Preacher finds itself in an adventurous mood this week, as Jesse gets a lot of answers, even if they are not quite the answers he is looking for. “Dirty Little Secret” doesn’t quite have the ambition that made last week’s episode such an enjoyable outing, but it does have a lot of fun messing with Jesse and delving into various blasphemies that would be a bigger deal if there were not a comic and a slew of imitators that followed it already. There’s also the matter of Cassidy’s troublemaking son, Tulip’s friendly neighbor, and Humperdoo.
The latter two lead characters are getting plenty to do this week, which is nice. I’ve been more or less happy with Cassidy’s subplot involving his formerly dying son, as there’s some nice nuance in the acting by Joseph Gilgun. This week has him playing the scenario as a bit more of a farce. We watch him deal with Dennis’ newfound hunger and have “the talk” that comes with being a newborn vampire. It’s entertaining stuff, but given that we can’t keep Dennis around forever (I’m guessing), that final shot of the lad with blood around his mouth suggests a possible turning point in how Cassidy treats his kid.
I’ve been more critical of Tulip, as the whole stretched out plot of her suffering from PTSD has felt like a big stall, while other things are set in motion. Last week showed some progress as Jesse talked to his girlfriend, but this week almost felt like we were going to step back until Featherstone came in disguise as Jenny. Working to show further how the Grail operatives work as well as watch Tulip slowly gain her wits back about her, these two played well against each other, as far as seeing how far deceit and honest would play. The result is a beaten up Hoover and the discovery of The Saint’s weapons under the tiles in the bathroom, which should make for some angry conversations with Jesse next week.
Jesse and Starr do have the largest focus this week, however, as we watch the two discuss Jesse’s mission to find God and delve into some deep secrets the Grail are holding onto. Based on the cold open involving Jesus’ last night, it is evident some wild revelations are going to be made, and it ultimately does lead to a big gag/reveal. However, the road to getting to this point was well worth it.
A lesser show could have easily kept these two as clear enemies (let alone not have them meet for the longest time). Instead, Preacher wants these two together to eliminate the false build up over a potentially unsatisfying fight and show us another angle that Starr is working. A number of clever setups find Jesse meeting the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury, in addition to learning of the presence of the Messiah’s 25th great grandson. It’s silly stuff, but questioning it means forgetting this is a bizarre TV show, where a criminal-turned-preacher is best friends with a vampire. It may just be better to acknowledge how this all allows us to see more of Starr as a character.
Without question, Starr is a bad person. He’s a jerk and has done horrible things. However, his involvement with the Grail is interesting, as we learn his motivations are to see a clean world, rid of various forms of civilian contamination. As revealed this week, this is why he sees Jesse as the missing puzzle piece. Jesse is the thing that could help replace the missing God, given what is currently being protected as the potential claim to that metaphorical throne.
As Jesse is taken across the world to learn of this heir who shares a bloodline with Jesus, one can’t help but wonder what he would be encountering. Of course, knowing this comic series and keeping the names Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg in mind, it should not have been too much of a surprise to see the show go with the choice of an inbred sap with the mind of a child to be the current representative of this concept. It’s a weird line to walk, but given how the show is implying how the Grail had a huge role in the upbringing of the various heirs of the messiah bloodline, it works without actually crossing whatever line this series has set itself against crossing.
Regardless, the realization is key to Jesse, as it allows him to see Starr and the Grail for what they are – hypocritical failures. With no understanding of where God is or why he’s gone, Jesse has no reason to make them allies. Additionally, with Starr asking Jesse to be God, it signals to Jesse how his mission truly is critical. There is an apparent loss going on if having an immense power means this secret organization would betray all they know, merely because Jesse is a preferable choice to what they’ve had as an “answer” for the apocalypse.
I’ve been happy to praise the continued work done to highlight our most important three characters in the second season (let alone the work done by the supporting players). Even if the immediacy has been dialed down ever since The Saint was dispatched (temporarily), I have continued to enjoy how Preacher has found ways to challenge this crew and present new obstacles. Yes, the Tulip stuff is not my favorite, but I once again find myself seeing the light at the end of this tunnel, with plenty of potential ahead. Whatever the case, however, it’s been a wacky journey that is not about to let up.
Preachin’ To The Choir:
- The cold open, complete with anachronistic dialogue and a care-free Jesus was funny stuff.
- I’d like to know more about what the Pope and the Archbishop disagree on.
- Cassidy got a new tattoo of a bird. Dennis got a tattoo of Shemp. Father and son bond.
- “How’d you get so good at video games?” “My parents died.” – Tulip’s Guitar Hero abilities explained.
- Hoover really took one for the team this week.
- Humperdoo – let’s just keep remembering that name. Humperdoo.