It looks like Jesse is finally trying to get back on the side of Angels. This week on Preacher centers totally on our main character Jesse. We don’t get to see the sunbaked Cassidy survived from last week. We barely got to see Tulip. Already two of the best parts of the show are missing. This week Jesse deals with Quinncannon’s siege of the church. We get to see a little bit of Quinncannon’s past as well. We get to see who his true master is, and a few people get some unexpected things shot off. Although Jesse is the main person featured this episode, we do get to see a familiar face is a unique capacity.
Let’s take a look at the episode “El Valero.”
This episode was somewhat of a breakthrough for Jesse. I’ve been railing against him as an arrogant power-mad preacher who used Genesis for his own selfish needs. While he did do that, this episode he has had the chance to reflect on some of his choices and the trouble it has caused. This self-reflection comes in the form of a hallucination of poor Eugene. At first, Jesse see’s the hallucination, he thinks that he had been able to summon Eugene back from hell. His conversations with the apparition of Eugene allowed him to have his own personal confession and come to terms with his arrogance and pride surrounding his use of Genesis for personal reasons. He somewhat apologizes to the hallucination and eventually comes to the realization that the Eugene he is talking to is not real, but it has sunk in, he shouldn’t use Genesis anymore.
Lucky for him, our favorite angels Fiore and DeBlanc come to the church to finally get Genesis removed from Jesse. This time, Jesse doesn’t resist. In fact, he wants it out. Jesse does want the angels to help him save Eugene from Hell. The angels agree to help him save Eugene for Genesis. After agreeing to lay down and have DeBlanc sing it out of him, it actually does leave Jesse’s body. There’s a sense of relief all around but turns out the angels weren’t really in a position to help Eugene. It was a lie out of omission. This sets Jesse off, and as a result Genesis off as well. For the first time, Jesse seems to question his faith as to why angels would not try and save poor Eugene from Hell. Based on my conversations with fans of the comics, they said that in the comic books, Jesse has just about had it with religion. Now keep in mind all the activities this season of the show happens chronologically before the first issue of the comic. This is the first sign that we are headed in the direction of Jesse rejecting God, so that’ll be something to pay attention to. Genesis joins back with Jesse, and with that the angels get out of there.
Meanwhile, there is a siege going on. Jesse may try to be a good guy, but he can sure kick some ass. He holds his on against Quinncannon’s men every time they even try to come close to the church. The first time they rush into the church, he beats them all and takes their weapons. Now with a full arsenal, he easily takes them down the next time they try and come close. A few are shot, but one of Quinncannon’s men get shot to where he loses his manhood in a rather grotesque unseen moment. We only get to see a bloody area where his groin once was, but just the thought in your mind is enough to make any grown man squirm.
We do get to see a little bit of Tulip. Although her presence is little this episode we do spend a little bit of time with her as she goes looking for a dog. At first, it’s assumed that the dog she gets from the pound is to be her companion, but ultimately we get to see what the end result is when she feeds the cute doggy to Cassidy. We actually don’t see Cassidy each the poor pooch but hear its screams as “something” takes it apart, we can only assume that Cassidy will come back in full form next week having gotten his fill of blood.
Not all of Quinncannon’s men lose this episode. Donny knows that Jesse has powers and has figured out a way to counter them. Although it’s a stupid idea, it turns out to be a genius one. He fires his gun close to his ear in an enclosed space so that he loses his hearing. If he can no longer hear Jesse, he can no longer be swayed by his commands when he uses Genesis. This could potentially be a way to make him Jesse’s nemesis.
Speaking of Jesse’s nemesis, we get a little more of Quinncannon’s backstory. Through a flashback showing his entire family dying during an accident. As he is the only survivor, he has no faith in God anymore and denounces God as a result. Although his first existential argument is with Jesse’s father, he now carries the same conversation on with Jesse. Quinncannon’s power over the town allows the sheriff and mayor look the other direction at the siege over the church. In fact, they both act as spectators to the lawlessness going on. After Donny knocks the preacher out, Jesse and Quinncannon have a face to face. Jesse questions Quinncannon as to why he was able to overcome his commands to serve God, Quinncannon replies that he does serve God, just not the one Jesse was expecting. Quinncannon has pretty much devoted his life to his meat business, it’s no surprise that he actually believes there is a God of meat. So technically he is serving “God” by ensuring that his meat business is thriving. Jesse laughs at the irony, as well as the realization that his power has many loopholes. Unless Jesse is crystal clear, sometimes his commands can be misinterpreted, like when Ted “opened his heart” to his mother in the first episode.
Jesse makes a plea with Quinncannon to have one last service before giving his church up. The episode ends with his being taken into custody by the sheriff, who was a little pissed off that his son Eugene is still missing.
This episode was a little slower than most. Although there was some good action in regards to fighting off against Quinncannon’s men, you could tell something was missing. Without Tulip’s feistiness and Cassidy’s insanity, you feel as though part of the soul of the show is missing. They were desperately needed this episode. The fake out of Eugene coming back from hell was cool. It’ good that it didn’t last too long to try and fake out the audience. Now that Jesse is thrown back by the hallucination, this gives his a goal to reach. He has to rescue Eugene if he’s going to transition back from villain to hero.
So does that mean that Jesse’s days are numbered? Will he finally turn his back on the town and on God as he apparently did in the comic book? Will he find a way to continue to be on the side of good side even though he still has Genesis? Next week looks like we will see a little bit more of the Saint of Killers as well as more of the fallout of this week’s episode.