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.
Last week was one of revelations for the main characters. Cassidy figured out that there are people after Jesse's power (not after him for being a vampire); Tulip revealed that her latest job isn't for money, but revenge; and Jesse finally figured out his new power. It was an episode that hinted at a few more mysteries, but ended with more revelations than questions. Here's a recap in case you forgot:
This week, things begin to pick up speed again, and our trio truly reveal themselves. More than that, they start to enjoy themselves — and that's not necessarily a good thing. This week, it seems that Preacher wants to remind us that every single character is deeply flawed.
This week's episode opens with a scene straight from a cheap horror movie, as a scantily-clad young woman runs through the town and into the woods. She's being chased down by men with guns, and it feels like Ramsay Bolton and his human-hunting hobbies have wandered from Game of Thrones to Preacher. She's not the only prey either, as she runs past two girls in a drainage pipe and another gets shot down next to her.
Thankfully, the girls aren't actually being killed. Phew! The brothel customers are chasing them down with paintball guns in a bizarre game. It still doesn't end well for Lacey, though. The ground gives way beneath her, and she disappears down a mysterious sinkhole.
We're treated to some more flashbacks this episode, as we see a young (and very clean-cut) Jesse Custer acting as alter boy for his father. We also see a very different church with his father at the pulpit, packed with people in their Sunday best. Whereas Jesse can only get a few people to attend his services, his father was a respected Preacher who drew a crowd. Now that Jesse has decided to be a better preacher, he wants to do the same.
We also get a look at young Tulip, teaching Jesse how to smoke outside the church. Daddy may be a good preacher, but isn't the kind to spare the rod. Catching them, he beats young Jesse with a belt for his friends to see. Clearly, not even he is entirely good.
In the last flashback of the episode, we see Jesse and his father making a house call in the middle of the night, and it's all very mysterious. From a pen that Jesse finds, it seems that they are at QM&E, and that his father is having an argument with a much younger Odin Quincannon. Jesse also sees something as he leaves that scares him — although we don't get to see what.
Cassidy Playing Both Sides
Just in case you were under the impression that Cassidy was actually a really good guy, this week acts as a reminder that he's still out for No. 1. Although he starts out trying to explain to Jesse that there are people wanting to kill him, it doesn't go too well. For one thing, Jesse still thinks that Cass is joking about being a vampire, so he doesn't take the rest of his story too seriously. For another, Cass loves to pepper his colorful speech with the kind of British-isms that a Texas Preacher might not understand. He's definitely not on board with a trip to Tijuana to get away from people who he thinks are a drug-induced hallucination of Cassidy's.
However, after his first attempt, Cass goes back to the clones/angels/cowboys to attempt to act as the middleman (or, potentially put them off and take them for anything he can). He's trying to figure out exactly what's in Jesse, and who these men are. They tell him that they are angels, and still seem surprisingly keen to cut Jesse open (which Cassidy isn't happy about). Claiming that he'll come back, Jesse takes all their money as "payment" (along with a rant about how much *cough* Jesse *cough* loves drugs).
Whatever Cassidy is doing, his desire to save his friend Jesse isn't as strong as his desire to get good and loaded, and the next we see of him is with a woman between his legs and a pile of drugs extensive enough to put Hunter S. Thompson to shame.
Quincannon Continues To Up The Creep Factor
Last week, Odin Quincannon was found listening to the killing floor of a slaughterhouse. The week before, he was calmly bulldozing a home mere minutes after he convinced the owners to sign it over and move out. This week, he continues to up the creep factor with his reaction to the death of Lacey in one of his fields. Standing on a literal soap-box as her body is winched out of the ground, you would be forgiven for thinking that he would say something about her tragic loss of life. But not Quincannon.
Instead, he blames the accident on the men who were doing the chasing, and then on the women themselves for not watching where they walk. And with that, he steps away. A colder, less concerned man cannot exist in all of Texas, and only Tulip seems concerned about his callousness.
Later, the mayor comes to chat with him about the situation and reveals that this isn't the first time that a sinkhole has caused problems. This is just the first time that an actual human has fallen into one. We also find out that the mayor has been meeting with a company that deals with soil sustainability and aeroponics, and wants Quincannon to join with them.
However, Quincannon responds to this in a particularly creepy way: First, by insinuating that his grandfather murdered some competitors in cold blood, and got away with it — as did his father. Then, just to hammer the point home, he gets up and takes a leak on the company brochure and the mayor's briefcase. Lovely.
Emily's Love Triangle
We've seen a lot of Emily in previous episodes, but this is the first time that we've seen her at home. It's also the first time that we really start to see just how badly Jesse treats her.
In previous episodes, we've learned that as well as running the church, Emily is a single mom and works full time at the local diner. There's also been a bit of a hint that she has a thing for Jesse, but he's been too busy being drunk and miserable to see it. Now, however, he's all about making the church successful, which would be fantastic if he seemed to care about her at all.
He goes to visit her at home, and not only does he get her kid's name wrong, but he ignores the mess and doesn't offer to help her clean up as she starts clearing the table. He interrupts her to start talking about a big raffle that she thinks they can't afford and then expects her to go pick up a TV despite having to work a double and take care of her kids (because he will be too busy "preparing"). Then, when she says that she is worried about him (rightly, given that he was seen breaking into a parishioner's home), it looks for a second like he might actually kiss her. But of course not. Instead, he leaves to go smoke moodily in the church.
Emily, meanwhile, has another male friend who is more than happy to help her out. When she comes in late (with the big-screen TV that Jesse wanted), it's Miles who has been babysitting her kids. On a Saturday night. For free. He's also cleaned up and brought wine, and the two of them sit and talk together about their days.
This seems very sweet, but as per tonight's theme, even that isn't all good. It turns out that Miles and Emily are sleeping together, and she seems to be just as happy to use him as Jesse is uses her. There's more callousness in "Monster Swamp" as Miles washes up their wine glasses and follows her to bed after she tells him that she will never be with him.
Phone Calls From Heaven
Our two mystery men claim to be angels sent from heaven to put whatever it is inside Jesse back into a coffee can. However, after Cassidy leaves them to go on his binge, we learn a little more. Not only are they not in charge in heaven, they aren't even meant to be down here. The two have a phone line to the other angels, but can't use it, because it turns out that they've gone rogue and their time on Earth seems to be changing them. One of the angels is hungry, but given that he has no idea how or where to get food, this might be the first time that they have bothered to do so. Is Annville having a negative effect on these two? Only time will tell.
Funeral At A Brothel
Although most of the town doesn't seem too concerned about a dead whore, at the brothel a small (confusing) service is held for her. It seems to be going well, but Tulip doesn't think it's enough. Livid that Lacey's death is being mostly ignored, she lays into the crowd, demanding to know why they were all running around outside being hunted in the first place. She almost gets into a fight with Clive, but the madam stops her and offers everyone an hour on the house. It's enough to send almost everyone upstairs, even though Tulip is clearly still angry.
Then we find out a little something more about Tulip's history, and why she's been spending so much time in the whorehouse: Turns out that she grew up there, and her mother worked there. It seems that her mother also had a temper, and Tulip learned from her mama. Still angry at Clive, she goes upstairs to beat him with a golf club, but ends up in the wrong room, where she manages to knock Cassidy out the window.
Fans have been wondering when these two would meet, but no one expected that they would meet quite this violently. After asking her for a kiss (why would Cassidy let a chunk of glass in his neck put him off hitting on a pretty girl?), she gets him to the hospital, where he promptly runs off. She finds him with a bag of blood in his mouth, healing up fast. This is going to have Tulip asking some questions (and presumably thrilled that she didn't kill someone accidentally).
Not Very Christian Of You
It seems that Quincannon has had a busy week for visitors. Jesse is next to go see him. Jesse wants Odin to come to church, to be someone that the rest of the congregation can look up to. After a particularly foreshadowing speech about the possibility of punishment, Jesse finds that no talk about God is going to get Odin to come to church. But something a little more material might do it: his father's land, to be specific. Jesse offers that if Odin comes to church, listens to the sermon, and isn't made a believer, he'll give him the land.
That Sunday, the church is packed. The TV did its work, and Jesse is ready. He starts to talk with passion, talking about how hard it is to get to church, how bad the world looks, the fears that coming to church won't do any good. Then he drops the bomb. "It's all your fault." He lambastes the congregation for turning away from the Lord, for turning to sex and whiskey and money. It seems like he's getting a little bit harsh with all the sinner talk. Then he brings it home.
He singles out Odin Quincannon, and asks him if he will serve God. Of course, Quincannon is one of the monsters in the swamp, and says no. So Jesse busts out the voice, and commands him to serve God. We all know that Jesse has controlled him, but to the rest of the church, it looks like a miraculous conversion. But, is Jesse doing the right thing?
And right before the credits roll, the angels' phone rings.
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. (Please keep the comments spoiler-free!)
- What are the sinkholes? Up until now, Odin Quincannon has just been a creepy dude in Annville, but now it seems clear that he's got something else going on. What was he fighting with Jesse's father about? Why does he want all this land? What's causing these sinkholes?
- Will Tulip out Cassidy? Seeing Cass drinking blood and healing should be enough to persuade Tulip that he's telling the truth, but what's next? Is she going to out him to Jesse, or is she going to use him?
- Who's calling the angels? Presumably, if they are telling the truth, heaven is calling them. But why? And why did they have to go rogue to hunt down the thing in Jesse?
- What's Cassidy's Plan? Right now, Cass has got some loyalty to Jesse, but he's also got a lot of loyalty to himself (and to narcotics). What is he intending to do about the angels, and will he keep trying to convince Jesse that he is telling the truth?
What's Next? Season 1, Ep 5 'South Will Rise Again'
This week, Jesse seems to be getting a little too cocky — a little too comfortable with his new power. Next week, Tulip thinks that he'll get what he deserves. He's smirking, as Quincannon has changed and everything seems to be working, but Donnie is about to spill the beans about his secret, Tulip is still furious with him, and Emily isn't happy about this new attitude. The angels are also after him, and it looks like they are done waiting. Everything is going to get a lot more interesting for Preacher and his power. Plus, we'll get a little more Eugene backstory, as someone is smashing in his truck windows with a baseball bat.