Preacher Season II- Ep. 7 “Pig”: A Review

Posted: 08/06/2017 in Uncategorized

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Three words – “Wilkommen Herr Starr”:) To say Pip Torrens bats it out of the park would be an understatement. His set up as Jesse Custer’s (Dominic Cooper) nemesis was terrifically presented. The ep itself had some good moments but the majority of it stood on the performance and introduction of Starr. In this respect, the ep “Pig” set a new standard of excellence. My gleeful opening presented, on to my review.

Disaffected, bemused, annoyed and so amazingly entertaining, we meet Starr clad in a white suit as he investigates a ‘miraculous’ occurrence in Vietnam. His stating ‘shit’ upon witnessing what has got everyone in the village excited, an actual floating pig, sets the stage for a terrific back story intro into who this gentleman is. The Grail is hinted at in earlier episodes but is given a deeper delve in this run. We learn of Starr’s background in anti-terrorism and see him being ‘considered’ for membership in this elite organization led by a cheerful man in white, Saltsonstall (Frederic Lehne). We witness Starr’s  indifferent demeanor as he fairly mocks his prospective employer. The viewer also senses something different and steely about Starr. He will be no rote villain.

We learn that Tulip (Ruth Negga) is understandably still experiencing after effects after her encounter with the Saint (Graham MacTavish). She is fearful and anxious and resents both those things. She is easily the toughest female character on the small screen at the moment. Her relationship with Jesse continues to be complex so that while she is deeply concerned about the direction they are taking, she is unable to share her fears fully with him. Their playful banter hides a great depth of emotion between them, particular in a scene at a bar, but it also disguises and obfuscates things better left said.

Cassidy (Joe Gilgun) finally has a conversation with Dennis (Ronald Guttman) via a French teacher at a bar and learns what the elderly man truly wants from him. His denying it assuredly comes with a reason but to a dying man they seem like an indifferent refusal. Gilgun’s scenes, including his drinking himself into a stupor and a hilarious follow up via cleanup crews, nicely cloak his agonizing over what decision he must make.

The heisty aspect of the trio gets a perfect run via their taking one of Cassidy’s ideas about going to bar and getting shot for bets. The entire grift was superb including the playacting boyfriend/girlfriend dynamic by Tulip and Cassidy. The funny moment doesn’t fix things and Tulip’s later actions inform the viewer that she is willing to go very far to restore her sense of self. Jesse’s one on one moments with a doomsday preacher (John Ales) made for lighter fare though their conversation had plenty of weight to it. Jesse questions if the man is crazy or a con artist. They eventually get to the heart of the matter namely about the world ending. Jesse presents his case as that of a parishioner having had to sell a portion of his soul to help someone in need. The doomsday preacher’s response is that of the reasonable human being, citing such an action being more of a sign of end times than any other.

The bulk of the ep however revolved around Starr and elevated the show from a mere episodic diversion before the end game. Two minutes watching Starr and the viewer knows he will make it to the “finals”. The best moments were his wrestling match with a seemingly superior opponent which was preceded by a brief speech to his fellow “classmates” in which he simply states “the following act brings me no pleasure”. His subsequent act of ‘distraction’ calls into question which act he refers to but his ultimately defeating his foe is never in doubt. His aftermath moment with the wrestler was funny as hell. His ‘seduction’ routine was also funny. His pain absorption test moment was darkly even more so. His finally attaining his position came with a predictable though no less comedic moment.

The only real emotional response we get from Starr is when he is presented with the group’s white suit and red tie which when Saltonstall refers to it as being perceived as “flamboyant”, Starr simply states happily that “it is spectacular”. The revelation of the Grail’s true purpose and machinations used to keep their end game in play promises some incredible moments to come. The pronouncement that Starr will do “great things here” is also never in doubt.

The crossing of paths between Starr and Jesse is imminent. Though nowhere near their goal of reaching God, the business to come, like Starr’s suit, stand to be flamboyant. Preacher Season II remains simply outstanding and well worth your time.

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