1881: Let's just start right out with the "whafuck?" moment. In the old West, an extremely hard-bitten man goes out to find medicine for his sick little girl. His wife tells him he's got to be back in no more than three days. En route, a party traveling in a wagon train invites him for supper. That night, by the campfire, one of the settlers waxes near poetic about the wonder of the West, asking the hard-bitten stranger if he too thinks it to be Paradise out here. H-BS: "It ain't." Cut to H-BS riding his horse past a dead tree festooned with hung bodies, men and women, m:ost (if not all) Native Americans, with their brains exposed through over-zealous scalping.
Well now. I assume that's going to pay off down the line but I have NO IDEA how this connects with the present day goings-on.
NOW, TEXAS: Jesse, determined to be a good preacher, baptizes his congregation in the churchyard. Tulip saunters up and asks him to save her. She winks at him from underwater and when he pulls her up, thanks him for "getting [her] all wet." (Meanwhile, those two strangers watch through binoculars, confused as to what's going on.) After the baptisms, everyone hangs out in the [word for the part of a church where the social activities happen], drinking coffee. Cassidy makes a play for some money for his handyman services; a couple of parishioners mention the guy who cut his heart out in front of his mother last episode; and Jesse and Emily [the church organist] discuss what other good works they should do to drum up business. Cassidy also has a completely honest, WTF!?! reaction when Eugene comes out of the restroom; Eugene is all, it's okay, mister, it happens all the time. Cassidy, as non-comics-familiar audience surrogate, asks Jesse what happened; Jesse says Eugene tried to kill himself with a shotgun. Cassidy: "And now he's walkin' around with a face like an arsehole?" Jesse chuckles but asks Cassidy to keep a rein on causing trouble, saying that he likes having him around. Cassidy is clearly pleased to hear this.
A parishioner (Linus) pulls Jesse aside and confesses to having almost "uncontrollable urges" about a schoolgirl who rides the bus he drives. Jesse is horrified, "She's a little girl!" Linus agrees, saying that's why he's confessing, since what he tells the preacher is confidential and he wants to be forgiven. Later that evening, Jesse has a cigarette on the church steps. A dog barks incessantly. When Jesse stands up to go inside, he shouts "QUIET" in The Voice (he still doesn't quite know about The Voice). It is suddenly silent and Jesse looks around, nonplussed.
The next day, a convoy of Quincannon Meat & Power vehicles drive out into the hinterlands. The head honcho (Odin Quincannon, played by a nearly unrecognizable Jackie Earle Haley), backed by a whole horde of employees - including Donnie with his broken arm in a sling - face an older Mexican couple. Quincannon makes a speech; the Mexican couple sign a paper; the employees carry a couple remaining pieces of furniture out of the house; and more employees promptly bulldoze the house as the couple looks on. Again, I assume this will pay off/come back somewhere down the line, because what the hell?
Out on the town's main street, as he and Emily attempt to solicit suggestions on how to improve church, Jesse sees Linus's schoolbus drive by. It frets him somewhat. Also, Tulip drives up and goads him a little bit about helping her with the job she's got. He brushes her off. Cassidy is waiting for him on the church steps - in the shade - and comments that it looks like it was a rough day at work. He holds up a bottle of booze and waves it at Jesse: "Come on - your dinner's gettin' cold!" That night, they sit in the pews and get hammered. Cassidy is all, so you think God's got a plan for you? Jesse says yes, to work hard, help people and be a good guy. Cassidy says that God's got a plan for him too: for him to let Jesse know that that plan is the dumbest, most boring plan God has ever come up with. They get a little heated, calling each other a hypocrite and a loser. The "loser" comment stings Cassidy and Jesse apologizes, but says that he doesn't think that boring is the worst thing a person can be. Cassidy: "I think you're wrong. I think boring's the worst." Cassidy tries to probe into Jesse's past but Jesse pushes back, asking what his story is. Cassidy, for a wonder, tries the truth: It's pretty typical really. I'm a 119 year old vampire from Dublin City and I'm currently on the run from a group of vampire-hunting religious vigilantes ... I'm a right-handed Sagittarius ... I've never seen the Pacific and I think The Big Lebowski is overrated." Jesse giggles, saying that being a vampire sounds like fun. Cassidy: "It can be. Sometimes." He takes a swig from a tiny flask and Jesse makes a grab for it, despite Cassidy warning him that it's far too potent for him. Jesse scoffs, drinks some down and promptly passes out after declaring, "I like The Big Lebowski." Cassidy, stealing Jesse's wallet and keys: "No. No, that's a shite film."
To the tune of an excellent Johnny Cash song, the two weird dudes move out from their motel, dragging a huge trunk with them. They show up at the church, finding Jesse snoring on the floor. They pull some equipment out of their big trunk - an old music box, an empty metal can - and perform some bizarre ritual, involving singing Winkum, Blinkum and Nod after placing the can on Jesse's stomach. Whatever they were hoping for didn't work so on to Plan B: a chainsaw.
They fire up the saw but before they can dig in, Cassidy has returned. He's all, leave him alone as I'm the one you're looking for, mistaking them for his religious fanatic vigilantes. And then begins the MOST AWESOME, hilarious and gory fight scene. I can't even begin to do it justice for you. Guns, knives, chainsaws, Bibles, the church pews - everything is a weapon. One of the mysterious guys gets his arm chainsawed off; with the guy's hand still on the throttle of the chainsaw, the blade drags itself towards the still unconscious Jesse ... there is blood EVERYWHERE. Cassidy finally prevails, including saving Jesse from the chainsaw. He rests a moment, slurps up some of the blood pooled on the floor, then saws up the two guys and puts them in their trunk. Unfortunately, the sun is up by the time he's gotten everything mopped up and he can't go out to bury the remains. It's easily as gory as anything on The Walking Dead but there's an undertone of humor to it all.
TOADVINE WHOREHOUSE: Tulip hangs out, playing cards and taking all the Quincannon employees' money while doing it. I forget she's a local. The madam asks how her uncle is doing and Tulip says that the next time he's not passed out drunk she'll ask him. She asks the madam if she can borrow a room later tonight. "Sure you can, darlin'."
Back at the church, Emily sends Jesse off on a home visit with a casserole, remarking that it smells like something died in there. The home visit is to a teen-aged girl whose skull was crushed when she fell off her horse. Jesse tries his best and the girl's mom thanks him for his nice words. But then she basically tells him that words are worthless - the casserole is worth more because at least she can feed it to her dogs. Jesse's all, well that wasn't really what I was going for. And to rub salt into the wound, he sees Linus drive by in his schoolbus when he leaves.
The timing/editing is a little strange here because all of a sudden it's night again. Jesse sees a carseat in the road and when he pulls over to check it out, someone tasers him, kidnaps him and chains him to a bed. It's Tulip, of course, and she's got him in the room at the whorehouse to try to talk him into helping her with the job. Despite his protestations, she believes that Jesse Custer is still and will always be a bad man. She lets him go. And later, when he's back at the church, trying to hacksaw the chain off his ankle, Eugene stops by, lamenting that he's afraid that the person he is right now is the person God expects him to be - what if he can't change, what if he's stuck?
After Eugene leaves, Jesse takes this to heart: what if who he is now is who he'll always be? He decides to embrace this and decides to confront Linus. Jesse goes to Linus's house, punches him in the face a few times and fills the bathtub with scalding water. Then, directly paralleling the baptism scene that the episode opened with, he forces Linus's head into the water, repeating "Forget the girl!" over and over until the command comes out in The Voice. The power of the Voice knocks both of them over and Jesse is stunned to realize that Linus now has completely forgotten this girl he was obsessed with. "What did you do to my brain?" Linus yelps as Jesse flees.
Once the sun has gone down, Cassidy finishes burying the trunk o' body parts. And back in town, those two mysterious men are somehow resurrected and being interrogated by the sheriff as to what they're doing in town. "We're from the government," they reassure him. Wait ... what?
Early the next morning, the preacher has gotten what could be a very bad idea. He goes back to the brain-damaged girl's house. He asks her mother if he can pray with the girl. She rolls her eyes and says she'll start a pot of coffee. And Jesse goes into the girl's bedroom and sits next to her. He leans close and says, in The Voice: "Open your eyes." I'm afraid that he may have wanted to be more specific than just saying that - but we're going to have to wait until the next episode to find
OMG you guys. This show is so batshit crazy. I don't know what's going on half the time and I really, really wish they would subtitle Cassidy/Joseph Gilgun because I think I catch less than half of his dialogue. And, frankly, Jesse Custer is the least interesting character at this point ... but I think I really like this show. More crazy, please!
Previously on Preacher / next time on Preacher
6 hours ago