Preacher- Season 2- Ep. 4 “Viktor”: A Review

Posted: 07/12/2017 in Uncategorized

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Well, this run was a bit more linear, but no less insane. Eugene’s (Ian Colletti) time in Hell gets explored more deeply, including a nascent potential friendship with Adolf Hitler???? (Noah Taylor). Jesse’s (Dominic Purcell) quest for God gets some traction via an assist from Cassidy (Joe Gilgun). Tulip’s (Ruth Negga) secret is revealed and it is a doozy. Much madness ensued including a formidable one on one between Jesse and a mob boss’s lead torturer “Pet” (Sean Boyd)  – which was epic. A superior ep was delivered and my review follows to plead my case.

This season is superior. Gone is the build up. The road trip aspect plays fantastically, as does the back drop of New Orleans. Tulip’s actions last week illustrate her desperation as she surrenders without fighting. This is exceedingly unlike her character but by the denouement, it all makes sense. Jesse’s laissez faire attitude regarding her being capable of taking care of herself frustrates Cassidy who is genuinely worried. His promising her to not tell Jesse anything tests him. Jesse’s assertion that there is no need to worry is backed by years of history. His not having all the facts however clouds his opinion. Tulip’s actions as we meet the mysterious Viktor (Paul Ben-Victor) presents her in a seemingly vulnerable state. This arc plays well as the viewer wonders perpetually what she is up to, if indeed she is throwing herself at this gangster’s mercy for doing him wrong or if she has a bigger game to get out from under this. The entire arc at Viktor’s estate was superior, particularly Tulip’s interactions with former colleagues. The scene with Viktor’s daughter however implies that the hurt runs deep with this family.

The character of Dennis (Ronald Guttman)  seems to serve little purpose other than snarking at Cassidy in French. With a show where nothing is as it seems, his role may prove significant somewhere down the line. Cassidy makes a discovery while watching an infomercial which pushes he and  Jesse to find the man who actually played God at the incident in Annville. Actor Mark Harelik plays….actor Mark Harelik playing the “role of a lifetime”. His audition tape is priceless with an end moment that explains a lot. The scene in which Jesse and Cassidy meet with Harelik’s agent, Teddy Gunth (James Hiroyuki Liao) is superb. Cassidy’s improvising, offering a ‘recurring role in Game of Thrones’ was priceless, injecting some needed levity in what was otherwise an exceedingly intense, visceral run.

The Hell sequences were duly disturbing. The notion that each hell is private including cells is followed by Eugene’s ‘interview’ with its guards in which they describe the ‘overcrowding issue’, referencing being ‘underfunded’ and creating an apt metaphor for the justice system in many countries. The reference to “the hole” however illustrates that the Dantesque ‘true hell” is omnipresent and is a due deterrent to rebellious or undesirable behavior. Eugene’s meeting with Hitler implies that reform is possible as he tells him “you aren’t so bad now.”  Eugene’s taking the prison guard’s warning to heart about ‘inappropriate behavior” leads to an unexpected yet understandable display afterward as he chooses not to be a victim, following a darker path instead. Each arc this season has been interesting and engaging. Hell with its bleak visuals and voice modulation effects captures both the monotony and despair that would give rise to the maintenance of evil. This is done well without grand scale fiery mythic displays.

Jesse’s learning the truth about Tulip’s predicament yields a mini movie in which the badassery often barely contained comes to light. The entire sequence from his appearing at the mansion gate to his making his way through each room wielding Genesis fearlessly was superior.  His meeting an opponent that anticipates his power was spectacular. Yet again, a musical classic is brought forth. “Uptown Girl” in lieu of “Come On Eileen” frames a brutally violent exchange featuring a recently deceased torture victim. Jesse’s raw physicality is gamely displayed. The notion that he is more than capable of holding his own without his recent passenger has been implied and trickled out in measures, particularly in the first season. In season 2, it is pushed forth with aplomb as the force that is Jesse Custer finds his way to his lover’s side and a revelation that shifts the show on its ear…again.

“Viktor” more than delivered. Four episodes in and the frenetic pace, stellar story lines and key performances make Preacher one of the best things on tv. AMC’s latest hit easily sustains its place as simply outstanding and well worth your time.

 

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