Previously on Preacher, “Pig”
For I am ready to halt, and my sorrow is continually before me.
– Psalms 38:17
Funny how much a man can change after a week in Hell.
Channeling his inner Max Cady, Eugene Root has fully adopted a new persona to survive in a prison overflowing with beastly, malicious characters. Still holed up in the mess hall with nothing to eat but Zagnut – and duct tape to wipe their asses – tensions are running high among the eclectic mix of sinners. No longer the odd man out, Root goes out of his way to torture his fellow inmates to maintain his place in the pecking order, but also to keep their warden Ms. Mannering (Amy Hill) out of his hair. Throughout the episode, she and Hitler alluded to the power of Hell and how it relies on a dual balance: the realm can only maintain so many damned, and all mustn’t show any hints of sympathy or perform acts of compassion or their power wanes.
Once more, Adolf proves himself to be the patient and rational one within the group; recognizing Eugene is merely playing a part to not get into further trouble, Hitler causes him to slip up as a demented form of tough love. As anticipated, Mannering and her humongous bodyguard picked Root up and dropped him in The Hole. While the execution of this particular segment didn’t exactly hit all the marks, its premise was inherently brilliant: rather than the prisoner relive the worst moment of their former life, everything comes up Milhouse… momentarily. In Eugene’s case, he still prevented Tracy Loach (Gianna LePera) from blowing her brains out but when he made the fateful mistake of kissing her, Loach responded in kind, resulting in the pair singing a disgustingly sweet and slightly off-tune version of “Closing Time”. Because high school kids in 2016 unironically enjoy Semisonic?
The love-fest wasn’t meant to last because this version Tracy had committed herself to ‘God’, played in this demented fantasy by Jesse. Eugene was now forced to experience his ultimate nightmare: the girl he loved more than anything unabashedly making out and giving a handy to Custer. Root saw no other alternative but to put the shotgun under his own chin, and who knows how many times he did that to himself while in The Hole. It was a tough lesson to learn but Eugene kind of appreciated Hitler looking out for his best interest, knowing Hell would eventually eat his young friend alive. Root will have to escape, but something tells me Adolf plans to come along for the ride.
In the world above, it was only a matter of time before Proinsias (pronounced pron-shas) would begin to waver in his objections of turning Denis (Ronald Guttman). As he witnesses his son die, slowly and painfully, Cassidy recalled the day he visited his newborn son, promising to be the best father he could ever be – while gently singing an Irish drinking song, mind you. In present day, even while hacking up a lung in a semi-conscious state, Denis still holds hope that his father would show mercy and grant him an immortal life.
The more Cassidy dwells on Denis’ suffering, the more he sought approval to turn his son; unfortunately, neither Tulip or Jesse were concentrated on their friend’s plight because of their own respective predicaments.
Custer finally decided to give Harelick’s audition one more semi-professional look see and enhance the footage to read the handgun’s serial number, per Cassidy’s suggestion in “Sokosha”. For most of the episode Jesse wastes his sweet time in a Not Best Buy, contending with a pair of computer repair guys (Atkins Estimond and Mason Guccione) that moonlight as wannabe crime scene technicians. Firstly, they destroyed Jesse’s best chance of tracing the culprit by erasing the serial number because they presumed Custer was the shooter. Then they discovered the reflection in the clapperboard was not a person but a coffee pot. Of course not of them had the wherewithal to realize the multinational conglomerate responsible for the manufacture of all their essential items – and whose tv spots aired repeatedly in the background – also had its name etched along the DVD. Poor, slow Jesse.
Perhaps the most intriguing development in “Holes” involved Tulip’s growing aloofness to those around her, and difficulties recovering from her encounter with The Saint of Killers. While Cassidy gives hospice to Denis and Custer laments over producing zero clues on God’s whereabouts, O’Hare must rely on herself to cope with the pain inside her. We already know she’s a fiercely independent woman that is never afraid to speak her mind but it’s been awfully weird to watch her be so detached and subdued. Apparently O’Hare’s visits to the Hurt Locker helped her regain some kind of feeling, but like an addiction she’s becoming desensitized and frequently visits in order to achieve the same results from days before. Now O’Hare may have found a new friend in Featherstone, who is willing to take a bullet or three with Tulip just to get that much closer to the gang before Herr Starr’s arrival.
Can everyone recover in time for the great trials ahead of them? If a Magic 8-Ball was shaken in front of you now, the most likely answer would be “Cannot predict now”. It’s been an arduous, tiresome road for all, but as Preacher reaches its final stretch for season two, it’s almost a certainty that Jesse’s North American pilgrimage will be reinvigorated by the sudden and overt presence of The Grail.