Jesse Custer might just be one of the bad guys after all, so it’s a good thing that he seems to have a better handle on being a better Preacher. This week’s episode ‘See’ was very jam packed so if you were under the impression that ‘see’ would be an opportunity to slow down and expand on the many plot points set up in the previous episode, you would be dead wrong. In fact, Preacher is a show that exists only in forward momentum, barreling through plot points and dragging us along for the ride. It’s both a blessing and a curse as the show piques the curiosity of the viewer, only to provide very little context for anything that just happened, thus frustrating we as viewers further.
Preacher is a show that simply refuses to hold our hand and guide us through it’s unique and increasingly bloody world. So it shouldn’t have been as surprising as it was when this week’s episode threw off the training wheels and rode the 6th gear, deeper into insanity.
“See” opens with a flashback to the wild wild west lands of the year 1881; alone Cowboy (who may or may not ben an important figure from the comics, known as the “Saint of Killers”) sets out on a mission though a grim desert. The scene does not hold any immediate relevance to the plot, however, the entire scene is given a strikingly distinct visual style; the tree that was draped in mutilated corpses was downright creepy, adding further to the lifeless environment we find our Cowboy in.
At the pace Preacher is setting up plot points, I don’t think we will have to wait very long to find out the relevance of the opening scene; and it goes without saying that, that won’t be the last we see of the Lone Cowboy.
Jesse’s Internal Moral Dilemma Works Really Well
So when we finally catch up to Jesse, he’s baptising peeps let and right. A far cry from the Preacher we saw only one episode ago. But What I love about the way Jesse is represented (and Cooper’s acting) is that you can draw so much from just his body language.Jesse Custer might do good things but he is not a good man. On the other hand, he might do bad things but he is by no means a bad man. This moral contradiction is something that serves as one of Preacher’s strong points and resonated well in that episode. We see Jesse deal with a paedophile (who is not redeemable in any way) and a grieving mother who is losing faith, as her daughter is in a coma (and if you thought Eugene was tough to swallow, you ain’t seen nothing yet). The former of which ends with Jesse breaking into said paedophile’s home, in order to perform his own special brand of baptism (note: it is not pleasant). In the process, Jesse lets his inner demon out (literally) and we get another cool look at this shows supernatural take on the power of persuasion.
Preacher Is a Slow Burn
Preacher is an unusual show because it can get away with doing so many things that regular shows can’t, and I don’t mean the intense gore (although that counts too). No, what I mean is that Preacher is the kind of that spends it’s first to episodes building up so much momentum, so quickly, but with no visible destination. As a viewer, it sought of feels like I’m waiting for the obligatory “exposition character” to waltz right in and tell us what the hell is going on. Interestingly and perhaps even more frustratingly is that this slow burn seems to only apply to Jesse’s character, for example, Jesse for the vast majority of the episode still has not figured out that he has supernatural powers.
Everything around Jesse’s character moves at a lightning pace; from Cassie’s big fight two (apparently angelic) creepy hunters of Genesis (more on that later). To the introduction of Odin Quincanon and his meat company QM&P (that stands for Quincanon, meat and power folks), which is a business that is run more like a drug cartel than anything else (ala Breaking Bads’s Los Pollos Hermanos). Introducing new characters and elements like this are cool, however only so many characters can be dangled from so many sticks before audiences decide they have had enough. Preacher is playing the long game, but I fear that it might need to get to the point sooner than it would like to.
Preacher’s Action Scenes Are Insane and You’ll Love Them
I originally called the action scenes brilliant but silly. Honestly, I think I can admit now that there is an element of Preacher that I have mostly ignored, and that is the show’s dark humour. You see, watching a Vampire fight off two angels in a church, while a runaway chainsaw careers violently towards an unconscious Preacher, is something you can not watch with a straight face (trust me, I tried). Preacher’s action scenes just get more and more batshit as they go and they are one of the standout events of the show. One that leaves me excited for the next one, so let’s hope it can keep the momentum going for future episodes.
The Problem With Tulip
Ruth Negga as Tulip is great, Tulip and her obsession with Jesse however, is not so great. Yes it only two episodes in, but I still have not been told why I should care about Tulip, but I desperately, desperately want to want to. All scenes featuring Tulip seem to drag on and on, ultimately leading nowhere. This slow burn pretty much affects her character the most and it is a big shame because Tulip is one of the best characters in the show.
It’s a High Price Of Admission, But It’ll Be Worth The Ride
See ends on a cliffhanger with Jesse finally coming to the realisation of his new gift. We have to wait till next week’s episode to see the results. This could very well be the turning point for the show, a chance to set a clear course for its audience before it drifts too deep into stranger waters. If you have decided the slow burn is not for you, then I completely understand. However, if you can, stick around because Preacher is still certainly one of the top shows to keep your eye on this summer.