Welcome to another Preacher review! In this week’s opener, we join the Cowboy once again as he arrives in the town of Ratwater. He goes to what looks like a general store and gives the man at the counter the paper his wife gave him. It dawned on me that this journey wasn’t for a job, but to get medicine for his sick daughter. He then goes to a saloon, where we see a man trading scalps for money, which is just… gross – in the sense of gore and the racist language they use (we could start with “injuns” or the fact that the guy scalped some non-indigenous people and claimed they were NA, whatever you like). The Cowboy asks for a room, but can’t get one and is offered a table and some whiskey instead. I guess he’s gonna sit there all night.
While at his table, he witnesses a preacher telling a dick joke, and a little boy being forced to watch as his mother is raped (we don’t really see the actual act, thank god). The Preacher comes over and says that he knows the Cowboy, but we don’t learn how because he’s pulled away by some other patrons. It cuts to the next morning and the Cowboy gets the medicine and heads out of town. We get the third shot of that tree with the bodies hanging from it, which I would gladly not like to see again, please. He also passes the wagon of that family he had dinner with in episode 2. The little boy waves at him, and tells him they’re going to Ratwater. He doesn’t react.
As he’s riding, the Cowboy thinks about the woman who was raped and decides that he can’t just sit back. He turns around and goes back to Ratwater, and the saloon. The preacher has remembered where he saw him him, but the Cowboy backhands the shit out of him. He comes into the back room and only finds the people from the wagon, trading a bunch of scalps. He gets jumped the by the preacher and his boys. When he tries to leave, the preacher tells him he remembers him from the Battle of Gettysburg, which they were on opposite sides of (the Cowboy fought for Virginia, preacher for Ohio). He kills the Cowboy’s horse because… I’m not sure why. I guess because he got backhanded.
The Cowboy is forced to walk home, where he finds that his wife and daughter are dead, being eaten by crows. We see him getting his effects before it cuts to the credits. To be honest, I’m not sure how any of this relates to the modern day stuff. Was Annville originally Ratwater? Is that preacher Jesse’s ancestor? All I remember is Cassidy calling the alcohol he was given when he first met Jesse rat water, but that’s it. Was that foreshadowing?
After the credits we see Sheriff Root in his backyard looking for someone. No one seems to be there, though. Eugene asks if it was the “lunatic” they think Fiore and DeBlanc are looking for. Hugo tells Eugene to go upstairs when he tries to speak to him, and generally seems kind of anxious. But Eugene calls him up there, and we see that someone painted “FINISH THE JOB” on his ceiling, with an arrow pointing to a shotgun sitting against his wall. Hugo gets Eugene to admit that he went to see Tracy Loach. I finally get what he was saying at the end of episode 3, but I am left wondering what happened between Eugene and Tracy.
Jesse is hanging out under a tree that looks suspiciously like the one in the flashbacks, looking satisfied with himself. He goes to speak to Emily at the Flavor Station and talk about church stuff. Emily asks him what the hell happened on Sunday with Mr. Quidcannon, which, to be honest, was super suspicious. Some kids at another table compliment Jesse on his sermon and ask him to help them rank the gospels. Emily says that all this doesn’t feel like Jesse, to which Jesse it isn’t him, it’s God.
Cassidy wakes up in Tulip’s uncle’s house, and they play a round of 21 Questions regarding his vampire powers. Apparently Cass doesn’t crave blood much. That’s different. Tulip tries to kick Cass out, but he initiates another conversation instead. He claims to have fallen in love with her, and she tells him she has a boyfriend. She doesn’t name any names, but it’s clear she’s talking about Jesse again, just like in episode 2. She also tells Cass about Carlos. He points out that, even after everything that happened to them, if her “boyfriend” won’t go with her to get Carlos, maybe he’s not who she thinks he is. I don’t necessarily care for this (how many times are we going to talk about the same thing, really?), but I’m so glad these two are connecting, and existing, outside of Jesse, especially in the case of Tulip. It’s just really great to see a female love interest who exists outside of the main male character.
We see Jesse at the Flavor Station, still talking to those kids. Some other people are sitting in on the conversation as well. Emily leaves unnoticed.
It turns out that the reason Donny wasn’t in the last episode is because he was sick… or faking it because of the fight with Jesse, as Betsy seems to think. I think this is related to what happened with Jesse, but at the gas station. There’s a title drop here that I didn’t get at all. What does the south rising again have to do with Preacher? But Donny tells Betsy a story about how cows being brought to the slaughter realize what’s going to happen at the last minute, which really conveys how his encounter with Jesse’s power has shaken him up. Betsy isn’t having that, though, and threatens to cheat on him if he doesn’t come back to work. Damn.
DeBlanc coaches Fiore through what to say when they pick up the heaven phone, since he is, apparently, the sweet one. Fiore stumbles through it adorably, at which point DeBlanc reminds him that if they mess this up, they’re goners.
Emily goes to Jesse’s house and gets the money she mentioned earlier (which I think is for the television). She also takes it upon herself to fold up some of his clothes she finds lying around. She then takes a pee, at which point someone enters the house. It turns out to be Tulip, though, who asks where Jesse is. Emily tells her she’s at the Flavor Station. I’m not sure what Tulip was thinking after that, but generally speaking I like that this show doesn’t seem to be setting her and Emily up to oppose each other, since they’re both potential love interests. Even further, I like that Jesse doesn’t seem to be interested in either of them, which means they’ll probably never fight over him. Thank god.
Sheriff Root is really stressed out. Eugene makes him lunch, and, after he offers to cut up the omelet for him, Hugo flips out and tells him that maybe he should “finish the job”. This is the point where I got really, really worried about Eugene, because god damn. He seems like such a sweet kid, and I don’t want anything bad to happen to him.
Mr. Quidcannon talks to Miles again and tell him that he’s turning over a new leaf. Donny gets suspicious when Odin mentions that he meant to talk to Miles after church. He starts freaking out and asks what Jesse said to him that day. Odin tells him that he was told to serve god. Donny is on to Jesse, which makes sense after what happened. Odin very happily sets up a meeting with the Green Acres people. I don’t have high hopes about this.
Jesse is still at the Flavor Station, and now he’s helping people out and giving them advice. He’s using his new power very freely, which worries me greatly. Tulip shows up and tells a story about a “bad boy” she used to see, and asks what she should do now that he’s acting like he’s good. Jesse actually owns up to being the guy in the story, in a roundabout way. But he tells Tulip that he’s really changed, and she can too – just because they used to be bad doesn’t mean they always have to be. His little speech has Tulip shook at the end.
A waitress tells Jesse that “something” outside wants to speak to him, and it turns out to be Eugene. She constantly refers to him as “it”, and I wanted to fight that Becky so bad. Eugene asks Jesse to pray with his dad, since they’re really going through something right now. It says a lot that, after what we saw at the house, that Eugene does this. I wanna know what happened that made everyone dislike him so much, because, again, sweet kid.
Preacher shows up at the Loach house to talk to Tracy’s mom. She asks her to pray with Tracy, since he seems to be making good progress with her. She sees Eugene in the car and runs outside with a bat and begins smashing Jesse’s windows. Jesse uses his power to get her away from the bat and the car, and then commands her to forgive Eugene for what he’s done. Considering his track record, I don’t think this is going to turn out well.
Betsy and Donny are on their lunch break at work. Donny’s all out of whack, and Betsy notices. He ends up telling her that he thinks Jesse has a power, and breaks down crying because of the powerlessness he felt when dealing with him. I like that we’re seeing the adverse effects of Jesse’s powers, and I actually felt kind of bad for Donny here, though he’s a Grade-A asshole. I can’t imagine what it must be like to be forced to act completely outside of your own self-interest, against your will.
Jesse drives Eugene home, and the latter asks what happened at Tracy’s house. Jesse just tells him that his dad doesn’t have to worry anymore, and then resumes whistling ominously.
We see Tulip preparing to rob a drug store. After another scene, we see her meet up with Cass, who’s leaving a strip club (mentioned in their earlier conversation). Turns out that Tulip stole the drugs he asked for earlier. He asks if they’re going steady now, and she says they’re in love. They have sex, but Tulip is completely stone faced. When I first watched this episode I didn’t get this scene, but upon rewatch I think Tulip is reacting to what Jesse said, like she wanted to prove to herself that she’s bad and that’s it, or she’s trying to move on by hooking up with Cass.
The scene between those two is Fiore and DeBlanc, finally ready to pick up the heaven phone. It stops ringing.
Jesse is back at the Flavor Station, helping out a couple. Sheriff Root brings Fiore and DeBlanc in to speak with him. They learn that Cass hasn’t been passing on their messages, since Jesse has no idea what they’re talking about. They tell him they’re from heaven, and Fiore goes to add something, and DeBlanc cuts him off, saying they’re both from there. Interesting. But Jesse learns that the entity inside of him isn’t God like he though. Oh boy.
The last scene is Mr. Quidcannon meeting with the Green Acres people. After some small talk, Odin thinks they should start the meeting. He then pulls out a gun and kills all of the Green Acres people. Now, I knew Jesse commanding him would go sideways, but I didn’t know it would happen like that.
I liked this episode a lot. Seeing Jesse use his power all willy-nilly is worrying, but it totally makes sense that he would do that, and, like I mentioned, I like that we’re seeing the consequences of that. I am wondering when Jesse will finally see those too, but the way this episode ends implies that it will be very soon. It was also nice to see Tulip’s character arc move forward as it finally sets in on her that Jesse really isn’t going to leave Annville. I can’t wait to see what she will do next. And more Eugene is always good.
Ultimately, the best thing is that this episode’s title wasn’t a reference to race stuff like I thought. Like I said, I’m actually not sure what that was supposed to mean. Next episode is called Sundowner, which is another that could be a reference to race stuff, but between this and the previews I saw last night I’m sure it won’t be about that. Instead it looks like we’re finally going to learn more about the entity, which I’m all for. I can’t wait to see what happens!
Images courtesy of AMC