‘Preacher’ 1.03 Recap: “How Unbelievably Stoked Are We?”

‘Preacher’ aired its third episode. Let’s see if I can figure out what the hell happens in this one.

Short Version: No, not really. Each episode of the series still feels like an assemblage of random unconnected scenes presented out of order and missing any sense of context.

That being the case, here are some of the highlights of episode ‘The Possibilities’, as near as I can tell:

Tulip travels to Houston to meet with a woman who, at first, appears to be hiring her to murder her husband. But no, Tulip scoffs at this. That isn’t what she came for. The woman is the mysterious Danni that Tulip talked about last week, when she tried to convince Jesse to pull a job with her. Apparently, she followed through with it on her own. She gives Danni a map (to what?), and in turn Danni gives her a piece of paper with an address on it. After parting, Danni goes to report to an even stranger and more mysterious man wearing a hat, sitting in a darkened theater watching snuff films. Who is this guy? Is he the husband she was talking about? No idea.

Fiore and DeBlanc, the apparently-undead weirdos trailing the supernatural force across the world, tell Sheriff Root that they’re on a secret mission for the government. The fact that these American G-men both have decidedly British accents escapes the sheriff’s notice. When he asks if they’re searching for a dangerous fugitive, they say it’s something like that. He takes them fully at their word. I doubt he even ever asked to see any identification. Apropos of nothing, the sheriff tells a very long story about a couple of children who were kidnapped from a public park and murdered. This has no connection to anything they’d been talking about, but I guess he felt it was relevant somehow.

After the sheriff leaves, Fiore and DeBlanc make a plan to retrieve their tin can from the church, which they left behind under a church pew when Cassidy murdered them. The can is really important to them. To get it back, they load up on automatic weapons and body armor.

Donnie, the abusive lout whose arm Jesse broke, attempts to explain to his son about how the boy’s mother is a masochist and enjoys it when he beats her. “Grown-ups are complicated” is the best he can do.

The pedophile bus driver has no memory at all of the little girl he lusted after. Jesse completely purged any trace of her from his mind. He doesn’t even recognize her when she gets on the bus. The problem is, forgetting her hasn’t eliminated his attraction to her or his urge to molest her.

On her way back to town, Tulip gets pulled over by a Highway Patrol cop for speeding. She lays on the officer an elaborate story about being an army vet racing to help a buddy out of a tough jam. Does any of this have any basis in fact? Probably not, but she’s convincing enough that the cop empathizes with her and lets her go without a ticket. If he hadn’t, she kept a gun at the ready to shoot him.

With no one else he feels he can talk to, Jesse tells Cassidy about his newly-discovered mind control power, and demonstrates by making him jump around and sing and throw himself into a wall. Cassidy thinks this is awesome. Jesse isn’t so sure. He says it feels like he has a blender in his gut with everything in the world in it. Cassidy tells him that this ability doesn’t have to be a curse.

Odin Quincannon (Jackie Earle Haley), the chairman of Quincannon Meat and Power, sits in his office listening to a recording of the soothing sounds of cows being slaughtered. Donnie, who’s his chief henchman, reports on some business and asks Quincannon if he should rough somebody up. Looking at the cast on Donnie’s arm, Quincannon rudely dismisses him. “What use is a right-hand man with no right hand?” he asks.

TV news is inundated with coverage of Tom Cruise’s funeral.

While out on an errand, Cassidy spots a black SUV heading for the church. He recognizes that this isn’t a good thing. (Incidentally, while out during the daytime, Cassidy wears a ridiculous heavy poncho and bamboo hat, which suggests that he does have issues with sunlight, but they’re not so serious that a little clothing coverage won’t protect him.)

Tulip makes it back to town and tells Jesse that she has an address for someone named Carlos, a man who wronged them both in the past. She’s very excited about this and urges him to come with her to murder him. Jesse resists at first, but then has a vague and cryptic flashback to something that happened between them. (From what I can tell, I think perhaps Carlos was the getaway driver while they committed a crime and he sped off, leaving them high and dry.) Eventually, Jesse relents and gets in the car with Tulip.

Suited up and armed to the teeth, Fiore and DeBlanc prepare to storm the church when Cassidy speeds up from behind and runs them over with his van, instantly killing them both… again. When he sees who they are, he’s confused, but jumps to the immediate conclusion that they must be clones. He’s a little annoyed at having to clean up their dead bodies again. When he goes into the church to collect some supplies, he hears a noise and finds the two of them, seemingly unharmed, ducking behind the pews looking for their tin can. As Cassidy poises himself to fight, they tell him that they haven’t come for him.

Tulip and Jesse stop at a gas station. Jesse goes to use the restroom and is ambushed by Donnie. I suppose he must have just been there coincidentally, because I can’t imagine how he’d know that Jesse would stop there – unless Tulip set him up, which doesn’t seem to be the case.

Anyway, Donnie holds Jesse at gunpoint, but Jesse uses his power to make Donnie turn the gun on himself. However, he stops short of making Donnie kill himself. Jesse has a moment of clarity and lets him go, then goes outside and tells Tulip that he changed his mind. She’s pissed.

Fiore and DeBlanc assure Cassidy that they’re not anti-vampire religious nutjobs. They say they’ve come to retrieve something inside of Jesse. Once they get it, they’ll leave everyone alone. When Cassidy asks where they’re from, one sticks to the story about working for the government but the other blurts out, “Heaven!” Cassidy is momentarily puzzled but brushes it off. He offers to be their middleman and help get back whatever they’re searching for. (I’m not sure what’s in it for Cassidy, but perhaps he has ulterior motives.)

The episode ends with Jesse performing a funeral for Ted, the guy from the pilot episode who cut out his own heart. Only Jesse himself and his assistant/unrequited love interest Emily attend.

Episode Verdict

Writing it out like this, the episode almost sounds coherent. It’s not, really. I’m growing impatient with the show. I’m still intrigued enough that I’m not quite ready to give up on it yet, but my frustration may soon outweigh my curiosity.

1 comment

  1. Jared Chamberlain

    Josh, hang in there. It will all unfold into a much bigger picture that will make sense. The comic was written in a similarly disjointed fashion but was definitely worth the wait for the payoff. I have faith the show will be equally worth it.

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