In this episode of Preacher, “Monster Swap,” Cassidy plays the middleman between Jesse and the two men who are after him, and he’s not very successful at it. Tulip gets into some trouble, as usual, and Jesse comes up with a way to both boost church attendance and change the very essence of one of the most notorious baddies in Annville.
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Lacey’s Tragic End
Remember the Toadvine Whorehouse? Well, the fine establishment and its residents make another appearance in this episode of Preacher. Early on, we see a bunch of women running around outside, at night, in their underwear and bras, seemingly being chased by a bunch of guys with guns. So things are off to a pretty sketchy start.
We soon learn, however, that the guns are just paintball guns and the people participating are patrons and staff at the Toadvine. But the seemingly friendly, if bizarre, game, turns deadly when one of the men, Clive, shoots Lacey, a girl working at the Toadvine, and she falls into a hidden sinkhole and dies.
A small crowd watches the next day when she’s pulled from the well, and the group includes Tulip, plus the owner and operator of the meat-packing plant from earlier episodes, Odin Quincannon. He gives a small speech, cautioning the men to be more careful and the women to watch where they’re walking if they’re going to run around outside at night. As it turns out, the accident happened on his land, but he is clearly completely disinterested in what happened and leaves quickly.
Tulip, however, is not going to let this whole thing go. She questions the entire ordeal at the site then brings it up again later at the Toadvine during a memorial service for Lacey. She and Clive argue loudly about what happened, but Mosie, the woman who runs the place, quickly breaks things up and Clive heads upstairs with a woman. She then has a chat with Tulip alone, and we learn that Tulip grew up at the Toadvine because her mother worked there.
Apparently, Tulip had a temper even as a child, and it rears its ugly head again when she hears what she thinks is Clive and his lady friend loudly having sex in the room above her after Mosie leaves. She marches her way upstairs and starts hitting the guy in the back and startles him enough so that when he jumps out of the bed, he gets too close to the window nearby and falls out of it.
But just then, Clive runs into the room, and Tulip recognizes the awful mistake she made. The guy on the ground is not Clive at all; it’s Cassidy.
So how did Cassidy end up there? Well, earlier in the episode, he tries to tell Jesse about the guys who are after him, but as he’s rambling and hasn’t exactly been totally truthful in the past, Jesse isn’t really listening to or believing any of what he’s saying. Jesse makes his way out to the van, which doesn’t work. And when he questions Cassidy about it, the vampire, covered in an outfit to protect him from the sun, explains that it’s part of what he’s been trying to tell Jesse.
Cassidy tries to get through to Jesse that the “thing” inside him is something others want, something the two guys after him want, but Jesse brushes it off and says that if the people want it, he’ll give it to them — but, of course, not in the way the men Cassidy is working with mean. So Jesse drives off, and Cassidy is left to meet up with the heavenly duo without much in the way of new information.
When he does meet them, Cassidy reassures Deblanc and Fiore that he’s working on Jesse; the preacher just needs more information. He asks how they’ll get the “thing” out of his friend, and they admit that they plan to cut him open to get it and put it back in the coffee can it came from. Jesse isn’t a fan of this plan for obvious reasons. But he talks around them a bit and starts bringing up payment for the “thing.” The guys ask if he means money, and he claims that Jesse would prefer payment in the form of drugs, his weakness.
Of course, by Jesse, Cassidy means himself, and he takes all the money from the wallet offered to him, tells the guys he’ll be back soon then presumably buys a ridiculous amount of illegal drugs. The next time we see him, he’s getting high with one of the lovely ladies of the Toadvine, and that’s how he ended up taking a swan dive courtesy of Tulip.
This episode also features several flashbacks, showing us a little more of what Jesse’s life with his preacher father was like. Spoiler alert: it wasn’t always great.
Little Jesse is shown getting the church ready for his father’s sermon, which is given to a packed house. We also see him smoking with some other kids outside the chapel and his father catching him doing so. After telling his son that he needs to set an example for others, as they are looking to him for guidance, the elder Custer hits his son on the back/backside several times with a switch in front of the other children. Yikes.
There’s also one other flashback showing Jesse being woken up in the middle of the night by his father and brought to a hallway in a building, while his father goes into a nearby room. That room is marked Odin Quincannon, so it’s either the same one from Jesse’s time or possibly his father. Jesse hears shouts from inside as he quickly steals a nearby ashtray. As his father storms out, Jesse peeks in and sees something that clearly disturbs him. Later, in the car, all his father will say is that some people can’t be saved.
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Jesse’s Making Plans
The Jesse of the present, however, is working hard with Emily to get as many people in his church as possible to be “saved.” He suggests a raffle with a big ticket item. When Emily says they can’t afford it, he blows it off. She then tells him how he was spotted going into the bus driver’s house the day before the guy showed up injured and how people are talking, and she’s worried about him.
Jesse reassures her that she doesn’t need to be worried then gets awful close to her, only to pull a stray band-aid out from behind her ear before doing a 180 and going back to the conversation about filling the church up. She’s clearly a bit flustered, but he continue on, assuring Emily that after what he does in church at the next service, the place will be packed from then on.
Taking Down Quincannon
Elsewhere, the mayor arrives at Quincannon’s office to talk to him about what happened to Lacey. But Odin completely turns the conversation around and instead brings up how he knows the mayor, Miles, had spoken recently to the Green Acres Group, a more green energy initiative that’s been trying to either work with Quincannon or move in on his territory. (The meat plant is also a power plant.)
The mayor tries to convince Odin to work with the other company, but Quincannon just tells him a threatening story about how an ancestor of his “took care” of a similar situation generations back. When Miles makes a last-ditch effort to get through to the guy, Odin storms over and literally pisses on the Green Acres Group brochure that is sitting in the mayor’s briefcase. Charming.
Miles brings up the incident to Emily later, after they’re hanging out in her house following a babysitting stint he did for her kids that day. They seem to be having a good time, when suddenly Emily bluntly tells Miles she’s never going to be with him. When he says he knows that, she tells him he needs to be out by morning while also taking her pants off and going to her bedroom, so I think it’s safe to assume that the two are at least friends with benefits. I guess that’s a good way to turn around a day when someone literally pissed in your briefcase, huh?
Quincannon the Christian?
In other news, apparently Quincannon and Jesse have a standing appointment to work on a tiny set of figurines and a model fort. When Jesse is there during this episode, he tries to convince Odin to come to the service the next day. He says he has an idea for the church and needs a “leader” of the community there. Of course, the only language Odin speaks is the language of power and money so, ultimately, Jesse convinces him by saying Odin can have his father’s land if the man doesn’t walk out a Christian after Jesse’s service the next day.
The church the next day is full, thanks to the promise of a flat-screen TV raffle. Jesse works the raffle into his sermon, which involves all sorts of talk about how they’re all sinners who have strayed from God, who worship false idols and material things instead of their Creator. He then singles Odin out as the man who has strayed the furthest, walking right up to him in front of the enthralled crowd and asking him to repent and serve God.
Of course, Odin initially says no, he won’t do it, and Jesse asks him several times before the man attempts to leave. I think you can guess where this is going, right? Jesse then “commands” Odin to serve God, and Odin replies that “of course” he will, much to the shock of the congregation. To them, it probably seems like Jesse Custer performed a miracle.
Rings and Reveals
Fiore and Deblanc wait for Cassidy back in the hotel room, with only brief trips outside for things like a vending machine visit. While they wait, Fiore suggests calling “them” about what’s going on, and Deblanc reminds him that they don’t actually have permission to be doing what they’re doing, so contacting “them” might not be the best plan.
So just who is “them” exactly? Well, whoever they are, at the end of the episode they call on the “special” phone the men have in their hotel room, and they don’t look at all pleased to hear that phone ring. Who could it be?
Finally, after Cassidy’s less-than-graceful fall from the second story of the Toadvine Whorehouse, Tulip rushes him to the hospital with the help of one of the woman who works there. While cradling his bloody and beaten body in the back seat, Tulip prays to whatever God that might be listening to keep him alive and generally freaks out.
During her freak-out, Cassidy asks Tulip to kiss him, which she does and which he is clearly pleased by. Once they’re at the hospital, Tulip yells at the woman at reception to get a doctor out there for him, stat, only to find when she turns around that he’s wandered away.
After following Cassidy’s bloody footprints, she finds him slumped against coolers full of blood. He grins and says it looks like he’s going to make it after all, and now one more person knows Cassidy’s vampiric secret status.
What will Tulip do now that she knows about Cassidy? And what will Quincannon do now that he’s a changed man? Lucky for us, there’s plenty more Preacher left to watch and find out!
Preacher airs Sunday nights at 9pm on AMC.
(Image courtesy of AMC)