There are only two episodes of PREACHER left this season, and things are starting to get pretty weird. Considering that we’re dealing with a show that has angels, vampires, teenagers with faces that look like buttholes, and an entity that can grant someone the power of the Word of God, “weird” in context is pretty exceptionally weird.
We get to learn a bit more about what made Qdin Quincannon the man he is this week, as the episode opens on an idyllic Quincannon family ski trip. As the lift starts to transport the family to their destination, we see his wife, children, and possibly his mother and other relatives. The family gathers for a picture before suddenly the lift cable snaps and the car goes crashing to the ground. We don’t have to wait to see the outcome of this accident, as the very next scene is Quincannon sitting in his office surrounded by the bodies of his entire family in shipping crates and a crowbar on his desk. In voiceover, we hear his distraught call to John Custer, and the events of a previous flashback – told then from Jesse’s point of view – are revealed from the other end. The tragedy completely broke Quincannon and the results are gruesome, to say the least.
It’s interesting to see what made the man who he is, particularly as the rest of the episode is occupied with his continued attempts to take the church he now feels is rightfully his from Jesse. This is hardly the only turmoil Jesse is experiencing within the church, as he’s still facing the consequences of his other recent use of his power. In last week’s episode he attempted to use the Word of God to retrieve Eugene from Hell, and this week it appears that it worked; at least at first it does. It’s quickly revealed that this Eugene is little more than a hallucination brought on by either Jesse’s grief or some consequence of trying to use the Word of God for something impossible. Comic readers might notice something familiar about this, as Jesse hallucinates a very different companion in the books. But the cost of doing CGI for this particular person, as well as issues that may have come from their estate, might have prevented the show from bringing them to life on screen. It’s easier for a page-to-screen adaptation to replace such a character with someone not only known to viewers already, but more cost-effective from a special effects point of view.
Upon realizing that the use of his powers has led him to these unfortunate circumstances – both within and without – Jesse finally agrees to let the angels take Genesis out of him. Only that doesn’t exactly work either. Genesis is perfectly content to stay where he is and they’ve no sooner gotten him out than he plunges back into Jesse again. It’s a far less dramatic entrance than the first, but Jesse apparently makes a cozy home for demon-angel hybrid abominations. But in the end, even Genesis can’t save Jesse or his church. Donnie finds the loophole in Jesse’s power and overtakes him, giving Quincannon the opportunity necessary to claim the church and its ground for his own.
As the episode ends, Jesse is in the process of signing the deed away to Quincannon but asks for just one more Sunday, one more opportunity to bring the people of Annville to God. There’s something incredibly sinister and deeply foreshadowing about the way he speaks, and this combined with the recent trend of series making their penultimate episode the real explosive episode of the season, makes me both concerned for some of the characters we’ve come to love and also extremely excited for next week.
Also: Tulip got a dog and Cassidy is probably going to be alright.
When I said that this episode was weird, I meant it. The imagery is delightfully unsettling at times, but the pacing feels off once again. Some of the moments, especially with Quincannon’s men and the siege of Jesse’s church, are borderline ridiculous. Maybe it’s supposed to be, I don’t know, but I have a pretty high tolerance for these kinds of “what the hell?” moments and even I thought it was a little silly. I have to give some credit to the writing, though, because there were some really clever plot tricks, places where the story gave away just enough to make you assume one thing, and then chucked a twist right at your face. I won’t give specifics, just because they’re better experienced first hand, but this is an episode where nothing is quite what it seems.
You can watch Preacher on AMC, Sundays at 9/8c with an encore episode following at 11/10c, and check out the official website for some great behind the scenes features.
All hail the god of meat.
The consequences of Jesse's hubris finally come to make good on his word as the first season of Preacher spirals towards its end.