Welcome back, seekers of The Almighty! Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this week on Preacher God is still nowhere to be found. Jesse explored the uncharted waters of The Big Easy in his continued search. He mostly discovered an overabundance of jazz music, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, not everyone was on board with the game plan – Tulip had NOLA skeletons taking up residence in her closet, and remained tight lipped about them. Jesse met Lara Featherstone, a jazz singer who knew a thing or two regarding The Almighty’s whereabouts. Cassidy reunited with his solely French-speaking mate. The conversations were a bit one-sided. We saw Eugene! Not to mention Eugene’s Hell hallway mate.
Shall we explore the uncharted waters of this episode? Friendly reminder that spoilers are as long and occasionally as complex as the jazz standards God likes, so tread carefully.
We open with Eugene (Ian Colletti) riding a bike gleefully down a sun-drenched street. His face is as it was before the shooting incident, complete with a fully formed mouth. Aw, he’s cute (not that he wasn’t before)! He stops in front of a familiar white house. Eugene enters Tracy’s bedroom to find her sobbing (Gianna LePera). Tracy tells him that someone caught her boyfriend cheating on her with another girl. Thus, out of sheer embarrassment, she plans to kill herself with a loaded shotgun. We see her raise said gun to her forehead, tears streaming down her face. Eugene attempts to stop her. Tracy hands Eugene her suicide note, which he reads aloud.
Then, Eugene kicks his persuading into high gear. Thankfully, his words are enough to prevent Tracy from taking her life. She rests her head on his shoulder after he burns her suicide note. Getting caught in the moment, Eugene kisses her on the lips. Tracy, in reaction to the kiss, grabs the shotgun once again. Eugene attempts to wrestle it out of her hands, but unfortunately Tracy pulls the trigger. The bullet takes out a chunk of Tracy’s head, but she’s still alive.
Suddenly, we hear Tracy’s mom call for her. Eugene attempts to divert her while simultaneously planning his escape. As tensions mount and Tracy’s mom threatens to call his dad if he doesn’t unlock the door, Eugene makes a reckless decision. He snatches the gun for himself and…well…you know the rest. Obviously, the gun obliterated part of his face.
Then, we see the scene repeats itself, over and over again. Everything on a loop, akin to when The Saint of Killers was in Hell. After a while the scene ceases to play and we see Eugene in a dingy, colorless prison cell in Hell. A warden (Amy Hill) urges Eugene to wait where he is. Our precious Arseface is dressed to the nines in a grey jumpsuit. She vanishes, leaving Eugene alone with his memories.
Later, our gang is on the road again, heading to New Orleans. Jesse (Dominic Cooper) is forcing Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) and Tulip (Ruth Negga) to listen to jazz music during their trip. He’s going full Daniel Day-Lewis in his search for God – getting into the mindset of the missing. I can appreciate that. However, Tulip is not a jazz fan. More to the point, she’s against going to NOLA altogether. Of course, it might have something to do with the boss that wants her captured, but she decides to withhold that info from Jesse.
Then, the trio arrives in The French Quarter to a raucous celebration, complete with glittery beads and booze. They enter the first club they see. Jesse approaches the bartender and informs him they’re looking for God. Said bartender leads them to the bouncer, who in turn takes them to the basement. An old man draws back a curtain revealing a woman sitting next to a man in a dog costume, holding him by the collar. The bouncer starts rattling off prices – a price for watching, participating, etc. Yes, apparently telling someone in this bar you’re “looking for God” equals kinky S&M stuff. Jesse is disgusted, meanwhile Cassidy has a wad of bills at the ready. Oh, Cassidy. He’s ready for anything.
Later, Jesse immediately wants to hit the rest of the jazz clubs that could house The Almighty. Tulip feigns stomach cramps and sits out the search. Jesse knows something is wrong. However, he lets her go. Cassidy follows Tulip to set the gang up at his friend Dennis’s house, leaving Jesse to his own devices.
Now, we see Cassidy try to pry the full story out of Tulip – the root of why she’s behaving so strangely. Well, more so than usual. Then, Tulip runs into a woman from her past, Mrs. Barbaret (Rhonda Dents). She invites Tulip over for dinner and tells her “not to be a stranger.” Tulip is reticent to accept her offer, but before she can respond Mrs. Barbaret ambles away. Our girl knows that this can only spell trouble. Soon enough, Viktor (her boss) will be on her tail.
Later, the duo arrives at their destination. Dennis (Ronald Guttman) opens the door and immediately begins rattling off a flurry of French. Cassidy simply nods, uncomprehending. However, Dennis allows them to come inside. Once they’ve settled, Tulip begins unraveling, becoming increasingly more paranoid about her presence in NOLA. Cassidy vows to lend Tulip a helping hand. Aw, I love the friendship that’s forming between these two. Tulip reluctantly agrees to let the vampire in (heehee, get it?).
Meanwhile, we’re treated to a smooth, jazzy montage worthy of The Big Easy as Jesse hits up club after club in his search for God. People laugh him off, ask him why he doesn’t know where God is. When a preacher doesn’t have an answer to that, you know there’s a problem. Finally, a lone bartender in a solitary bar gives Jesse the lowdown: that someone may actually have the answers he craves. Jesse enters a new establishment and encounters the sultry jazz singer, Lara Featherstone (Julie Ann Emery). After her performance, the two make a connection. Lara asks Jesse to meet her outside.
Suddenly, he sees the taxi Lara’s occupying collide with a truck. A horde of men dressed all in white throws her into their truck. Jesse immediately launches into action, using Genesis to stop the truck in its tracks. Then, he fights off the kidnappers. After they’re all down for the count, Jesse rescues Lara. She’s astonished by his preacher powers. I like to think that Jesse is kind of a superhero in his own right.
Then, the duo arrives at Lara’s apartment. She decides it’s high time to flee New Orleans and begins packing. We hear Lara’s infant daughter in the next room, crying softly at the arrival of her mother. Jesse questions her about the identities of the men who kidnapped her. Lara mentions that everyone knows of God’s disappearance and these men captured her thinking she had information. They’re a white supremacist group of sorts, vying for world domination now that God is gone.
Next, it’s Lara’s turn to grill Jesse. She asks him how he was able to stop her kidnappers. When he reveals that he has the power to make people do things, Lara has Jesse test Genesis in front of her. She asks Jesse to force her to “not” kiss him. Just when it appears Jesse wants Lara to plant a smooch, he uses Genesis at the last second to prevent her from doing so. Good move, Jesse. I like you with Tulip too much.
Later, Jesse sees Lara off as she takes a taxi cab to stay with her sister. Before she leaves, Lara sneaks in a kiss. That’s all you get, lady! Then, Jesse receives a call from Tulip while he’s entranced by a poster demanding he “See the Magic of the Bayou.” Yes, let’s get some voodoo magic up in here. Anyway, Tulip inquires of his whereabouts. Jesse remains mum on the subject, simply saying he’s “still looking.” The duo has a tiff, as Tulip appears to want to tell Jesse her secret but refrains at the last minute.
Then, Tulip grabs her jacket and heads outside. Cassidy attempts to join her, but Tulip insists on going alone.
Now, we see Eugene back in his Hell cell. He disobeys the warden’s command and exits said cell. Eugene calls out, wondering if he is truly alone. Alas he is not, as a man who looks an awful lot like Hitler appears in the hallway (Noah Taylor). Well, guess what? It is the Fuhrer himself. Oh no. Worst Hell hallway mate ever!
Later, Jesse is sitting in a club listening to a jazz band. He requests they play the song he listened to on his trip to NOLA. An avid jazz enthusiast sits next to time and explains the piece to him, so Jesse can better understand its complexities. We see Jesse close his eyes and finally understand what jazz truly is. Just feel the music, man.
Then, we see Lara enter the back of the truck that kidnapped her earlier. She takes off her blonde wig, revealing short, cropped brown hair. She divulges to the driver (Malcolm Barrett) that whatever Jesse has is the “real deal.” I’m assuming this is in regards to Genesis. Lara orders the driver to “kick him up to the Samson unit.” Oh, biblical names!
Meanwhile, a man (Pip Torrens) is standing in a pristine, white room. The name tag “Herr K. Starr” is on his desk. We see an “x” scarred over his right eye, with said eye milky white in color. Herr Starr is silently staring outside his window. A stack of files is on his desk, with one in particular sticking out – Jesse Custer.
Then, back in the bar, Jesse’s jazz friend approves of our preacher feeling the music. “It’s the end of the world,” he comments nonchalantly. Jesse is taken aback by this. Have you ever listened to R.E.M., Jesse?
Later, Tulip enters a laundromat. We see her exchange a large bill for a smaller one with someone inside. Then, she uses the small bill to extract quarters and begins inserting those in a machine for cigarettes. Suddenly, a group of men silently fall in behind her, surrounding our Tulip. One of them calls someone – Viktor. They tell him they’ve cornered Tulip. Uh oh. This isn’t good.
Preacher this week was a slow-burner of an episode, but fantastic nonetheless. Not as action packed as last week; however, we were given more insight into Tulip’s situation and introduced to new villains. Herr Starr looks terrifying, and of course Hitler was already frightening to begin with. Jesse is inching closer in his journey to finding God. Also – that ending! They better not harm a hair on my Tulip’s head. Highlight of the episode: finally watching the events that led to Tracy’s coma and Eugene’s unfortunate accident. Cassidy’s scene with Dennis was adorable, even though it was a one-sided conversation. I also thoroughly enjoyed our trio’s conversation on the way to New Orleans, and “Mexi-jazz.”
Do you think Tulip will get out of her situation unscathed? Will Jesse be exposed to voodoo magic next week? Is Eugene planning on teaming up with Hitler in Hell? That’s a sentence I never thought I’d type. Also, where is The Saint of Killers? Guess we’ll have to wait till next week…
Preacher airs Mondays at 9pm on your AMC affiliate.