With the need to resolve last season’s cliffhanger out of the way, and some work done to set up the new locale for the season, we now have a Preacher episode that puts Jesse back on track with the main storyline. While we are still learning about Angelville, “Sonsabitches” brings back the Grail in a big way. Action sequences, revenge, and lots of Herr Starr being droll provide lots of entertainment value for a show that likes to get by on absurdity. The problem is trying to determine just how dim Jesse has to be for the sake of this series getting as much as it can out of his current dilemma. While there need to be some stakes here, I can’t say this episode is doing a ton to help us respect the supposedly dire situation Jesse is stuck in.
Right now, we are in a place of desperation when it comes to Jesse. Genesis is broken, and something needs to be done to give Jesse back the power to command people. Preacher can’t build too much drama out of Jesse being back with his evil grandmother Madame Marie if he has the capability of Genesis, but the show is stretching to make him seem like he’s in a bad spot. Yes, Jesse is suffering as far as being somewhere he does not want to be and no longer having the abilities he had, but Angelville has yet to become the nightmarish location for us to be frightened of.
With a cold open that highlights the spectacularly dumb moves by a science teacher, it is clear bad stuff happens to folks that do not stay in line when it comes to Madame Marie, but for the most part, this is hardly the torturous place that would create nightmares for all who come to it. T.C. and Jody are far too pleasant to make it feel this way, while Madame Marie is holding things too close to the chest for us to really see the extent of her evil. There are some hints, of course. She has some voodoo control over Jesse and the final shot of the science teacher at the end of this episode is a creepy image, but there’s just not much else to work with.
That’s a shame because the cast is certainly doing what they need to. Cassidy is more or less occupied with staying on Tulip’s good side, but he’s a great character to throw at any scene and make better by his various quips and conversational topics. He quickly bonds with T.C., keeps a possible execution feel lively, and even has some humorous thoughts to share after being shot in a gunfight. Having a laidback vampire is never a burden when it comes to this guy.
Tulip is still a little messed up. The episode doesn’t do her any favors by continuing to use the clever dog God thing in a way that’s taking away from that concept. Last season did not benefit Tulip well by playing up her PTSD over the Saint of All Killers, so I can only hope she regains her strength quickly this season to keep from repeating that angle. At the very least, she’s gotten to punch Featherstone in the face a lot to make herself feel better.
Herr Starr continues to be a blast to watch. It may not be as unique to see elaborate action scenes juxtaposed to corny music at this point, but that was a fun way to reintroduce the character. Having it all for the sake of getting a swami to commit to Humperdoo only made it better. I take some fault with the show for making Jesse dumb enough not to have him think more about his plan to pull one over on Starr to get his soul back, but I can’t fault the various ways Starr deals with the situation.
It’s a weird place for the show right now, honestly. A problem with this series has remained finding the right balance of how far to draw out certain storylines. While Angelville is an essential part of the Jesse Custer character, the circumstances have not yet proven to be all that eventful. Of course, it is only the second episode, so I have to hope the threat of the people currently in Jesse’s life will increase and make us truly engaged in what sort of means he’ll have to go to satisfy Madame Marie, while not holding his special powers. At the same time, we have to hope the mission to find God is not delayed too much either.
Enough is happening in “Sonsabitches” to keep me entertained. Jesse is more obviously the weak link of the show than usual, which is unfortunate, but I like so much of everything else being presented. The world works for me as far as the look and use of most of the other characters. As long as that holds, there’s plenty of reasons to stick with this current season and look out for whatever genuinely wild things we have in store for us.
Preachin’ To The Choir:
- The science teacher was indeed a big idiot.
- “Thanks, dads.” – Tulip is really not concerned with what Cassidy and Jesse have to offer as advice.
- T.C. tells a bizarre story about Lucy Lui.
- Still no sign of Eugene and Hitler.