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
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