5 Moments of Goodness from Preacher “South Will Rise Again”
Jesse has gone all-in with this new power, but how much of the work is he actually doing because he believes it’s what God wants? Using something when you don’t fully understand how it works can be dangerous, and Jesse is playing a game of Russian roulette that he’s unaware of.
Preacher‘s storytelling capabilities are put on full display in “South Will Rise Again” as the arcs expand to include backstory on a host of intriguing people. Here are our five moments of goodness from this week’s episode.
Donnie has been a victim for far too long. He took a beating from Jesse before he was possessed, and very nearly shot his own head off at the hands of Jesse after he was possessed. But just because it’s hard to like a bully like Donnie, doesn’t mean we get to write him off as a dumb oaf. He’s observant, and is the first to speak up about something not being right with Jesse. Several others have noticed the change, namely Emily, but no one has dared speak up.
After being threatened by his wife, Donnie finally goes back work and can instantly see the change in his boss, Odin Quincannon. The sight of it unnerves him. He looses his cool and screams at his boss to tell him what the Preacher said to him, and that’s when he finally connects the dots. First Linus, then Donnie, and now Odin. As a sobbing, pitiful heap, Donnie tells his wife everything and begs her not to sleep with another man like she threatened earlier in the day. So now that his wife knows, what will she do about Jesse?
Quincannon’s Merry Murders
Belief is a tricky thing. It’s not exactly quantifiable, leaving room for people to do terrible things because they believe they’re doing them for some greater good. In “Monster Swamp,” we see that Odin Quincannon is the type of man to do what’s best for the business. Before Jesse turned him onto a more enlightened path, Quincannon did everything in his power to stay ahead of his competition. Despite his new plan to serve God as commanded, he kicks off his grand plan by murdering the Green Acres folks (his direct competition as head of Q. M. & P.) during a meeting.
It’s last scene of “South Will Rise Again,” and it came as such a shock because we were lulled into believing that he’d changed. He was going to meet with the Green Acres team, figure out a way to make his business more sustainable, and make everything better for Annville. If you, like me, fell into this trap, shame on us. Because his belief in Q. M. & P. runs so deep, he is able to commit a heinous act under the guise of he is doing whatever it takes to save this town. This act of obedience shows some loopholes in Jesse’s power.
Jesse’s ego swells to epic and self-serving proportions as he mistakenly believes that he is literally carrying the will of God inside him. Floating through Annville as if he were unstoppable, Jesse moves from one crowd to another as he uses his words to direct the townspeople. First, it’s folks at the diner fawning over him while he’s talking to Emily about changes that are coming. She’s not sold on this new act of his, but she can’t put her finger on what’s so different.
Later, perhaps thinking he’s doing Eugene a favor, he takes the teen over to Tracey’s house and has to stop her mother from beating the boy with a baseball bat. Obviously, something happened between Tracey and Eugene, but their connection is still unclear. Is his self inflicted gun shot wound somehow responsible for Tracey’s condition? Perhaps that will all be explained later seeing as how Eugene’s story is already wildly different from the character in the comics.
DeBlanc and Fiore Give An Ultimatum
It isn’t until Heaven’s angels finally run out of option and go to Jesse directly that the preacher begins to think something might really be wrong. They calmly approach him at the diner and tell him they’re running out time and they really need that power out of him so they can return it to heaven.
These guys have been hilariously inept and I don’t think their direct line of questioning is going to have a different outcome. The deadpan way in which they speak, the social awkwardness, they just don’t fit in and it has been so much fun watching them try to navigate this world and be thwarted at every turn.
However, since they didn’t answer the angel phone when Heaven called, I can’t help but wonder if the higher ups won’t just send someone else to get the job done.
The Saint of Killers
We finally return to the 1880s and the mysterious drifter who seeks a cure for his family’s ailments in the unfortunately named town of Ratwater. He seems like a decent man, trying to do what is best for his wife and daughter; but like the other characters on Preacher, he’s got a past that he just can’t seem to outrun. When someone recognizes him on his travels, things get dicey as he is beaten and his horse is killed. Forced to return home on foot, he arrives too late and the bodies of his family at the mercy of crows.
Readers of the comic know this character as The Saint of Killers, but we have yet to see his vengeance be loosed upon this world in the AMC series. However, losing his wife and child are the jumping off point for him to succumb to his rage and unleash hell upon the town of Ratwater. It feels like Preacher is setting up his backstory in order to make him the main villain should the show be picked up for a second season. Eventually, the The Saint of Killers is sent after Jesse, and with neither Heaven nor Hell controlling him, he’s practically invincible. Will the utter failure of the two angels be the reason this evil awaken? Is Genesis, the thing inside Jesse, so powerful that heaven itself is scared of what it could be used for?
Downside – Tulip and Cassidy hooking up
For all the moments of goodness in this fifth episode, there was one thing that soured the episode: Tulip having sex with Cassidy. She’s angry and hurt that Jesse continues on with his heavenly shenanigans, but it seems like a step out of character. But Tulip rarely does anything without a plan, and I’m sure even this hook-up was strategic. Perhaps Cassidy will now provide the leverage she needs to get Jesse back on Carlos trail?
All in all, “South Will Rise Again” really showed just how much story there is to tell with Preacher. The audience has finally gotten some insight into characters and signs of the fallout from Jesse’s ability have already begun to show. I have been enjoying the pacing and reveals so far, and am happily (though not so patiently) waiting for some of the bigger consequences to to play out.
Tune in for Preacher next Sunday for “Sundowner,” which airs at 9/8c on AMC.
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