Previously on Preacher, “Damsels”
After a smorgasbord of vivid, hyperviolent imagery for consecutive episodes, Preacher throttled back only a bit this week as Tulip was reunited with the secretive Viktor (Paul Ben-Victor) to answer for her currently unexplained crimes. Concurrently, Jesse, with Cassidy in tow, is hot on the trail of his best lead yet. However this discovery only provided more questions than answers as that mysterious organization that was hinted to exist may have a greater reach than Custer realizes.
Without question, the most stupendous moments of the week occurred during Eugene’s continued exploration of Hell and becoming acquainted with his next door neighbor, Adolf Hitler. The concept of an austere, mechanized Hell isn’t too new, but the diversity among its residents was a fresh take on who – and what – gets an express ticket down under. Between the introductions of Tyler the Bro, a samurai, a ’50s era female, a gypsy and a caveman (?!), Hitler was the passive bleeding heart among this eclectic group and appeared to survive solely off his reputation. Adolf’s surprisingly docile nature was confirmed when Eugene visited his hell when their block was on the fritz yet again.
“This is Hell. Act accordingly.”
Now, it’s a very difficult task to generate sympathy for a genocidal maniac, especially THE genocidal maniac, but writer and Noah Taylor apply the right amount of humor and snark to the then-struggling artist back in 1919. In fact, it was implied that Hitler may have started his reign of terror all for the continued interest of a highly opinionated and intolerant girlfriend. By the time Hell got its shit back together, Eugene believed he made a friend in Adolf but it is Hell… and no one has time to make nice.
Taking heed of the advice block supervisor Ms. Mannering (Amy Hill) gave him, Root finally began to hone his edge and did what is rule number one for any newbie in prison: find the biggest guy in the room and kick the everloving shit out of him. It didn’t hurt that Tyler and his bunch already began stomping Hitler into the dirt, but to watch the Fuhrer’s reaction when he lost his new best friend to the fervor of the mob was a tad heartbreaking. Just a tad. Ultimately, Hitler deserves every kick to his skull for all the atrocities committed in his name. Eugene may have earned a reprieve from Tyler’s harassment but there’s no way Adolf isn’t going to retaliate in his own extremely German way.
Back on earth, Jesse is far too concerned with his latest surreal confrontation with The Grail and their undercover agent, Featherstone. Even after he hit roughly a dozen bars, Custer has over 150 left and doesn’t seem to have a lick of concern for Tulip as being missing for half a day is a very Tulip thing to do. It appears Jesse places too much faith in his worth as he blamed O’Haire’s absence on their latest fight, which isn’t the case at all. Ever the empathetic one (ha!), Cassidy becomes increasingly anxious about Tulip’s safety yet unwittingly helped Jesse on his quest when he recognized a familiar face in the worst charity infomercial ever produced starring… Frankie Muniz?
It didn’t take long for the duo to appear at the offices of manager Teddy Gunth (James Hiroyuki Liao); the pugnacious talent broker wasn’t in the habit of revealing his clientele to any old preacher and Irishman, but Cassidy whipped up a masterful bluff and “revealed” he and Jesse were scouts for Game of Thrones. Not one to pass up that dragon money, Gunth admitted one of his better clients – Mark Harelik – portrayed the homeless man in the Katrina commercial, and was contacted soon after to audition as God for persons unknown. Teddy gave Jesse Harelik’s audition tape because “no one watches auditions” and it was confirmed he was the God Custer and his congregation encountered in “Call and Response”. Mark already had the speech down to a T. Furthermore, he shared a line that wasn’t heard during all the confusion in Annville, foretelling the world’s end:
“The dying Land. The falling sky. The beasts of the field thrown into confusion. Look for the days to shorten. Look for the darkness to grow. And look for the wicked to know my wrath!”
Well all right then.
After brief contemplation, Mark is willing to accept the role of God and is told the part is his… only to be shot point blank on camera. Naturally, Jesse and Cassidy are disturbed by this sudden act of violence but it made sense in a twisted sort of way. The only way Mark could accurately portray God, is if he ascended and became God in Heaven. Still, one wonders who was behind the trigger. It could have been Featherstone as the voice had a similar tone and cadence. It could have another angel hoping to clean up DeBlanc and Fiore’s mess. If it was the former – which appears to be more the case – it wouldn’t be too surprising if The Grail and Heaven shared a direct line in this wildly offbeat adaptation.
In the comic, The Grail had always intended to jump start the Apocalypse and attain global domination through the introduction of their figurehead, a direct descendant of The Messiah. Regrettably the centuries of inbreeding had created an imbecilic grotesque. God was never really in the picture. The same can’t be said for Sam Catlin’s vision as he’s streamlined parallel story lines and possibly improved upon the vehemence and effectiveness of this Grail.
Again, the white vans encircled Jesse and Cassidy, keeping close eye on their activities and collecting as much intel as they can. Instead of an insular shadow organization that exerts its will indiscriminately, we’re given a cabal that appears patient, precise, and well aware of what Jesse has inside of him.
Unlike his small band of stalkers, Jesse suffered from a massive case of tunnel vision during his investigation into God’s whereabouts. Once Cassidy finally admitted that Tulip may be in trouble, Custer finally put his Voice to good use and easily made his way through Viktor’s mansion – save for one vicious melee with Viktor’s in-house torturer. After a wonderfully entertaining scrap that ends with a well place foosball bar, Custer finally “rescues” his dearest from her captor… her husband. And like that, lots of things between the lovers finally makes sense.
Sadly for them and Viktor’s small army, Jesse’s liberal use of Genesis means The Saint of Killers is not far off from murdering all of New Orleans to dispatch Custer. God will have to be put on the backburner next episode when Tulip, Cassidy and ‘Padre’ have to dodge a hail of bullets in what’s sure to be another bloodsoaked episode. At least we hope it’ll be gory… send your thoughts and prayers, everyone.
Preacher – S2E4 – Viktor | Dominic Cooper, Joseph Gilgun, Ruth Negga, Ian Colletti, Pip Torrens, Noah Taylor, Julie Ann Emery | Writer: Craig Rosenberg | Director: Michael Slovis