'Preacher' Review: 'Sokosha' May Be The Best Episode Of The Series To Date

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

This week's review is going to be a little different, because for once, the Preacher comics are directly represented in the TV show. In fact, they're shown on screen!

See, when Jesse, Cassidy, and Tulip want to bone up on their knowledge of just what the Saint of Killers is all about, they head on over to the graphic novel section of their local library. There, they pull down what turns out to be Preacher: Saint of Killers, a real four-issue limited series that reveals the killer cowboy's backstory.


The story explains much of the origin of the Saint that we already saw in the first season of the TV show. You know the deal – his family died from the plague, the town saw his vengeance as he killed them all in cold blood, blah blah blah. But during their research, they find a source that states the Saint is down in hell right now and "rumored to be feared by Satan Himself." That's a nice nod to what happens in the comics, as the Saint does indeed go to hell, which promptly freezes over. Satan is flabbergasted and, well, let's just say the Saint does what he does best.

One note about these featured comics is that the art is different from the full run, as it's from Steve Pugh (Animal Man, Hellblazer). As cool as it is to see Pugh's art on the show, it would be nice to see the late Steve Dillon's on screen at some point.

Soul Man

The whole reason they're looking for info about the Saint is because they know he's been sent there by the angels to kill Jesse, but they can't figure out what he wants. That story tells them the truth – he just wants his family back, but they're in heaven. You need a soul to get to heaven and this former man has lost his.

Fortunately, the show has added yet another new wrinkle: some bonafide soulcatchers. The Japanese have muscled in on the voodoo priests of New Orleans and are running around town with clinical precision, extracting portions of souls (you don't need to give away your whole thing!) and giving them to anyone rich enough to pay the millions they're asking.

This comes into play with the Saint, since the only way to appease him is to get him a soul. After a hilarious sequence that has Tulip explaining to Jesse over the phone how to quickly make an IED to blast into the armored car that houses the souls, he meets up with the soul merchants and forces them to give him one that matches the Saint. The problem is that even though they have a ton of souls, none match. It's like organ donation – it won't work unless it's close.

Jesse is a match, because of course. Since he only has minutes to go before the Saint kills off all of his friends, he decides to give him the smallest amount of soul he possibly can – one percent.


Cassidy: No-Fingered Vampire

Cassidy has never really flaunted his vampirehood in the show. Sure, he dons an umbrella and tries to stay out of the sun here and there, but he's not quite the loose cannon he was in the comic. But he is fiercely loyal, especially to Tulip. Jesse is late getting back to the group and the Saint made a promise to kill them after an hour if he doesn't return, so he moves to kill Tulip with his saber. This prompts Cassidy to grab the old-yet-still-very-sharp blade with his bare fingers, which are lopped off. That gives Jesse just enough time to walk in and stop the Saint in his tracks. Good thing Cassidy's fingers can grow back.

It's not dissimilar to how Cassidy tries to be the hero in the comics, although the way he does that is a little more...Cassidy. In the comic, the Saint corners Jesse much earlier and is about to kill him in the middle of a road after taking out an entire police force. That's when Cassidy comes racing straight at the Saint in a truck while yelling "Yer ma's a hooer!" The truck crashes into the Saint and just completely crumples around him, and Cassidy flies through the window and smashes up pretty good.

Cassidy has another surprise in store this episode, too. That strange guy Denis, the old Frenchman whose house they're staying at and who Cassidy seemed to strangely care about? That's his son.

That's a shock for bookreaders, because comic Cassidy doesn't have any family. At least, none that he kept track on. What we know of his backstory (because he has his own origin arc, every character gets one) is only that he had a brother. He's definitely been in his share of destructive relationships – poor Tulip – but he's never stuck around for the kids with his various girlfriends over the years. There are kids though, he just doesn't know where, or what became of them.

Yet TV show Cassidy is suddenly concerned about his son when he's put in danger. Cassidy can't have been a good dad, as he's got eternal life and he hasn't even bothered to learn the language his son speaks, and here he only just barely remembers that hey, maybe it's not a good idea for him to go back to his apartment when the Saint is there. But the idea of losing him definitely freaks Cassidy out and shows a more human side than we're used to. We'll see how he learns to deal with loss in the coming episodes.



Jesse's showdown with the Saint this episode is absolutely everything you want from Preacher. This is probably the most tense episode of the series thus far, and it features some tremendous character work. Tulip looks scared for maybe the first time here, as she's finally met someone she can't reason with or strike down.

Fortunately, after eating Jesse's soul, the Saint finally listens to the Word and Jesse uses it to bring him to his knees. Jesse uses his power to disarm the Saint and reveal that he never planned on sending him to Heaven since he doesn't deserve to go there. Instead Jesse puts him in a truck and dumps him in the bottom of a swamp and the Saint is more than a little pissed. That won't keep him down forever. We all know that.

Jesse hides the Saint's revolvers and saber under the tiles of Denis' bathroom floor, They never really talked about the guns in the show, but in the comic they were given to him by the Angel of Death. They have unlimited ammo and never need to be reloaded, and any shot fired will always hit their mark. The other kicker? They can kill anything. Even God.

So maybe he should have hung onto those beasts for a little longer. But right now, since he's only 99% of who he once was and so terrified of Hell that he'd rather bury the Saint than banish him, he's not thinking straight. He stares at himself in the mirror and wonders what he's lost.

It's one helluva episode.