SPOILER ALERT: If you haven't yet watched this week's episode of Preacher, then turn back now! This contains spoilers and key plot points.
The first two episodes of Preacher were dripping with gore, but this week the show toned it down with the violence and instead packed the episode with development. Aptly titled "The Possibilities," this episode took the time to reinforce characters, clarify Preacher's power, answer questions and pose new ones. Unlike the first two episodes, "The Possibilities" doesn't have a parishioner of the week, instead keeping the focus entirely on our main trio. It's an interesting slowdown for the show, and one that could go either way. As long as next week brings us another action-packed episode, this could be the only breathing space the audience receives before everything kicks off.
Houston Says Hello
Last week, we heard a lot about the mysterious Danni, and this week we get to meet her. The episode opens with Danni and Tulip sitting together on a park bench in Houston, talking casually about the possibility that Tulip might murder Danni's husband. She won't, but clearly we aren't dealing with people who are overly concerned with the law. Tulip trades the mystery map (which has something to do with an organization called Grail Industries) for a last known address, although we don't know whose it is.
All we know now is that Tulip is out for revenge (and heaven help whoever it is she wants revenge on). In a flashback, we see her screaming after a car as it speeds away, leaving her in an alley with an alarm blaring.
After the two part ways, Danni takes the map to an unmarked building, where a group of men appear to be watching — something unpleasant. We don't get a look at the TV screen, although the soundtrack of screams means that we don't really want to, either. Danni slips the map to one of the men, who leaves the room, strolling down a dark hallway past a snuff film festival poster. It's a familiar silhouette for comic fans.
Something Got Loose
Last week ended with two strangers brutally murdered by Cassidy, before being mysteriously resurrected and talking to the sheriff. This week, we get to hear a little about the men, although something isn't adding up.
The two claim they are with "the government," and they give a very rehearsed speech about their mission. They claim that "something got loose," and they tracked it to the town. Now they need to capture it, before more people die. Given their wandering in the first episode and their attempts to get something out of Jesse last week, it seems these two are telling the truth. But they aren't telling the whole truth.
After the sheriff leaves, they decide to "try again." They'll wait until dark before attempting to get whatever it is out of Jesse. Again. This time, however, they'll be packing some serious firepower...
The Difference Jesse Is Making
Jesse wanted to make a difference in the town, and this week we start to see all the things that he has done coming together. Starting with the Loach family. Last week, Jesse told Tracy Loach to open her eyes, and this week we can see that she has. Nothing else has changed, but that on its own is enough to have her mother gushing about the change, plus her newfound faith in the Lord (although she still doesn't have a whole lot of faith in Jesse, after he showed up reeking of booze).
Donnie also seems like a changed man. With his arm still in a sling, he walks with his son, and although it seems ominous at first, it turns out he's just trying to explain things. It also turns out he's being made fun of all over town, and his son has been acting out in violence in his father's defense. It even seems like Donnie doesn't have the workplace clout that he used to.
The bus driver, meanwhile, has his face bandaged and appears to have forgotten all about the little girl that he had such disturbing fantasies about. He actually thinks she's a new girl at school.
So it looks like Jesse has been making a difference in people's lives, but it's not all for the best. As a little reminder of how things can go wrong, Ted's body has just been delivered for cremation.
Having figured out his powers (or at least, figured out he has some), Jesse decides to clue Cassidy in on the secret, and he does it in a particularly hilarious way. Using his Word, Jesse commands Cass to do all kinds of things: hop up and down, sing to him, tell the truth, box — even admit that he's a fan of Justin Bieber.
Jesse gets a little carried away, and we can see him reveling in his new power, to the point that he accidentally hurts his friend. It's easy to see that if Jesse lets his darker side prevail, this power could well be used for evil. Cass, of course, is all for using it for evil, and encourages Jesse to think about all the things they could do with it. We also get to hear a little about how Jesse has been feeling since he woke up with the Word of God — as though everything in the world is suddenly inside of him.
Time to revisit Odin Quincannon. He's popped up in every episode so far, although we still don't know exactly why or what he is doing. This time, it seems like he appears with the sole intent to creep us out. Sitting in his largely empty office, he's gazing out a window. Not so strange, except that he is listening to the sound of cattle being slaughtered. It seems as though he could even be watching the killing floor from out of that window, which has got to be one of the most disturbing things for the owner of a meat company to do (unless you've read the comics, in which case, it seems positively normal). Then, just to crank up the crazy a few hundred notches, he turns up the volume.
On her way back from Houston, Tulip has a run-in with the law for speeding. It feels almost like filler, which is surprising, but this is actually a careful look at just how good Tulip is at what she does. Sliding a gun under her hip, she is clearly willing to use violence if it comes to that. Tulip would rather use her wits, though, and she's not unoriginal enough to go for the weepy female routine. Instead, she slips on a military ring and convinces the cop that not only is she not trying to get out of anything, but that she's on his side. It works, and he lets her off as we applaud Tulip's acting abilities.
She also gives a stirring speech about a friend who has got off track and how she needs to help him. That she would break "a hundred damn laws" for him. It's all part of the act — or is it? We can't help but feel like she's talking about Jesse, and that this little bit of her ruse is 100 percent true.
Tulip is back from Houston, still trying to convince Jesse to work a job with her. Jesse, meanwhile, tries to open up to her about his newfound power, but fails miserably. Instead, the two get into an argument about what he's trying to do, and why he won't come back with her. She's having none of it. This episode, we start to see Jesse really talking about God and his faith, which seems to have been returned to him by the power he has inherited. It seems like he's about to storm off, when Tulip reveals what she has.
Jesse wasn't in the car that sped away from her in the earlier flashback. He was standing with her, and it looks like he had shot someone. We still don't know who Carlos is, or what he's done, but he did something to ruin Jesse and Tulip's lives, and the two speed out to get their revenge.
For a moment, it seems as if Jesse will actually give up on his new way of life, but it's Donnie, ironically enough, who changes his mind. Jesse and Tulip stop at a gas station, and while Tulip debates how to kill Carlos and gets into a fight with another motorist, Jesse heads to the bathroom. Where Donnie is waiting. Furious at how Jesse has ruined his reputation, Donnie has tracked him down with a gun.
Of course, Donnie isn't aware of Preacher's new power — but he's about to be. At first, he tells Jesse to get on his knees, but when Jesse doesn't seem afraid — and isn't willing to make that bunny-in-a-bear-trap sound — Donnie realizes that something is very wrong. Jesse tells him that he'll make it look like a suicide, and uses his power to force Donnie to put the gun in his mouth. As Donnie quakes in terror, Jesse looks like he's enjoying himself. A little too much. In shock over what he nearly did, Jesse calls off the job, telling Tulip to leave Carlos to God, and turning back for Annville.
Cassidy Vs The Clones
Our two mystery men are suited up in body armor, ready to go after the Preacher, although one does look like he's getting distracted by the TV. Cass, meanwhile, is staring into the flames of Ted's cremation — something that has to hit home for a vampire who could burst into flames any day. On his way out, he spots Fiore and DeBlanc (the mystery men) in the same van they used last time, and guesses it's the same vampire hunters after him a second time.
The two lock and load, but Cass is better than they are, and runs them down with the church van. At which point, he notices that these two happen to look exactly like the two he killed before. Being a vampire himself, this doesn't seem to phase him too much — in fact, it bugs him more than anything. Putting it all down to clones, he goes to clean up, but these two are still not dead!
Before Cass can even clean up, the two are back from the dead, and it looks as though he might have to kill them a third time — until, that is, they explain that they aren't after him. They give him exactly the same spiel that they gave Sheriff Root, only this time Cass knows exactly what that something is that got loose — or at least, what it can be used for. They also tell him a little more than they told the Sheriff — that they are from Heaven. Cassidy offers to act as middleman, getting the Preacher to talk to the two men, rather than having them come at him with chainsaws. Perhaps Cass has an ulterior motive here, but only time will tell.
A recurring theme this ep is how bad the world can be — something that Sheriff Root in particular has been noticing. After talking to the two men in their motel room, the sheriff tells them about two kids, taken from an amusement park and brutally murdered. It's a deeply horrifying story, one that is somewhat incongruous.
He comes back to this at the end of the episode, as he sits at the table with his son. Eugene has heard about the change in the Loach girl's condition and wants to go visit her, but his father refuses. Again, he talks about how bad the world is — full of murder, mayhem and lunatics. It's a bleak picture he paints.
The final sad scene backs this up, as Jesse holds a funeral for Ted, with only himself and Emily in attendance.
Questions We Want Answered
Fans of the comics will probably have a good idea of the answers to these, but newcomers to the story of Jesse Custer will still be wondering (and please keep the comments spoiler-free!):
- What is Grail Industries? Tulip might think that she only wanted the map to get Carlos's location, but we know there is bound to be something more to it. What or who is Grail Industries, and who is the man who took the map from Danni?
- What did Carlos do? The biggest question of the episode is who is Carlos and what did he do to Jesse and Tulip? It looks like he ran out on them during a job, but what was the job? Why did Tulip refer to him as life-ruining and child-killing?
- Seriously, who ARE those guys? Our two mystery men remain largely a mystery. They clearly aren't government agents, but what is Heaven? Is this a strange new branch of the government, or are they being completely literal?
- Why is Quincannon so creepy? Quincannon is one of the creepiest characters in the show, but we still don't know entirely what he's doing here. Is he just the owner of a meat plant? If so, why is he getting so much screen time. Clearly he is up to something, but we just don't know what that something is yet.
- A coffee can? What's the "something" that got loose, and why was it being held in a coffee can? Obviously this is a central part of the show, but we may find out sooner rather than later.
What's Next? Season 1, Episode 4 'Monster Swamp'
Next week, things are speeding up again, and it looks like there is something more serious happening in Annville. We get to see a little of Odin Quincannon's plans, but the bulk of the episode looks like it will be centering on a frightened girl who is running from... something. Cassidy is trying to convince Jesse that there are government clones after them, and potentially playing double agent. And Jesse? He's embracing his new powers — and it might not end well.
Preacher airs on AMC on Sundays.