Preacher: Season 1 Episode 5 Review – South Will Rise Again

By ·June 29, 2016 4:43 pm

This week, Preacher returned to The Saint of Killers, provided more Cassidy and Tulip goodness, and brought Hugo Root a little close in line with the Hugo that we know in the comics. Below you will find our spoiler-heavy review of this week’s episode.

The opening segment this week echoed the opener of Episode 2. If you recall, in Episode 2 we were introduced to The Saint of Killers and we witnessed him crossing the desert plains. This week, the opener expanded upon that backstory and we were granted sight of Ratwater.

For those who don’t know The Saint of Killers’ backstory, what we saw here depicts his time on Earth as mortal man, before becoming The Saint of Killers. Knowing that his family is sick, the gunslinger travels the plains to find medicine. Upon finding said medicine in the town of Ratwater, the gunslinger is delayed by the criminal McCready and by the time he returns home, his wife and child have died.

This is one instance of the show sticking very faithfully to the source material. This opening segment played out almost identically to the comics. We loved seeing Ratwater and seeing McCready toy with the gunslinger. The scene ended once we saw the gunslinger find his family, dead and eaten, but what comes after that is the crucial part. The gunslinger returns to the town of Ratwater and kills every man, woman and child without mercy, which damns his soul. Once he faces off against McCready, the criminal gets the better of him and kills the gunslinger, sending him to Hell.

Jesse comes out to meet Eugene, due to the Eugene being unwelcome within the diner.

Jesse comes out to meet Eugene, due to the Eugene being unwelcome within the diner.

We’re quite sure that the show will depict the massacre in Ratwater (because why set all of this up, if you’re not going to show the payoff), but we highly doubt that the show will depict the gunslinger’s time in Hell and the occurrences that lead him to become The Saint of Killers. Then again, Rogen and Goldberg have surprised us a few times already this season and a show that is so drenched in the lore of Heaven and Hell surely might have to depict those locations eventually, so you never know.

Donnie was granted a little more empathy this week, in such scenes as him sulking in bed and refusing to go to work. We like the humanising of this character, but it’s important to remember who the man is at his core. Hugo and Eugene’s relationship also changed drastically in this episode and fell closer in line with the Hugo that we know in the comics.

In the comics, Hugo never acknowledges or speaks to his son. Essentially he detests Arseface for being the cause – as he perceives it – of his wife leaving. The show took the opposite approach with Hugo initially; having him take care of Eugene and look after him. This week though, Hugo’s temper got the better of him and he asked Eugene to “finish the job” (to kill himself).

This felt a little unnatural for the character of Hugo, given how they set the character up in the first few episodes. The shock showed in Eugene’s eyes too and he looked utterly taken aback by his Father’s words. We’re unsure what the writers are aiming for here; whether they are trying to move this relationship towards the one where Hugo never speaks to him son, like in the comics, or whether this is just a temporary blip in the road for them (Eugene will no doubt forgive him his Father quickly, due to his kind nature).

As we mentioned last week, Cassidy being attracted to Tulip and going after her, despite her being Jesse’s girl, is a big plot point of betrayal within the comics. This week, the writers pushed the boat even farther with this by having Tulip sleep with Cassidy (albeit without any interest in the act from Tulip). We’re pleased that the show is showing this arc, but they’re almost ruining its power due to their insistence on doing it backwards.

Tulip hunts down Jesse in the diner and challenges him by bringing up his troubled past.

Tulip hunts down Jesse in the diner and challenges him by bringing up his troubled past.

Jesse and Tulip are not dating at this point in the show (and don’t have much chemistry), and Cassidy doesn’t even  know that Tulip’s self-proclaimed “man” is Jesse. So Cassidy’s chasing of Tulip in the show is not a knowing betrayal of Jesse at all, which removes the worse side of Cassidy’s nature, which was an important addition to the comics. We’re sure that when Cassidy finds out that Jesse is Tulip’s “man”, he’ll be genuinely sorry and will be apologising left right and centre to Jesse, and we’re sure that Jesse won’t care that they slept together. Both of these instances are the exact opposite of what we wanted from the show, in regard to these arcs.

The episode closed out with Odin murdering several people in his office, after seemingly welcoming them with open arms. This just left us confused, as it could mean that either Jesse’s Word of God command on Odin to serve God did not work at all, or – more likely – Odin’s interpretation of serving God is to murder those he chooses God would want murdering. We’ll have to wait and see.

The show is five episodes into its 10 episode run now, so we’re half way through the season, which has us worried. We thought by this point that the narrative might have started to pick up – maybe bringing The Saint of Killers or Herr Starr directly into contact with Jesse and his companions, or having Jesse and Tulip leave this town – but alas we’re going nowhere fast. All of our characters are stuck in this small town and a lot of the scenes are focusing on small town problems, like Eugene visiting a girl that he is not supposed to.

What we want is the state-spanning chase and pursuit that the comics provide, with Jesse hunting God and The Saint and Herr Starr hunting Jesse, but it doesn’t look like that will happen any time soon. We’re still pleased with the show, but the last two episodes have left us a little more disappointed than usual. Let’s hope the second half of the season ramps up and keeps the comic content high.

Image credits: AMC

More: AMC Preacher

Written by Christopher Hart

Co-Editor in Chief / Film, TV and Literature Writer

Christopher holds an MA in Publishing and a BA in Comparative Literature, and currently works as an analyst for a major Bank in London.

Christopher self-publishes his own Science Fiction and Fantasy stories. His completed series of short stories is titled 'Altered Stone' and can be found on Amazon.

His specialist subjects include LOST, Preacher, Supergirl, A Song of Ice and Fire, Kevin Smith, Bioshock and Fallout.

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