Jesse baptizes a bunch of parishioners in this episode of Preacher, titled “See,” but can they all truly repent from their sins or will he have to force them to? Plus, Cassidy and Tulip are sticking around, and they’re causing all sorts of trouble for their God-fearing friend.
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The episode actually starts with a flashback, set in 1881. It appears that a little girl is sick, and her mother sends her father away on horseback to get help. He runs into a wagon party on the way, and the leader of that group waxes poetic about how great America is for a while before trying to get this man to agree. He doesn’t, and he does not seem particularly into discussing anything at all, actually.
The next day, the man passes a tree full of hanged, scalped Native Americans as he enters the town of Ratwater, and that’s the last we see of him in this episode. Will the mysterious traveler return in a future episode of Preacher?
A Preacher’s Work is Never Done
Back in Jesse Custer’s time, he baptizes a crowd of people at the chapel, including Eugene, the young man with the notably deformed face, and Tulip, who seems to do it just to push Jesse’s buttons. Afterwards, Emily continues to act as a sort of personal assistant to him, whipping up cappuccino for those in attendance and advising Jesse that he needs to go visit the Loaches, which will become important later.
Cassidy is there too; he’s startled when he sees Eugene and asks Jesse what exactly happened to the boy. All Jesse will say is the boy tried to kill himself with a shotgun, so that mystery still isn’t totally solved. He also tells Cassidy that if he’s going to stick around, he can’t cause trouble, and Cassidy says he won’t. Clearly, that won’t last long.
After the baptisms, a man approaches Jesse and asks to speak privately. He confesses that he’s been having “thoughts” about a little girl on the bus he drives, aka the guy is a pedophile and he’s confessing to repent for his sinful thoughts. Jesse is clearly disgusted but merely tells the guy he has to truly repent his thoughts and never act on the urges, which the guy agrees to. Again, we’ll just have to wait and see how that goes.
Later that night, as Jesse is smoking outside the building and trying to enjoy a quiet moment, he’s distracted by the constant barking of dogs in the distance. And when he angrily yells at them to be quiet, they are suddenly silent. So it would appear that our Preacher has some supernatural abilities after all.
Later on, Jesse is hanging around a store with Emily, asking folks to put suggestions for the church in the box they have out. He’s not exactly enthusiastic about it, and when he sees the bus driver go by in his bus, he frustratingly goes to get in his car. But the vehicle has no steering wheel, courtesy of Tulip, who drives by and taunts Jesse again before driving off and leaving him to retrieve the piece from a light pole nearby. You gotta admit, the girl’s got style.
The next time we see Tulip, she’s winning a card game against a guy in a place called the Toadvine Whorehouse. The man appears to be part of a group who took possession of a couple’s land earlier in the episode before bulldozing their house, and I think we’re supposed to get the sense that they’re not exactly good guys. The guy is pissed that Tulip beat him, and he runs off to a room upstairs with a girl before Tulip takes what seems to be an important phone call.
The next time we see Tulip, it’s because she’s tricked Jesse into stopping in the middle of the road in the middle of the night for what he thinks is a baby seat, only to taser him and chain him up somewhere so she can continue to persuade him to return to his old ways. As it turns out, that phone call was from a client of a guy named Dany, and the client says they will give them information on Dany if Tulip gives him “the map.”
For whatever reason, Tulip really wants Jesse involved in this whole thing, and the information on Dany is apparently important, but Jesse still refuses to join her on her mission. She straddles him and tells him she’ll keep asking until he gives in, then leaves him with a chain on his leg that isn’t attached to anything. So now the poor guy’s gotta figure out how to get that off before anything else — clearly, Tulip isn’t sticking around to make his life easier.
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And it doesn’t look like Cassidy is going to do the same for Jesse’s life either. After they get drunk and debate about God for a while in the church sometime after the multiple baptisms, Cassidy leaves Jesse passed out on the floor and takes his wallet and keys with him. Some friend, huh?
During their conversation, Cassidy reveals that he’s a 119-year old vampire from Dublin City who most definitely has vampire hunters after him. So when two guys show up later and try to do some weird ritual on Jesse that doesn’t work and for some reason leads to them pulling a chainsaw on the poor guy, Cassidy comes to his rescue and assumes they’re after him.
One of the men shoots Cassidy, but clearly it doesn’t kill him, and soon enough the three of them end up in a bloody, knock-down-drag-out fight. It escalates to the point that one of the guys is dead and the other tries to use the chainsaw on Cassidy, who turns it against him. The guy’s arm ends up coming off with the chainsaw in hand, and it inches its way towards Jesse. Cassidy, the lone survivor of the fight, stops it just in time, then collapses nearby his unconscious friend.
After resting a bit, Cassidy presumably cuts up the two men with the chainsaw and puts their bodies in the toolbox they had dragged in with them. But he can’t drag it out and bury it right away, as the sun has risen. But rest assured, once it’s dark again, he makes sure it ends up in a deep hole in the ground. That’s two adversaries down, right?
Wrong. Later on, we see the Sheriff talking to the two guys. So are they vampires too? Is the second set of guys clones? Did Cassidy not actually kill the guys for some other reason? We don’t get to find out in this episode, but I’m sure that’s not the last we’ll see of the duo.
Just Keep Trying
When Jesse wakes up in the church, it’s to Emily handing him a casserole and complaining about the place smelling like something died in there. She reminds him of his appointment with a family called the Loaches, and he rushes his way to their residence.
There, he talks with Mrs. Loach, the mother of a girl lying in bed in a coma. When the woman says she’s fine, Jesse refutes her claim, understanding that she must be in pain because that’s “what it was like for me.” Is he talking about trauma from when his father died or another incident?
Jesse tries to reassure Mrs. Loach that eventually God will reach her and “something will change,” but she’s clearly having none of his platitudes. She says they’re just words, and words won’t get her daughter’s eyes to open or to heal her. She reveals a dent in the back of the girl’s head, thought we don’t find out what exactly caused it by the time Jesse leaves.
That visit happened before Jesse’s chain run-in with Tulip, and when he’s elsewhere later on, trying to cut the unwieldy thing off, Eugene shows up. The boy tells his preacher that when he said he was “changed” at his baptism, he lied. Well, not at first, maybe, but he feels like it didn’t work and he’s not really saved.
All Jesse can really tell Eugene is that he has to “keep trying,” and Eugene asks him, “What if this is the me God wants?” Essentially, what if no matter what he does, he’s always the same? This clearly resonates with the conflicted Jesse, but the older man has no other answers for his distraught visitor.
Apparently having resigned himself to giving in to some of his old ways, Jesse pays a visit to the bus driver’s house after he has cut the chain off his leg and his visit with Eugene. He breaks in, finds the guy in the bathroom and proceeds to punch him in the mouth.
Jesse tells the man that he has to forget the girl, and the man says he will, after rambling a bit and claiming that he’s just sick and can’t help his thoughts. Meanwhile, Jesse runs a bathtub of scalding hot water, and the other man quickly realizes what his preacher is about to do.
Jesse shoves the guy’s face in the hot water and yells at him again to forget the girl. After a few repeats of the action, he finally yells, “Forget her” in what I like to call his Scary Voice, the one that signals that he’s using his weird, commanding supernatural ability. When he lets the guy come up out of the water, he has no idea who or what Jesse is talking about when he refers to the girl, and it appears Jesse Custer’s command was taken literally.
Now that it’s clear to Jesse what he’s able to do, early the next day he returns to the Loaches’ house. He asks the mother if he can pray with Tracy, her daughter, and she lets the preacher in and to her daughter’s room.
There, while sitting alone on her bed, Jesse tells Tracy he wants to try something. He commands Tracy to open her eyes, and the episode ends immediately after that. Because who doesn’t love a cliffhanger, right?
Preacher airs Sunday nights at 9pm on AMC.
(Image courtesy of AMC)