Thursday, August 31, 2017

Preacher recap S2E11 "Backdoors" 8/28/17

Flashback - Out in a swamp somewhere, a wooden box is being hauled to the surface.  When the box is set on the dock, it is opened and young Jesse is dragged out, blinking, sweating, dazed.  An old woman - her face obscured - asks the boy his name.  When he says "Jesse Custer," she tells her henchmen to "Put him back."  The men shove Jesse back in the box, fastening the lid down while he screams and pleads.  And then they put that wooden box back down into the swamp.  Guess it's more waterproof than I thought at first glance.

 Now - Out in a swamp somewhere, Tulip has forced Jesse to raise the truck in which he trapped the Saint of Killers.  She's pissed and a little frightened, but she seems to accept Jesse's explanation that he just couldn't send another soul to Hell.  Here's the problem:  when Jesse opens the truck up, the Saint is not inside.

Meanwhile, at Grail HQ, Featherstone and Hoover report to Starr the Jesse and Tulip goings-on, since he has tasked them with splitting the pair up.  Featherstone thinks that it would just be quicker if they could kill Jesse.  Starr explains his plan for the preacher - "The Messiah is a moron.  I understand that you might find this disappointing." - and says he wants them to join him.  Which, considering the alternative is summary execution, they do.

Hell - The administration is [ahem] administering tests to find out which of the inmates isn't supposed to be in Hell.  After his test, the fratboy is confident that he's going to be let out and he makes Eugene force Hitler to show them his worst memory-hell.  Hitler apparently used to be custodian in Hell and kept a key (keeps it up his butt, actually) and with a convenient distraction, the three of them sneak back into Hitler's cell.  When the memory-hell starts up, it's pretty banal: the restaurant is out of plum cake which Hitler finds disappointing; the art gallery owner says Hitler's paintings are mediocre; and his girl leaves him.  Afterwards, the fratboy is all, "They ran out of plum cake and you blew up Europe?"  But Hitler explains that that was the last day he was a good man and thus, that is his worst memory.

New Orleans - Cassidy has gotten Dennis a chihuahua (and I spent the whole episode waiting for Dennis to snap its neck or drink its blood, because Dennis is kind of an asshole, but he doesn't).  Cassidy and Tulip are fretting that the Saint is coming back after them and shouldn't they maybe leave or double-bolt the door or something.  Jesse's all, he's coming for me and I'll take care of it.  But it's been stressful and maybe they should get out of town for a while.  Cassidy suggests Vancouver: "It's got good meth and nice hiking."  Jesse's like, I saw this place on Youtube - it's got catamarans and topless beaches ... and Tulip and Cassidy are all SOLD.  They jump up to start packing but then Jesse puts the brakes on because "we've got to find God first."  The other two are like, nope, done that, we've looked.  Jesse breaks in and is all, "Guys, I met Jesus."  Cassidy: "Do you mean Jesus-Jesus or just some random Latino guy?"  Jesse explains that JC's twenty-fifth great-grandson is a complete imbecile and God is necessary and if they weren't so selfish, they'd want to find him too.  Tulip gets PISSED because they've pretty much done everything what Jesse wanted them to do since Texas.  Everyone is shouting at each other and in the other room, Dennis's dog is barking its little head off.  Jesse storms into Dennis's room and stares at the dog, and then he remembers the Messiah's drawings of a black and white dog, and then he remembers the dude in the dog suit and it comes to him.  The dude in the dog suit is God.  Tulip and Cassidy just stare at him and he's like, "You're not going to come with me?"  They're like, nope.  So he rushes across town, into the club, through the kitchen, down the stairs, across the alleyway and into the basement where the dude in the dog suit had been.  But the dude in the dog suit isn't there now.

Hell - Later on, as Hitler mopes on his bunk, Eugene asks Hitler if he's still willing to help him escape.  Hitler: "You trust me?"  When Eugene is called for his screening, Hitler says that he'll come for him and they'll go out through the back door, a secret door.  After the administrators have taken Eugene away, Hitler gets the attention of the other detainees, saying that he needs them to do something for him.  Fratboy is all, why would we do anything for you, plum cake? And everyone giggles.  "Because I'm ADOLF FUCKING HITLER!"

New Orleans - Jesse is at a loss and goes to see Starr to see if he's got any information.  Even when he uses the Genesis Voice, Starr doesn't know where God is right now.  But as part of his campaign to win Jesse over, he has procured Heaven's tape backups of all Jesse's prayers all his life.  And we listen to them, a lifelong litany of asking for forgiveness for smoking, drinking, wanking, blasphemy, losing his temper, falling asleep in church, fighting, disbelief, shirking chores, "shooting a komodo dragon," thieving, lying, cheating and, once or twice, wishing for his dad to be killed.

Meanwhile, Tulip has enlisted "Jenny"/Featherstone to help her get rid of the Saint's pistols and saber.  They go to a metal smelter to melt it all down (learning in the process that no one except the Saint can fire or unload those guns).  While they wait, Jenny/Featherstone continues to wage her campaign to break Tulip and Jesse up.  It doesn't seem to be working, at least not quickly.  The smelter dude calls them back in: the smelting equipment is over 4,000 degrees and the Saint's weapons haven't even warmed up, much less melted away.  So Tulip wraps them up, puts a bunch of postage on them and shoves them in a mailbox, addressed to Brazil.  I'm going to guess that's not going to work.

Hell - The administrators are called out of Eugene's screening because all the detainees are holding hands and singing "Michael Row Your Boat Ashore."  Hitler finds Eugene and opens the door to the Hole, saying that's the way out.  Eugene is too afraid and Hitler reassures him that he'll be behind him every step of the way.  He then shoves Eugene into the Hole and for a moment it seems like a double-cross.  But then Hitler jumps in after him.

Back at the Grail, Starr stops the tape of Jesse's prayers and scoffs that there's pretty much no way to get off the hook for all that.  "If you want to save your soul, you need to do something big.  You need to join me."  Starr then plays him the last one and it's back to that swamp box flashback: the old lady pulls Jesse out of the box and asks him his name again.  The boy is defeated now and answers: "Jesse.  Jesse L'Angell."  The old lady - her face still obscured - tells him he's a good boy.  But he's not done and she prompts him to finish: "Thank you God for killin' my father and bringin' me home."  The old lady pats his head and tells him, "Your grandma loves you."  And the camera pulls back to reveal a sign ANGELVILLE GATOR TOURS.  Yeesh.  No wonder that Angelville poster gave him the wiggins a couple of episodes ago.

In the now again, Starr offers to make copies of the prayers for Jesse, if he'd like to take them.  Jesse says no, thank you, but why don't you SHOVE THEM UP YOUR ASS.  He walks out and tells the office staff to LET ME OUT.  The Genesis Voice doesn't seem to work, however, so he repeats the command - twice, before they open the doors for him.  That doesn't bode well - why didn't it work?

After Jesse has gone, Starr gets on the phone with Hoover telling him that he's up, and nothing less than the eternal dignity of the Grail is at stake.  Of course, he's bent over his desk, shoving the unspooled prayer tapes literally up his ass at the same time.

Out in a warehouse somewhere, Hoover's voice comes out of an armored truck, one that looks like the one Jesse sunk into the Angelville swamp.  Hoover says: "I'm glad we could come to this understanding.  Now, just do what you do."  Then the truck doors swing open.  Hoover hops out and runs away, as fast as he can, not looking back.

Previously on Preacher / next time on Preacher

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Preacher recap S2E10 "Dirty Little Secret" 8/21/17

Jesus.  Hey! It's Jesus, earlier in the night that Judas betrays him, having raucous sex with a married woman.  She is really, really into it and he's pretty stoked too, since it's his first time and all.  When it's over finally, he gets dressed and tells her that he loves her.  She's all, ????? but it's because he's Jesus and he loves everyone.  The disciples collect him at the door and they go off, unfortunately never to make it to the getaway donkeys.  One disciple knows what's up, however, and gives the woman a knowing look; nine months later, that guy (Thaddeus?) is back to whisk away Christ's child.  He has the woman killed, right there in her bed, so she can't tell anyone and thus the company to be known as The Grail comes into being.

Jesse.  In the here and now, Starr is actually being very reasonable while talking to Jesse in the bar.  He explains what The Grail is, roughly speaking, and brings out a couple of three-ring binders for Jesse to look at.  Jesse is not interested in binders (whacking Starr upside the head with one and bloodying his nose) and uses the Voice to ask WHERE IS GOD?  Starr answers honestly - because he has to - that he doesn't know.  But he suggests that maybe Jesse would want to come with him to HQ and maybe they could get some more answers there.  So Jesse agrees to a bag over his head and they go to The Grail HQ, where the Pope and the Archibishop of Canterbury are waiting for them in Starr's office.  Jesse is, to his credit, slightly taken aback.  Recovering somewhat, he asks the two august gentlemen [close-minded white patriarchs...] where God is.  They don't know but have some ridiculous theories about it: the Archbishop thinks a traitorous cabal of angels have betrayed God, who is now on the run; on the other hand, the Pope scoffs, saying that God has given up on humans because we have failed Him (like he gave up on the dinosaurs, when they failed Him) and is in the process of creating a new ten-foot tall species .... Jesse's all, you all have no fucking clue, do you?  The pope also let slips that maybe "the boy" might know where God is - and maybe it's time for him to lead.

But he was paying attention and asks Starr, what did the Pope mean, "the boy?" Starr is all, you weren't supposed to hear that but he's the Messiah.  Jesse: *...*  Also, Jesse is like, maybe this Jesus descendant knows where God is.  Starr equivocates so Jesse uses the Voice: TAKE ME TO HIM.  And Starr does - because he has to.  Planes, trains and automobiles later, they get to where the Messiah is being kept safe.  Jesse is surprised and horrified to learn that this twenty-fifth great-grandson of Jesus Christ is, in fact, an inbred moron who pees on the people he likes, flashes his peepee at guests and was filling a notepad with roughly-drawn pictures of a black and white dog,* while Jesse pages through while the Messiah is patting Starr's bald head.  Jesse tries using the Voice to ask the Messiah where God is and the moron wails and cries and it doesn't go well.

*  We're all now certain that the dude in the dog suit from E3 is God, right?  Yes, I think I neglected to mention that scene when I was recapping because it seemed like a throwaway.  My bad.

They go back to New Orleans and Jesse's all, well, you weren't any help but I'm still going to look for God.  Starr says he can't do it by himself and Jesse's all, I got friends.  Starr thinks: For now, anyway.  Starr points out that they're all fucked if the world ends and God is still missing and the Messiah won't be any use.  So maybe Jesse should team up with him, use the power of Genesis and basically be God himself and bring some order to this shit-stained world.  "Why go on looking for God when you can just be him."  Jesse, scandalized: That's blasphemy!  Starr: Semantics.

Cassidy.  Cassidy is celebrating Dennis's birthday with hookers and video games and umbrellas so they can go out without being burnt up by the sun.  But Dennis is a young vampire and pretty much unable/unwilling to control the impulse to drink human blood, no matter how much Cassidy tells him not to.  At the end of the episode, Dennis wanders back to the apartment, face and neck drenched in a victim's blood.  Before this season is over, Cassidy is going to have to deal with that.

Tulip.  Tulip is still struggling with her Saint PTSD.  When Featherstone shows up at the apartment in her "Jenny" guise for some girl-bonding, she is able to manipulate the distracted Tulip, pushing her to distrust Jesse about whether he really sent the Saint back to Hell.  This is Starr's plan, you see, to isolate Jesse so he has to turn to Starr.  It does seem a little uncharacteristic for Tulip to be so easily manipulated - she's usually such an unflappable badass - but I suppose they're using this to show how much damage the Saint can do.  Featherstone has Hoover pose as "Jenny's" abusive and alcoholic boyfriend and the girls get into a little scuffle with him.  Featherstone gets a cut on her face and Tulip takes her into the bathroom for bandaging.  Featherstone notes that loose tile (which she already knows is Jesse's hiding spot for the Saint's weapons because of the surveillance cameras) and suggests that Tulip should fix it since she's so handy.

Later, Tulip decides to fix that tile.  She pulls it up and then reaches down inside, under the floorboards.  Her face falls when she realizes what's hidden there.  She's sitting at the kitchen table, the Saint's two revolvers and the saber laid out in front of her, staring at the front door, waiting for Jesse to get back.  He's gonna have some 'splainin' to do.

Previously on Preacher / next time on Preacher

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