Preacher: Season 1 Episode 6 Review – Sundowner
From one slow week to another, Preacher, of late, has been far more small town drama than Earth-spanning hunt for God. This week we take a look at what might be going wrong in the translation from comic to screen. Below you will find our spoiler-heavy review of this week’s episode.
We won’t lie – the show is beginning to irate us a little bit. The comic is a violent, rushing narrative, that – yes – does pause now and then for simple debates among Southern characters, but which, in essence, is a pursuit narrative; Jesse and co are hunting God ruthlessly, while others hunt them.
The show, so far, has shown nothing of this. Rogen and Goldberg have opted for small town joys, over large scale chases, and perhaps even worse – a Jesse who seems to genuinely want to be a preacher. This, as we’ve pointed out before, is very contrary to the character and motivations of Jesse Custer.
The show’s first three episodes we rode with – we rather loved the pilot, episode 2 gave us The Saint of Killers and episode 3 gave us Herr Starr. We naturally thought that this momentum might maintain its velocity, but instead, episodes 4-6 have taken a languid backseat, and as much as we still love certain aspects of the show, we’re growing a little tired of it avoiding the gold of the comics.
This week’s usual dose of violence (which we always welcome) came in the form a Seraphim angel fighting Jesse, Fiore and DeBlanc. It took all three of them, as well as multiple respawnings, to subdue the angel. This made sense – the Seraphims are the most powerful angels, but the weekly fight scenes aren’t enough to keep the show ticking over. The attitude of the writers seems to be that if they include some hectic violence in each episode, then the rest of the episode can plod along with small town drama and small town dialogue (as much as we thought Tulip and Emily bonding was cute, it’s irrelevant to the arc that we desire), but it’s not quite enough.
The show only has 10 episodes to play with (as well as a renewal for Season 2 already, which is great news). In that brief window, every episode counts, yet the writers don’t seem to be utilising their playing field to anywhere near their full advantage. We shouldn’t complain without having suggested fixes in mind, so, below are our rectifying suggestions for the show.
Firstly: have Jesse stop being a preacher. It was always his Grandmother who wanted this, not Jesse. Nor was John Custer ever a preacher. The show showed us a glimpse of Jesse’s true side (which Tulip keeps trying to draw out) in the pilot and we need that back. Jesse needs to renounce the cloth and lies of religion, grow mad at God and turn back into the confident, violence man that he is supposed to be.
Secondly: have Jesse, Tulip and Cassidy leave Annville. We understand that the show has set up a group of core characters within this town, but it’s all too limiting to have Jesse and co remain there. Once our trio leave, the show can still cut back to Annville as much as it wants, to show Eugene (who also need to leave, on his own venture) or whomever else.
Thirdly: bring in the big guns. The show teased both The Saint of Killers and Herr Starr, then has for the most part let them be. The show needs to bring in at least one of these heavy hitters soon, to ramp up the threat level and provide a better foe than just the fumbling Fiore and DeBlanc.
Among the more interesting moments this week were Cassidy learning that Jesse is the “man” (boyfriend) that Tulip keeps referring to, and Cassidy looked truly dismayed at this, which is contrary to his dastardliness in the comics. Eugene also found some comrades, which very much looked like it would go in the wrong direction, to begin with, but luckily his new friends seem above board so far. Jesse also learned the origin of Genesis, which no doubt educated the non-comic book audience a great deal and Jesse chose to keep it Genesis despite Fiore and DeBlanc’s wishes.
Perhaps the most interesting moment was Eugene getting Jesse riled up by using the word “cheating” – which, of course, Jesse interpreted in his own manner, in relation to Genesis. This culminated in Jesse losing his temper and telling Eugene to “go to Hell”, while using the word of God (which is not in the comics). This undoubtedly sent Eugene straight to the very recesses of Hell itself, which poses some very interesting questions about whether the show will finally begin to show Heaven and Hell.
We don’t see many ways for Eugene to escape from Hell without the show literally showing us Hell. Maybe then we might be granted sight of the gunslinger becoming The Saint of Killers and murdering the Devil. It’s a salivating prospect, but no doubt the show will disappoint once again by weaving around this in some meandering manner.
We’re a little tired now of optimistically postulating that next week’s episode will be a little more eventful, so instead of pining for more, we’ll just lower our expectations for the final four episodes of this season, and maybe the show will surprise us at least a little.
Image credits: AMC