Rob continues his unfettered reactions to the TV adaptation of beloved comic book, Preacher, liberated as he is from any knowledge of the source material. Catch up on what he thought of the Pilot here.
Episode 2: See
Beware readers! I, as is my way, care little for avoiding spoilers, so if you do, maybe don’t read on, also I don’t know what’s important to this story and what’s not so I might give the game away inadvertently or something. Basically watch it first, then we can talk together as equals.
In my last write up I feared there might be a dip from the impressive production values of the pilot episode, and I was somewhat correct, but only a teensy bit, and in a network TV show a little of this is understandable and forgivable. Especially as the quality of the show’s actual content remains strong, even if the action and mental animated sequences are a little more spread out this week.
So there continues to be an awful lot of as-yet unexplained stuff going on, with basically none of the bizarre occurrences making any sense to me. Who are the two british dudes in the No Country For Old Men outfits? What the bloody hell are they doing with that music box and tin can? How are they connected to the…thing that’s happened to Preacher Jesse? And how the bloody hell do they reappear in front of the sheriff when Cassidy is still burying their bodies, which he had butchered so awesomely? These are just some of the many many questions I still have after this episode. I’m being patient for now though, because what I am seeing is still damn enjoyable. One is exception to this is we have found out why Eugene’s face is like it is, he survived a shotgun blast to the face during an attempted suicide. Cassidy’s first meeting with him is as priceless as you would imagine, and while I feel sorry for the poor lad at the moment, I get the feeling that may not last as more is revealed.
Aside from the cold open (where we follow some bearded badman traipsing through what is presumably Annville County back in 1881, past a tree hung with scalped Native Americans, and a wagon train of settlers, some more unexplained instances, which in this case might be giving us something totally unconnected to mull over, which won’t link up with the main narrative till much further on in the season.) this episode focuses mostly on Jesse, presumably galvanised by the thing that happened, trying his best to live up to his promise to be a better preacher to the town, partially through doing good deeds and attempting to live up to the expectations of Lucy the organist, and also through further exploring his new power to control others with his voice, particularly the closet pederast and school bus driver, who has the subject of his urges erased from his mind by Jesse.
Meanwhile Tulip keeps popping up and teasing/tormenting Jesse, still seeking to enlist him to do a job of some sort, presumably it will involve more of the ultraviolence he has displayed such a knack for previously, and has sworn to refrain from. In the Pilot for the most part Jesse was a bit of a sad sack, but in this episode this is tempered with a bit more barely restrained fury, especially directed to those of his parishioners who seem to deserve it. I like this, it’s got a bit of the flavour of Walter White storming out of his job at the carwash, the stood on bloke finally standing up for himself. I’m also enjoying Jesse’s friendship with Cassidy, which hasn’t panned out like I’d expected, less odd couple at each others throats and more instant drinking buddies, despite their huge differences. The little scene with Jackie Earle Haley’s character was interesting, but doesn’t tell us much, other than this guy employs a lot of people in the town, and buys up little homesteads to bulldoze them flat the moment the family signs the deed over and leaves. He’s probably bad, given who he’s played by, we shall wait and see.
So, a solid episode here, not moving anything forward in a huge way, but giving us a bit of time to settle into the world and introducing a few more of what I presume will be the major players. Tonights highlight clearly the fight in the church between Cassidy and the English Cowboy guys, the levels of cartoonish gore on display there brought the early movies of Peter Jackson to mind, particularly the limb-lopping lunacy of Braindead. Bring on Ep.3.
One slight epilogue to this, the featured image we used for the pilot review was an awesome promo shot recreating the cover of Preacher issue #1, now things have gone a step further, and original cover artist Glenn Fabry has done his own, new version of the famous image featuring Dominic Cooper, and it’s really quite something, take a look…
Preacher is showing on AMC in the US and Amazon Prime here in the UK.