Gimme Something to Watch: AMC’s Preacher (Season 1, Episodes 2 & 3)

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

Oxbow doesn’t have anything to do with the Preacher series, but they rule.

“Be here, work hard, help others, preach the gospel, be one of the good guys”.

That’s God’s plan for Jesse Custer, as spoken by Jesse to Cassidy during Preacher’s second episode, “See.” There is a much older Yiddish proverb which states “man plans, and God laughs,” which is a more fitting mission statement for the second and third (“Possibilities”) episodes of this series. “See” follows an internally conflicted Jesse Custer as he reaches out to help the citizens of Annville, with mixed results throughout.

One of the biggest moments of fan service and an enigma for those unfamiliar with the source material occurs during the cold open of the second episode. For those unfamiliar, a “cold open” is the scene that takes place before the credits during a television show. Many of the best scenes from HBO’s The Wire took place during the opening segments. Viewers of syndicated drama should not be unfamiliar with mysterious cold opens; look no further than the pink teddy bear from Breaking Bad’s second season, which appeared at the beginning of four episodes! A title card sending the viewer back to 1881 signifies a new element to the story, and introduces us to one of Preacher’s greatest antagonists – the Saint of Killers. Despite some breathtaking scenery, the intro is quiet, drawn out, and grim, and shows us not everyone believes America is a paradise.

preacherep2(2)

Fast forward to the present day, where two main points of emphasis coincide around Jesse Custer: his efforts to help out and spread the good word to the citizens of Annville, and his increased awareness of the strange new power he possesses. In the episode’s first modern scene, Jesse baptizes many of Annville’s residents: Emily, the bus driver, the mayor, Eugene/Arseface, and Tulip, and hears a troubling confession from the busdriver afterwards. Throughout “See,” Jesse encounters many of the residents post-baptism, with their various reactions to and struggles after being saved. Jesse is also rebuffed by Terri Loach in his effort to reach out to her; she tells him that words won’t open the eyes of her comatose daughter, or help her to ride horses again.

Two episode highlights revolve around Cassidy. First, Jesse and Cassidy drink, argue, speak philosophically, and bond before Cassidy drugs Custer and steals his wallet and truck. In the first two episodes, two of my favorite scenes involve the back and forth dialogue and differing world views of these two main characters. As Cassidy makes his getaway, a moment of conscience steers him back to the Annville church, where he discovers the two strange investigators attempting to remove the “comet” from Custer with a chainsaw. The second highlight is another bloody battle between Cassidy and those two, involving death by a Bible and the second by chainsaw – Cassidy emerges victorious. The fight is as tense and well done as those from the pilot, and involves a bit of gory slapstick as Cassidy slips on blood chasing down the agent’s chainsaw-wielding severed arm.

Eugene/Arseface acts as a foil to move the plot forward as he did in the pilot, standing as a reflection of Jesse’s own internal struggle with faith. Arseface tells Jesse that no matter how hard he tries, he just stays the same, which we see plainly reflected in Jesse. This prompts Jesse to visit the busdriver, who previously confessed his pedophilic fantasies. Jesse breaks into the man’s home, assaults him, and gives him a second baptism in a tub of scalding water, ultimately discovering his powers when he commands to bus driver a third time to “FORGET HER.” The following morning, Jesse visits the comatose Loach girl and asks the mother if he can pray with her. We see Jesse putting the Word of God to use one final time, as he commands the comatose girl – “OPEN YOUR EYES.” We also see the murdered and dismembered agents alive and intact speaking to Sheriff Root, which gives us the impression they may be even harder to kill than Cassidy.

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One of the cool things about writing up two episodes at a time is covering cliffhangers that happened at the end of the second episode “See,” and seeing them resolved in the following third episode, “Possibilities.” The comatose girl opens her eyes. Jesse finds himself in full control of his powers. We learn the identity of the resurrecting investigators, as one of them explains to Cassidy that they are from Heaven. Cassidy later makes a deal with them to be the middleman in the efforts to recover the “comet” from Jesse. Tulip’s story arc over the first three episodes is revealed. Her “job” is not a typical score for cash, but rather a revenge mission against a man named Carlos who fled the scene of a previous bank robbery involving Jesse and Tulip. The flashback to a murdered security guard with Jesse holding the gun comes as a bit of a shock. We also get a closer look at Odin Quincannon, and just how creepy he can turn out to be.

The cold open finds Tulip talking to Dany, who prior to the third episode had only been mentioned and not seen onscreen. Tulip trades the map she fought for in the pilot to Dany, for the last known address of a man named Carlos, the object of Tulip’s obsession thus far. Two important small details to note: the map is property of Grail Industries, who comic readers will remember as all powerful Grail organization, and the introduction of who is likely to be Herr Starr, another of Jesse’s great antagonists, leaving the fourth annual Houston snuff film festival.

The episode then unpacks many of the above mentioned story lines simultaneously, to the episode’s detriment. With so much happening in “Possibilities,” I can imagine those unfamiliar with the comics to be lost in the shuffle. My feelings about Tulip have shifted radically over her three episode story arc. I thought she was really bad ass in the pilot, but her pursuit of Jesse has become rather annoying. The third episode suffers from the lack of a well-executed fight scene, and loses a bit of directorial flair without Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg at the helm. The third episode isn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination, but definitely lacks the impact of the first two episodes.

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At the end of the third episode, it’s Donny, rather than Eugene/Arseface, who moves the plot forward for Jesse. Donny confronts Jesse in the restroom of a truckstop gas station with a gun. Jesse, now aware and in control of his powers, reacts calmly, and nearly forces Donny to commit suicide. Jesse, who clearly seemed to be enjoying tormenting Donny with his powers, has a change of heart at the last moment. He lets Donny live and leave, saying to himself that he understands. We see Jesse in the episode’s final scene preparing a eulogy for Ted (who cut out his heart in the pilot episode), still trying to save the citizens of Annville.

Let’s cover some of the main differences between the graphic novel and these two episodes:

  • In the comics, the Saint of Killers is introduced early on as he is woken from his grave by an unfortunate Adelphi angel; in the show we are introduced to his origin story right off the bat.
  • In the comics, Jesse discovers his powers by ordering a platoon of police officers to drop their weapons; in the show, Jesse discovers them by wiping the brain of the bus driver. He also never used his powers to wake someone from a coma.
  • In the comics, Jesse and Tulip weren’t murderous bank robbers prior to their reconnecting in the present.
  • In the show, the Cassidy and Tulip relationship hasn’t even been hinted at yet.
  • Jesse and Cassidy did not meet the angels until nearly the end of the comic series.
  • Like Odin Quincannon, Herr Starr and the Grail organization took some time to appear in the story. Herr Starr was wearing a hat during his introduction; he didn’t wear his trademark hat in the comics series until after his head was disfigured to look like a dong.
  • The comics didn’t have comparable characters to Emily or Carlos as far as I can tell.

Season One Episode Two “See” 4.5 / 5 Flaming Toilets ov Hell

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Season One Episode Three “Possibilities” 3 / 5 Flaming Toilets ov Hell

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Stay tuned for the next write-up of episodes 4 and 5.

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

Cover and images from “See” via redditor C4str0. Image from “Possibilities” via Screen Rant.

Written by:

Published on: June 15, 2016

Filled Under: Nerd Shit, Reviews

Views: 975

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  • Waynecro

    Excellent write-up, man. You get bonus points for making the text in your Word of God quotations red like the comics do. I nerded out pretty hard when the Saint of Killers and Herr Star made their first appearances in the show. Tulip is really starting to get on my nerves, but I’m digging the show otherwise.

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      I’m glad someone picked up on the red font!

      I agree, both scenes were really exciting, but I have mixed feelings about all of the Big Bads being introduced so early.

      • Waynecro

        I’m still wondering how they’ll get certain characters past the censors. They may not even bother with some of them.

        • Edward/Breegrodamus™

          I was just thinking of some of the smaller Bads in the series, sex party Jesus de whatever his name is, the sexual investigators, the vampire cult… ironically I think it’s the sex stuff they’ll have to tone down rather than the violence, but/and it seems like the creators are trying some of that stuff i.e. the bus driver in episode 2.

          • Waynecro

            Yeah, exactly. My brother and I have been wondering how they’ll get away with fucked-up characters such as Jesus DeSade and the detectives. They could tone down the characters, but that would kind of make them pointless. I’m also wondering how they’ll handle a certain morbidly obese religious leader and all that “Humper-dumper-dido!” business.

          • Edward/Breegrodamus™

            I can not wait to see the Allfather.

          • Waynecro

            We have a lot to look forward to for sure.

          • Abradolf Lincler

            all true warriors will see the Allfather when they die!

          • Waynecro

            The guy we’re talking about is no Odin.

          • Abradolf Lincler

            i figured, just wanted to go all nordic for a second

          • Waynecro

            Thank you for bringing a little bit of Valhalla to the Toilet.

          • Abradolf Lincler

            #ToiletSonsofOdin

  • Joaquin Stick

    Fuck. Time is moving too quickly. I still need to get to the first episode. I finished Season 2 of Bloodline this week and only have 2 more eps of Rick and Morty to watch, then I should be ready to go! I could handle 1 episode of spoilers, but I will have to come back to this one.

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      In my opinion you should have skipped the last article as well, lol

      • Joaquin Stick

        But I probably wouldn’t have wanted to watch it if I didn’t read it, so I guess it will be worth the tiny spoils. Also one of the the upsides of a shit memory.

        • Edward/Breegrodamus™

          My memory is like a steel trap for TV and movie spoilers, it’s actually pretty awful.

    • Abradolf Lincler

      THAT LAST EP OF RICK AND MORTY DAWG

      • Joaquin Stick

        Just finished it. Damn dude, season 3 better hurry up.

      • Tronc McBeefyBeardloaf

        New season in the fall. #GettingShwiftyPoopsOnTheFloorNoRegrets

  • Abradolf Lincler

    i dont even know whats going on with tv right now if we aint talkin about DkS3 or netflixing Psych and TNG eps.

    • Joaquin Stick

      The New Girl? Never would have pegged you as a fan. /s

      • I think he means Star Trek: The Next Generation, but I’m also probably wrong.

        • Abradolf Lincler

          Anns always rite

      • Abradolf Lincler

        uhhhhh you mean starring the affable and sexy Zooey Deschanel? i can watch dat on mute

        • more beer

          So it’s like watching Caliente on Telemundo. Just turn the volume down and enjoy the ass shaking.

        • Tronc McBeefyBeardloaf

          Same here, and that hot as hell Saudi-Canadian chick on there.

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      What about Game of Thrones?

      OITNB starts up again Friday, too, will be watching that with my girlfriend.

      • Abradolf Lincler

        i read the books and trying to avoid spoilers from people dat cant red.

        ill watch the entire series binge style when avail (prolly only watched thru season 4 or 5)

      • Joaquin Stick

        Does OITNB stay interesting? I got through two seasons, and watched the opening of the third and was very not-thrilled by anything happening, so I moved on.

        • Edward/Breegrodamus™

          I’d say so. There are things that have happened during the third and fourth season I wasn’t a big fan of, but it’s pretty easy entertainment for what that is worth.

      • Tronc McBeefyBeardloaf

        I made it through one episode, and left disappointed when I found out it wasn’t a Skinemax sorta deal about women’s prison.

        http://i.imgur.com/gu9B91s.png

  • nbm02ss

    NPR had a segment on the Preacher, in which they mentioned that there was a time when HBO was considering doing an issue by issue recreation of the comics.

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      Do you remember that Spawn animated series that ran a season or two on HBO? I remember it being awesome, and way better than the one film they made.

      • Dubbbz

        Joe loves Spawn, The Movie.

      • nbm02ss

        The animated series was boss.

        Most of DCs animated flicks are better than their live action counterparts, IMO. Stoked for Killing Joke.

      • Guppusmaximus

        I thought they did an awesome job but I still wish McFarlane would have went with a Japanese firm instead like Madhouse. Then it would’ve been amazing. The film made him out to be a superhero never mind the fact that they changed shit around & included weird shit for no reason (a fucking dog, really?)

        • CyberneticOrganism

          Please tell me they called it Spawg

      • more beer

        You should check out, Outcast on Cinemax. The first 2 episodes were pretty crazy. Demonic possessions and exorcisms are pretty metal.

      • BobLoblaw

        Three seasons, have the first one on VHS and just picked up the dvd of all three at best buy for $9.99. So good.

  • nbm02ss

    Has anyone watched Lucifer? I’ve heard it’s a total departure from Vertigo’s Lucifer.

    • more beer

      I have seen about half of the episodes.

  • Cowboy Dick

    I aint got nuthin against preachers, its their fan clubs I cant stand. Im more of a Beverly Hillbillies dude. I reckon.