After a successful first season – that had a bit of a lukewarm finale – AMC’s adaptation of the 1990s comic book series PREACHER is back for a second season. The first two episodes aired this week, and the show feels more like the comic than it ever did in season one.
Episode 1 – On The Road
Upon reflection, the first season of PREACHER really was just set up for the truer adaptation of the series by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon, which started here. As the episode opens, the Reverend Jesse Custer, his girlfriend Tulip and century-old Irish vampire Cassidy have hit the road trying to find God after learning he was missing at the end of season one. The opening scene is a car chase set to “Come On Eileen” as the trio tries to escape some state troopers.
But the troopers aren’t the threat. Jesse uses Genesis – the power of the Word of God in his head – to have some fun with the cops until the Saint of Killers shows up to fulfill his mission of killing Jesse. He gets distracted by killing all the cops, though, and our heroes get away.
The season 2 premiere is a chase, as Jesse, Tulip and Cassidy stay one step ahead of the Saint of Killers, who keeps tracking Jesse. A visit to another preacher leads them to a strip club, where the owner – Tammy – may have seen God. Thinking our Lord and Savior may have become infatuated with a girl, Jesse urges Tammy, dying from a gunshot wound from her own bodyguard, to tell him which girl God was coming to see. This prompted my favorite line from the episode.
“God didn’t come for the girls, you idiot. God came for the jazz.”
Makes more sense than skeeball, I guess.
The episode ends with the trio at a motel, hosting a gun enthusiast convention and Jesse outside, smoking a cigarette as the Saint of Killers saunters towards him. The season 2 premiere was a doozy of an episode, and got me completely invested and excited for the rest of the season.
Mumbai Sky Tower
Kicking off where the last episode ended, with the Saint approaching Jesse outside the motel, the Preacher uses The Word to get the gun enthusiasts to try and delay the Saint as Jesse, Tulip and Cassidy made their escape. While the Saint is on a mission to kill the Preacher, he certainly is easily distracted by the opportunity to kill large swaths of people.
While the Saint is distracted by mass killings, Tulip, Jesse and Cassidy are distracted by a news report of what happened in Annville. The destruction outside brings them back to reality, though, as they escape through a window.
After seeing an ad at the end of the last episode for the Mumbai Sky Tower casino – where Cassidy recognized someone he thought could help them – the trio head there to determine their next move. It turns out the casino’s headlining act – Ganesh – is actually the angel Fiore, one of the two angels who set the Saint of Killers on his path. Fiore spent some time after the Saint killed his partner Deblanc trying to off himself, but it seems only the Saint of Killers can kill an angel, so Fiore kept coming back. He eventually turned that into a successful gimmick at the casino.
He is not, however, interested in helping Jesse stop the Saint, so Cassidy tries to convince him through copious amounts of drugs, building a blanket fort, playing frisbee and reading comic books. As the vampire and the angel are bonding, Jesse and Tulip decide to get married, though Tulip runs into an old associate who makes her rethink the nuptials. After she kills him.
Fiore finally agrees to help Jesse and clues him in that the Saint is tracking Jesse’s use of The Word. Fiore also says he will call the Saint off, since Fiore is the one who set the mission in motion. The angel is, of course, lying, and let’s the Saint know that Jesse, Tulip and Cassidy are headed to New Orleans, and then gets the Saint to kill him, so he can finally “Find Peace,” as Jesse told him to do.
While the first episode of the season completely blew me away, this episode was a bit of a let down. It was enjoyable but it didn’t have the same effect as the one before. But there are a lot of things to look forward to this season, so a down episode isn’t the worst idea to get all the players to the proper places on the board.
While Jesse talks to Preacher Mike – who has a woman locked in a covered cage to help her overcome her vices – we get some hints of Jesse’s family, and the first mention of his mother, Christine L’Angelle, which will hopefully lead to the introduction of his grandmother, Marie L’Angelle, and her “kin,” TC and Jody.
In the strip club, as Jesse and Tulip argue with Tammy, you can see Cassidy in the background on a CCTV, molesting a stripper and then fighting with Tammy’s bodyguard, Doug. The battle between the two ends up with Doug’s gun shooting off and hitting Tammy.
In the original comic, Jesse and Tulip have a hard time keeping their hands off each other once they’ve been reunited. This is represented well in the first two episodes, as is Cassidy being in love with Tulip but suffering silently because Jesse is his “best mate.”
Having God love jazz music is a nice addition to the lore, as there was nothing really leading Jesse around in the comics, just vague notions that people could help.
The first episode ended with a tribute to artist and PREACHER co-creator Steve Dillon, who died last year.