Previously on Preacher, “Holes”
I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments.
– Psalms 119:176
Say what you will about in-fighting between Jesse, Tulip and Cassidy… when the going gets tough, they know how to get rough. Thanks to an extremely botched operation overseen by Featherstone and Hoover, Custer and the gang are put on edge knowing The Grail wants to eliminate them. For Herr Starr, it’s just another mission until Der Leiter accidentally opened surveillance footage that he and Jesse may be on similar paths. Everyone is suffering their own existential crisis of sorts (except for Featherstone, who is reveling in her current assignment) Though their quandaries are specific and dissimilar, the pain and longing associated with their troubles is universally identifiable.
When it comes to our fearless trio, things have been much, much better. Before The Grail raided Denis’ flat Jesse was damn near persona non grata between Cassidy and Tulip. Their time in New Orleans may not have brought them closer to God, but their growing distance has forced them to confront deep insecurities and ruinous personality defects. Not all of their misfortune should be attributed to Custer yet he is the impetus that has driven them to decisions that may well lead to irredeemable circumstances.
Finally, Jesse gives Tulip the attention she desperately deserves and yet Custer still turned into the biggest jackass by using Genesis on his girl rather than hear her out. Yes, she was on edge and hadn’t slept in days… that doesn’t excuse him from not hearing her out and taking command over her body. Whenever Custer slips on his “good guy” persona, no one wins… especially O’Hare and Cassidy. If they only knew what Jesse has hidden underneath the bathroom tile and in a bayou hundreds of miles away. Of course he doesn’t recall that The Voice acts as a beacon for the Saint of Killers in spite of his current predicament.
It’s omissions like these along with Custer’s dogged pursuit of God that have ultimately caused his best friends to loose their marbles. They may love Jesse inside and out but his lack of empathy and compassion – considering he’s a goddamn preacher – is bewildering to write the least.
The biggest mistake of all is Cassidy exercising his poor judgment and turning his son Denis (Ronald Guttman) despite knowing vampirism is a lifestyle worse than death. Once Denis became a creature of the night, any scrap of humanity seemed to have departed along with his former self. We know Cassidy is hoping his son’s transformation will bring them closer together and make up Proinsias’ deadbeat behavior. Seeing how the hunger remains an overwhelming drive for Denis and he’s basically acting like a hormonal teenager, the odds are good that his turning will be the regret that keeps on giving – at least during the final episodes of the season.
If Denis makes it to season three, I wouldn’t be surprised if his character turns into a variation of Eccarius, a former friend of Cassidy’s that embraces all the trendy, superficial bullshit associated with vampires. Essentially, the vampires when diametrically opposed in every way; while Cassidy had decades to appreciate restraint and maintain his secrecy, Eccarius reveled in being openly feared and worshipped. This dark path doesn’t seem too out of place for young bloodsucker like Denis.
As for Herr Starr, it just really wasn’t his week, his month or even his year. Since his quick ascension to the top of The Grail, Starr discovered being the leader of a multi-national clandestine organization bent on world domination through Judeo-Christian ideology isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. The compulsion to subvert his will among the masses isn’t quite alluring as it once was; Starr could personally neutralize a myriad of false prophets and floating pigs, and still he’s left in want.
Although Starr couldn’t give two shits about the sentimental tale his dinner date Sophie (Teri Wyble) shared, she did capture his attention about finding that missing puzzle piece in one’s life before unveiling the unimpressive (to a megalomaniac) results of her personal journey. Herr Starr has all this power at his disposal, thousands of soldiers at his command, a virtually limitless supply of resources… and no true purpose. In a way, it was kind of a good thing that he didn’t kill Agent Hoover (Malcolm Barrett) immediately. If it wasn’t for Featherstone’s quick thinking and Hoover’s bungling in hiring escorts, Starr never would have realized during his triple buggering by sadistic sex workers that Custer is his possible answer, his North Star that’ll guide him out of the mire and into a world of unobstructed clarity.
It was surprising to see Starr introduce himself to Jesse in such a casual manner, although it does match his predilection towards directness. What was most unsettling about their spontaneous meet was Starr’s relaxed composure, as though he and Custer were old friends stuck in the same damn rut. After years of supervising the inner workings of an influential, religious supercult, Starr may have finally found religion. Well, not for guidance and inspiration so much as answers for questions that I’m certain are similar to Jesse’s.
With four episodes left in the season, one wonders how divergent Custer’s path will become now that he’s tentatively aligned with Starr. At this point, it wouldn’t be too surprising if Jesse was taken to Masada and became a member of The Grail itself. In fact, that would be an amazing cliffhanger, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves. The keyword is all this is “tentative”. Custer, Cassidy and O’Hare still have to deal with the mess between them before tackling this new insidious element that’s permeated their lives.
The Big Easy has left them hurting, but their next great adventure could truly test their mettle.
Preacher – S2E9 – Puzzle Piece | Dominic Cooper, Joseph Gilgun, Ruth Negga, Ian Colletti, Pip Torrens, Noah Taylor, Julie Ann Emery | Writer: Craig Rosenburg | Director: Michael Dowse