'Preacher' Review: 'Puzzle Pieces' Takes The Series Off-Book In The Best Ways Possible

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

At first, it seemed like this season was when Preacher would get back on the comic book track, but by now it's very obvious that the show is very much its own thing. This has turned out to be a very big plus. This second season has transformed a middling-if-strangely-watchable TV show into a can't miss experience, with nearly each episode showing off different genres, filmmaking styles, and badass action scenes. This is a hodgepodge of ideas and nutty characters that somehow works, and does things that no one on TV is even attempting.

Case in point this week's episode, "Puzzle Pieces," which casts a new light on our heroes.



Jesse's search for God has brought him to the internet, the most Godless place in existence. The comic was written before The Age of YouTube, and thus comic Jesse wasn't tempted into looking at videos of people seeing God in various pieces of toast, water stains, and dog buttholes. That's not the case here. He and Cassidy are stumped on where to go next.

Meanwhile, Tulip is not sleeping. She gets home one morning with a bruised and battered chest after taking three from a .44 from her new favorite establishment. She's got a roll of cash to go along with her wounds, but what she doesn't have is sleep and she's starting to crack up.

Jesse sees this and uses his powers on her again to make her sleep, which Cassidy looks at with disgust. "She was tired," Jesse says as way of excuse, but you know that she won't be happy and that good guy Cassidy would surely never dream of hurting a lady like that..

Starr and crew are watching this moment as part of their surveillance of Custer, but Starr is unimpressed with Jesse's power. He instructs Featherstone and Hoover to kill them all, so the white suits arm themselves and head on over.


[REC] 4: Preacher

Remember when I lamented that Cassidy hasn't really had the chance to go full vampire in this season yet? Let me stop talking right now. This scene, which I'll lovingly refer to as the [REC] scene, is one of the best of the show yet. This is a scene shot almost entirely in night-vision POV from the soldiers of The Grail as they infiltrate the apartment building. Since these guys are ready for Jesse (but not Cassidy), they have headphones on and can't hear The Word. This makes for a silent, green, and utterly eerie scene as they storm in and start taking people down.

It's a perfect role reversal that shows just how dangerous and downright frightening our heroes are if you're on the wrong side. Cassidy goes into full feral vampire mode and struggles with a bunch of armed assailants, trying to rip them apart. Another soldier gets to find out just how good Jesse is in a fight, and I'll be damned if this isn't yet another amazing Preacher fight sequence. What is that, four impressive and completely unique fights this season? Five?

There's also a truly shocking moment when we follow the POV of a soldier that comes across Denis and just shoots him in bed – without sound! In the back of your head, you may be wondering what Cassidy's decision was at the end of the last episode (as far as granting his dying son eternal life), and our questions are soon answered.

Jesse finally gets the mask off of the guy and instructs him to kill all of his friends who are grappling with Cassidy, and it's here that our questions about Denis are answered as he springs back to life and tears him apart before Jesse has a chance to interrogate him.

It's just a shame that Tulip was sleeping through the whole thing, because we all know how dangerous she is when she's mad.

Preacher is always best when it steps outside its comfort zone and tries something completely new, and I'm still amazed at how many different techniques and styles they try to tell this story. It doesn't always work, but when it does, we have scenes like this, which is one of the best in the show so far.


While Jesse has enlisted the help of local police (who are now working for him, as they all agree to when he uses The Word on them) to help clean up the mess and try and figure out who was behind all of this, Herr Starr is about to clean up his own mess. He lays down a nice white tarp in his office and asks Featherstone and Hoover who is going to pay for this, and both immediately say Hoover.

But Starr's glock hilariously jams while Hoover squirms at gunpoint as it clicks and clicks, and Featherstone takes it from Starr and dismantles it. She reassembles it in truly badass style while putting forth her case that she can take care of Jesse with the help of Brad. Starr agrees and tells them that he wants them to make arrangements for him to indulge in a rape fantasy, one of those "no means yes" type deals. He leaves it just vague enough for Hoover to mess up. What a charming bunch.


Ah, Bugger

Jesse spends the next few days with the police watching his back for an attack that doesn't come, while Starr attempts to get his rocks off. This actually plays out somewhat like the comic, which gets a little bit homophobic (oh, the '90s). In the comic, as soon as Starr meets Featherstone and Hoover (who are equally just as cold and calculating/goofy and bumbling) he requests them find him some sordid sex, and Hoover messes it up, getting some men to engage him in a rape fantasy rather than the other way around. Comic Starr almost kills Hoover, strangling him and saying "you turned me into a homosexual" before Featherstone convinces him to stop. TV Starr isn't happy with the situation at first, but then goes along with it, and is actually able to concentrate and realize the next steps he needs to take while it's happening. Progress? Maybe?

Anyway, Starr calls off BRAD (which, hilariously, turns out to be a drone strike) which get redirected into Harry Connick Jr.'s house. It also gives the show an excuse to play his song "The Preacher" in the next scene, as a news reporter comments on the man's untimely death and plays it in honor of him.

Now Jesse is having drinks at the bar when Starr shows up, with a proposition. He's heard Jesse lamenting not being able to find God, and he wants to help him. As for what that entails, that's what we'll find out next episode. We can only hope it involves more fisticuffs and vampire chowdown sessions.