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'Preacher' Pays Homage to Sam Raimi, Sh*ts On 'The Big Lebowski' and Teases a Major Villain

By Brian Richards | Preacher | June 6, 2016 |

By Brian Richards | Preacher | June 6, 2016 |

The Story So Far:

We start off with a flashback all the way to 1881 (we know this because the lettering that told us it was 1881 took up the entire screen and almost made me think I was watching an illegal stream of Captain America: Civil War) where a sick little girl is in dire need of the 1881 version of Robitussin, and so The Cowboy (which is all we know him as for now) takes instructions from his wife to head into town and grab some medicine. He ends up taking a break to enjoy dinner and one-sided conversation with some travelers, including a man who looks like Tobias Beecher himself, Lee Tergesen from Oz. As for The Cowboy…well, if you’ve read the original Preacher comics, you know that this is none other than the Saint Of Killers himself and that his appearance in this episode is a very big deal. And if you haven’t read them, just imagine Mike from Breaking Bad if he were ten times meaner, ten times more violent, and spoke a lot less than he already does now and you have The Saint Of Killers.

Case in point:


Back in the present day, Jesse doesn’t have time, money, or a private plane to purify the churchgoers in the waters of Lake Minnetonka, so the old metal laundry tub filled with tap water will have to do. Tulip doesn’t seem to have a problem with this (mostly because she’s still trying to recruit him for whatever job she has planned), especially since she ends her “baptism” by thanking Jesse for getting her all wet. Ahem.


Despite the fact that word has probably spread all over town about Jesse re-enacting the Hulk vs. Loki fight from The Avengers in his last encounter with Donnie, this school-bus driver still thinks it’s a good idea to sit down with Jesse in church and confess to him about the impure thoughts he’s having about a little girl who regularly rides his bus to school. And every expression on Jesse’s face pretty much states that he’s about to put on some purple pants and start throwing blows.

We also meet another character whose introduction is a pretty big deal: Odin Quincannon, owner of Quincannon Meat & Power, where Donnie’s S&M-loving wife works and who is pretty much the flesh-and-blood version of Mr. Burns, even though he looks like a lot like Uncle Junior from The Sopranos. He’s played by Jackie Earle Haley, who gave great performances in Watchmen, that A Nightmare on Elm Street remake that Rooney Mara really disliked even though she starred in it, and Little Children. I would say that I can’t wait to see what he does with this role, but if it’s anything like how Odin was portrayed in the comics, and we end up seeing how much Odin really loves meat … we’ll all be quoting Jesse in how we react: “I’ve seen some fucked-up things, but that about takes the fucked-up cookie.”

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And for now, I’ll just leave it at that.

Good to see that Donnie still hasn’t learned how to keep his temper in check or his hands to himself.

Jesse is about to give in to temptation and follow the school-bus driver to see if he’s behaving himself, but the trivial matter of his truck’s steering wheel being missing is preventing that from happening. Cue Tulip rolling up in her car. “What happened, Preacher? Did Jesus take your wheel?” Petty, thy name is Tulip O’Hare, and if she keeps being this enjoyably petty in every episode, I’d be fine with that.

During a late-night drinking and bonding session at the church, Cassidy confesses to being a century-old vampire from Dublin who is on the run from religious, vampire-killing vigilantes bent on seeing him destroyed, and Jesse (who cares more about the fact that Cassidy hates The Big Lebowski than he does about his being a vampire, which he clearly doesn’t believe) passes out after sampling a mysterious concoction from Cassidy’s flask which has rubbing alcohol as an ingredient. (Still safer to drink than a can of Four LOKO) At least Cassidy didn’t say he hates Beyonce, as I’m pretty sure that North Korea would look like a firecracker compared to the nuclear bomb that is the Beyhive getting angry and coming after Seth Rogen over any and all perceived disrespect. So you go ahead and breathe that sigh of relief, Seth Rogen. You dodged quite the bullet.

If you ever wondered what it would be like if Sam Raimi directed an episode of Preacher (and if you weren’t wondering it before, you probably are now), seeing Cassidy get into a deathmatch with the two gentlemen dressed like Texas Rangers who are tracking the spirit inhabiting Jesse’s body as they come after him with a very large chainsaw, should satisfy your curiosity. Especially considering that the fight ends with Cassidy licking the gentlemen’s blood off of the floor to feed and heal himself before putting them in a large trunk to bury them in the ground.

Jesse wakes up from his extreme hangover in time to find himself “kidnapped” by Tulip while driving his truck late at night and is chained to a chair in Russell’s old room from Pulp Fiction while Tulip once again gives a sales pitch to Jesse to make him join her on this unknown job she keeps talking about. Granted, this sales pitch involved her straddling him, whispering in his ear about how bad he is and how this preaching thing won’t last, and that he’ll eventually say yes. Much to my amazement, Jesse didn’t start shouting out “YES” repeatedly before Tulip could finish her sentence, so he’s left all alone and chained up with chains that aren’t attached to anything, so he’s free to go…

…straight to the house of the school-bus driver with thoughts of child molestation in his head, who isn’t that happy to see Jesse breaking and entering into his home. Jesse decides to go the baptism route to purify him of his thoughts, which involve shoving his head into the bathtub filled with water while telling him to “forget her,” which doesn’t work until The Word finally takes effect and erases the bus driver’s thoughts. He has no idea whatsoever who or what girl Jesse is referring to, and is demanding to know what Jesse has done to him.
And now that the sun is down, Cassidy is finally able to bury the two gentlemen who he dismembered with a chainsaw … despite the fact that across town, they’re both alive, in perfect health, and in the middle of a conversation with Sheriff Root explaining that they’re actually operatives for the government. Still makes more sense than most of what we saw in that revival of The X-Files.

Jesse pays a visit to a parishioner whose daughter is in a coma after some sort of horse-riding accident resulting in a severe head injury. The mother has lost all faith that her daughter will awaken, to the point that if she could respond to Jesse’s attempted words at comfort with the .GIF of Marcia Brady saying “Sure, Jan” in a condescending manner, she would. But Jesse is serious about trying to save the people of his town, so he uses The Word to try to get the comatose daughter to open her eyes. Does it work?

We don’t get to find out until next week.

This was a pretty good episode, although it’s clearly evident that Preacher is still (and understandably so) in the process of character introduction and plot set-up, especially for all of the events that are about to be set in motion in the weeks to come. I’m sure there are some viewers who wish that Preacher the show was either a little bit more like Preacher the comic, or that this show would move at a faster pace to make them not want to change the channel to watch Game of Thrones instead. But we should also remember that Mad Men and Breaking Bad both moved at a steady pace in telling their respective stories, and especially when setting things up to make sure that the stories would achieve their intended impact as each season progressed, and it ended up being very much worth the wait by the time we got to the season finale. And really, if you can sit through many a slower-than-molasses episode of The Walking Dead with little to no complaint, then being patient with Preacher to see where the story goes shouldn’t be a problem.

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Brian Richards is a Staff Contributor. You can follow him on Twitter.