Previously on Preacher, “Call and Response”
A fool’s lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes.
A fool’s mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul.
– Proverbs 18:6-7
For many including myself, it took a episode or three to finally accept the ridiculously idiosyncratic atmosphere that permeated Annville. As the first season progressed, the down home haughtiness of the townsfolk became an effective foil for the relatively pragmatic rogues that are Tulip and Cassidy. Yeah, Jesse was feeling awfully high and mighty by season’s end but all of that changed real quick once he and his parishioners learned that God is M.I.A.
No longer tethered to their dusty South Texas town, Custer, Tulip and Cassidy set forth to meet their destiny and find out why the hell The Almighty decided to play hooky. Except there is that little problem of an unstoppable killing machine hot on their trail thanks to a pair of desperate angels.
“We’re in Texas. They pretty much grow dumb-ass crazy here.”
Executive producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg shared directing duties for both episodes and wasted little time throwing Jesse, Tulip and Cassidy into a raucous action sequence that not only cemented the humor and zaniness that’ll be present throughout season two, but effectively introduced the magnanimity of the Saint of Killer’s powers, played with a quiet rage by Outlander’s Graham McTavish.
The entity formerly known as The Cowboy was prominently featured in the two-night premiere, proving himself to be a being with little regard for life in general as he eliminates all in his path with a seemingly endless supply of white-hot bullets. Absolutely no one is safe from the Saint of Killers as his disdain for humanity appears to have no end. Given how Custer has escaped the Cowboy’s wrath not one but twice in such short time, we can expect many more piles of bodies across the country while the Saint of Killers’ frustration becomes increasingly volatile.
Surprisingly, the more normal parts of the premiere involved Jesse and Tulip’s improving relationship. For a pair of freelancers that not only saw “God”, but are acquainted with a vampire and have to deal with a powerful entity living inside Custer’s head, things are pretty much hunky dory for the pair of lovers. Tulip does have her reservations about using Genesis so often and Jesse abides due to her concerns. Yet the couple still have plenty to hash out (aside from the angels, grim specter of death stalking them, O’Haire’s brief tryst with Cassidy and that all so important quest to find God) – presently an enigmatic figure named Viktor and his association with Tulip.
One thing’s for certain: this road trip wouldn’t be as entertaining without the cheekiness and outlandish riffs of the vampire Cassidy. In the first two episodes Joseph Gilgun has already successfully a massive impression by showcasing greater dimensionality within this hugely vulnerable and extremely problematic character. An expert junkie who’s spent over a century skulking through the darkest corners of depravity, Cassidy has shown an awful lot of heart, especially when it comes to his guilt for hooking up with Tulip, and most recently, his empathy for Fiore (Tom Brooke).
In the second episode “Mumbai Sky Tower”, the trio found the wayward angel offing himself in creative ways to the applause of feverish crowds as The Amazing Ganesh. Since The Saint of Killers blew DeBlanc (Anatol Yusef) to kingdom come, Fiore has been stuck between a rock and shitty place. Unable to return to Heaven due to his bungling of Genesis’ recapture, Fiore had no other option but to wander the earth and find meager amounts of solace by discovering increasingly grisly ways of killing himself – only to be restored to life in a new body and continue his self-imposed penance.
Though crippled with remorse for his best friend’s death, Fiore blames Jesse for all his woes and won’t call off the bounty for Genesis. He might retain the Cowboy’s service partly out of spite, but it was the last act Fiore and DeBlanc conspired; to call off the contract is, in a way, finally letting go of his dear friend. For a few hours, Cassidy worked his magic the best way he knows how (booze and drugs… lots and lots of drugs) and managed to crack Fiore’s defenses and reveal how lonely he is in the world, a sentiment virtually every character can relate to at its core.
Still, that moment of vulnerability wasn’t enough to sway Fiore, and was only assured by Custer’s use of Genesis on him that the only way to achieve peace was from a bullet by the Saint of Killers. The entirety of Fiore’s experience in the Mumbai Sky Tower could be an article in itself, breaking down how the inflexible nature of his audience was us, the early detractors of Preacher, and how Catlin’s vision for the series didn’t match our narrowed expectations. Well the message was received: this show will not, and honestly, should not follow Dillion and Ennis’ violent masterpiece.
If anything was to be taken from the first two episodes of the season, Preacher was always in capable hands with its frenetic action sequences, tack sharp writing, an oddly whimsical take on vulgarity, and an uninhibited propensity for ultraviolence. God bless this show, wherever He may be.
"On the Road" and "Mumbai Sky Tower"
Preacher – S2E1/S2E2 – On The Road/Mumbai Sky Tower | Dominic Cooper, Joseph Gilgun, Ruth Negga, Ian Colletti, Pip Torrens, Noah Taylor, Julie Ann Emery | Writer: Sam Catlin | Directors: Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg