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What the Hell Is Going On with 'Preacher'?

By Brian Richards | Preacher | June 20, 2016 |

By Brian Richards | Preacher | June 20, 2016 |

The Story So Far:


I see that everyone else is rather distracted by other major events happening on this Sunday evening, so I’ll do what I can to keep this brief …

A nighttime paintball game in which the men who work at Quincannon Meat & Power hunt the unarmed sex workers who work at Toadvine Brothel ends when Clive corners Lacey in an open field and shoots her in the chest with his paintball gun. Before Lacey can complain about that, she ends up falling through the ground to her death in what appears to be a sinkhole.

See? Brief.

CASSIDY (a.k.a. Preacher’s Weekly Reminder Of Why I’m Grateful For Closed Captioning) — Cassidy’s attempts to convince Jesse that he has two angels coming after him who would like to sit down with him before removing Genesis from his body and taking it away somehow fail miserably. He then meets up with the Not-Men In Black, Fiore and DeBlanc, explains to them that Jesse will take a little more convincing in order to meet them before requesting some financial compensation for his hard work, and then takes said compensation to Toadvine for some sex, drugs and rock and roll. (I mean actual sex, drugs, and rock and roll, not that show on FX with Denis Leary that I’ve never watched an episode of)

TULIP — Tulip is still in disbelief over the fact that no one really gives a shit about Lacey’s death, least of all Odin and especially not Clive, who would rather act like an MRA-in-training during a memorial held for Lacey with all of her fellow sex workers and tell Tulip to shut up with all of her “girlie-go-power bullshit.” Before Tulip can look for the nearest corn cob to shove down his throat, Mosie tells everyone in the brothel that all services will be on the house for the next hour before telling her that she needs to keep her temper in check. Which Tulip does…for all of ten seconds before storming into Clive’s room while he’s having sex and beating his Hairy Bobbin’ Man Ass (™ Bill Hicks) with what looks like a baton twirler’s … baton until he falls out of a window. Except, as Tulip finds out thanks to Clive turning the lights on behind her, the Hairy Bobbin’ Man Ass belonged not to Clive but to Cassidy, whose body is sprawled atop the van below with a sliver of glass protruding from his neck. Cut to Tulip hauling ass to bring Cassidy to the nearest hospital, complete with desperate prayers to God and granting Cassidy one last kiss to comfort him in his time of dying, and by the time they arrive and Tulip tries to get him some medical attention, she instead finds him elsewhere in the hospital drinking many a blood bag like a thirtysomething Ghostbusters fan who has just found out that Ecto-Coolers have made a comeback. The look on Tulip’s face is something like this:


EMILY — She’s having casual sex on the regular with Mayor Miles Person, who clearly wants more than that and to go steady with her, even though she makes it clear that it will never happen.

JESSE — Jesse wants more people filling the pews at church, so he recruits Emily to purchase a large flat-screen TV as a prize for the church raffle. He also goes to Odin’s office to convince him to come to church and even offers up his father’s land (one of the only pieces of land in Annville that Odin doesn’t own) as the brass ring for him to claim if he walks away from Sunday-morning service not wanting to serve and believe. And when Sunday (or as the show tells us in 72-point font, SUNDAY) comes and Odin still refuses to take Jesse’s advice at the end of his sermon and serve God, Jesse gets angry and throws a Bible at him, Mandy Moore-style uses The Word on Odin and tells him to serve God. And it works.

FIORE & DEBLANC: — The two of them are in their motel room and receiving phone calls on their antiquated telephone from possibly The Powers That Be, which may have something to do with the fact that they are on Earth trying to track down and retrieve Genesis. And also the fact that they’re not supposed to be doing that, and that their unauthorized mission was supposed to be a secret.

— Lectured his employees about their paintball game gone wrong and told them to “watch their roughhousing” and told the sex workers that they “need to watch where they’re walking.”

Plays Q*bert on his office computer (probably because the two of them look so much alike) and takes a piss all over Mayor Person’s open briefcase (while also telling Mayor Person not to look at him because, you know, that would be weird) to make it clear that he has no interest in a partnership with the Green Acre Group, his competitors who Donnie wanted to beat up so badly last week. (Here’s a theory about what’s going on with those sinkholes).


If Preacher is going to insist on spending the rest of the season (and I hope that it’s only this season) in the town of Annville and not going forward with the Jesse, Tulip, and Cassidy go-on-a-road-trip-and-travel-across-America-in-search-of-God aspect that the story is about, then it would probably help if the town of Annville and the people who reside there are actually interesting and worth paying attention to. Because it’s now getting to the point where, and this is where I’m starting to wonder if it’s a curse or a blessing that I’m familiar with the comics while watching this, I’m watching the plot barely move forward an inch regarding Genesis, Jesse and Tulip’s recent history together and why they parted, the vampire-hunting vigilantes that Cassidy is on the run from, The Saint Of Killers a.k.a. The Cowboy from the beginning of Episode 2, or Snuff Film-Loving Mr. Roarke from Episode 3, and I’m looking at the screen like:


It also doesn’t help that certain changes from the source material (Tulip’s parents, Odin Quincannon being a resident of Annville and appearing much sooner than expected, John Custer being a preacher and his wife, Christina, being nowhere in sight so far) have me questioning more than I should why these changes are happening and whether the writers know where they’re going with them.

Preacher is also still moving at a leisurely pace with each episode and not really crackling with the gonzo, go-for-broke, action-packed energy and “I can’t believe this is being allowed on television” humor and tone that the Pilot had in spades, and that easily lets you know what comic book was being adapted. And the longer this goes on, (and we’re about halfway through the season, as there are only ten episodes being aired this year), the more I’m going to hear Elvis Presley singing “A Little Less Conversation, A Little More Action, Please” in my head as I watch. And that’s not good and not at all what I want.

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