Just when I thought this episode of AMC’s PREACHER was going to be the first humdrum filler episode of the season, it goes and gives me a thrilling fight sequence set to Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl” and makes me feel (kind of) bad for Adolf Hitler. Go figure.
Last week we left Tulip in some hot water. We know she was reluctant to come to New Orleans due to some sort of shady conflict with a powerful man named Viktor there. Up until this episode, we had not met Viktor. This week, Tulip is taken in and sat in front of the man himself (played by Paul Ben-Victor). We do not know what she has done to attract the wrath of such a man, set up in a large estate complete with goons who hang around 24/7 and a torture room directly connected to his office. But Viktor makes it clear that “sorry” is not going to be enough for Tulip. Not looking good.
When Jesse returns home after a night of searching for God (and helping a damsel in distress who is revealed to the audience to be part of a strange organization bent on world domination), he does not seem too concerned when Cassidy tells him that Tulip went out the night before without a word to him and has not returned. Tulip has forbid Cassidy to say anything to Jesse, as the two of them fought and she is clearly hiding her strange past in New Orleans from the preacher. Cassidy tries to drop hints that it might be a good idea to go and look for Tulip, but Jesse says it is typical behavior for her and goes to take a nap, leaving Cassidy to watch TV.
While watching TV, Cassidy spots the “actor” who played God in the season one finale. You remember; he was the guy who answered when Jesse called him from the angels’ phone in his church. He was the one who revealed to them that God was missing in the first place. Cassidy spots him in a local New Orleans commercial about not forgetting the victims of Hurricane Katrina (headlined by Frankie Muniz playing himself). Turns out “God” is a local actor named Mark Harelik. He must know more about where God is, or at least how he went missing! They look him up and track down his agent; a man named Teddy Gunth, who is dead set on getting his client some work. In one of the episode’s better bits, Cassidy tricks him into believing he and Jesse are producers from HBO’s Game of Thrones and convinces Gunth to give them Harelik’s audition tape. Watching the tape reveals a startling discovery; Harelik gets the part and is promptly shot on camera. Jesse explains, that’s the only way he could get into Heaven. A lot of these Heaven folks don’t seem so innocent.
And on the opposite end of that, we are seeing some “good” people in Hell. Last week Eugene wandered out of his cell in Hell only to find himself next door neighbors to Adolf Hitler himself. This week we learn that Hell is having trouble adapting to the unanticipated tremendous capacity of people being cast down there, and it is resulting in some buggy equipment and cell doors. Hitler sticks up for Eugene when a bully named Tyler starts picking on him. Eugene then is invited into Hitler’s cell when his door locks and he can’t get back in. There he sees the beginning of Hitler’s worst memory: it’s him meeting a woman for lunch. A Jewish man bumps into him and Hitler apologizes. The woman starts complaining about communists. The Hell machine dies before we can see more, though.
Later, Eugene is called in to talk with Ms. Mannering, the woman who appears to be some type of warden or head guard in Hell. She explains to him that while the machine that causes them all to relive their worst memories over and over again is under repair, the entire cell block Eugene belongs to will be kept together outside their cells. She warns him not to think of it as a vacation or she will put him in “the Hole” a place worse than he can imagine. Ms. Mannering also warns Eugene not to act like the pleasant, nice boy that he is. “You’re in Hell. Act accordingly.” So later when Hitler sticks up for Eugene once again and Tyler attacks him, Eugene joins in the antics, kicking Hitler in the ribs. Why, Preacher? Why are you making me feel bad for HITLER?
Back on Earth, Cassidy decides its been too long that he hasn’t heard from Tulip and decides to come clean to Jesse about where she went. Jesse is of course livid and heads straight for Viktor’s large compound. He uses Genesis left and right to break into the estate and find where Tulip is. When he stumbles into Viktor’s torture room, he is met by Viktor’s torturer, who is one of those quirky sadistic guys who likes to listen to some upbeat tunes while inflicting pain on others. He promptly dons some earbuds that drown out the sound of Genesis. Who knew that some Billy Joel could block the word of God. An exciting fight sequence in mostly one shot ensues, the highlight of the episode. It ends with Jesse putting a sword through both the torturer and the torturer’s most recent victim.
Jesse gets to Tulip and is about to kill Viktor when she stops him. He can’t kill him because Viktor is her husband. DUN DUN DUN! And of course we see the Saint of Killers slowly walking into New Orleans, sensing exactly where Jesse is due to his abundant use of The Word.
I really am enjoying this new season of Preacher. Can’t wait for next week!
Season 2, Episode 4 (S02E04)
Preacher airs Mondays at 9PM on AMC
Paul Gulyas | Contributor