Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Preacher, Season 1, Episode 5: South Will Rise Again

Jessie is now a lot more popular after his impressive conversion of Odin Kincannon last episode – he’s popular with the whole town (though Emily is definitely suspicious that something is going on) and the most boring kids in the entire world invite him to play “who is your favourite gospel?”. He’s using the word of god over and over again

I don’t think this will be the show to examine it, but it’s grossly not right what Jessie is doing. Even if he thinks he’s doing the right thing, he is completely removing the choices of many of these town folk to make them conform to what he thinks is right.

An example of this? Eugene – Eugene comes home to find “finish the job” and an arrow pointing to a shotgun in his room. This to a man who tried to kill himself with a shotgun… that’s… cold. His dad is clearly cracking desperately and while Eugene desperately tries to be the nicest man in the world – and his dad snaps and basically repeats “finish the job” to him.

Ouch… all the pain

Eugene is duly upset… because his dad is suffering. He still hates himself, thinks he deserves everything he gets – but his dad doesn’t deserve to suffer. Jessie decides to deal with this by taking Eugene to see Terri Loach and her comatose daughter, Tracy Loach (who Jessie helped wake with his god of voice). Terri promptly loses her shit – screaming at Eugene as a murderer and trying to kill him – before Jessie uses the word of god on her and making her forgive Eugene

Ok… I just can’t imagine what Eugene has done to deserve the level of revulsion he faces and, given how earnest he is, it’s hard not to feel sorry for the guy. I’m not full on Team Eugene because I really need to know what he did. But whatever he did it’s not ok to force someone to forgive, no matter how much it brings peace to other people, no matter how much it will protect, help and heal clear innocents – you don’t get to force someone to forgive. Not even if you think it’s good for them. It’s not ok to forgive

But it’s clear this isn’t the only time Jessie’s abuse of power is going to backfire – one thing we can see if Odin Kincannon. Now serving god, decides to do so by meeting with the company he refused to meet last episode by urinating in the mayor’s briefcase – and now decides to shoot them

I have no idea why. I assume it’s part of his command to “serve god” and, let’s face it, worse things have been done in the name of serving god

Another fallout of the power is Donnie – after Jessie made him almost swallow his own gun is now extremely traumatised by the experience. I think this is pretty powerful – because scenes like this, of the superhero using his power to put some random hoodlum in his place – are not that uncommon. But when do we examine the mental impact of this random guy suddenly facing his death at the hands of a force that so utterly eclipses him? I like that, I like that being included

Meanwhile Tulip has some quick run down about what being a vampire means to Cassidy (with a nice notice that he doesn’t need blood except to heal). After some quick questions and answer – and Cassidy declaring he loves her – she pretty much kicks him out after a brief rant about Jessie (without mentioning his name) and how she loves him and is desperately waiting for him so they can go after Carlos. Cassidy pokes a nerve by suggesting maybe Jessie isn’t who she thinks he is.

Tulip’s not having that – she storms to Jessie’s unofficial little sermon to tell everyone a story of some of the bad stuff he did in his past. It doesn’t work out – as Jessie happily owns his bad history – and uses it to point out that he’s changed. He’s a different man. And so too can Tulip

Tulip is definitely not happy with this – she deals with this by going to Cassidy, dead-pan professing her own love for him and having sex with him. Having sex with the same expression on her face as someone being forced to watch a game of golf. She’s up to something… jealousy?

Oh and the Angels fail to pick up the phone to heaven but finally do decide to confront Jessie to tell him they’re angels from heaven and, no, he doesn’t have god inside him. I don’t think he buys it

We also have another odd Olde West flashback with the strange man arriving in town looking for medicine. In contrast to just about every other depiction of the old west I’ve seen, this is brutal. I don’t mean lawless and gun-slingy. I mean rife with brutal genocide of Native Americans (and displayed as exactly as awful and brutal as it is) and the rape of sex workers (not the merry sassy sex workers you usually see in the fiction).

The man finally snaps over this and storms back to town… which, sadly, fails terribly. He’s brutally beaten and a man who recognises him as a very skilled killer during the civil war shoots his horse. This forces him to walk back home, to find his whole family dead.

Well that was brutal. Why do I think I just saw an origin story?