Previously on Preacher, “Sokosha”
How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? How long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?
– Psalms 13:2
From the moment we first saw Pip Torrens as the dead-eyed chief of the secretive order known as the The Grail, viewers were eager to gobble up every second that Custer’s arch-nemesis was featured, however brief his appearance. This week for many of us it was like Christmas in July as the stacked episode provided a lengthy flashback to Herr Starr’s initiation into the Grail back in 2004. What followed was a series of tests that proved the show will not completely stray from the comic’s narrative but improve upon its sheer insanity; in this case, the absolutely psychotic outlook Starr has of the world at large.
The main lesson to be learned from entire Grail training sequence is Herr Starr will not, can not have anyone be his superior in skill or title. The German is as deranged as he is uncompromising; Starr is everything The Grail desires in an agent except they never took into account that their top candidate is motivated not by faith but the superior capabilities of one’s self. Herr Starr couldn’t give a fig about The Grail’s mysterious plans to reintroduce God to humanity so much as their play to systematic manipulate the world’s markets and media. That isn’t to say Starr doesn’t have a wry sense of humor; as least he does thanks to Torrens’ impeccable delivery. After Grail leader Saltonstall (Fredric Lehne) revealed the grand plan, Starr replied in his jarring, colorful fashion: “Ingenious. The world on its knees looking for direction like the ugly girl at the gangbang.”
Though Torrens’ rendition of Herr Starr was the unanimous Most Valuable Performance of “Pig”, Cooper, Gilgun, and Negga provided heaps of tension as the trio are still trying their best to shake off their traumatizing encounter with The Saint of Killers last week. The search for God has hit a lull and even Jesse has lost his annoyingly compulsive demeanor to find the Almighty. Instead of calling it a night at Denis’ place, Cassidy suggests the four of them check out The Hurt Locker, a dive filled with too many drunk rednecks and far, far too many guns.
Trying to make the best out of a crappy situation, Cass, Tulip and Jesse play a hilarious con (from theirs and the viewers’ perspective) on the hapless good ol’ boys, using Cassidy’s immortality to fleece the gun nuts of a few hundred bucks. However the good times do not keep rolling as their thoughts continue to dwell on the missteps they’ve taken on their journey so far. Thankfully, Denis’ rantings didn’t fall on deaf ears because Cassidy received assistance from a patron at the Hurt Locker (Patrick Weathers) who’s a French professor from Tulane by day. Not surprisingly, Denis had been unloading decades worth of frustration and rage the past three episodes yet his tune changed ever so slightly when he believed Cassidy could make up for lost time.
As suspected, Denis (Ronald Guttman) is dying from congestive heart failure. He could pass on at any moment and has but one request for dear old dad: to turn him into a vampire so they could live forever. Cassidy immediately rejects Denis’ suggestion, knowing full well about the unseen complications of living as an undead bloodsucker.
While the benefits appear to the outweigh the cost, there may be more to being a vampire in this universe than a fear of sunlight. It isn’t by coincidence that Denis’ request occurs before Jesse’s conversation with a street preacher (John Ales) proselytizing revelers about the end of days. Custer and the preacher commiserate about getting a message across to distract humanity from its base nature. As Jesse’s new friend asked hypothetically: “What is more frightening than who we are and what we done?” Most of the episode was a sample of the depravity and destructiveness humankind is capable of achieving when they’re merely bored. Imagine what we as species could accomplished if primed and intensely focused as Starr was in killing his way to the top of The Grail.
The sole outlier in this subdued treatise on the perils of humanity is Tulip’s persistent nightmares about The Cowboy and how he robbed O’Hare of her killer instinct. Without that fire, Tulip is impotent with fear because a looming threat that doesn’t exist (at the moment). O’Hare has lived by the gun for so long, she never contemplated that she could actually die by it. The Saint of Killers was her first legitimate confrontation with her mortality; in classic Tulip fashion, she attempted to take control of her fear by returning to the Hurt Locker and take a bullet like her Irish “boyfriend” did the other night. After taking a large caliber square in the chest, Tulip rose sooner than the hicks expected, reinvigorated as though it were a baptism by gunfire.
Preacher – S2E7 – Pig | Dominic Cooper, Joseph Gilgun, Ruth Negga, Ian Colletti, Pip Torrens, Noah Taylor, Julie Ann Emery | Writer: Olivia Dufault | Director: Wayne Yip