Preacher: Season 1 Episode 2 Review – See
Truly, for us comic fans, there was no better way that this episode could have opened that it did last night. As ‘1881’ flashed up on the screen in that large font that we love, we just knew – and we were elated by it – that Rogen and Goldberg were about to show us a flashback for The Saint of Killers himself.
It’s a bold move, as the comic doesn’t reveal the Saint’s Earthly years until much later on in the narrative. Rather, in the comics, we first meet him when he is roused from his coffin within Heaven and set on his path to find Jesse and Genesis. We imagine that arc is coming, but really we’re just thrilled that Rogen and Goldberg decided to go with the Saint at all (for a while, we thought that they were omitting him entirely). What we were given was effectively only a tease of him, but trust us, once he shows up properly in the present, magic will ensue.
Tulip again showed her cheekier side this week, with her raunchy words post-baptism. What we loved about this episode is that she actually made a point of highlighting that the man who Jesse is now is not his true self. We were worried that the show might be presenting Jesse as timid for its entire duration (which is very inaccurate to who Jesse is in the comics), but we can rest a little easier now knowing that the writers have pointed out that Jesse holds his true self at bay.
Like Tulip stated, it is only a matter of time until he lets his true nature back out (we wouldn’t call him a “bad man”, however, as Tulip does though – he’s more just a badass who sticks up for what’s right by using violence) and he takes another step towards this here in the episode’s close, by assaulting the pedophile. We’d also like to see him show more clearly how much he truly loves Tulip. Their undying love is something that the comics hinge upon, but here it seems like Tulip is pining for him and Jesse couldn’t care less.
Fiore and DeBlanc – the two angels who are hunting down Genesis – had a much larger role to play this week. The show opts for a far more violent and sinister Fiore and DeBlanc than the comic goes for. In the comic they are rather weak willed and once on Earth they merely succumb to cocaine and women. Here, however, they are effectively two lethal, immortal bounty hunters. We enjoyed when Cassidy walked into the church and assumed that they were part of the vampire hunter organisation out to get him and we also loved DeBlanc’s lullaby as an attempt to lure Genesis out of Jesse (which is something not seen in the comics, but which feels natural to us, since these two angels were effectively babysitting Genesis in Heaven).
It’s the little moments like the above that are giving the show that unique feel and quality. We adored too when Eugene accidentally scared Cassidy and Eugene stating that it basically happens all the time. Really, of all the characters, they’re getting Arseface and Cassidy the most spot on. And yet again, we were treated to another Cassidy bloodbath in this episode, which we truly enjoy, right down to the hurried, intentionally messy and brutal choreography.
This episode also saw the introduction of Jackie Earle Haley as Odin Quincannon and already we got a hint of his sexual fetish for meat. This is when he is talking about packers and butchers, and his gaze and speech drift off, like his mind has wandered elsewhere. We took this to be a foreshadowing of his sexual predilection for meat, which is so consuming that he can’t even talk about meat without wandering into fantasies. It was a very short scene, but we can tell that Haley is going to do an amazing job.
Which leads us to Odin’s man Donnie Schenck, who you’ll recall as the wife beater from the pilot episode. Having him work for Odin as well as being a wife beater (not to mention abusing his colleague too) just cements him as someone that Jesse (or maybe the Saint) is going to take out later on, in a hail of bloody violence.
We breathed a sigh of relief when it was revealed that the serial killer with the bug helmet was just Tulip messing around. We spotted this bug helmet in one of the promos a couple of weeks back and we were mildly concerned about who this potential antagonist might be.
Certainly the most crucial pop culture reference in this episode was the mention of the Coen Brothers’ The Big Lebowski. Cassidy bemoaned the popularity of the film, calling it overrated and “shite”, and Jesse defending the film. As we’ve mentioned previously, the Preacher comics are laden with pop culture references (to Bill Hicks, John Wayne and more), so Coen Brothers discourse is certainly a fitting addition in our eyes.
The episode closed out with Jesse finally realising that he has the word of God within him. Although he doesn’t realise quite what this power is, he knows now that when he adopts that voice others obey him, and we’re pleased that he’s already smart enough to try using it to do some good. Although we wonder if “open your eyes” was really smart enough of a command, as surely that would not regain the girl’s consciousness, nor her non-vegetative mind.
We’re only two episodes in and Preacher is already hitting all of the right notes for us. Even such simple things as having a Saint of Killers flashback open this episode left us utterly gleeful. Rogen and Goldberg are doing an amazing job so far; they’re carefully balancing the qualities that make the comic great, while also adding exciting original content, which compliments the comic narrative rather than stands against it.