Both Quincannon and Jesse refuse to give up on what they each think is rightfully theirs. While Jesse is struggling to face the consequences of his actions, Quincannon has laid his past demons to rest and is hellbent on moving forward and putting Annville on the map again. Despite a few (brief) tugs at the heart strings, Preacher is non-stop, forward motion through bloody pasts and intertwined futures. Who comes out on top when the town’s two most prominent men go head to head? It’s hard to pick a winner, but we sure were treated to some great dialogue along the way. Here are some of the best quotes from “El Valero.”
3. Jesse: “You dug out of hell with your hands?”
Eugene: “It’s not that far.”
Jesse: “What’s it like?”
For a kid who’s just climbed out of hell, Eugene seems disturbed and relived, but something is off. He’s sincere in the way he’s speaking to Jesse, but he’s oddly not angry at the man who sent him to such an unholy place. Despite paralyzing Tracy Loach and maiming himself, Eugene is such a bright spot and good spirited kid. Even after we realize that Eugene is a figment of Jesse’s imagination, he still gives the preacher some pretty sound advice.
As badly as we want to be angry with Eugene for what he’s done to Tracy, it’s just hard to hate him. Did he do a terrible thing? Of course, but Preacher has humanized him to the point where we can’t get past the “good people don’t do bad things” argument. Regardless of what penance he’s paying in hell, I really hope Jesse finds a way to bring him back.
2. “Not only can the preacher fight, he can shoot too!”
“El Valero” is over the top, hokey, and hilarious. With as much power as Quincannon has, he employs the thickest idiots in all of west Texas. We’re watching a sequence with Quincannon as a man on hill promising his minions, some of whom are dressed in Civil War reenactment costumes, a food court if only they would “drag that preacher out of his church!” It’s absurd, and in any other setting would be unacceptable, but Preacher has tapped into those deep comical roots .
4-6 men rush into Jesse’s church, and he disarms them while he’s three sheets to the wind and hallucinating about Eugene. The second encoutner has Jesse shooting from the bell tower of the church with an automatic rifle and tossing Molotov cocktails onto construction equipment. This shootout proves that the preacher’s criminal background was good enough that he could shoot off a man’s penis from a distance. No, that’s not a typo. Once the shock wears off, Pearl, one of the Toadvine girls, adds to the scene with great deadpan in contrast to Clive’s wails of pain. “Hang in there, Clive. You’ll be back on your feet in no time. Oh, here’s your penis,” she says as she places it on the bloodied and painful spot where it once was.
Clive’s trek back to base camp with the rest of the Q. M. & P. men is so drawn out that even the music stops playing because the scene is taking too long. Another testament to the tone is Clive’s reaction by simply saying, “Preacher shot my d–k off. Wanna see?” as he ambles around cradling it in his hands. Preacher has done a masterful job of drawing the viewer in to the point where regardless of how asinine the statements or action, we believe it enough to keep coming back week-to-week. According to TV By The Numbers, Preacher pulled in just over 1.5M viewers withÂ “He’s Gone,” showing that viewership has inched up over the past few episodes.
1. “Preacher, we have a question for you. Genesis, the greatest power ever known… You’ve had it all this time right there at the tip of your tongue. And what good have you done with it?”
Before DeBlanc and Fiore try to remove Genesis from Jesse, he tries to reason with them about this being part of God’s plan. DeBlanc shuts him down with an eloquent response, to which Jesse has no retort because these angels have been right all along. From the moment he realized what he could do, Jesse has gone about dishing out miracles based on his ideas of what is right and wrong and what should happen. Commanding Tracy to open her eyes with no plan for what to do if she actually did; Scalding Linus and forcing him to forget about his pedophile tendencies; forcing Tracy’s mom to forgive Eugene even though he never asked to be absolved.
Jesse has been judge, jury, and executioner for far too long, and it is all coming back to bite him. For all the changes he believed he was making for the better, not one has worked out like he’d planned. Power corrupts, and Jesse has fallen into a hole he can’t dig himself out of. He’s pushed away all the people who care for him, and now the two people who could have helped have turned their backs on him.
With no Eugene and armed only with Genesis, can one more Sunday really make a difference in Annville?
One honorable mention comes from the cold open where we met Quincannon’s family. His wife explained her husband’s absence from an extended family ski trip by telling someone, “That disgusting job is pretty much his other woman.”
I have a feeling this line is going to come back in a most horrific way. Fans of the comic know exactly what this is referring to, which I won’t spoil here, but I hope AMC is moving closer to getting to the more gruesome arcs from the comic. Even though the line is innocuous, it serves to further define Odin Quincannon as more than meets the eye. He’s passionate about the family business and can seem distant to the rest of his family. Once what’s left of their bodies is returned to him, he looks at the intestines and wonders what the difference is between a slaughtered cow and his daughter.
That’s the moment we see him crack — the moment he moved from obsessed meat plant owner to uncaring, singularly focused on profiting off death.
Preacher has found its niche, and for those of us who have made it this far, we are being rewarded with wonderfully weird television. Any show that can make penis jokes and cover religion and existentialism all in the same episode without any topic feeling neglected makes for an impressive hour of TV.
Catch the penultimate episode, “Finish The Song,” at 9/8c on AMC as Preacher winds down it’s first season.
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