Preacher Season II- Ep. 5 “Dallas” : A Review

Posted: 07/21/2017 in Uncategorized

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Another solid episode illustrating the tumultuous history of Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper) and Tulip (Ruth Negga). The dark side of Jesse has been hinted at repeatedly particularly through Tulip’s musings. In this run, we get a deeper delving into said darkness and learn that Jesse has an extraordinary penchant for violence and a terrific ability to administer it. A solid story was related with strong key performances by two of the three main players. On to my review.

Ending with Jesse’s essential beatdown of everyone last week, we pick up with the good Rev, beating the tar out of gangster, and husband of Tulip, Viktor (Paul Ben-Victor).  Jesse’s actions are brutal, including his obvious next intentions. His anger is palpable and includes his using his gift on Tulip forcing her from the house in a terrific, simplistic visual scene. The flashback sequence frames the episode and shows both Tulip and Jesse in a fairly negative light. Their day to day routine is horrid, made all the more hellish with its repetition. Picking up after Carlos’ betrayal (Season 1), we join the ‘happy couple’ as they attempt to make a go of it, living a normal life in which he is a part time bartender and she is a realtor’s assistant. The veneer is very, very thin. Both are very miserable and the simple, yet elegant performances by Cooper and Negga make this resoundingly clear.

The flipping back and forth between present and past works very well in engaging the viewer in grasping the consequences of the characters’ actions. Tulip holds Cassidy (Joe Gilgun) accountable for Jesse’s intervention then unfairly charges him with doing so to win her favor. He balks at this and the eventual truth of it is that he loves them both, but one of them far more. An eventual one on one makes it clear to whom he is most loyal. A teasing of his ‘lifetimes of experience’ and Cass’ mentioning of being rich once and quite liking it teases a potential background episode on the 118 year old Dubliner that would absolutely kill. Here’s hoping it happens.

Throughout Jesse’s time with Viktor, the gangster not fearing the inevitable, challenges and mocks him continuously. A flip back to the couple’s time in Dallas with requisite deadbeat friend Reggie (Robbie Tann) yields several revelations. An opening segment with Dany (Julie Dretzen), the duo’s former handler, implies that while Jessie wishes to move forward with a crime free existence, Tulip does not. The discovery by Jessie shatters his already demoralized sense of self and brings their issues to a head. Jesse’s transferred aggression promises greater violence to come. Her actions push him toward a decision he has long been mulling and presents a proper prologue to his time in Annville.

Tulip’s desire for the good life is visited in both past and present including Jesse’s responding to Viktor’s challenge by telling him she is at heart a criminal who wanted the good life. Viktor’s response is equally telling as he pushes forth the notion that life with Jesse was a hell she wished to escape. Tulip’s inherent decency takes form with her bringing Viktor’s daughter Allie (Stella Allen) to Cassidy to keep her safe. Despite her previous treatment of Tulip in last week’s run, there is a connection between the two with the implication that she might have been a mother figure to Allie at some point.

Jesse’s inherent decency takes form as well. His confession to Cassidy that Tulip would leave him for good should he kill Viktor is prefaced with due emotion. Despite Cassidy’s reassurance, Jesse knows Tulip as well as she knows him. A later moment between the two in which he admits being so bad for her, which earns her own appropriate response, certifies the “end of the world” proclamation between the two uttered fervently  in season one,and ironically in earlier segments, holds true still. These two aren’t going anywhere. They are on a journey and along with Cassidy, their course is set.

The caution given Jesse about his use of Genesis again comes to bear as despite any good will shown by the preacher, a reckoning is coming. The final moment promises a hard road to come in the next run and foreseeable future. Preacher remains simply outstanding and well worth  your time.

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