Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Preacher recap "South Will Rise Again" S1E5 6/26/16

Ratwater.  We start back with the Cowboy, back in the day, slowly riding into the town of Ratwater to get medicine for his sick daughter.  The music is clanging and intense.  The town is horrible.  The apothecary will have the medicine for him in the morning so the Cowboy bides his time in the saloon where there are whores, bar fights, disreputable men turning in scalps for money, women getting raped in backrooms.  The Cowboy sits by himself, watching the people around him.  In the morning, he gets the medicine and starts back towards his home.  He passes the folks in the wagon who fed him dinner a couple episodes ago and the little boy waves at him.  Some time later, he stops and rides back to Ratwater, concerned about the fate of that settler family.  He gets the shit kicked out of him for really no reason, and his horse killed, and when he finally gets back home, his wife and daughter are dead and being picked over by crows.  Yikes.

Annville.  Sheriff Root hears some noise out in the backyard.  It doesn't appear to be anything but when he goes back inside, Eugene shows him that someone has snuck into his bedroom and spray-painted "FINISH THE JOB" with an arrow pointing towards a shotgun leaning against the wall.  The sheriff is all, "You went to Tracy's, didn't you?" and his son apologizes.  We still don't know why Eugene tried to kill himself but it apparently has something to do with Tracy (the comatose girl) and folks in town are not happy about it.

In the morning, Jesse and Emily are at the diner, figuring out church finances.  A lot of townsfolk are impressed with Jesse and want to talk to him, asking him about scripture, asking for advice.  Emily is all, Jesse, this isn't you.  He's smug about it, saying that no, it isn't him - it's God.  And he leaps into it, using the Voice indiscriminately and without really thinking about the consequences, just telling people what he thinks they should do.  I'm sure this will go well for him.

Also in the morning, over at her drunk uncle's house, Tulip peppers Cassidy with questions about his being a vampire which helps us establish the vampire rules for this universe: no fangs, doesn't turn into a bat, won't sleep in a coffin if he can help it, doesn't crave human blood but it helps him heal - although he'd really prefer single malt scotch, sunlight is bad but he can go out if he's covered up, silver bullets are for werewolves and crosses are a 2,000 year old symbol of hypocrisy.  She tries to kick him out and he says that he's fallen for her, after that kiss.  Tulip retorts that she's got a boyfriend and she's just waiting for him to get his act together so they can get out of Annville and take care of Carlos.  Cassidy is sympathetic and says that after all the work she did to track this Carlos down, and the boyfriend still isn't on board - maybe he isn't the man she thought he was.  Also, could she get him some drugs - opiates are his favorite.

As the heaven phone rings and rings, the two angels hide in the bathroom, practicing what they're going to say when they answer.  They have to get it right or the folks upstairs will come down hard on them.  They practice again and the phone rings on and on.

Eugene makes an omelette for his dad but the sheriff is upset, throwing the plate against the wall and shouting that maybe his son should just finish the goddamn job.  Poor Eugene looks sadly at his distraught dad and then starts to clean up the mess.

Tulip interrupts Jesse as he's holding forth in front of his parishioners in the diner and tells a story about how the old Jesse once shot a komodo dragon in the head because some scumbag was checking out her ass.  Jesse is insufferable as he says that he's changed and she can too.  Eugene comes to the diner - the waitress won't let him come inside - and asks Jesse if he can help his dad who is so upset because everyone in town hates him [Eugene]: "My dad shouldn't be the one suffering for my sins." He asks if Jesse could maybe pray with his dad or something and Jesse, still reveling in the power of the Voice, says they'll think of something.  What he thinks of: bringing Eugene to Tracy's house.  Tracy's mom FREAKS OUT, attacking Jesse's truck with a baseball bat and screaming that Eugene is a murderer.  Jesse Voices her to drop the bat and step away from the truck.  He has Eugene get out of the truck and then Voices Tracy's mom to "forgive him."  Looking a little dazed, she holds out her arms and gives an astonished Eugene a hug.  Jesse looks terribly pleased with himself.

There are a couple of domestic scenes with Donny and his wife, Betsy, first at home and then at lunch at work.  It's clear that they care about each other and the violent sex stuff is consensual.  Donny goes to work and is amazed to learn that Odin Quincannon (1) went to church and (2) is now acting strangely, agreeing to meet with the Green Acres people and generally being cheerful.  Donny freaks out and asks his boss what the preacher said to him.  Quincannon:  "To serve God.  Which I'm going to do, unless you have some other questions you want to shout at me."  So at lunch with Betsy, Donny is completely freaking out and is all, the preacher has powers.  He explains what Jesse did to him in the gas station bathroom.  Betsy comforts him, saying that sooner or later Donny's moment will come and the preacher will get what he deserves.

The angels have practiced their story and gotten up their nerve to answer the Heaven phone.  But just as they reach for it, it stops ringing.  Oops.

That night, Tulip robs a pharmacy to get Cassidy his drugs and then finds him exiting a strip club with the excellent sign: "1000s of beautiful girls and three fat ones."  She gives him the drugs and he's all, "Lassie, that's so sweet.  Are we goin' steady now?"  Tulip says, "Even better - we're in love" and then fucks him in the back of the car.  That doesn't seem quite in character but maybe sometimes a girl just has an itch she needs to scratch.

Sheriff Root brings the angels to the diner where Jesse is yet again Voice-ing the townsfolks.  The angels are all, you are in possession of an enormous power, you've been using it a lot and it's not to be used.  Jesse's all but God gave me this and the angels shake their heads, saying "No, no, no - what's inside of you, it isn't God."

Quincannon and Miles the mayor meet with four Green Acres executives.  Quincannon is charming and upbeat, right up until the point where he picks up a shotgun and shoots each one of them point-blank in the chest.  Miles stands there, gawking, unable to believe what he just saw.  Quincannon: "Yup, we grow or we die, Miles.  We grow or we die."  Miles: *...*

Previously on Preacher / next time on Preacher

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Preacher recap "Monster Swamp" S1E4 6/19/16

Here's a very horror movie-esque start to this episode: an underwear-clad girl runs down a deserted street, and then into the woods, looking terrified back over her shoulder.  She runs and runs, passing another underwearing girl in a field.  Men with guns chase them.  They fire and the second girl falls.  The first girl manages to get past, finally pausing for breath in a clearing.  One of the men finds her.  They know each other: she's one of the whores from the local brothel and he's one of the Quincannon Meat and Power douchebags.  He raises his gun and shoots her - it's a paintball game, as it turns out.  She squeals at the sting and takes a few steps back ... and then falls shrieking into a sinkhole.  Oops.

Flashback:  A young Jesse sets up the church for his preacher father.  Church was considerably better attended in those days.

Here and now:  Cassidy tries to tell Jesse about the two weird dudes/angels who are in town to try to pull the Voice out of the preacher.  In typical Cassidy fashion, his story is nigh unintelligible, not only because of that accent that I struggle with so much.  Jesse doesn't believe him or pay much attention, especially once Cassidy starts going on about androids and government clones.  Jesse has things to do and he tells Cassidy to fix the damn A/C and drives off.  Also, it was on the second watching that I realized that in the flood of words coming out of Cassidy's mouth, he admitted to smoking attic insulation.  Which is just amazing.

Out in that clearing, the sheriff's men pull the dead girl out of the sinkhole.  All the whores are there, crying, and all of the QM&P men are there too.  Odin Quincannon makes a speech, basically telling the boys to watch the roughhousing and the girls to watch where they're walking at night.  And that's it.  Tulip is there too, however, and she's bullshit at the lack of pity or responsibility for the girl's death.

Jesse swings by Emily's house and convinces her that they should do a church raffle with a big flatscreen t.v. to increase attendance.  She thinks that's a bad idea, too expensive, but he insists and talks her into picking up the t.v., playing - possibly unknowingly - on her feelings for him.  He promises her that after this Sunday, people will be coming to church in droves.

Flashback:  Jesse's dad catches him smoking cigarettes with a preteen Tulip.  He beats his son with a belt while the other kids watch.

Cassidy goes to the angels' motel room and skilfully manipulates them into giving him more information about this whole Voice situation, and what they plan to do about it, like cutting it out with the chainsaw or drawing it out with "Wynken Blynken and Nod" lullaby.  I love Cassidy: "Ah, the song.  I think he'd prefer that to the saw, actually."  He promises to bring Jesse to them soon and finagles a wad of cash out of them as payment.  Which he promptly blows on drink, drugs and a girl at the whorehouse.  Back at the motel room, one of the angels brings out a steampunk looking Heaven telephone, saying that it's time to let "them" know what's going on.  But the other angel points out that they are down here on earth without permission and without "them" knowing, so it'd be best not to call in and 'fess up.

At QM&P, Odin Quincannon is interrupted whilst playing Q*bert [Q*BERT!!!!] by Annville's mayor Miles stopping by.  The mayor is not a strong person and is no match for Quincannon.  His recent meeting with the Green Acres group has not gone unnoticed by the Quincannon camp and, once Odin brings it up, Miles starts gushing about Green Acre's green/sustainable/etc. business projects, saying that it could be a very profitable relationship for the town should QM&P agree to work with Green Acres.  Odin not only tells the mayor to piss off, he pulls out his dick and pisses into Miles's briefcase.  Meeting over.

That night, the mayor - who has a huge crush on Emily - babysits her kids while she picks up that t.v.  When she gets home, he convinces her to have a glass of wine with him.  She tells him, you know I'm never gonna be with you, right, Miles?  Then she takes off her pants and tells him that he's to be out before morning: "The kids almost caught you last time."

The whorehouse has a pathetic memorial service for the dead whore and Tulip can barely restrain her anger and frustration.  Before things get too heated, the madam says that in honor of Lacey and "her peaceful ways, next hour's on the house."  Tulip sulks around downstairs (and we learn that she's friends with the madam because Tulip's momma was one of the whores back in the day) and when the fuck music starts cranking upstairs, she can't stand it anymore.  She rages into a room with a golf club, thinking that it's Clive (the QM&P employee who shot Lacey with the paintball gun) flailing away on top of the girl.  She beats him and beats him until he falls out the window onto the porch roof, jag of glass plunged into his throat.  Except it isn't Clive: she went into Cassidy's room.  She and the whore bundle Cassidy into a car and drive him to a hospital, Tulip in the backseat with Cassidy on her lap, bleeding profusely from his neck.  She is freaking out.  He tells her to kiss him and she does and he smiles at her.  At the hospital, she tries to rush him into the ER but when she turns back from badgering the admittance clerk, Cassidy is gone from the waiting room.  She follows the trail of blood and finds him slouched against a refrigerator, sucking on a blood bag.  As she stares at him, Cassidy grins at her, gesturing to the blood bag:  "I think you're right, love,  I'm gonna make it."

Flashback:  Jesse and his dad drive to QM&P in the middle of the night.  As Jesse sits out in the hallway, his dad goes into Odin's office.  You can't make out what they're saying but it sounds like a disagreement.  Jesse's dad storms out and Odin calls after him, "Renounce him, John Custer, renounce him!"  Later, on the drive home, Jesse's dad muses, some people just can't be saved.

In the present day, Jesse stops by QM&P and helps Odin with his Alamo model.  He asks Odin to please come to church on Sunday.  Quincannon isn't inclined to do that so Jesse sweetens the pot: the Custer land is the last large chunk in town that Quincannon doesn't own.  If Odin comes to church and doesn't leave feeling godly after listening to the sermon, Jesse will let him have the land.

On Sunday, the church is in fact pretty full, thanks to the t.v. raffle.  Jesse launches into his sermon, in which he basically tells them they're all sinners and it's their own damn fault ... but he can help with that, one person at a time, he'll bring them back to God.  He walks into the congregation and picks out Odin Quincannon, asking him if he will now serve God.  Odin's like, um, no, not interested, he wins.  So Jesse leans in, asks him again, and then tells him in the Voice to "serve God."  And then when he asks Odin again if he will serve God, Quincannon, looking rather surprised at himself, says, well, yes, of course, I will serve God.  The congregation is pretty impressed at that.

The angels wait in their motel room for Cassidy to deliver the preacher, eating vending machine snacks and reading the Bible.  A phone rings and one of them picks up the motel phone.  It's not that phone that's ringing.  They stare in fear at the Heaven phone as it rings and rings and rings.  Oops.

Previously on Preacher / next time on Preacher

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Preacher recap "The Possibilities" S1E3 6/12/16

HOUSTON:  Tulip meets with Danni, handing over the map ("Property of Grail [sp?] Industries") for which she battled through the cornfield in exchange for someone's last known address.  Danni also lays out a scenario in which Tulip could kill her husband for her but Tulip isn't down with that.  The address gives her a flashback: screaming "Wait!" in an alleyway after a fleeing car, an alarm blaring.  In the now, she tells Danni that was the day when it all went bad for her and Jesse.  And now someone's got to pay.  After Tulip leaves, Danni drives to a warehouse and slips into a snuff film festival (we don't see anything but hear screams and power tools).  She hands the map to a white-suited man in the audience, saying that she told him her girl was good.

ANNVILLE:  Sheriff Root is interviewing those two weird dudes in their motel room.  They say that they're after something horrible that got lose, and they're deep undercover, and he's to leave them alone.  "We'l call if we need anything."  Sheriff Root is shaken by imagining what horrible thing is on the prowl in his town.  After he leaves, they start to arm themselves with all kinds of weaponry.  "No surprises" this time.

Emily stops by the brain-damaged girl's house [Tracy? is that her name?].  Her mother is amazed that Tracy's eyes are open and feels badly that she was so rude to the preacher when he told her something was going to change.  The only thing that has changed is that the girl's eyes are open but still, to her mother, different is better.  In another part of town, Donnie speaks to his son en route to the school bus.  The boy apologizes for going to the preacher.  Donnie says that "grownups are complicated ... I love your mom," deeming explaining pain-sex games too difficult at this point.  His son says that he beat up a kid at school who had been talking about the funny sound Donnie made when Jesse broke his arm.  Donnie's all, good - but when the bus pulls up, all the kids are like "It's the bunny-man!" and start squeaking and squealing at him.

Emily finds Cassidy at the church and instructs him to take the recently delivered coffin (whatsisname who cut his own heart out) to the crematorium.  When the vampire goes to get the keys to the van, he finds Jesse skulking in the kitchen.  Jesse: "I wanna show you somethin'."  What he does is demonstrates his power on Cassidy, making him hop, confess a secret, shadow-box, sing Johnny Cash etc.  They learn that the power is limited to what the person can actually do: when he tells Cassidy to fly, the vampire throws himself at the wall but is, in fact, unable to fly.  Cassidy is thrilled but Jesse is pretty close to thinking he's crazy.  "It might feel like a curse ... but it doesn't have to be.  Someone like you, with something like this.  I mean, come on, padre.  You just imagine the possibilities here."

On her way back to Annville from Houston, Tulip gets pulled over for speeding.  She talks her way out of it.  That's about it.

QUINCANNON MEAT AND POWER.  Odin Quincannon likes to listen to the slaughterhouse over the intercom while he has his lunch.  Yeesh.  Donnie reads him a letter from some company ("Green Acres") who is either horning in on QMP's territory or wants to work together.  Donnie's feathers are ruffled but Quincannon doesn't seem too fashed at this point.  Not really sure what's going on here.

Jesse meets up with Tulip on the road in the boondocks.  He tells her again that he doesn't want to get back into a life of crime and she snaps at him, "This isn't crime, preacher.  This is justice."  Jesse stares at her: "Carlos."  And then he has the flashback she had earlier, only he's just shot a security guard in the head as the alarm blares and Carlos drives off, leaving Tulip screaming after him.  "Rat-bastard, money-stealin', child-killin', life-ruinin' sonofabitch," confirms Tulip here and now, waving the address at Jesse.  "Jesse, come on.  Let's go kill Carlos."  And just like that, he's in.

At the motel, the weird dudes are locked and loaded and ready to roll.  On his way back from the crematorium, Cassidy sees them drive by in their black SUV and is all, they found me again.  After the sun goes down, the dudes advance on foot towards the church.  Their goals:  "First the can [that coffee can], then the preacher."  But they don't get very far before Cassidy roars up in the church van and runs them over.  When he gets out to survey the carnage - and they are ALL messed up - he is amazed to see that they look just like the two guys he buried.  "Clones," he decides.  As he walks off to fetch something to clean up this mess, a light flashes; when he comes out into the church, the two dudes are there.  Again.  Cassidy starts beating on one of them with a croquet mallet he found in the closet, growling, "How do you keep finding me?" until the dude who is not getting beaten interrupts, saying "We're not here for you."  And then they have a bit of a sit-down, saying that the preacher has something of theirs and they need to put it back.

Tulip has to stop to gas up her car.  Jesse tries to tell her about what's happening with him but she's all wired, getting belligerent with another gas station patron, so he blows it off and hits the head instead.  In the bathroom, he gets ambushed by a pistol-toting Donnie: "Who's the bunny in the bear trap now?"  Jesse of course uses the Voice to make Donnie shove the gun in his own mouth but just before he forces the other man to pull the trigger, he sort of gives himself a little shake, realizing that he seems to be enjoying this power a little too much.  He says to himself, "I get it," and tells Donnie that he can go.  And when he rejoins Tulip out at the pumps, he says he's changed his mind.  As he starts walking back to town, he tells her that he's staying [in Annville].  She shrieks, "Well, I ain't leavin' without you!" but he just shrugs and keeps walking.

Back at the church, the two weird dudes tell Cassidy that if they don't collect what's inside the preacher, death and destruction will follow.  He questions why they want that power - military, economics, psychosexual mind control - but they're like no, it's not to be used at all.  They tell Cassidy they're from the government but when he, being a good conspiracy theorist, starts rattling off agencies and acronyms, they break in:  "We're from Heaven."  Cassidy: "I see.  Right."  He tells them that they're going about this the wrong way, hunting down Jesse, but if they just take a step back, he'll talk to his best mate and convince him of their mission.  I can't tell if he's playing them or not.

As the episode ends, Jesse and Emily are the only attendees at the funeral for Whatsisname (who cut out his own heart).  The camera pulls back as the preacher gives the reading and the valve on a standpipe out in a nearby field snaps open with a hiss.  What does that mean?

Previously on Preacher /  next time on Preacher

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Preacher recap "See" S1E2 6/5/16

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

Monday, June 6, 2016

Mini movie review: The Scorch Trials

Although there is no longer any maze in The Scorch Trials, part two of The Maze Runner trilogy, there sure is a lot of running.  This sequel starts up mere moments after the end of the first movie and protagonist Thomas and his dwindling band of maze survivors/escapees basically start running and don't stop until the end: running down corridors of the base they're taken to after being "rescued" at the end of TMR; running across the desert; running through city ruins; running through an abandoned mall; running across the desert ahead of a nasty electrical storm; running through the ruins of a fallen skyscraper ... it's exhausting, if only for the sheer repetition.  Instead of giant mecha-spiders, the kids are running from evil scientists who want to experiment on them, from evil gang members who want to sell them back to the scientists and from fast zombies former humans afflicted by whatever virus has decimated the planet.  As such, the tone of the movie swings wildly from chase-thriller to near horror to dusty post-apocalyptic gun battle in the mountains.

Where The Maze Runner was a decent B movie, The Scorch Trials doesn't quite get there.  What dialogue there is is trite and despite having spent two movie with many of the main characters, we still don't really know anything about them.  Lili Taylor is wasted in a small role, while Giancarlo Esposito at least looks like he's enjoying blowing shit up.

Production on the third movie in the series is on indefinite hold, following a stunt accident that injured star Dylan O'Brien fairly severely: concussion and broken bones in his face but not life-threatening.  I'd like to hope the extra time will allow the production team to up their game a bit for the final installment but I'm not hopeful: well-rounded characters uttering meaningful dialogue is probably not going to happen at this point - so if what you like is running and shouting, you'll likely be in luck.