Previously on Preacher, “Dallas”
He that sacrificeth unto any god, save unto the LORD only, he shall be utterly destroyed.
– Exodus 22:20
In a stellar episode written by Preacher’s executive story editor Mary Laws, “Sokosha” further builds upon the adaptation’s burgeoning mythology while detailing the chronicles of our resident wraith, The Saint of Killers. In spite of Cassidy and Tulip’s valid concern for Jesse’s erratic display of emotions in “Viktor” and “Dallas”, the company has initiated a soft reset and have forgiven one another for recent transgressions – but clearly haven’t forgotten. Although we all wish death threats and violent reprisals could be alleviated with candy-coated chocolate, marshmallow, and whipped cream pancakes, not all the empty calories in the world could deflect the oncoming fury of the grim specter that is The Cowboy.
Perhaps the most entertaining segment within the episode was Jesse’s suggestion to read up on their pursuer, who in this world is regarded as an actual person that manifested into an Old West legend. Narrated by a genteel British voice, we’re reacquainted with origins of The Cowboy and his tragic experiences in Ratwater during “Finish The Song”. The book on tape gave us further insight on what occurred before and after The Saint of Killers gained his revenge: after discovering his wife and daughter were now food for the crows, The Cowboy’s soul left his body and scattered in the wind, completing his transformation into the avatar of death.
Once the powers above and below witnessed his brutality, The Cowboy was shunned from Heaven and Hell, forced to relive the worst days of his life indefinitely in Purgatory. A man without a soul is far too volatile a weapon for either side to wield, and per tradition among these ignoble entities, The Saint of Killers was essentially left to rot for all eternity. That is until DeBlanc and Fiore lied to his face about reuniting The Saint with his wife and daughter in Heaven if he killed Jesse and freed Genesis. Now that both angels are kaput, no one can rescind the Saint’s contract and contain the entity that possesses Custer. In other words, it’s a shit show all around.
Thanks to Viktor’s daughter Allie (Stella Allen), the trio were given a head start to avoid The Cowboy’s wrath; although in their rush they forgot to warn Cassidy’s son Denis (Ronald Guttman) of his unwelcome houseguest. Yes… Cassidy finally revealed his connection to the surly Francophile and it turns out Denis is a child that Cassidy abandoned decades ago. Now that his son is in poor health and living in relative squalor, Cass appears to be making up for lost time in his own special way, however he’s been failing most of the time. Yet the arrival of the Saint of Killers has put everything in greater perspective for the squatters in apartment 14, especially when they could have grapefruit-sized holes in their heads within the hour, courtesy of The Cowboy.
Thankfully for everyone including Denis, Jesse’s harebrained idea to conduct research on their stalker proved life-saving as the preacher convinced The Saint of Killers he could retrieve a fragment of a soul in order to get him that much closer to the pearly gates. Using Tulip, Cassidy, and Denis as collateral, Custer raced around New Orleans and learned the usual brokers in black magic have been pushed out of their own market by a foreign competitor.
Featured in the episode’s cold open, a Technician (James Kyson) calmly negotiated with a couple so desperate for financial relief, the husband was willing to have a portion of his soul extracted for mere pennies, when the Technician’s well-to-do clients could shell out millions to delay the deleterious effects of aging.
Business was booming and Jesse, desperate enough to rankle the feathers of yet another secretive yet highly influential organization, was ready to lay it on the line to save his girl and best friend. For most of Custer’s quest to find God, the lives of dozens were deemed forfeit as he ducked and dodged the Saint’s white hot bullets and left the carnage unscathed. Finally, Jesse was made responsible for his relatively foolhardy excursion across Texas and in New Orleans; finding no other match to The Saint’s soul but his own, Custer had one percent of his essence extracted by the Technician as he states dispassionately that “You won’t even miss it.”
It was a steep price to pay for (temporarily) ridding himself of The Cowboy, but it proves Jesse is completely dedicated to his quest and his love for Tulip and Cassidy is true. While the unfortunate father had 15 percent of his life force siphoned at the beginning of “Sokosha”, it’s apparent even a single percentage point of a soul is worth far more than the Technician claims, given Custer’s demeanor near episode’s end. What began as a day filled with optimism and rife with potential became a traumatic reminder of how all of them live on the razor’s edge. It may appear that their most urgent threat is neutralized, but it left each one of them shook to the point that they all lost their devil-may-care attitude. Between Cassidy’s remorse in not being there for his son, Tulip’s ordeal from being “touched” by The Saint of Killers, and Jesse’s voluntary excision, the gang is deserving of a respite to collect themselves after such a coercive experience.
Yet we know that won’t happen anytime soon; they’ll lick their wounds, bury their feelings deep, ignore their frayed nerves and put on their best poker faces. Still and all, shit got too real. Is God really all the trouble considering He abandoned humanity to its own devices? Likely not. Yet they’ve nothing else substantial going on, and given all they’ve experienced since Genesis entered their lives, Jesse, Tulip, and Cassidy have no other choice but to push forward.
Preacher – S2E6 – Sokosha | Dominic Cooper, Joseph Gilgun, Ruth Negga, Ian Colletti, Pip Torrens, Noah Taylor, Julie Ann Emery | Writer: Mary Laws | Director: David Evans
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