We’re still moving slowly, but surely enough, we’re moving.
This week’s “Monster Swamp” is a weird one. I’m beginning to understand why some folks aren’t entirely sold on Preacher, but at the same time, AMC is pretty legendary for its budget fuckery and wheel-spinning it necessitates; so there needs to be plenty of moments where you take a breath as a fan.
On the plus side: I have theories I’m going to share at the end of this week’s recap. Not so much to convince anyone of anything they aren’t already convinced of, but because it’s always fun to speculate and wonder. This slow pace has to be for a reason. The showrunners and writers have proven they understand the spirit of the material.
Case in point—the opening to this week’s Monster Swamp.
We get a strange little scene. Girl running in her panties from a scary truck. She looks for a place to hide. No dice: more girls in their underwear already got that hidey hole.
Looks like Quincannon’s men not only get ample use of the town brothel, but they play a hunting game with the hookers. It’s with paint guns so I guess that’s okay? Seems this town is very under Odin Quincannon’s thumb.
All’s fun and games until one of the girls falls into a sinkhole and drowns in mud (well, hopefully its mud).
After the title credits, we get to watch a young Jesse prep the church for his father’s Sunday service. It looks like an easier time for the young Custer. His father demanded respect and received it. In present day, Jesse sits in the pews praying or ruminating while Cas makes an attempt at informing him of the angels that have asked him to be the middleman in getting their prisoner back in its coffee can. Jesse brushes Cas off, too involved in his preachery plan to care and heads out for a drive.
Tulip, among others, gets a chance to see the authorities pull a dead hooker from a hole while Quincannon slaps his men on the wrist and admonishes the girls—class act. This is obviously not going to go well with Tulip. I feel like Odin may find out what a bad idea it is to get on her bad side, especially the chuckling fuck-nuggets that work for him.
Jesse goes to visit Emily (I finally bothered to Google the character’s name) to talk about getting more asses onto seats in the church. We get a solid (HA) poop joke out of this. Anyway, Jess wants her to get a fancy TV to lure the more base morons to service on Sunday. We get a little weird, post-poop confrontation about Pedo-Pete the bus driver and romantic tension; as you do. We also get a glimpse of John Custer tanning young Jesse’s hide for smoking a cigarette.
Huh…Papa Custer was a hardcore Old Testament type.
Now Cas is dragging out his end of the bargain with his new angel friends. They’re not very bright and are getting a little desperate, but you figure when your only plan is to rip a guy open with a chainsaw to get whatever the hell that is out of him, you’re the type to get desperate. Cas pretends to take notes, demands money to get Jesse high on all these drugs, and ditches. The angels, though, don’t trust him and one posits they make a call to home base. We find out the angels are on Earth in secret. I guess their boss/bosses aren’t in the know.
Obviously, Cas left to do drugs and get a hummer at the brothel. I mean, come on, you trusting a man with a lilt like that?
The episode looks to be themed on indifference as Odin Quincannon is back at work playing Q-Bert until the town mayor comes over for a talk about the dead hooker. Quincannon doesn’t let the man leave without letting him know that he knows the Mayor’s been chatting it up with a green company about alternative energy solutions.
He then literally pisses in the man’s briefcase.
In the meantime, the angels continue to wait on Cas. A phone rings—their creepy angel phone? Nope. Thankfully, it’s the hotel room phone. Just the hotel manager asking when they hell they’re leaving. The taller angel decides to go for a walk. The angel wants a burger he saw on TV (nice little nod of what may come for Fiore and Deblanc).
Back to Emily and…oh, get the fuck outta here with this side plot. NEXT.
At the brothel, Tulip’s still pretty pissed but gets talked off the ledge before she puts a hurting on a few of the regulars. We get a little tidbit on her past and her mother’s connection to the brothel (big, big change there). Tulip’s temper subsides for all of two minutes before she runs upstairs and beats the living shit out of a John mid-pump. Poor guy goes right out the window and Tulip realizes her target was kind of/sort of wrong as our Irish friend Cassidy lands boner-side down on the roof of a car. Oh, and he’s got a good chunk of glass caught in his neck. Tulip gets him to the hospital only to lose the Irish bastard and find him chugging down a gross of O+ in the hospital blood bank.
Back to Jesse and his father in the past. John Custer liked visiting Odin Quincannon in the middle of the night to preach at him? That’s fucking weird. I’m thinking this is going to get followed up on at some point. In the present day, Jesse visits Odin and helps with a miniature set of what looks to be The Alamo (NICE FORESHADOWING) and gives Quincannon an ultimatum: he comes to service Sunday and if Jesse doesn’t convince him to be a man of God, Odin gets Jesse’s land.
Jesse gives an impassioned speech about how the town’s lost its way because it’s abandoned God. The people of Annville will no longer serve Him and only serve their own desires. He singles out Quincannon and asks that he serve God. Odin refuses Jesse two times (cute) before Jesse uses his power to persuade a change of heart. Quincannon says he will serve God, but man, I’ve got a very, very bad feeling about this.
To cap it all off, that fancy steampunk phone the angels brought with them from heaven? It’s ringing.
This week, my thoughts are not quick. I may delve a little into the comics so, steer clear if you hate cross-pollinating spoilers.
Personally? I think Jesse’s going to get almost everyone in this town killed. Be it at the hand of God or the Saint (who is absolutely coming this season), a LOT of these people are going to die. If this is what a lot of folks are calling ‘Preacher Begins’ and as Cassidy totally dropped hints about a road trip, well, we need a reason. Jesse utterly failing, utterly detaching himself from his father’s legacy through failure, is a damn solid reason not just to kick off the road trip, but also for Jesse to be afraid of his power, get that mean streak back, and be very, very mad at the Big Man Upstairs (who ain’t so upstairs anymore).
This will also leave Eugene on a parallel path while maintaining his character arc where he decided to carry out justice on Jesse, Tulip, and Cassidy as Arseface.
There’s potential here. I’m just hoping it all happens sooner than it feels like it will (especially with some of the cast showing up for all ten episodes).
What did I love?
- Cassidy finally revealing to someone he’s a tried and true vampire. Great image.
- That craving for a Big as Texas burger.
- Hooker eulogy—very Ennis.
- The changes to Tulip’s past. They’re even more blatant than Jesse’s but I think it works in her favor. Her mother’s not a prop to serve her father’s character and shallow feminism.
My Biggest Gripes?
- Where the fuck is my boy, Eugene?
- Not sure how I feel about that weirdness with John Custer. Felt as if they may be leading up to revelations about the man not being exactly all there.
- Whatever with that Mayor/Emily scene. Waste of time.
- OH MY GOD CAN WE GET THE SERAPHIM, THE SAINT, AND THE PLOT MOVING.
Hoping next week brings some real fuckery. I’d hate for the first season of this show to be a Hershel’s Farm season.