las Vegas as a magician called The Amazing Ganesh and using his invulnerability and constant re-spawning as part of his act in order to find some purpose since Deblanc’s death at the hands of The Cowboy.
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT THESE EPISODES: The entire opening scene in which Jesse, Tulip, and Cassidy indulge in their usual R-rated banter (this time about dismembered foreskins being used as women’s face cream (and I’m sure there’s already several videos on YouTube insisting that this is true)) right before seeing the Saint Of Killers bring all nine circles of Hell with him as he destroys anyone and anything in his path in order to get to Jesse and Genesis.
Glenn Morshower is one of those «Hey, It’s That Guy» character actors who is able to make things just a little bit better with his presence alone, whether it’s 24 or That One Season Of Friday Night Lights That Shall Not Be Named, so seeing him play Mike, a fellow preacher who knew Jesse and his father and who helps counsel his parishioners by channeling Samuel L. Jackson in Black Snake Moan and locking them in (covered) cages to help them curb their urges («sex, drugs, Twitter»), was most definitely welcome.
When Jesse is asked by Cassidy about his late mother’s side of the family, the L’Angelles, and why there are no pictures of them at the wedding of Jesse’s parents in his family photo album, we get a prolonged glimpse of a fish tank behind Jesse and a toy trunk with a hose connected to it repeatedly opening and closing inside of the fish tank. It’s a nice reference to Jesse’s history with the L’Angelles and their favorite method of punishment when dealing with Jesse and his acts of bad behavior, which of course is all explained in further detail in the original Preacher comics.
The gigantic 108-point font from Captain America: Civil War making its return, and doing so to let us all know that The Cowboy is to be known as The Saint Of Killers. Not since Hugo Stiglitz in Inglourious Basterds has anyone and their name been giving an introduction this good.
Jesse and Tulip deciding to end their bad day on a good note and finally stop with the Will They/Won’t They so they can fuck each other’s brains out all over their hotel room.
Jesse working alongside the Greater Association of Gun Aficionados (or GAGA, for short) to stop the Saint Of Killers from approaching, and all of the pride they feel from using their guns. («Yeah, another problem solved by guns» «What can’t guns do?»)
Tulip vs. Gary (a former accomplice of hers from New Orleans who insists that she needs to go see
Jabba The Hutt Viktor and explain her absence) and Tulip once again reminding us all that she is not in any way to be fucked with. It also reminded me of the fight between Patricia Arquette vs. James Gandolfini in True Romance, to the point where I was just waiting for Tulip to take down Gary with a corkscrew to the foot)
Tulip wearing an actual headwrap when lying in bed to go to sleep. It’s the little details that matter when you have a Black female character as one of the leads in your television series.
WHAT’S NOT SO GOOD ABOUT THESE EPISODES: Fiore finding the peace that Jesse told him to look for, in the form of death at the hands of The Saint Of Killers.
I expected Jesse to be a little more upset about the fact that everyone he knew back in Annville was suddenly dead and gone, but I guess I can chalk that up to him using that as one more reason to find God and demand some answers from Him.
Not much else I can think of at the moment, but I trust that the Comments section will provide any and all examples that may come to mind.
ODIN QUINCANNON’S WEEKLY MOMENT OF WEIRDNESS: None, because Odin got blown to smithereens along with the rest of Annville and Jackie Earle Haley is no longer a cast member.
ANY MENTIONS OF THE VAMPIRE-HUNTING VIGILANTES LOOKING FOR CASSIDY?: None whatsoever
ANY MENTIONS OF EUGENE A.K.A. ARSEFACE?: Fiore briefly mentions him to Jesse when trying to convince him to stop using Genesis, especially since The Saint of Killers pretty much uses it as a homing beacon whenever it’s used. Yes, Eugene is still in Hell thanks to Jesse sending him there, and no, Fiore has no intention whatsoever of going back there, not even to get him out.
ANY MENTIONS OF HOW MUCH CASSIDY REALLY DOESN’T LIKE THE BIG LEBOWSKI?: None.
IS DARYL STILL ALIVE? BECAUSE IF HE’S NOT, THEN WE RIOT: This is Preacher being discussed, not The Walking Dead, and seeing as how Norman Reedus didn’t suddenly quit the show and talk plenty of shit about his boss and co-workers without any concerns as to how his career might be affected because White male privilege is a hell of a drug, I assume that Daryl will be fine when The Walking Dead comes back in October.
TO SUM IT ALL UP: The first two episodes have done of a good job so far of giving me reasons to breathe a little easier and recognize that Preacher actually resembles the comic-book series that it’s adapting. The pace is much faster, the dialogue is funnier, Jesse/Tulip/Cassidy seem more like the characters we know and love, we’re no longer stuck in Annville with characters and storylines that weren’t nearly as memorable or outrageous as they could’ve and should’ve been, and the plot is actually moving and giving us reasons to care about what we’re watching.
Here’s hoping that Preacher can maintain this momentum and quality for the rest of the season. Hell, for the rest of the series.
P.S. Ginger ale may be treated like Robitussin in many a Black household, but it really doesn’t help with blood loss despite what Preacher tells you. If you’re suffering from that, please go see a doctor.
The season premiere «On The Road» was dedicated to the memory of Steve Dillon, who passed away last October due to complications from a ruptured appendix at the age of 54. He not only co-created Preacher with his longtime collaborator Garth Ennis and illustrated all 66 issues, but was one of the most legendary artists in the comic-book industry.
These two episodes of Preacher, «On The Road» and «Mumbai Sky Tower,» were brought to you by «Come On Eileen» by Dexy’s Midnight Runners…
…and by «Nowhere To Run» by Arnold McCuller (with a special appearance by the late, great Lynne Thigpen)