Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Preacher recap S2E9 "Puzzle Piece" 8/14/17

Herr Starr's office is readied for him, the file marked "Jesse Custer" placed in his in-box.

We get a flashback to when Jesse's dad was shot in front of him and then it's straight to now in New Orleans, Jesse struggling with that remembrance.  He's also struggling with his search for God and has been reduced to checking on "sightings of God" videos on YouTube.  Like, faces on toast and whatnot.  Cassidy gives him a little bit of a hard time as he heats up some frozen blood on the stove.  He remarks that Dennis is feeling better, didn't need Jesse's help after all, but Jesse isn't really listening.  Tulip straggles in, bruises from another round at the Hurt Locker spreading up her chest, a big wad of cash in her hand.  She is ragged and she shrieks at Jesse when he suggests that she get some sleep.  So he uses the Voice on her - "SLEEP" - and she collapses into his arms.  "She was tired," says Jesse when Cassidy raises an eyebrow.

Meanwhile, the Grail teams is observing on CCTV.  Herr Starr is bored - "What kind of a world is it when a woman obeying a man is seen as a superpower?" - and late for a date, so he tells his team ("Jenny" and her pudgy partner) to just kill them all.  So a white-suited strike team is sent in, wearing night vision goggles and ear protection.  The insertion is cool, filmed first-person POV via the team member's cameras (like Aliens), and there's no sound other than what comes over their comm system.  They get into the apartment and Cassidy immediately attacks them.  While the vampire keeps five or so of them busy, the last team member searches the apartment, shooting Dennis in bed before tangling with Jesse.  There are fisticuffs until Jesse is able to rip the guy's ear protection off.  The preacher uses the Voice to tell the guy to shoot his remaining friends.  But then, just as Jesse is about to question the last team member, Dennis tackles him and bites his throat out.  Guess that answers that.

On Herr Starr's creepy date (with the governor's daughter, no less), he admits to some ennui with his current situation.  She tries to connect with him, saying that she too had some dissatisfaction, like being a puzzle with a missing piece.  But when she relays the cliche that was her missing puzzle piece, Starr is unimpressed.  He instructs her to stand up, take her top off and tuck a stick of butter under her chin.  (For some reason, she does all this without seeming too discomfited.)  Thankfully, before this date can go any further, Starr gets a message about the strike team's failure against the preacher.  He leaves, the governor's daughter still standing there.

At Starr's office, a tarp is laid out and Starr prepares to shoot "Jenny" (whose name is Featherstone) and her partner Hoover.  His gun jams though so Featherstone offers to fix the gun for him, which she does, while offering an alternative scenario to getting at Jesse.  She thinks they should activate Brad.  Starr is intrigued by this.  He also has an ongoing rape fantasy so Featherstone says she'll get Brad going while Hoover sets up the fantasy scenario.  "One of those no-means-yes things."  Yuck.  Starr is amenable but says he's going to leave the tarp out in case they fail again.

Back at the apartment, Tulip, under the Voice's command, slept through the attack last night so when she gets up in the morning, she is surprised to find six bodies and a bunch of police in the kitchen.  Jesse has commandeered the police using the Voice to try to find out who the team was and also to set up protection. "YOU WORK FOR ME NOW."

Featherstone and Hoover are back in the apartment down the hall.  She calls Starr to report that Brad is in transit and to suggest that Starr might like multiple prostitutes.  He concurs and then hangs up the phone to watch the CCTV footage, focusing on Jesse exclaiming that God is missing and without God, there's no structure.  Starr is intrigued where he wasn't before and starts paging through Jesse's file.

Dennis pours a mug of warm blood for Cassidy, who was fairly severely wounded in the fight against the strike team.  When Dennis inadvertently burns himself in the sunlight coming through the window, Cassidy comforts him and give his son some blood to drink as well, cautioning that this is the only time he's to drink human blood.  (What are the chances that Dennis, as a baby vampire, will heed that warning?)  Jesse comes in and asks Cassidy why he didn't tell him he'd turned Dennis.  Cassidy asks if Jesse would have been cool with that and Jesse is all, yes, of course.  Jesse says that the men in white will be back, probably tonight, so they've got to get ready.  Cassidy assures him that despite only having half an intestine and no liver currently, he'll be good to go.  But he's not who Jesse should be worried about.

So Jesse takes the hint and goes to talk to Tulip.  She does seem better for having gotten some sleep, although she is sad that he used the Voice on her.  But what seems to make her better than anything else, Jesse reminds her, is getting into a fight.  And since he thinks the men in white are coming back, he's got a fight for her.  She's like, okay, but I need a gun.  And where does she go to get said gun?  Right down the hall to "Jenny's" apartment.  While Hoover, who is on the phone with the hooker service, hides in the bathroom, Featherstone jams the Jenny wig on quickly and answers the door.  She gives Tulip her gun and says to let her know if she needs help.  When Tulip is gone, Hoover's all, now she's armed.  Featherstone: "A gun's not going to stop Brad."

As night falls, Jesse starts to get anxious.  The cleaner that Jesse had asked the cops to bring in has showed up to work on the kitchen; the cops are in their perimeter positions, checking in; Cassidy is pounding blood to speed up the healing.  And Dennis has picked right this moment to crank up the old timey French music and dance around his room.  No one can hear anything over the music and the cleaner is starting to look a little squirrelly.  Outside, a huge, half-naked man in a mask - Brad? is that you? - has approached one of the cops.  As the music swells, shouts of "Officer down!" as the other cops converge.  Jesse's all, "They're here! Don't shoot - I need one alive!" and rushes out of the apartment.  He's but halfway down the stairs when he hears a shot from behind him in the apartment.
When he goes back inside, Tulip has shot the cleaner.  She thought he had a gun (spray bottle of cleaning fluid).  Oops.  And outside, the cops have determined that the naked man in the mask was just a drunk.  They call an ambulance and try to regroup.

That'll be tough because Brad is actually B.R.A.D.: a Battle-ready Remote-operated Aerial Drone.  Yeah, a gun's not going to stop B.R.A.D.

As the drone approaches New Orleans, the prostitutes show up at Starr's office.  But Hoover has made a mistake and hired three men, not three women.  But these guys are professionals and have their instructions: "No means yes."  So Starr resignedly gets bent over his desk.  But as all that is going on, he catches sight of the Jesse Custer file and exclaims, "The missing puzzle piece!"  When it is over, he calls Featherstone and tells her to call the drone off.  It's close but she manages to reroute it - sending it to Harry Connick, Jr.'s house instead.  Heh.

ONE WEEK LATER.  Everyone is looking a little bedraggled since that strike that Jesse was sure of still hasn't showed up.  He releases his team of cops from their duty, instructing them to forget any of this ever happened.  Then he goes to a bar.  Which is where Starr finds him.  The German puts down a drink and tells Jesse that he came alone.  He introduces himself and says that he's heard Jesse has been looking for God.  "Perhaps I can help."

Previously on Preacher / next time on Preacher

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Preacher recap "Holes" S2E8 8/7/17

In which Cassidy becomes the most interesting character on this show.

Hell.  Eugene is determined to prove that he is not a nice guy because, as y'all might remember, nice guys finish last (and get punished) in Hell.  He's still in that holding cell with the rest of them.  Other interesting tidbits from Hell:  all the candy bars in vending machines are Zagnuts and toilet paper is duct tape.  Fun!  As it turns out, the reason the individual cell mechanisms are glitching is because the system is overloading due to someone being in Hell who isn't meant to be there.  The commandant is determined to find out who it is.  Because he still feels so guilty for what happened to Tracy, Eugene doesn't admit that it's him.  Hitler isn't buying his act, though, and after Eugene gets tossed in the Pit  for a while (where his personal hell is exacerbated to include Tracy, alive, but giving Jesse Custer a handjob while Eugene watches), Hitler tells him that he wants to help Eugene escape.

1946.  Daylight.  A not-yet vampiric Cassidy croons an Irish lullaby to his newborn son Dennis.

Now.  Dennis's insides appear to be liquefying.  Cassidy tries to help his dying son but all Dennis wants is for his father to turn him into a vampire, thus saving him.  Cassidy won't do it.  He goes into the kitchen and finds Tulip there, trying to stay awake so she won't have nightmares about the Saint of Killers.  She tries to get him to go out with her but he thinks he should stay with Dennis.  And Jesse is asleep, needing rest since he's full-on searching for God in the morning.  Tulip shrugs and then sneaks out, ostensibly back to the Hurt Locker.

In the morning, as Jesse dresses for his day, we see that Dennis's apartment has been bugged: the fake lounge singer lady and her pudgy partner - Grail operatives - have set up down the hall, doing surveillance until Herr Starr joins them.  Back in Dennis's apartment, just before Jesse heads out, Cassidy asks him if he might be willing to use the Genesis Voice on Dennis.  Jesse is taken aback and says no, he doesn't think that would work, plus he doesn't think that's what it's for.  To his credit, Cassidy just nods - and doesn't retort that maybe taking down a whole household of New Orleans gangsters because he's jealous over his girlfriend's husband isn't really what Genesis is for either.  (I'm not sure I would have had such restraint.)  Jesse runs into Tulip coming in as he is going out.  She is in rough shape, a shadow of her former self, but the two of them just can't seem to communicate with each other.  Jesse tells her that he's off to a Best Buy knockoff, taking the shooting fake God video with him to see if the techs can zoom in on the gun's serial numbers.  Tulip thinks for a moment and then goes with him.

At the "Dork Docs" counter, the guys take the DVD and start to see what they can do.  Tulip has wandered off and Jesse finds her purchasing a new fridge - to replace the one in Dennis's apartment that was plugged by the Saint's bullet.  While Jesse stays to wait for his video, she returns to the apartment to accept for the fridge delivery.  Cassidy is tending to Dennis, who is getting worse and worse.  He asks Tulip what she thinks about his being a vampire, the living forever bit.  She shrugs, saying that the whole not-dying thing is pretty handy.  Cassidy runs through the counterarguments: no more sunlight, boredom, outliving everyone you ever cared for.  Tulip: "Yep. That sucks."  Later, as Cassidy cleans Dennis up, his son pleads, in English, "Papa.  Papa, please."  Cassidy hangs his head.

Back at the tech counter, the dork docs confirm that there's no way the serial numbers can be read: they think Jesse is the shooter and doesn't want to be identified.  He explains that he does, in fact, want to identify the shooter so they try some other techniques.  But no, there's nothing.  Jesse gets angry and shouts that he's just trying to find God!  And the dorks are all, whoa, dude, chill out.  Frustrated, Jesse stomps off and the dorks put the DVD in the shredder.  As the disk goes down, we see "PROPERTY OF GRAIL INDUSTRIES" stamped into the plastic.  Too bad Jesse didn't notice that.

In the apartment, Tulip pushes the new refrigerator to one side and looks through the bullet hole in the wall.  Bothered by the hole, she patches it and plasters over the patch.  Then she goes into the next apartment and patches those holes.  When she goes to the apartment at the end of the hall, she is surprised to find the door locked.  That's the Grail operatives' apartment, you see, and they have to scurry to hide their equipment before "Jenny," a new tenant who is on the run from her abusive ex, opens the door.  "Jenny" lets Tulip in.  Tulip patches the bullet hole.  They talk a little and then, just as she's leaving, Tulip asks if she's ever strapped on a bullet-proof vest and gotten shot in the chest.  "Jenny" is all, "I can't say that I have ... it sounds fun."  Tulip:  "It is! We should go sometime."

Meanwhile, Cassidy is on the phone with "Seamus."  Seems like this Seamus is another vampire but it's never said.  Cassidy tells Seamus that he has a son who is dying.  Seamus asks what he's like, what his prevailing temperament is.  When Cassidy isn't that forthcoming (because he doesn't know), Seamus says, "Don't do it.  Let him die."  Cassidy hangs up the phone and goes into Dennis's bedroom.  He walks slowly towards the bed, singing that lullaby.  Dennis opens his eyes, gasping for breath.  Cassidy stares at his dying son, serious, intense, more than a little sinister.  Is he going to save Dennis or is he going to put him out of his misery?  That appears to be the question.

Previously on Preacher / next time on Preacher

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Preacher recap "Pig" S2E7 7/31/17

Vietnam.  Nighttime.  In a village.  An adorable and very fat pig snuffles around.  In a house, a couple eats dinner.  The wife looks out the window and screams.  In the morning, a one-eyed man in a white suit has arrived in Vietnam.  (Remember the first time we saw him?  His name is Herr Starr and on his desk were several files, one labeled "Jesse Custer" and one labeled "Pig.")  Starr walks to the center of the village where a huge crowd is gathered.  Some people are on their knees, praying; American tourists are taking cellphone videos.  Why?  That adorable and very fat pig is levitating, floating a couple of feet off the ground.

New Orleans.  As the night bleeds into morning, two carts make the rounds in the French Quarter: one is labeled DRUNK and one is labeled DEAD.  The drivers stop whenever they see a body lying on the ground.  They zap the body with a cattle prod.  If the body flinches and whimpers, it gets tossed onto DRUNK.  If not, it gets tossed onto DEAD.  Meanwhile, Jesse, Tulip and Cassidy (and Dennis, who is coughing and bitching en Francais per usual) have just finished checking out THE LAST JAZZ CLUB IN NEW ORLEANS (according to the title card).  They still haven't found God and Jesse is getting discouraged.  He glumly stares at a crazy person on the corner, shouting about the end of the world.  But Cassidy is all, there is more to do in this city!

Cassidy, by the way, is wearing a very excellent corgi t-shirt.

So, they go to The Hurt Locker, a club Cassidy knows about where you wear a bullet-proof vest and rednecks shoot you and if you can get back up after it, you win a lot of money.  Tulip, Cassidy and Jesse run a clever (and funny) little scam, fleecing all the rednecks and drinking all their booze.  Tulip appears to be self-medicating.  She isn't sleeping - having horrible nightmares about the Saint of Killers - and drinks to keep the PTSD away.  She and Jesse snipe at each other for a while but then get past it and go home, leaving Cassidy behind.  Dennis is trying to talk to him but Cassidy doesn't understand a word.  A plot device dude at the bar/French professor translates: Dennis is dying and wants Cassidy to save him.  As in, Dennis wants his vampire father to make him into a vampire to save his life.  Cassidy is horrified and refuses and Dennis sulks and continues to die by inches.  Later that night, Cassidy is passed out after an entire bottle of Armagnac and when the cattle prod doesn't produce a response (vampire = no vital signs), he gets dumped on the DEAD cart and locked in a morgue drawer.  "Shite.  Not again." - when he finally wakes up.

Vietnam.  Starr figures out what he's going to do to deal with this miraculous pig.

2004.  We get to see how Starr auditioned for his current position.  He is a horrible person who is fascinating and entertaining to watch without being at all an attractive (in all senses of the word) character.  Self-serving, efficient, ruthless.  These scenes are funny - a series of varied tests and tasks - but I'm not going to recap them.  Suffice it to say, Starr is perfectly suited for this job: he works for the Samson division of the Grail, which division cleanses the earth of false prophets so that when the true descendant of Jesus Christ (who is living, hidden away and protected by Grail men with machine guns) is revealed after the end of the world, there will be no competition.

New Orleans.  In the morning, Tulip is struggling with her dealings with the Saint.  She does point out that Jesse was late and the Saint almost killed her - would have killed her had Cassidy not stepped in.  Jesse (with a bit of a pout) says that he did have his hands full himself but he did get back and stopped it.  Tulip:  Don't you feel it?  That something's not right?  But Jesse can't.  She's been touched by the Saint and damaged somehow; Jesse gave up 1% of his soul and now he's damaged too.  And this damage is keeping the two of them from connecting with each other.

Jesse goes out and find that crazy end-of-the-worlder and talks with him for a while.  I'm not sure why we're spending so much time with this random dude - do you suppose he turns out to be God in a couple of episodes?  By the end of the conversation, Jesse works up enough courage to ask the guy if giving up even a tiny part of your soul to help someone is a good thing to do.  The guy is pretty much, NOPE.  Meanwhile, Tulip is searching for a way to get back to herself.  She goes back to the Hurt Locker, tells the rednecks that she ripped them all off.  And then she asks them who has the balls to earn their money back.  She straps on a bulletproof vest and the first shot sends her flying.  The rednecks gleefully count out the seconds - and are stunned into silence when she gets back on her feet in six seconds.  "Again," she says, a tiny glimmer coming back into her eyes.

Vietnam.  Starr takes a phone call, accepting his next assignment: New Orleans and Jesse Custer.  He's solved the floating pig problem, you see, by poisoning the village well and killing not only the adorable pig but also all the villagers.  Yeesh.

Previously on Preacher / next time on Preacher