Episode Title: Monster Swamp
Originally Aired: June 19th 2016
This week’s episode of Preacher was at once both entertaining and potentially pointless. Not much happened again this week but now I have a feeling where things may be heading. If my guess is correct this season will not be beloved by the fans of the comic, but it could be setting up for a second season that is more true to the plot of the comic.
The main story line this episode follows Jesse and his quest to improve attendance at the church. It is a two-fold strategy using the raffling of a TV to get people in to the building and the conversion of a reluctant community leader into a servant of God to keep them coming back. Fresh off his encounter with Donnie last week Jesse is feeling care free, as if nothing could harm him, which will be his downfall if he continues to ignore warnings from Cassidy about people wanting what he has. Carefree Jesse is my least favorite way to experience this character, doubting, brooding or optimistic are all emotional states that are handled better in previous episodes by Dominic Cooper. He just comes across as so self-assured and creepy as if he is always having an internal debate about controlling everyone he encounters. The high light of this episode is the fact that the opening scene and the flashbacks actually affect the rest of the episode. All of the flashbacks involve Jesse interacting with his father learning about last rites and being a leader. Both are lessons that he uses to try to grow the church some attempts are more successful than others leading Jesse to make an offer that could not be refused.
Jackie Earle Haley finally gets an introduction as Odin Quincannon head of the mysterious company that is always in the background of the show. He likes his lunch served on a silver tray, listening to the sounds of cows dying, building miniatures of the Alamo and playing Q*bert on a 20 year old computer. Haley is always a welcome presence for me ever since his days in The Bad News Bears and Breaking Away nearly 40 years ago. He is a great character actor who is getting a chance to play a character full of quirks but without much of a story line at this point. That should be changing very quickly after the latest episode.
The opening scene finally had something to do with this episode, as it was the half of the impetus for the meeting of two of our three main characters, Cassidy and Tulip. The other half was Cassidy meeting with the government men who may or may not be angels looking to capture whatever is in Jesse and normally lives in a coffee can. After Jesse ignores his warning, Cassidy decides to meet with the men to get some information about them and some money for drugs and hookers in return for a promise to bring Jesse to them.
It his actions at the brothel that lead to his first interaction with Tulip who is there in response to the opening scene. This was the best Tulip has been since the first episode for me, I think the situations that she found herself in were ones that Ruth Negga was more capable of pulling off and I hope things continue in this direction. Cassidy was his normal self again this episode which means he was once again my favorite from his concern for Jesse, to him divulging the fact that he smokes insulation from the attic to his trick to get a kiss from Tulip.
While not the episode I was hoping for it was enough to leave me optimistic. I think Jesse’s plan is sure to backfire the only question is how badly things will go. What will happen next between Tulip and Cassidy is a mystery but if next week’s episode picks up where we left off we will not have to wait long for that answer. The biggest questions I have at the moment is whom government men really are and who is calling them on that ominous lunchbox phone? Come back next week to find out and feel free to discuss your opinion of the show in the comments, all will get a response.