Developed By: Sam Catlin, Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen
Director: Michael Slovis
Writers: Sam Catlin, Rachel Wagner
Starring: Dominic Cooper, Joseph Gilgun, Ruth Negga, Pip Torrens, Julie Ann Emery, Malcolm Barrett, Noah Taylor, Graham McTavish
This week on the penultimate episode of AMC’s second season of Preacher, Eugene and Hitler secure their ingenious escape route from Hell with some downright unsettling results, while the management deals with a former inmate up on Earth.
The Saint of Killers – or William, as some might dare call him – has returned for Jesse Custer, now sent as an agent of The Grail.
Herr K. Starr uses the ensuing pandemonium to organise a little chat with Tulip and Cassidy, specifically to entrust in them his plans for Jesse and how they are not any part of them.
This show is built primarily on the dynamic shared between Jesse, Tulip and Cassidy before dealing with any kind of supernatural, fetishist troublemakers. In this series, we have seen emotions run high between the trio and this stint in New Orleans has raised some painful issues for all three of them, all compounding in a big strain on their relationships. After some time of feeling that unease spread throughout Denis’ apartment for weeks, it was such a damn relief to see our three anti-heroes eat, drink, and fight together again – albeit briefly.
Of the three however, Tulip gets the prize for most development in an episode. While Jesse quibbles about taking God’s place in the universe and Cassidy starts hiding the dog from a hungry hungry vampire, Tulip gets her mojo back and goes up against The Saint of Killers with her own two goddamn fists (and then later a fire-stoker). Finally, free from her fear of the Saint and the threat that he poses, Tulip is back in action with that hard-ass look in her eyes and her signature attitude, and I reckon that’s not going to play out well for Agent Lara Featherstone next time she tries to play the nervous neighbour routine.
What was also pretty damn great this week was the Saint of Killers flashback, the first we may have seen in the show which isn’t part of his Hell-scape. William vows never to drink nor kill again out of eternal love for his family and undergoes a baptism to seal the deal. Years later after the birth of his daughter, we witness the Saint commit the most heinous and disturbing act of perversion imaginable – sprinkle salt into his milk. To be fair, he was trying to make his daughter laugh – which she did – but it still deserves to be up next to the Man-Dog on a the “Weird Stuff on Preacher” scoreboard. It’s deeply sad to be reminded that this demonic force of unyielding fury was once a happy man who lost everything and lost himself to anger.
Also, deeply sad is the fact that Eugene has had to deal with so much in his short, terribly unfortunate life. Thankfully for him (Und das Führer), Eugene is tired of falling victim to his own inner demons, and after a lifetime of hoarding the guilt for the shortcomings of the people he loved, he demands his self-respect in one of the best goddamn scenes on television this year.
He stands up to his warped memory of Tracy Loach, of his father, and – surprisingly for us all I think – the Prairie Dog Mascot from Annville Highschool. It was so rewarding to see this innocent baby boy forgive himself for his mistakes, stand up for himself, and move forward. Now he is moving forward with Adolf Hitler, but every situation has its flaws.
Their prison bromance has been hilarious and everything the showrunners and Noah Taylor have done to approach this part of the show has worked so beautifully. I cannot wait to see Herr Starr’s reaction when Hitler reappears on Earth just as he’s trying to acquire the perfect leader to replace Humperdoo…maybe Jesse will get outranked in the end?
For this episode? Not a single one.
Filled with amazing redemption moments for some of your favourite heroes and villains – although that line is pretty fuzzy in this show – this episode was so utterly satisfying to watch, I actually thought I had my dates wrong and I was watching the final episode. Eugene is free of his guilt, Tulip is free of her fear and Jesse is free of the Saint of Killers, for the time being. Herr Starr is on the verge of obtaining the universal order he expected of the divine, and Jesse is almost ready to find out whether he was truly given the power Genesis for a reason. Get hyped for the finale folks because all the wild and wandering threads of this series are drawing together for the end of the season.