After a slight break, Preacher returns and takes us to the Wild Wild West. 1881 to be precise, and the beginning of the backstory of the greatest comic book character of all time, The Saint of Killers! If they do this right, (which they have so far), it’s gonna be awesome.
Jesse Custer baptises the town folk, hears their sinful problems and visits a comatose girl as he plays the perfect small town preacher. However, cracks begin to appear in his pious demeanour as the dark side of mankind’s problems slowly but surly eat away at him.
The great Jackie Earle Haley pops up as the vile pervert Odin Quincannon in a nice piece of casting. We’ve seen Haley psycho-it-up before as Rorschach in Watchmen, but Quinncannon is a whole new kind of wrong. We only get a snippet here, but if Rogan, Goldberg and crew only use 10% of his story arc it is going to make for some interesting if not uncomfortable television.
Foire and DeBlanc, the two agent angels that have been keeping tabs on Jesse since his “awakening” attempt to remove the Lord from within Jesse, first by song, and then by chainsaw. Cassidy intervenes, but is shot for his troubles, which triggers a bloody fight straight out of a Sam Raimi movie. A bible, a bottle, a chainsaw and severed limbs are all used to release the gore in violent and comedic action that culminates in Cassidy amputating his opponents and burying them in a chest underground, only for them both to resurface unscathed toward the end of the show.
Throughout the episode certain things are said and certain things are done that slowly release the old and bad Jesse Custer. Tulip continues to test Jesse’s patience asking him to do one last job to which he keeps refusing. Tulip then knocks him out and ties him up saying that one day the old Jesse Custer will return. A young girl lies in a coma, Eugene complains that his baptism didn’t work and Cassidy calls him boring. But the tipping point is the confession of the local school bus driver and his unsavoury thoughts toward a young female passenger. Jesse breaks into his house and in a fit of rage releases the word of god – a power that renders the subject at the mercy of his command. In this case the subject is told to forget his lust, which he promptly does. Jesse then attempts to use his newfound power for the better and asks the comatose girl to open her eyes.
The story has yet to really get going, though this episode planted a few more seeds, added a little more substance to the characters and introduced some fan favourites into the mix. Two episodes in and all is jolly on the good ship Preacher, especially with Rogan, Goldberg and Catlin at the helm. It certainly seems as though they are intent on sticking to the roots of the comic, but as to what extent, only time will tell.
Cooper again plays his part slowly and methodically portraying a man torn between what he wants to be and what he really is. Negga clearly enjoying her role as the sassy, alpha-female ass-kicker Tulip revels in the part and takes centre stage everytime she is on screen. The same can be said for Gilgun, who steals the show as the foul-mouthed motor-mouth Cassidy by bringing his own unhinged and twitchy persona to the character. Colleti plays Eugene (aka Arseface) just how it should be, as does W. Earl Brown as his father, Sheriff Root. Another Brit was added to the proceedings as Graham McTavish is introduced as The Saint of Killers in what looks to be another piece of good casting.
So far so good.
Dir: Seth Rogan & Evan Goldberg
Scr: Sam Catlin
Cast: Dominic Cooper, Joseph Gilgun, Ruth Negga, Lucy Griffiths, W. Earl Brown, Derek Wilson, Tom Brooke, Ian Colletti, Anatol Yusef
Prd: Matt Tauber
Runtime: 60 Minutes