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'Preacher' Recap: Please Don't Become Another Forgotten 'House of Lies'

By Brian Richards | Preacher | June 13, 2016 |

By Brian Richards | Preacher | June 13, 2016 |

The Story So Far:

We open on a flashback to Tulip when she was in Houston, sitting on a park bench with a woman named Danni who, instead of telling stories about her days hanging out with Elvis Presley, JFK, and discovering ways to make millions of dollars on fishing for shrimp, is trying to convince Tulip to murder her husband for her. Tulip isn’t interested, and finishes up their exchange: Tulip providing Danni with some sort of documentation belonging to a company called Grail Industries, and Danni providing Tulip with the last-known address of someone who apparently caused things to really “turn bad” for her and Jesse. Danni then heads to a nearby warehouse, where “Houston’s 4th Annual Snuff Film Festival” is being held (according to the nearby poster on display and it still sounds more appealing to sit through than the entire The Hobbit trilogy) and provides it to a mysterious man clad in a white suit and hat, who immediately sends Danni away once he has what he wants before walking away to destinations unknown.

The Not-Men In Black, who we last saw on the losing end of Cassidy re-enacting The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, are still seated in their hotel room and explaining to Sheriff Root who they are (government operatives) as well as the importance and necessary secrecy of their work (people have died and more people will die if they fail their mission) before escorting him out and preparing to go after Jesse once again. Said preparation involving throwing back their bedsheets and arming themselves with a massive care package from our least-favorite shower of planet-sized assholes at the NRA arsenal of pistols and assault rifles.

We finally have an answer as to whether the comatose teenage girl who Jesse visited at the end of last week’s episode opened her eyes as a result of Jesse using The Word, and sure enough … yes, she did. Granted, she’s still in a coma and not at all moving, and the young girl’s mother is confused as to how or why this happened, but as she tells all of this to Emily, it seems as if her faith is starting to come back. Even if Emily is clearly getting her Scully on and not knowing what to make of it.

If you ever wanted to know what it’s like to tell your child that his parents are into heavy S&M and not the domestic violence that your child thinks is happening, well … this scene between Donnie and Chris really won’t help, especially since all Donnie can really get out is “It’s not what you think” and “I love your mom.” Chris seems convinced of all this, especially since it’s a lot more comforting than getting his ass whooped in an alley behind his house, and as he’s escorted to the school-bus (whose driver had his memories of the underage object of his obsession erased by Jesse and The Word last week), Donnie finds himself being teased by all of the other children on the bus about that delightful bunny sound he made as a result of Jesse handing him his ass on a silver platter with all of the trimmings. And if Donnie can barely handle not being able to hand a pen to his boss without lashing out, you can only imagine how well he handles being teased by children.

Cassidy wakes up inside his room at the church and finds Jesse sitting by himself in the dark, intent on showing him The Word and how it works. He then spends the next several minutes hopping up and down repeatedly, shadow-boxing (I would’ve preferred him doing a rendition of Fiona Apple’s “Shadowboxing” instead but…), confessing to his love of Justin Bieber (which I can’t entirely blame him for, as some of his songs are rather catchy) and throwing himself face-first into a wall as he tries, and fails, to fly. Afterwards, they sit around, with Cassidy tossing out possible theories as to where this ability came from, while also telling Jesse to imagine the possibilities of things that could happen with such an ability. None of which seem pleasant with Cassidy speaking in such a foreboding voice when he tells him that.

As if being embarrassed by laughing schoolchildren isn’t enough, Donnie also finds himself getting similar treatment from Odin Quincannon, who not only cares nothing about his willingness to commit some ultra-violence on his behalf towards a possible competitor of Odin’s, but also makes it clear that having a “right-hand man with no right hand” who can’t do something as simple as remove a dinner tray, clearly doesn’t bring him the same satisfaction as sitting at his desk and listening to cattle being slaughtered. Why Odin can’t just listen to the Hamilton soundtrack on Spotify like the rest of us is beyond me.

Tulip pulls up to Jesse as he’s driving down the road and makes yet another attempt to convince him to stop with the preaching and the stupid haircut and costume of his already, and come back to raising all nine circles of Hell with her, the way they used to. Jesse is having none of it, especially since he made a promise to be one of the good guys and he can’t just turn his back on the town or the people in it. Tulip then shows him the last-known address she got from Danni, and Jesse immediately recognizes it as belonging to a “rat bastard, money-stealing, child-killing, life-ruining son of a bitch” by the name of Carlos. A flashback reveals Jesse (whose haircut back then looks no less stupid than the haircut he has now) putting a bullet in the head of a security guard while Tulip yells at Carlos(?), who is driving off and leaving them behind. This is enough to convince Jesse to leave his truck behind and jump in the car with Tulip as they drive off together on the hunt for Carlos. (Bonus points if Carlos is really “Carlos Danger” and he’s played by Anthony Weiner, although that’s as unlikely as him not doing anything stupid on the Internet).

As the Not-Men In Black approach Jesse’s church, fully armed and determined to take Jesse down, their mission is cut short by Cassidy running them both over with his van at full speed. Cassidy immediately recognizes them as the two “vampire-hunting vigilantes” he killed last week and he seems more annoyed by the fact that he has to bury them all over again than anything else. Fortunately, that isn’t necessary as they’re still alive and fully healed, while finally explaining to Cassidy that he is not the droid they’re looking for and that they’re really here for Jesse and to separate him from whatever spirit is inside of him granting him the power of The Word. Cassidy tells them that their original approach clearly isn’t working, and that he’ll help them do what he can to convince Jesse of who they are and what needs to be done.

Jesse and Tulip make a pit stop to get some gas and as Jesse heads to the restroom, he finds himself staring down the barrel of a gun belonging to none other than Donnie, who wants some payback against Jesse and to have him making bunny sounds of his very own. Jesse, thanks to The Word, simply has Donnie point the gun at himself and put it in his own mouth. Just as it looks like we’ve seen the last of Donnie, Jesse realizes the importance of what The Word is and what he can do with him, and simply tells Donnie to drop the gun and get out. Jesse then tells Tulip that he’s changed his mind and that the Karma Police will eventually catch up with Carlos and take care of him. Tulip fights the urge to start looking for an ear of corn to stab Jesse in the mouth with, and simply tells him that she still won’t leave town without him.

Arseface and Sheriff Root bond with each other over dinner as they discuss the comatose young girl whose eyes finally opened. Arseface discusses how it would be nice for her to have some visitors and Sheriff Root convinces him otherwise and tells him to stay away. Jesse makes his way back into town and speaks at the funeral of Ted, who took Jesse’s advice of being brave, telling the truth, and opening his heart to his mother way too literally. Emily, who is the only other person at the funeral, listens to Jesse as he continues to give his sermon while Lucinda Williams sings over the soundtrack.

Clearly, Preacher is still focused on continuing the character development and plot set-up from the last two episodes and is no particular rush for its narrative to start hitting full speed until it’s good and ready. Which is fine and I’m all for it, but eventually, the rush that we all got from watching the Pilot will wear off and many viewers will be left wondering when the series will start bearing more of a resemblance to the comic-book series that it’s based on, especially with two more weeks of Game Of Thrones as direct competition. Unless things pick up in the next couple of episodes, it will become a little easier for Preacher to slip from the minds of fans and just become a passing thought like its fellow Sunday-night show, House Of Lies.

You know, House Of Lies? With Don Cheadle and Kristen Bell? It was on for five whole seasons? And its series finale just aired last night? Well, considering that everyone was watching either Game Of Thrones or The Tony Awards Where Hamilton Won Damn Near Everything, you probably had no real reason to know or remember that. Here’s hoping that Preacher gives us more to grab and hold our attention in the weeks to come, so that it doesn’t end up sharing that same undeserved fate.

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