Two nights of Preacher in a row has proven to be a very good thing, as this second season is showing to have a lot of confidence increasing the pace while making the characters work. “Mumbai Sky Tower” picks up right where we left off, but the rest of the episode provides plenty of great work for the characters, including one who was more or less a loose end for season one. The results are once again violent and bloody, but I can’t help but appreciate the level of empathy that came from watching a suicidal angel find peace.
That last bit is weird, which is going to be par for the course with this show. If the first season took audiences on a slow ride through the quirkiness of Annville, this season is going to be constantly on the move while bringing on one strange thing after the other. Even without the presence of an unkillable cowboy chasing after a man with the voice of God and a vampire best friend, “Mumbai Sky Tower” still got plenty of humor out of the very setting our heroes were in for a majority of the hour.
One of the clear strengths of this series, especially now that Jesse, Cassidy and Tulip are traveling together, is watching these characters be so straight-faced in the midst of so much craziness surrounding them. It’s a great benefit for a series that has much of its plot rely on fantastical elements. Much like other AMC series, the outlandish stuff, action and visual effects come second to the characters. Thanks to a smaller cast in comparison to The Walking Dead, for example, there is a much better focus on things, leading to a better connection to what’s going on with our leads.
I say all this because while the opening scene is another ridiculously violent action set piece, the best moment is not the coincidental (or perhaps miraculous) event that saves Jesse from the Saint of Killers. The real best moments is seeing Jesse realize what Tulip found out and having both of them sit on a bed and take in the news from the television that Annville has been destroyed by a methane explosion. There is a giant shootout taking place, but we are just as concerned with the sadness seen in the eyes of two people that lost their hometown.
That’s an important scene, as it also highlights another thing to consider. While it is fun to watch the action take place, the level of tension can only run so high when it comes to seeing a cowboy Terminator coming after the three stars of the show. It is more than unlikely that any of these people will die in this series anytime soon, so the series will have to do work to make an audience worry about these characters, which means continually coming up with really clever ideas of how to get them out of impossible situations.
Of course, that’s an issue for the coming weeks of this show. For now, this episode puts a lot more focus on Fiore (Tom Brooke), one of the two angles attempting to get Genesis out of Jesse. Having returned from Hell, after hiring the Saint of Killers to hunt down Jesse, Fiore is now by himself. The Saint killed Fiore’s partner DeBlanc, which was a way of keeping the angel from immediately reincarnating. Due to this loss, Fiore finds himself wanting nothing out of life anymore, until he realizes that killing himself as a fake magic act to entertain guests at a casino is at least something.
That’s a lot of darkly comic material to unpack, and while the character is only here for this episode, it still provides Cassidy a chance to show what he’s made of. With Jesse in need of a way to have Fiore call off the contract on his life, what could have been a violent negotiation turns into a fun sequence where Cassidy goes on a drug-fueled bender with Fiore. The two relate to each other on friendly means, and things seem to go over well. It doesn’t play out that way, as Fiore still keeps the contract in play and then has the Saint kill him, but at least we know Cassidy has other strategies up his sleeve (and a level of compassion) that don’t involve violence.
Tulip also gets some time to shine, as the series reminds us that she has a sordid history of her own to deal with. While at the casino, the titular Mumbai Sky Tower, Tulip runs into Gary, a heavy who works for Victor; someone Tulip seems to owe. A fight breaks out, and we are once again witnessing how formidable a fighter the tiny Tulip is, even when it comes to taking on someone as hulking as Gary. That, along with her handling of Jesse’s sudden proposal show just how adjusted Ruth Negga is to this role at this point and the same can be said about the other key players.
By the time this episode ends, Jesse and his crew are off to New Orleans, jazz center of the world, where they can hopefully get a lead on where God is. The Saint is still after them as well. Two episodes in and season two of Preacher is covering plenty of ground. That said, it’s still letting us care for the characters involved in this epic road trip. And it’s very bloody, funny and exciting to watch. With Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg doing an excellent job of directing an episode full of great imagery and a handle on tone, this has the feel of a Preacher television series worth sticking with, no use of Genesis needed.
Preachin’ To The Choir:
- That shot of the Saint of Killers adjusting his coat and seeing all the bullets hit the ground was great.
- Cassidy’s initial theory about the Saint included him being a Terminator, a Terminator from T2, or a Nazgul. Cassidy has wonderful theories.
- The extended sequence of Gary’s huge hand around Tulip’s neck, as he drags her around the room was another great visual moment. And man did she beat him up.
- This episode gives Jesse a reminder that Eugene is still down in Hell and not having a good time.
- Jesse is happy about heading to New Orleans. Tulip knows no good can come from her going back there.