We pick up immediately where we left off last time, with Eugene having literally gone to hell after Jesse told him to do so using the Voice. Jesse looks around his now empty church, brow furrowed. Then he swallows, gathers himself and lets the people in for services. While up above, a slightly gobsmacked Cassidy in the balcony tries to get a grip on what he just witnessed. It's a full house for church - the sheriff saved a seat for Eugene - and people are even sitting outside, listening over the loudspeaker. During his sermon, Jesse says "I'm here to tell you that your whole life can change in a moment. And this is that moment. And this is the word ..." He pauses, weighing his options, and then, using his regular voice, "Serve God." So at least he reigned himself in at the end.
On his way out after the service, the sheriff asks the townspeople if anyone has seen Eugene.
And over at Quincannon Meat & Power, Odin Quincannon has finished his Alamo model, and he sits, listening to the pathetic cries coming from the slaughterhouse, and smiles slightly.
Flashback: Young Jesse and Tulip get in trouble at school for fighting back against bullies. Tulip's mom is in jail and her uncle is drunk so she goes home with Jesse and his dad. Seems like this is a regular occurrence. That night, Jesse says his prayers, asking for help in trying not to be bad, in trying to be like his dad in always doing the right thing. Now: Tulip runs through town and ambushes a couple of teenage boys who have stolen her uncle's pants. She takes the pants back to her uncle's house - where he is passed out on the front steps. She tries to get him back inside but he is too heavy, so she sits on the stoop, stroking his hair, smoking a cigarette and trying to ignore the neighbors' judgmental looks.
Jesse and Emily go over his upcoming schedule: business is booming with marriage counseling and baptisms and all that church stuff. Over at the Roots' house, Eugene's room sits empty.
A little later, Cassidy finds Jesse sneaking a drink in the kitchen. He asks how the preacher is doing, finally saying that he saw what happened to Eugene. Jesse: "Oh." Cassidy is all, I'm not judging you but I'm here to help. Jesse escapes to run a Bible study. Then Tulip comes in, toting hamburgers, hash browns and frozen veggies: she's making dinner. Cassidy is still smitten and tells her that he didn't say anything to Jesse about the two of them hooking up. Tulip's all, that's good since I'm his girlfriend and he'd probably kill you. [I'm not really sure Jesse considers himself her girlfriend.] She asks Cassidy if he told Jesse what he really is, since they're "best mates" and all. Cassidy dithers, saying that he tried, but no, not really. Tulip says "Wake up, Cassidy. Jesse is a preacher's boy from West Texas. See what he does [when you tell him the truth]." Nobody is really telling anybody the truth here: Tulip knows about Cassidy but not about Jesse's Voice; Cassidy knows about the Voice but not about Jesse's past; Jesse doesn't believe Cassidy nor does he pay attention to what Tulip is really about; poor Emily is completely in the dark about everything.
Flashback: Jesse and Tulip wrestle and roughhouse until Jesse's dad sends them off to wash the dishes. He checks on their homework status and it appears that she's been living with the Custers for a while now. When Tulip goes to fetch more dish soap, she sees Jesse's dad on the phone with someone but I can't make out what he's saying and it is unclear whether she can. That night, though, she sneaks into Jesse's room and climbs on the bed. "'Til the end of the world, right?" she asks. Jesse, half asleep, agrees, "'Til the end of the world." Little Tulip lies down next to him, staring at the ceiling. The next morning, two women from the Texas Department of Human Services show up and take Tulip away with them. She doesn't make a fuss - which makes me think that she did hear what Jesse's dad was saying on the phone - but Jesse does, screaming and crying and chasing the car as it drives off down the road. Jesse, to his father: "She was good ... [w]hy did you do that?" His dad: "Because she's an O'Hare. They're always gonna be trouble." That night, during his prayers, Jesse asks God to take care of Tulip and to please, please kill his father and send him straight to hell.
In the now, Emily and a group of parishioners perform a little Bible story play for Jesse. It's terribly awkward. And he's preoccupied and gives them harsh, unhelpful notes. Odin Quincannon shows up, hoping for a word with Jesse. They go into another room where Odin brings out a deed for Jesse to sign, transferring the church and land to him, "as agreed upon.' Jesse's all, WTF, you said you'd serve God? Odin shrugs, saying, yeah, but I still ain't no Christian. Jesse flat-out refuses to sign the papers, saying there's no way in hell he's going to hand his father's church over (and also confused as to how Odin wriggled around the Voice). Odin stares at him flatly and promises that he'll be back.
Even more awkward than that church skit? Dinner with Jesse, Tulip, Cassidy and Emily. Cassidy is snarfing down everything on his plate; Emily is struggling a little with the "flavor" on the hash browns - which is vanilla extract. Tulip is a crap cook. Jesse sits silently, drinking his beer and stewing, and Tulip can't keep herself from poking at him. To make things more stressful, Sheriff Root shows up, still looking for Eugene. He asks if the boy had stopped by the church to see Jesse that morning. Everyone momentarily gets distracted by the oven catching on fire - everyone but Jesse, who just sits there, silently - but then he answers the sheriff, saying that he didn't see Eugene before church. Emily pipes up, saying, "Actually you did see him," and Jesse just looks at her blankly; but then she covers for him, telling the sheriff that she saw Eugene leave later.
Jesse walks the sheriff out. Cassidy follows and after the sheriff is gone, whacks Jesse in the face with a fire extinguisher. This temporarily knocks some sense into Jesse, who admits that he didn't mean to do that to Eugene - the words just came out. Cassidy's like, well, what are you going to do, you sent an innocent kid to hell. Jesse retorts that Eugene isn't that innocent: he had a big crush on that Tracy girl and when she rejected him, he shot her in the head with a shotgun and then turned the gun on himself. Cassidy: So he deserved what he got? The vampire implores the preacher to give up the Voice - it's a little odd to see a 119-year old hard-drinkin', drug-loving vampire be the voice of reason - but Jesse's all, how do we know this isn't God's plan. Cassidy runs out of arguments and, for some reason (to test Jesse, see if Tulip is really right about him?), strips off his clothes and walks into the sun, asking, "Padre, will you let me burn too?" He bursts into flames and, shrieking, falls to his knees. Jesse just stares at him.
After the commercial break, Jesse goes back into the kitchen, setting the fire extinguisher on the table with a thud. He drains his beer. The women ask where Cassidy is. Jesse frowns at Tulip, "You know about him? You know what he is?" He sees the answer in his face. Emily stutters: "I don't know anything." Tulip calls him a sonofabitch, throwing a friend out who doesn't meet his uptight, redneck, Christian standards. He snarls at her, calling her an O'Hare, sneering at the dinner she tried to make. She calls him a dick and stomps out. Emily flutters, trying to smooth the waters, saying that from the day he got back to Annville, she believed in him. Jesse stares at her dully, "Well, that was stupid. Go home, Emily." Wordlessly, shocked, she leaves.
Flashback: Jesse's dad wakes him up in the middle of the night and tells him to hide under the bed and keep quiet. From under the bed, Jesse can see his father getting beaten unconscious but a couple of men. Those men find the frightened boy, of course. And out in a field, Jesse's dad is on his knees with a gun to his head, making his son promise to be a good boy and not cry. "I did this, daddy! It's all my fault!" And then the men shoot his dad.
Now: Jesse, on his knees in the church, tearing up the floorboards and grabbing fistfuls of the dirt underneath, shouting in the Voice, "Come back! Come back!" And outside, Odin Quincannon has a bulldozer and a small army of Quincannon employees, armed to the teeth, advancing on Jesse's church.
Previously on Preacher / next time on Preacher
3 hours ago