Preacher- Season II – Ep 1 “On The Road”: A Review

Posted: 06/28/2017 in Uncategorized

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Well with the ending of  “American Gods” season one, tv once again has a truly zany, brilliant and twisted show that jumps to the forefront of the viewers’ collective consciousness. Welcome back Preacher. The first ten minutes of this premiere were well…insane. The creative use of human innards as a means of siphoning required fuel was strictly the tip of the iceberg in an uber violent, visceral return. Was it a good episode, though? My review presents my thoughts on the matter.

The road trip element is set to deliver fantastically from the opening ridiculously absurd conversation headed by Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) on “oligarchs” and skin cream to the infectious soundtrack of Dexy’s Midnight Runners’ “Come On Eileen” which played so perfectly well beginning with the trio’s derision and culminating in a sing along. The manic police chase sequence plays for laughs and the ear worm will remain with you for days. The chemistry between Jesse (Dominic Cooper), his ex, Tulip (Ruth Negga) and the vampire from Dublin is kicked up another notch. Make no mistake, this season opener was pure set up but so much promise was laid out.

Ep. 1 hits the ground running with a car chase scene and confrontation with the police which is set up purely for laughs, including Jesse unleashing his “Genesis” voice on the officers which sits poorly with Tulip. Her referring to his power as “unfair” and a “mind invasion” keeps him in check. His obvious enjoyment in dispensing his power is disrupted with the arrival of the Saint of All Killers (Graham MacTavish) who is duly named in this episode. The Saint is vicious. His tactics are as brutal as his aim is accurate. The comedy then takes a back seat as the idea of what Jesse and his friends have set out to do is given clarity via the Saint’s onslaught. The constant mentioning of the incident in Annville that capped off last season’s finale is teased repeatedly to remind the viewer that there is a great consequence to wielding such power.

The trio head for the first stop in their road trip, visiting Preacher Mike (Glenn Morshower), a long- time family friend of the Custers. Again, there are weird laughs a plenty as the trio discover a young woman in a covered cage begging to be released. If this was any other show, such an occurrence would be clear cut, but with this reality, we know it isn’t so. Even the players within the tale, Tulip and Cassidy, know this as they walk away and make their way inside to speak with Mike. Though initially described by Jesse as a scholar, he proves more to be wise and loyal than anything else. “There’s whisky” is his offering when he can’t provide them with the information they seek, namely a clue or hint as to the whereabouts of God. There is a deeper game going on here. Mike’s moment with Jesse afterward allows for this and gives him at least a direction as to where to begin.

A trip to a strip club yields further hilarity as Jesse seeks to speak with a woman who has actually met God. Every moment in the club delivered, from Cassidy’s shenanigans with a bouncer/bodyguard to the two on one between Jesse, Tulip and Tammy (Jeannette O’Connor), the club owner. Jesse’s desire to use his powers to get the owner to tell him what he needs to know is initially balked at by Tulip but as she finds the club owner ‘damn annoying’ she relents and Tammy’s reveal delivers exactly what was expected-  “no answers”. Knowing God is impossible as he will not answer questions or tell you anything. To press him is to fail and this notion is posited both by Fr. Mike and the club owner. Jesse’s feeling of grandeur due to his gift gives him no domain over the Almighty. Whatever reason he has left Heaven cannot be fathomed by anyone mortal, even one gifted as Jesse presently is.

The dynamic between Jesse, Tulip and Cassidy remains superb. Cassidy wanting to clear his conscience with Jesse while still carrying a torch for Tulip adds another layer of storytelling. She cautions him to let matters lie, advising him that Jesse has many sides, not all of them good. Cassidy’s retort about being multi sided does not diminish her counsel. A cool scene between Jesse and Tulip presents such a side in their odd relationship as she locks herself in a hotel bathroom that he might make his way to her through it. The mingling of violence and sexuality perfectly captures the passion which informs their long-time, tumultuous relationship.

The Saint speaks very few lines but doesn’t need them as honestly he is a force of nature. His singular focus, and willingness to see his task done at all costs, presents him as an insurmountable enemy. The end sequence in which Jesse discovers a limit to his powers caps off the denouement with the assurance that one will be glued to one’s seat for the next run. Preacher Season II is off to a jet fueled start and maintains the knowledge that it will be simply outstanding and well worth your time.

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