Written by: Mathew ‘JJ’ Simoes
This week’s Preacher episode had an intriguing premise, but falters in it’s depiction of Jesse.
Preacher opened with three fast paced episodes as the series went full throttle into the crazy unknown, but has slowed down considerable since last week. The characters’ time in New Orleans seems to be about exploring their shared dark pasts, but it ‘s doing more harm to the show than good.The episode picks up where last week left off, with Jesse beating Viktor to a pulp while Tulip tells him that Viktor’s her husband. Jesse then continues his beating before hanging Viktor up in his own torture room. Tulips has mentioned many times prior to this episode that Jesse has a dark side, and we finally get to see it in action in ‘Dallas’.
The main crux of this episode was exploring the dissolution of Jesse and Tulip’s relationship following Carlos’ betrayal and Tulip’s miscarriage. As they try to settle into more ‘domestic’ roles, the pain of what happened to them is clearly evident. Jesse has turned into an alcoholic couch potato and Tulip was trying her hand at selling houses, and are trying to conceive another baby. These flashbacks were tragic, but not nearly as captivating as they should have been, and it all comes down to the show’s depiction of Jesse.
This season is establishing an arc for Jesse that involves him making several mistakes, but it’s getting harder and harder to root for him. While Jesse was hurting and confused in the flashbacks, he was such an asshole. He treated Tulip badly and savagely beat his friend out of anger. Jesse’s dark side continued into the present storyline as he debates whether or not to kill Viktor. He even violates Tulip’s free will by using the word to force her out pf the room when she protests Jesse’s killing Viktor. It’s become more difficult to like Jesse as a character, and him bringing the Saint to Viktor’s house at the episode’s end through his use of the word didn’t help either.
Tulip’s part of the story was more interesting, as she tried to become something she’s clearly not for Jesse. She didn’t last very long in the housing market and she wasn’t interested in getting pregnant again, but she also wanted to be with Jesse. This internal conflict and her difficulties with Jesse made for some great character moments for Tulip, and Ruth Nega’s performance nailed it.
The real star of this episode however, was Cassidy. He had the most internal conflict of all, as his desires to be a good friend are in direct conflict with his growing infatuation with Tulip. While he told Tulip that he was going to talk Jesse down from killing Viktor, he instead said Tulip would ultimately forgive him for it. This is Cassidy clearly trying to undermine Jesse’s relationship with Tulip, though he seems ti be doing it somewhat reluctantly. This plot thread has a lot of promise, and I’m curious to see what future episodes do with it.
The episode’s end, as mentioned earlier, paints Jesse in a pretty bad light. Since Jesse used the Word on during his assault on Viktor’s home, the Saint is drawn to that location. the Saint is now in New Orleans, has massacred Viktor’s men (Viktor included) and he knows where Jesse and company are. The upside to this ending is that next week’s episode will have some great action and move at a faster pace. The downside is that many people died due to Jesse’s irresponsibility in the use of his powers. What adds to this unlike-ability are the two Viktor focused scenes, which show him as a loving father and husband. Jesse’s done a lot of damage and he needs to learns his lesson quickly, or risk becoming the show’s worst element.
This week’s episode of Preacher was a slow paced, flashback heavy episode, which is brought down by lack luster characterization.
What did you think of this week’s Preacher? Leave a comment.