Gimme Something to Watch: AMC’s Preacher (Season 1, Episode 7 “He Gone”)

Spoiler Warning: This post will be loaded with spoilers from the Preacher comics and television show. You can catch up on write-ups for previous episodes of Preacher here, here, here, here, and here.

Chain Gang Grave doesn’t have anything to do with the Preacher series, but this album rips.

“With God all things are possible”.

Matthew 19:26

As several characters make dangerous gambles, the creators of Preacher continue with a dangerous gambit of their own in its latest episode, “He Gone”. In previous writeups for this series, I’ve referenced one of TV’s all time great dramas: AMC’s Breaking Bad. If you haven’t seen it yet (shame on you), over five seasons Walter White, the show’s protagonist, becomes the main antagonist to the rest of the supporting characters. How does that work? How did they do it, and how the hell did they get away with it? Walter White earned enough currency with the viewers early on, that however despicable his actions became, many of us still rooted for him. I’m aware that by the end of the second season, and certainly by the end of the fourth, many viewers despised Walter and were decidedly on Team Pinkman – not me. I stayed on Team Walter during the entire show. Walter let Jane asphyxiate on her own vomit? Team Walter. Walter forced Pinkman to kill a rival chemist through sheer manipulation? Team Walter. Walter again manipulated Pinkman through nearly the worst means possible, by poisoning a child? Team Walter. I could argue why it was necessary for Walter to commit all of these acts, but the truth is his character was such a badass genius and did so much cool stuff early on in the show that he earned a lot of character currency with me. The series ending was a little weak, but the two episodes leading up to it were magnificent, and I always rooted for Walter White to achieve whatever diabolical ends he was going for. A common complaint about HBO’s Vinyl, cancelled after its first season, was that nobody liked Richie Finestra, the show’s main character. He was an unlikable scumbag pretty much right away, and didn’t change much if at all during the entire season (for what it’s worth, I kinda dug Vinyl).

This is the stuff of Preacher’s gambit: Jesse Custer has become really unlikable, and it might have happened too soon. Jesse, blinded by his righteousness, spends “He Gone” alienating and antagonizing the closest people in his life. It appears the only moment of contemplation Jesse has during this episode is the decision not to use The Voice on his whole congregation. He even goes as far as to browbeat members of his church during a play rehearsal. Odin Quincannon shows up, dressed symbolically in black, to collect on the bet he and Jesse made after the short-lived powers of The Voice have worn off, and Jesse denies him. Jesse made a dangerous assumption about his power, without knowing how quickly it would fade away from Quincannon’s consciousness. Jesse even goes as far as to verbally abuse both Tulip and Emily, before casting them both away. It’s not a good look for the character, who hasn’t built up a lot of trust with viewers. On the showrunner front, another gamble they’ve taken is changing Eugene/Arseface’s origin from a suicide pact to an attempted homicide/suicide. Knowing the lovable Eugene attempted to kill the object of his affection after being spurned by her changes our stance on him, if even ever so slightly. Luckily, it didn’t change Cassidy’s view of him.

preacher-episode-106-jesse-cooper-935Eugene’s absence is prominently displayed this week. Sheriff Root leaves his hat in Eugene’s place at church, and asks around about him. When he questions the group at dinner about his whereabouts, a baking accident engulfs the church oven in flames. The reveal in the beginning of the episode shows Cassidy as witness to Eugene’s banishment, lurking above the entire conversation on the church’s second level. He then spends “He Gone” as the voice (pun intended) of reason to Custer’s increasing fanaticism. Jesse reveals he used The Voice on Eugene on accident, but shows little interest in considering the gravity of his actions. He pesters Jesse about how they can get Eugene back numerous times, before finally taking a dangerous bet against Jesse’s good side. He both reveals himself as a vampire to Jesse (which, how, at this point, did Jesse not suspect) but also depends on Jesse’s good will to save him from self-imposed immolation by sunlight. His fate is left unknown by the end of the episode. I’d bet money that 1) Jesse did in fact save him before casting him away as well or 2) he managed to survive the incident somehow on his own. No way they’re killing off Cassidy!

Flashbacks to Jesse’s childhood reveal more about his friendship/relationship with Tulip. An altercation with bullies leads to a lost nipple and Jesse’s father taking Tulip in for a short time. “Until the end of the world, right?” John Custer eventually calls the Texas Department of Human Services to have Tulip taken away. Childhood Jesse prays to God that his father be killed. Coincidentally, thugs break into the Custer home the same night, take Jesse and John away, and execute John in front of his son. John and Jesse reveal the graphic novel’s mission statement, as yet to be revealed by the protagonist.

preacher-you-gotta-be-one-of-the-good-guys

The episode ends with a desperate Jesse pulling up floorboards from his church, shouting to Hell for Eugene to “COME BACK!” We also see Odin amassing his goons from Quincannon Meat & Power, with a Civil War dressed Donny leading the charge. The show did a nice job building to this over the last few episodes, showing Odin setting up his figurines of The Alamo. “He Gone” delivers. The dialogue is sharp, it’s funny when it wants to be (Gilgun’s facial expressions are still priceless), and pieces are being moved into place for a dramatic finale. I just hope Jesse is able to earn some currency with us viewers before this season is over. You gotta be one of the good guys, Jesse.

preacher-episode-106-odin-haley-2-935

Differences between the graphic novel, speculations, and stray observations:

  • In the comics, The Voice could have long lasting effects (such as in the case of Agent Hoover, months); in the show, the duration of The Voice appears to be very short by comparison.
  • As mentioned, in the comics Eugene shot himself in a suicide pact about Kurt Cobain (the comics came out in 1995); in the show, Eugene shot himself after shooting Tracy Loach and turning her into the vegetable we’ve seen her as.
  • In the comics, Jesse and Tulip met as adults and romantic interests in a bar; in the show they are revealed to be childhood friends.
  • “Who’s his favorite movie star? “Ryan Phillipe!” “It’s John Wayne“.
  • In case you didn’t catch it, Jesse’s tattoo from “Sundowner” is the same as the gunman who kills his father. Yo, that’s definitely Jody.
  • No angels this week, and Mayor Miles is only referenced by Odin Quincannon.
  • Anyone else hoping the title “He Gone” was a reference to God leaving his post?

“He Gone” 4 /5 Flaming Toilets ov Hell

NEW_TOILETSCALE_4_of_5

Stay tuned for the next write-up of episode 8.

For anyone having trouble watching the series, the first season is available on the Playstation Store.

Images via AMC and Garth Ennis’ Preacher comic.

Written by:

Published on: July 14, 2016

Filled Under: Nerd Shit, Reviews

Views: 669

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  • Joaquin Stick

    You think the loss of the Voice’s power over Odin was just because it was short lived? For some reason I was thinking something more complicated was happening. Not sure what though.

    Also I feel like there was a joke I was missing about vanilla hash browns, but maybe they were just trying to say Tulip has no idea how to cook.

    I kinda liked vinyl too. That friggin episode with the hilarious Austrian? dude was so perfect. He just wanted some Nathan’s Hot Dogs!

    • Joaquin Stick

      Also Donny’s civil war costume made me literally laugh out loud. You know Odin made him wear it.

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      1) yeah. Writer at the AV Club thought the power turned him into a worse version of himself but he said to Jesse in the episode “You know as well as anyone I’m no Christian”. At least that’s my read on it…

      2) I think Tulip not being able to cook was the implication, too.

      3) that episode was one of my favorites. I guess some people thought the reveal was obvious, but I did not!

    • Óðinn

      I think it has to do with the dual nature of the power inside the Preacher. The effects may not be consistent or lasting. Just my 2 cents.

      • Edward/Breegrodamus™

        Also, I thought when it showed Odin listening to the cattle being slaughtered again it represented that he was still his old self… We don’t yet know anything else about the murder spree except that Miles covered it up!

        • Óðinn

          It will be interesting to find out what’s really happened to Odin.

          Great series of articles, Edward/Breegrodamus™.

          • Edward/Breegrodamus™

            Appreciate that! I have three more to write then I can be free of this mortal coil.

    • Incontinent Gorilla Rodeo

      “You’re on drugs!”
      “Mom, all I wanted was Nathan’s Hot Dogs!”

      https://i.ytimg.com/vi/LoF_a0-7xVQ/hqdefault.jpg

  • Waynecro

    Awesome write-up as always, man. I was happy to see references to John Wayne and “Until the end of the world”; however, I’m wondering what the fuck is going on with how temporary the Word of God seems to be. And I hate what they’re doing with Jesse’s character.

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      This was the first week where the TV Jesse really got me down, since he was being a dick to everyone with pretty much no basis to do so. I was pretty thrilled when I caught the same tattoo I mentioned!

      • Waynecro

        The thing I like about Jesse in the comics is his unwavering adherence to his moral code–his sense of right and wrong. For the most part, he’s very certain about it and does whatever he has to to live up to it (even when doing so is painful and difficult). The show’s Jesse clearly fucking lacks that at the moment. Also, nice work catching that tattoo.

        • Edward/Breegrodamus™

          It’s been helpful watching each episode at least twice.

          • Waynecro

            I should probably at least pay closer attention the one time I watch each episode. I’m usually multitasking when the TV is on.

          • Edward/Breegrodamus™

            I watched the first two episodes three times a piece I think, lol

          • Waynecro

            I rarely watch anything more than once. Of course, if I were writing awesome articles about a TV show for a wildly popular metal website, I’d definitely watch episodes multiple times.

          • Edward/Breegrodamus™

            Hahaha. The second watch is always “okay, I need to write some shit about this now”.

            I watched the entire first season of True Detective four times, I shit you not.

  • RJA

    I’m all caught up now Edward and had a chance to read all of your posts – great work. I for one am loving the show, think they are doing a fantastic job. The differences from the comics aren’t bothering me, but it has been 15yrs since I read them.

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      I just read all of the comics in about a week leading up to the show. Loved them, but didn’t have that same nostalgic attachment that a lot of original readers have.

      • RJA

        I guess I don’t have a huge attachment to the comic books. I’m just glad to see folks making intriguing/interesting/weird TV.

        • Edward/Breegrodamus™

          Also, and I’ve said this a couple times but, if they were doing straight comics to TV we would already know EVERYTHING that has happened!

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      Also, thanks RJA. These have been a labor of love. The last two (this and the last one) were the best of the bunch.

  • Edward/Breegrodamus™

    I didn’t include it in here because it would have been a straight rip off, but dude at the AV Club pointed out that it’s a good thing Custer still has that bullhorn attached to the church!

    • Waynecro

      Foreshadowing!

      • Edward/Breegrodamus™

        He is gonna NEED THAT SHIT

    • more beer

      So it looks like they actually film this in New Mexico. I am only up to episode 3. But I have shopped in that ghetto looking supermarket the Fair and Square. It’s on Central in Albuquerque. That place is as ghetto inside as it looks outside.

      • Edward/Breegrodamus™

        AMC kinda has a thing with New Mexico it seems.

        • more beer

          New Mexico gives a lot of tax breaks to film production companies.

  • Pentagram Sam

    Been kinda spoiling myself a bit to see the diff between the show and the comics. Three episodes behind cos I got caught up in a great Game Of Thrones rewatch cos there’s so many damn characters I didn’t remember shit from the first four seasons really.

    Next up is season 2 of True Detective, loved the hell outta the first. By then this one should be wrapped up and the Preacher binge begins!

    • Joaquin Stick

      Don’t get too excited about that True Detective lol. It’s…Ok.

      • Pentagram Sam

        It’s good for me so far. I knew going in the reviews were mixed but I dig all the actors involved. Rachel McAdams did really good in State Of Play awhile back, and Colin Farrell n Vince are p good. Although the Tx friendship between Woody and M McConnaughey made for something special that rippled all across season 1.

        As long as it’s not the very obvious “we just signed a last minute two season extension” treading water type of deal that Sons of Anarchy did with seasons 5 and 6.

        • Joaquin Stick

          I liked it more than most people, but the overall story was just not as captivating. Less mystery and mystique that the first one was great at.

      • Edward/Breegrodamus™

        That’s being kind, lol

  • Abradolf Lincler

    hope all our frenchmen are ok.