Preacher review Dallas

(Each week, we’re going to discussion Preacher’s season 2 by examining the differences between the original comics and AMC’s television adaptation.)

As we hoped, Preacher once again takes things on the road again, in a manner of speaking. The fifth episode takes us briefly out of New Orleans on a road trip of the mind as we ride a flashback to Jesse and Tulip’s relationship back in Dallas. Here we finally find out what happened after that fateful day when Carlos betrayed them, a moment that still haunts them even now when they have way bigger problems in their lives.

But viewers finally meet a version of Jesse comic readers know that we haven’t seen a lot on the show – the asshole psychopath. He’s so incensed at finding out that Tulip’s married to some low-rent mob boss that he’s going to torture him to death, and he even uses the Voice on Tulip to force her out of the room and away from whatever he’s going to do. Tulip is terrified of Jesse at this moment, and we can see that his anger is not just a little problem.

We have enjoyed seeing Jesse getting into fights the last two episodes, but this is something entirely different, and much darker. But it comes from a place that’s earned, one of deep frustration at how messed things up are and how different it could have been.

Thus, the flashbacks to the failed robbery in Dallas, and the day Tulip miscarried. We now find out what happened in the months afterwards as they tried to get by after that loss, falling into a pattern of sex, drugs, and pregnancy tests.

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Blunts and Chamberpots

Poor Preacher. A well-designed joke in this episode, meant to convey the monotony of Jesse’s new civilian life, was just done better the previous night in Game of Thrones’ premiere.

“Dallas” has a really fun montage that shows shots of Jesse smoking weed from pages of a bible, watching shitty TV, trying to get Tulip pregnant, and buying beer and pregnancy tests at the store – over and over with increasing speed for maximum hilarity. But it can’t really beat Samwell Tarly gagging over dozens of chamberpots.

But it’s an important moment for the characters! We all know that Tulip can’t be tamed; after all, this is a woman who made a bazooka from household materials in the very first episode. There was one chance that she’d settle down with her baby, but when it was lost, so was her urge to nest. But Jesse is horribly affected by the death he witnesses there and wants, needs, to settle down. So he’s incensed when he finds out that she’s not only going back to work doing bad things, she’s taking birth control to ensure nothing ties her down again.

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Jesse Custer, Homewrecker

Jesse can’t handle it, so he chooses to leave and go back to become a preacher in Annville. It’s interesting to see that this was a choice for him here, as in the comic he was forced to return by his abusive family. They still haven’t spoken too much about Jesse’s extended family in the TV series, but in the comic, his redneck relatives kidnap him and force him back into the service of God, which leads to him meeting Genesis and eventually getting reacquainted with Tulip. On screen, of course, Tulip hunts him down and mocks him for his new lifestyle choice, especially knowing what she knows about him.

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Until The End of the World

Jesse may have left Tulip’s husband alive, but all that time he was using the Word on Viktor’s men led the Saint of All Killers straight to Viktor’s house. The last scene shows the monstrous gunman blasting his way into Viktor’s bedroom and blowing him away after he stammers a non-answer after hearing the giant question, “Preacher?” Viktor’s daughter, who’s cowering in the closet and seconds away from getting shot herself, shows no such hesitation. She’s going to lead the Saint right to them. Next episode, at least.

Let’s get a little deeper into potential spoiler territory here now, shall we?

I say “potential” because the TV series has shown time and time again that this is not the same story as the comics – it’s updated and changed and is sometimes clumsily progressive. But there are hints that point to some world-changing events happening.

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During the flashback sequence, we once again see Tulip saying, “To the end of the world?” to Jesse. This is a cute little saying of theirs that they repeat back and forth: a question, and then a statement. But it’s also the name of the best damn trade arc in the Preacher series, one all about their sociopathic whirlwind romance. (Again, major spoilers for the comics and maybe the show ahead.)

It all starts when Jesse and Tulip get captured (recaptured, in Jesse’s case) in Dallas by Jody and T.C., Jesse’s kin. Jesse knows that things are dire for Tulip, because they want him back preaching for them, and Tulip is a distraction. His family tells them they have until daylight together, and that’s it. Jesse breaks down and tells Tulip everything about his terrible childhood and reveals just why he left her that first time, since she thought he had just abandoned her. He pours out everything about his past and they connect in a way they’d never connected before.

Then Jody comes in and shoots Tulip in the face. It’s honestly one of the most shocking moments in a comic that I can remember.

As you’d expect Jesse goes to a very, very dark place after this, and ends up taking out his whole family. But that’s not the end for Tulip.  Unbeknownst to Jess, God Himself shows up to bring her back. He seems to resurrect her back just to mess with Jesse, and make sure that he calls off his search for God, who doesn’t want to be disturbed. This only makes him redouble his efforts, which further pisses off The Creator. But that’s a story for another day.

Since the last few episodes have been all about trying to find God in New Orleans, this would work perfectly with the story so far. Could the Saint of Killers take out Tulip instead? Here are some other hints that it’s going to happen:

  • The Saint of Killers is immune to the Word in the show, just like Jody was in the comic.
  • Jesse is shocked by Tulip’s married past in the show, just like he was shocked by her attempted career as a hit-woman in the comic.
  • John Wayne is revealed in a picture right above Jesse’s bed, and in the comic he’s somewhat of Jesse’s spirit animal, showing up in times of strife to give advice.
  • In the comic, Jesse and Tulip reconnect and solidify their relationship in a way they never would have if she hadn’t died. This leads to some big problems with Cassidy later on down the line, as he’s someone with some deep-seated issues of his own.
  • Right after this storyline is when the plot with Herr Starr and The Grail kicks into high gear, so it would work out for the rest of the season…
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