[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Director: Michael Slovis
Writer: Sara Goodman
Starring: Dominic Cooper, Ruth Negga, Joseph Gilgun, Julie Ann Emery, Ian Colletti, Gianna LePera
Rage, desperation, anxiety; three feelings found in both Hell and at street parties. Hitting the booze-soaked streets of New Orleans hard, Jesse Custer takes the search for God into his own hands and tries to throttle some answers out of a Jazz song. Meanwhile, Tulip O’Hare struggles to fend off the demons of her past lurking beyond the fluorescent festivities. Somewhere deep in Hell, a dear old friend has his eternity of suffering rudely interrupted.
This episode was a belter – no other way of phrasing it and not just because I’m Scottish. It was a belter because it belted me across the forehead and started choking me with sweet, leathery emotions. Eugene (Ian Colletti) is back and god damnit I’ve never felt sorrier for this poor sweet Arseface. We finally get to see what fans from the start have been waiting for, we get to see what actually happened between Eugene and Tracy Loach (Gianna LePera). However, now that we’ve seen it perhaps we wished we kept it to the imagination because – again, god damnit – it’s a tearjerker. And don’t worry if you miss any details in the scene between Colletti and LePera, because you’ll be seeing it over, and over, and over again – just like Eugene.
The episode this week gave Dominic Cooper the spotlight, as the Preacher roams the streets of New Orleans following the sound of Jazz and hoping it might lead to God. After a lot of whiskey and dog fetishisms (I’ve been looking forward to some context for the dog suit since the season two trailer released, and I was not disappointed) he finally gets a little insight on his musical musings as well as a (bit of a) warning about an ominous conglomerate of masked secular cultists – but it seems they now know more about Jesse than he does of him.
Whoever they are, they seem to link back to the mysterious white-suited man who appeared fleetingly in self-contained scenes throughout the first season, now named as a Mr. (Herr) K. Starr (Pip Torrens) and seen sitting in an office in London. Also connected to the mysterious group is a covert femme fatal Lara Featherstone (Julie Ann Emery), and her arrival to the show has roused much excitement from fans of the source material – who all feel pretty smug right now, probably.
Jesse uses Genesis – his divine superpower – a couple of times towards the end of the episode, and I concede that this was close enough to the end to avoid repercussion from the Saint of Killers, I felt like it was sort of bending the rules the last two episodes built up. That being said, the character most likely to use his power recklessly is Jesse Custer, so I can’t say it was at all out of character – I also just really like it when he uses the voice.
Not really a negative, but we got introduced to a ‘friend’ of Cassidy – a man named Dennis who only speaks French and doesn’t like friends. Hopefully we get a little more background on Dennis in the coming episodes, because at this point any backstory for Cassidy is pure gold for us fans. Again, not so much a criticism as a hope for the rest of the season
With one of the heaviest scenes of the show so far, this episode takes it’s time to slow down and punch you in the heart as you finally get brought up to speed with Eugene. Again, all of the cast shined through brighter than the festival lights and I for one cannot wait to see who else is waiting in those cells neighbouring Eugene’s…