Preacher has only broadcast two episodes so far, and while that’s a small sample size, but it seems clear that the show is content with a winding and extremely complex plot.
As I wrote in my review of the pilot, it will only benefit viewers who stick with the show despite any initial confusion they may have. The show is most certainly taking the long approach.
Below the image you’ll find spoilers for this episode…so read no further if you don’t wish to be spoiled.
There were some really great moments right from the start, especially for fans of Preacher’s comic run, though some of the best moments may have confused some non-comic fans. Since it’s random and we’re told takes place in 1881.
What does this have to do with the story of Jesse Custer? Well, we surmise that this Cowboy is the Saint of Killers, the killing machine sent by Heaven (in the comics) to kill Jesse Custer because of the power the entity bestows upon him. If IMDB is to be believed, The Cowboy will only appear in this one episode so there are clearly other antagonists for Jesse and Co to contend with this season; now that’s a set up!
Jesse and Cassidy have an extended opportunity to interact and it reveals their characters quite well; Jesse, desperate to be a plain and simple Preacher, fighting to remain plain and Cassidy, who admits to Jesse he’s a vampire (though Jesse is drunk so who knows if he believes it to be true) and says that simple existence is for him, the worst fate imaginable.
Is this simply a projection of how Jesse feels too but he hasn’t yet gotten the courage to admit this to himself?
Ruth Negga is incredible as Tulip. The three leads are perfectly cast, but Negga leads the way; she oozes charm. Her cocksure grin and eyes the burn with the certainty that anything she wants is within her reach.
She had a smaller role in this episode than in the previous one but she was nonetheless effective. She’s still trying to convince Jesse to work a job with her…and he’s still dead set against it.
She’s completely sure she’ll eventually wear him down.
I’m not sure she’s wrong.
It’s not always easy to translate the soul of a comic property onto the screen. Sometimes it just can’t be done.
But in Preacher episode 2, they managed to capture the bonzo spirit in one scene that I’m calling “The Chainsaw Symphony.”
The two strangers that have been observing Jesse find him passed out in the church (thanks to Cassidy) and they begin performing a ritual on him that involves a very strange song and an empty tin can (a can which has made an appearance in each episode so far.) It doesn’t work, naturally, so they go to plan b: cut Jesse into pieces using a chainsaw.
Cassidy walks in on this grim work, and assumes that they are vampire hunters here for him.
He gets shot, tears one of the strangers apart, gets into a seesaw battle for control OF the chainsaw and then proceeds to force it back onto the guy that has it (pictured) cutting off his arm…but of course the arm is STILL holding the chainsaw and it’s inching toward Custer’s unconscious body. Cassidy saves him just in the nick of time, but the visual of Cassidy chasing a severed arm holding a chainsaw is priceless.
At the end of the episode we finally see that Jesse is starting to understand something’s happened to him. He can tell people to do things…and they do them. The episode ends with Jesse telling a coma patient to open her eyes.
We’ll see next week!
5 stars out of 5
TL;dr: It may seem confusing but sticking with Preacher is GOING to pay off.