Tulip and Cassidy are getting chummy, Quincannon serves God in his own way, and Jesse revels in his newfound fame (and uses his power a few times). A lot happened this week, so let’s dive in and see what everybody’s been up to!
Episode 5: “South Will Rise Again”
Flashback to 1881 again: The Cowboy is in the town of Ratwater (will this town become Annville, Texas later on? Seems so). Ratwater is not a nice place. Rape, murder, and scalp trading seem to be commonplace over at the saloon/apothecary/whorehouse. The Cowboy gets medicine for his daughter and heads back home. He meets a wholesome family, excited to be heading into Ratwater but seemingly ignorant of its perils. He waits a long time before he finally turns around and races back to warn the family of the viper’s nest they’re entering. This gesture ends up costing him is horse as well as his family.
Back in the present: Sheriff Root and his disfigured son Eugene are outside at night, looking for the source of a suspicious noise they heard. Prowler? Raccoon? When they go back inside they find Eugene’s room vandalized. Someone has spray-painted “FINISH THE JOB” on his bedroom wall, with an arrow pointing down to a shotgun.
Emily and Jesse are at the cafe, talking about what happened at Sunday’s sermon. Jesse tries to nonchalantly play it off as your normal everyday Christian conversion due to his well-meaning sermon, but Emily isn’t having it. A group of youngsters at another table call Jesse over to discuss the Bible. Jesse is enjoying his newfound fame.
Cassidy has fully recovered from his slashed throat of the night before. He sets Tulip straight on about vampires, giving her a straightforward rundown of what does affect him and what doesn’t. He admits to drinking blood, because it heals him faster, but adds, “All things being equal I’d rather have a single malt.” Cass turns the tables and probes Tulip about her relationship with her “boyfriend,” getting her to admit that she is waiting for him to get tired of his stupid job so he can join her and get back to their old life.
I loved this scene. It jumped back and forth between humor and pathos effortlessly and provided some great background on the characters. It shows how tulip really compartmentalizes her life, and she sounds almost indignant when Cass assumes she’s a whore; she explains that she just “hangs at the whorehouse.” It also ends with Cass asking Tulip to get him some drugs, so not much has changed there.
Donnie and his wife have a chat. Donnie doesn’t want to go to work and, in fact, ever since Jesse forced him to stick a gun in his mouth, he just hasn’t been the same man. He’s been nervous and irritable and off-kilter.
Fiore and DeBlanc have a hilarious scene where, as THE PHONE rings and rings and rings, they discuss how best to answer it and what kind of explanation they might give Heaven regarding their AWOL status. “…a small security breach…” “…massive…” “…a small massive security breach…” The comedic timing of these two actors is perfect and I hope they stick around for many more episodes.
In a very tense scene, Sheriff Root is visibly upset in the presence of his disfigured son. Eugene innocently tries to help relax his dad by cutting up his food for him, and his dad explodes in anger at him, yelling that maybe Eugene should finish the job. It’s a shocking scene making me lose much respect for the Sheriff (who, up until now, seemed to be taking his misfortune gracefully) and making me very empathetic towards Eugene.
During a chat with the mayor, Quincannon talks about his conversion and suggests that maybe they should sit down with the good folks at Green Acre to discuss a future togehter. Donnie slowly comes to an understanding: the preacher used the same power on Quincannon that he used on him to make them both do something they didn’t really want to do.
Tulip shows up at the diner where Jesse is holding biblical court, and she angrily ask for help with a “boyfriend” who is hiding his true nature and won’t admit to himself what kind of person he really is (the type of person who would shoot a Kimodo Dragon in the head, apparently). Jesse admits to one and all that, yes, he used to be a very bad man. But he has changed. And he seems sincere about it.
Eugene shows up at the diner (referred to as “it” by the waitress) and Jesse decides to take him over to coma girl Tracy Loach’s house. Her mom is not happy to see Eugene/Arseface (for that is who he is, soon enough) and she smashes the windows of the truck, calling him a murderer. Arseface is horrified and scared to death, but Jesse calmly tells her to “drop it.” She immediately lets go of the bat she’d been wielding. Jesse leads Arseface over to her and whispers to her: “Forgive him.” She stops yelling and raises her arms out for a hug, but her face looks a little bewildered, like she can’t believe her own body. She hugs Arseface as witnesses look on, astonished. And Jesse’s star rises even more.
What’s interesting here is that Mrs. loach calls Arseface a “murderer,” but Tracy isn’t dead, merely in a coma. Did Arseface kill someone else when he tried to kill himself? In the comics, his friend Pube succeeded where Arseface failed–will this get tied in to the Loach family somehow? Interesting.
Donnie confesses tearfully to his wife that Jesse made him suck on a gun, and that he can make people do things. Meanwhile, Tulip dons a ski mask to rob a drug store to give Cass what he wants. She later gives him the drugs, and allows him to have sex with her. She seems very very emotionally dead while the act is happening. This was…odd.
Back in their hotel room, just as the angels gather up enough courage to answer the phone, it stops ringing. They stare at it. Uh oh.
The angels finally confront Jesse at the diner. They are upset because Cassidy promised them access to Jesse and hasn’t come through. They explain about the power that’s inside him (very angry he actually used it, I might add), and demand he return it to the coffee can it usually resides in. He makes a crack about God living in a can, and they gravely inform him, “It’s not God.”
Quincannon happily meets with the Green Acre folk to discuss their future partnership. Surprisingly, their partnership appears to consist of Quincannon shooting each one of them with a high-powered rifle. I guess “serve God” has a very different meaning to him than to Jesse.
Wow, this was a crazy episode, made even more interesting by the recent announcement that AMC has renewed Preacher for a second, even longer season. Jesse’s influence is all over this town more and more, but is it valid when you have to force people to do good things? A point to ponder until next week, kids.