Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Preacher recap "Dallas" S2E5 7/17/17

Picking up immediately where we left off last time, Jesse is in the middle of choking Viktor while Tulip tries to explain that she was never in love with Viktor and that she is only here to get him to sign the divorce papers.  Jesse is enraged, however, and not to be reasoned with.  He drags Viktor down to the torture room and strings him up in the harness.  Tulip is all I'M SORRY BUT YOU CANNOT KILL VIKTOR and Jesse snarls and uses the Voice on her: "GET OUT."  Her face is shocked and horrified as her feet shuffle her backwards out of the room.  Her parting shot: "Remember Dallas, Jesse? I don't wanna to do that again!"

Dallas.  Right after the botched bank job, when Carlos runs away without them and Tulip has a miscarriage.

Three months later.  Tulip has a job working for a realtor while Jesse seems to be doing nothing but a little bartending, plus hanging around their apartment, drinking beer and watching t.v. with a pothead buddy Reggie, who takes women's studies classes and uses the pages of a Bible to roll his joints.  One night, Tulip has invited Dani over for dinner - she's making "peanut butter potroast" - and Jesse is unhappy about that.  He seems to like (?) their life and isn't interested in working for Dani again; he has left that life behind.  The Dani scene is funny as she is completely disdainful of their current situation (and Tulip's cooking is apparently disgusting).  She tries to tempt them with some jobs - insurance scam in Santa Fe, connected guy in New Orleans looking for some general subcontracting stuff, killing her ex-husband - but Jesse insists that they aren't doing any of that anymore.

What they are doing is pretty bleak, as shown in a montage of:  them waiting for the results of a pregnancy test (always negative); having joyless, passionless sex; Jesse trudging past a church to the local convenience store to buy beer, cigarettes and a new pregnancy test.  Over and over and over again.  Over and over again.  It is sad and hopeless and it never seems to end.

Now, New Orleans.  Tulip has brought Viktor's daughter Ellie back to Dennis's house while Jesse tortures and/or kills Viktor.  Cassidy rolls with it pretty well.  They send Ellie in to watch t.v. with Dennis and once the door closes, Tulip rips into Cassidy for telling Jesse where she was.  Actually, she punches him in the nose first.  He explains that he was just worried about her - but she sees through him a bit, knowing that he likes her and is only conflicted about doing anything about it because he considers Jesse his friend.  She is worried: "I swear to God, if Jesse kills him, we are done" and Cassidy sees an opening.  He jumps up and says he's going to go talk to "that mad bastard."

Dallas.  After having walked past that church so many times in the montage, Jesse starts to pray when they're waiting for the pregnancy test results.  He even makes Tulip go with him to church; she doesn't look to be getting a lot out of it.  One day, when Jesse and Reggie are bumming around the apartment, the smoke alarm goes off (too many joints).  When Jesse goes to turn it off, he finds a plastic bag of cash stuffed into an air duct.  When Tulip comes home from the "real estate job," he confronts her, asking how long she's been back working for Dani.  It starts to get tense and Reggie tries to leave, but Jesse tells him to stay.  Tulip says that she's doing what she's good at, what they were good at until Carlos.  Jesse starts to get nasty and she reminds him that what happened hurt her too.  Oh yeah, he snarls, then what are these?, and holds up a package of birth control pills.  Her face falls - Reggie tries to leave again - and she apologizes, but says that this life Jesse seems to want seems wrong to her.  "I'm an O'Hare, Jesse!  I don't know how to do it!"  Jesse: "Oh, right.  Or maybe you don't deserve it."  They keep sniping at each other and Jesse gets more and more angry.  Then poor Reggie makes the mistake of saying something and Jesse beats him, really badly.  It's pretty awful.  An untold amount of time later, as Tulip gets ready to leave for another Dani-job, Jesse absently tells her that he's going back to Annville: his dad's church belongs to him and he's going to be a preacher.  Tulip: "Good luck with that."

Now, New Orleans.  Cassidy makes his way into Viktor's house, noting all the henchmen still frozen into position after Jesse's Voice.  He finds Jesse up in Viktor's bedroom, staring listlessly at the photograph of Tulip and Viktor's wedding day.  Cassidy blathers on pointlessly for a while.  Jesse interrupts him to ask why he should ever trust the vampire again after all the lying he's been doing, probably since the casino.  Cassidy:  "Ah, you're right.  I'm a right bastard ... a greedy, selfish, destructive, jealous ... but you see, that's the difference between me 'n you.  If some muppet had their hands on my girl, and I'm not ashamed to admit it, I don't think I'd be very restrained at all ..."  Jesse's all, if I kill him, it'll be over between me and her.  Cassidy, sneakily, passive-aggressively, is all, nah, Jesse and Tulip - that'll never change.  Because, you see, he's hoping to have goaded his friend into it - to be there to scoop Tulip up when she leaves Jesse.

After Cassidy has left, Jesse goes back down to the torture room and sharpens an axe.  Viktor has had about enough of hanging from that harness and he says that the reason Tulip married him was because Jesse was an asshole to her and Viktor was nice.  Jesse grimaces and takes a swing with that axe.

Back at Dennis's, Tulip and Cassidy wait for Jesse to come back.  When Jesse comes in, he goes straight to the fridge and gets a beer.  Tulip:  what did you do?  Jesse: I took him down.  Tulip starts to freak out.  Jesse: What? What's going on?  Why's everyone so - I took him down.  Tulip:  Took him down how?  Jesse: I cut his harness off from the ceiling - I didn't kill him - got those divorce papers instead.  As Tulip throws herself into Jesse's arms, Cassidy is all, "Oh thank god.  I'll go tell the little girl that her daddy is still alive."  Jesse whispers to Tulip, "I'm so bad for you."  She whispers back, "We're bad for each other."

A few years back.  Tulip and Viktor, married, are playing Monopoly in their bedroom.  Their rapport is pretty cute but when he tells her he loves her, she can only say thank you.  When he gets called away for a bit of business (possibly in the torture room), she gets a phone call.  It's Dani and she's found Carlos.  By the time Viktor returns to the bedroom, the Monopoly board has been upended and Tulip and all her stuff are gone.  Viktor is sad.

Now, New Orleans.  That night, Ellie is unsurprisingly having trouble sleeping.  She asks her dad to read to her and Viktor is happy to do so.  They are interrupted before too long by the sound of a fusillade of gunfire downstairs.  Viktor tells the little girl to hide in the closet.  The bedroom door explodes into splinters because, of course, the Saint of Killers has tracked Jesse's Voice.  He blows Viktor away with one shot when Viktor won't tell him where Jesse is.  Then, hearing a whimper from the closet, the Saint trains his gun on Ellie.  She's a cool customer, however, and she says, "The preacher?  I know where he is."

Previously on Preacher / next time on Preacher

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Preacher recap "Viktor" S2E4 7/10/17

After relieving Tulip of her gun, Viktor's goons take her to his mansion.  They leave her to wait in Viktor's.  From behind closed doors come three men's voices: two talking, one screaming.  Viktor comes out of the screaming room (he was NOT the one screaming) and just stares at Tulip: "So, what are we going to do with you?"  She can't meet his eyes and is struggling not to burst into tears.  Meanwhile, Jesse has made his way to Dennis's place where he catches Cassidy up on his first night's search for God adventures, and Cassidy too-subtly tries to get Jesse worried that Tulip is gone.  Jesse's all, eh, we're in a fight, it's not unlike her to disappear.  He goes to take a nap while Cassidy frets.

Also meanwhile, down in Hell, the cellblock software running the inmates' individual hell scenarios is glitching.  Everyone comes out of their cells and mills about in the corridor.  [I feel like I should be able to pick out various denizens: there's Tyler, an 80s frat boy, a gypsy woman (whom Eugene defends when the fratboy harasses her), a woman in cat-eye glasses and pearls, a flapper ... and Hitler, of course.  Hitler is quite pleasant, actually, sticking up for Eugene when the fratboy comes for him, and then inviting the boy into his cell when Eugene gets locked out of his own.  Curious to see what Hitler's worst memory might be, Eugene goes in: Munich 1919, Hitler is having lunch with a pretty lady friend in a genteel cafe, where she encourages him to show his paintings to a potential patron and, when a yarmulke-wearing man bumps Hitler's chair, the future Fuhrer apologizes first, saying it must have been his fault.  The software glitch shuts the memory scenario down before things progress, leaving Eugene all, WTF?  That's your worst memory?  You're awfully nice for fucking Hitler!

Viktor's house.  Now Tulip is actually in tears.  Viktor hands her a tissue and tells her to stop crying because that isn't going to fix things.  He says, "I brought you in, trusted you, made you a part of my family.  And in return you made a fool out of me."  He tells her that she better think of an explanation better than "I'm sorry" because that won't fix things either, suggesting that she walk around the house and get a grip on how things stand.  (Meanwhile, Cassidy is incessantly texting her: RU OK?)

Jesse and Cassidy.  After watching a post-Hurricane Katrina infomercial, Jesse and Cassidy recognize one of the actors as the guy who played Fake God back in the church at Annville.  They decide their best/only lead is to track him down.  Also, Cassidy again tries to get Jesse interested in where Tulip might be but Jesse again shrugs it off, saying that since they're in a fight, she's off bein' mad at him - shoppin', shopliftin', cheatin' at cards.

Hell.  The Hell cellblock administrator calls in a tech who says the repair will take a while, maybe a full reset.  She orders Eugene out of his cell (and the tech gives him a funny look when he goes, like maybe this glitch is happening for a reason) and takes him to her office.  She gets a phone call, which on second viewing I realize is about the Saint of Killers: "[her side of the call] What do you mean he's gone?  How could that happen?  Who let him out?  Well, someone better find him or we'll have to answer to You-Know-Who."  After she hangs up, she tells Eugene that she has reviewed his hell scenario and says that he seems like a nice, sweet, kind, loyal boy - and that Hell has no place for that sort of behavior:  "This is Hell.  Act accordingly.  We will be watching."  If he keeps it up, she'll put him in the Hole; the enormous guard pries up a manhole cover in the floor - entrance to the Hole - and Eugene cringes at the screams and wails and growls wafting up out of it.  In the meantime, she'll put him in Holding with the rest of his cellblock.

Viktor's house.  Tulip walks around, trying to talk with goons playing poker, goons and cooks in the kitchen, Viktor's young daughter even, and they all give her the cold shoulder.  The little girl even spits at her and says she hopes her father kills her.  Tulip seems stricken.  But she is still resourceful, trying to break into a gun safe.  One of Viktor's goons catches her, smirking that they changed the combination after she left, so it just takes her three or four punches to knock him out and grab his gun instead.  Thus armed, Tulip heads upstairs.  She finds Viktor in his bedroom and gets the drop on him.  But before she can do whatever she's intending to do, the torturer from downstairs sneaks up behind her and knocks her down.  The torturer offers to take care of things but Viktor waves him off, saying he'll handle Tulip.  Lying on the floor, she can just shake her head, nose streaming blood.

Jesse and Cassidy.  The boys track down the Fake God actor to his agent and, when Cassidy says that they're casting for a Game of Thrones recurring part (possibly series regular), the guy plays right into their hands.  Of course, the agent doesn't actually know where the actor is - he disappeared several weeks ago after the last gig he booked, "an out-of-town understudy part," you know, GOD - but he does give them a copy of the guy's audition tape.  When they watch it, the most notable part about it is that at the end, after the off-camera people tell him he is hired, they shoot him dead.  Cassidy's a little shocked but Jesse's all, well, guess he had to die for them to get him to Heaven.  There's a glimpse of the shooter's hand in the frame and Jesse homes right in on that, trying to figure out how to identify the shooter from just that shot.

Hell.  In Holding, Hitler continues to be friendly and nice to Eugene, baffling the boy.  But then the fratboy gets in Hitler's face and knocks him down, beating him.  Eugene watches in horror as the rest of the group joins him, stomping Hitler bloody as he cowers on the floor.  Eugene stands up and shouts at everyone to stop.  Then he takes a quick look at the closed-circuit camera in the corner of the room, and remembers that the administrator said she was watching, and then Eugene joins him, stomping and kicking and beating the one person who has been kind to him in Hell.

Jesse and Cassidy.  Cassidy finally gets through to Jesse that Tulip might be in trouble.  The vampire is all, but she made me promise not to tell.  Jesse grabs him by the shirt: where is she?!?

Viktor's house.  Jesse wastes no time using the Voice, gaining entrance to the mansion easily.  The torturer catches him unawares but when Jesse regains consciousness, a pretty epic smackdown between the two of them gets underway.  Jesse can't use the Voice on the torturer because the guy is wearing earbuds (blasting "Uptown Girl" by Billy Joel of all ridiculous songs).  Their fight goes on much longer than one might think - particularly since one might think it would be fairly easy for those earbuds to be dislodged or yanked out - but Jesse finally prevails, impaling the other guy.  Just before he croaks, the torturer gasps out that Tulip is in the bedroom.

Jesse marches upstairs and kicks in Viktor's bedroom door.  Viktor and Tulip are sitting (innocently, all clothed) on the bed but Jesse grabs Viktor around the neck, dragging him to the floor and choking him.  Tulip's all, Jesse, stop! Stop!  Nothing is getting through, however, so she steels herself and admits, "Jesse, you can't kill him.  He's my husband."  And Jesse, not loosening his grip much at all, gives her some SERIOUS side-eye at that.

Road into New Orleans.  All that Voice-shouting has caught someone's attention.  The Saint of Killers is closing in.

Previously on Preacher / next time on Preacher

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Preacher recap "Damsels" S2E3 7/3/17

Oh, hey!  There's Eugene!  He's riding a bike and his face isn't all fucked up and he goes to his best friend Tracy's house.  She's all sad about her boyfriend cheating on her and she's decided to kill herself.  Eugene, stricken, tries to talk her out of it and almost succeeds, except he takes advantage of what he thinks is a Moment and gives her a little kiss.  She recoils in disgust and grabs that shotgun.  Eugene lunges for it just as she pulls the trigger: as we know, the shot takes the top of her head off but doesn't quite kill her.  As Tracy's mom pounds on the locked door, Eugene TRIES TO SCOOP THE BRAINS BACK INTO TRACY'S HEAD.  Oh uck.  He panics, grabbing up the gun his own self and - bang! - off-screen, but we know how that turned out.  And then it all happens again.  And again.  Eugene is, of course, in Hell.  On the plus side, we now know that he didn't shoot Tracy, like everyone thought in S1.  Then there's a glitch in the Hell-system and the loop stops, leaving Eugene alone in a drab, gray cell.

Jesse, Tulip and Cassidy arrive in New Orleans.  [Why does it bother me so much that Tulip always wears her sunglasses down on the end of her nose?]  Making their way down Bourbon Street, Jesse is determined to find God.  The first time he goes into a bar and says they're looking for God, they get taken down the hall and out the back and into a downstairs dungeon for some shady looking sex with a dude in a dog costume.  Oops.  Not quite.  They go back to Bourbon Street and while Jesse is as yet undeterred, Tulip, frazzled by being in Victor's town, has had enough.  She takes off to find them a place to stay.  Cassidy waffles a bit but then follows her, leaving Jesse to fend for himself among the jazz dives, beer bars and neon discos.

[Something else that bothers me: I know New Orleans is all about go-cups, and I fully support mobile drinking, but I find it horrifying the amount of plastic that must be thrown in the trash on a daily basis.]

Apparently Cassidy also knows someone in New Orleans, taking Tulip to an amazing, slowly rotting Victorian mansion occupied by one Dennis.  Cassidy speaks highly of him but grumpy Dennis, who seems to speak only French - which neither Cassidy nor Tulip speak - grudgingly lets them in.  [I don't speak French either but I have the sneaking suspicion that this guy isn't actually Dennis?  I think maybe he said "Dennis is not here" - any French-speakers out there?]  Cassidy finds Tulip pacing and asks her what's wrong.  She tells the vampire that she screwed Victor and now she's here in [Victor's] backyard.  She doesn't want to tell Jesse so Cassidy volunteers to help.  She rebuffs him and he snaps at her a little, reminding her of how much he has actually helped and insisting that she tell him the truth.

Finally, after asking countless people if they've seen God, Jesse finds a bartender who tells him to go talk to the singer at a jazz club.  He does, after listening to her torch song and then watching her get the better of a doofus who thinks he can pick her up.  When Jesse asks her about God, she gets squirrelly and tries to ditch him, but he sees her getting snatched up by white-clad masked men driving a van.  Jesse runs outside, commands the van-driver to STOP, using the Genesis voice (and thus sending up a flare for the Saint of Killers, who does not make an appearance this episode but who must be on his way now).  The van stops, Jesse and the white-clad men fight.  He manages to subdue them, helping the chanteuse out of the van.

She takes him home, where she has a baby waiting.  While she packs a suitcase, Jesse asks her about God.  She is nervous, saying that those men were part of a super-secret crypto-religous fascist organization with designs on world domination, which she learned from a former bar patron who told her one night that God is missing, that this group was after him and then, days later, said bar patron washed up in the swamp, dead.  She presses Jesse about how he got the van to stop and he reluctantly gives her an example of the Genesis voice (flare #2).  She's like, oh, yikes.  Jesse puts her in a cab to the airport and she tells him good luck with his God search.

Jesse is feeling pretty good about rescuing a damsel in distress until he sees a spooky poster for some place called "Angelville" that freaks him out for a bit.  He goes into a bit of a trance until awoken by a phone call from Tulip.  She's babbling on the phone and Jesse knows something is wrong.  But she still can't bring herself to tell him what's going on and they hang up on each other.  Frustrated, Tulip grabs her jacket and tells Cassidy that she's going out for some smokes.

Back in Hell:  Eugene's cell door opens.  He walks out into a deserted corridor, empty except for a dude who looks like Hitler.  Because, Hell.

While Jesse finds himself enjoying the music at yet another jazz club, we learn that the lounge singer is more than meets the eye.  She climbs into the white-clad dudes' van, pulling off her blonde wig.  The bartender who sent Jesse to her in the first place asks for an update and she confirms that whatever it is the preacher has, it's for real.  It's time to send it up the chain of command.  In an office somewhere, a file with Jesse's name on it lands on the desk of a one-eyed dude named Herr K. Starr (there is also a file entitled "Pig" and I'm super-curious about that).

Finally, Tulip makes her way to a laundromat.  She gets change and goes to the cigarette machine.  As she feeds coins into the machine, the other laundromat patrons skedaddle when a whole bunch of black-coated men file in and order them out.  One of these guys has a walkie-talkie and he calls Victor, saying "We got her."  Tulip turns to face them calmly.

Previously on Preacher / next time on Preacher