Sunday, July 9, 2017

Preacher, Season 2, Episode 3: Damsels

The gang are heading to New Orleans, Tulip dragging her feet every step because Victor is there and she doesn’t want to meet him but she won’t tell Jessie about it - and Jessie, looking increasingly self-absorbed seems either oblivious or callously irritated by Tulip’s obvious trouble.

Of course, New Orleans isn’t a small city and you can’t just walk around saying you’re looking for god. Originally this gets them to a highly imaginative group of sex workers with a latex dog costume which is about the time that Tulip and Cassidy bail on Jessie to get accomodation

Cassidy insists on meeting up with his friend Dennis - who turns out to be an elderly man who only speaks French (while Cassidy speaks no French) and he seems pretty indifferent to their presence

He also tries to help Tulip but she keeps freezing him out - he objects that they’re treating him as incapable, as unable to help, as the “idiot Irish sidekick” which… ok is kind of how they’re treating him… but it’s also kind of how he acts? Pretty much nothing he does is handled in a vaguely competent fashion and he regularly makes things worse, especially since the few bursts of competence we have seen have been when they haven’t been there. It would actually be interesting for Cassidy to turn to Tulip and Jessie, object to their treatment, point out he’s old enough to be their grandfather and change and show his skills… but he’d have to have skills beyond “awesome partier” and “can take all the drugs”.

Tulip tries to call Jessie only to have us further see how obsessed Jessie has become and how cruelly he’s ignoring her. And, inevitably, Victor’s people find her.

While Jessie is dragging himself from bar to bar looking for god which generally doesn’t go well, lots of booze and a few bar fights later he finally gets a lead on a singer in a club turning down dates because patriots aren’t sufficiently sure that Tallahassee is the capital of Florida (but nice shutting him down lady).

She is unwilling to speak to Jesse but agrees to meet him outside the club - where she’s attacked by 5 men in white suits and masks. Jessie uses Genesis to stop the getaway van and then promptly beats all 5 of the men at once because he’s Jessie and he doesn’t need supernatural powers to take down 5 goons. He rescues her and they go back to her place where she has a baby and is planning to run. There she tells him he’s not the first looking for god and talks about a conspiracy religious world domination cult that was behind her attackers

She also tests Genesis to see if he can stop her kissing him - and he does. It’s a good test though, Jessie does look surprisingly good in the preacher garb

She leaves with her child and leaving Jessie without a lot of leads but he ends up in a club where and old man is listening enthralled by a band playing.

...ok I don’t actually like Jazz not really, some I can appreciate it but a lot of it doesn’t do anything for me. Now these guys are playing… noise. I kind of want to say they’re making a lot of racket and Jessie doesn’t. But I don’t want some angry jazz fan running to the comments saying “how very dare you! That was an awesome piece of music and you just don’t appreciate it!” which, hands up, I don’t. And I fully accept that’s all on me so by all means scream away and say how terribad my opinion is, I agree, it is…

So the band is playing what to me sounds like an awful, ear-searing racket but on which I may be corrected and the old-man-who-is-totally-god urges Jesse to really listen to the music… he does and seems to realise something. The man says “yes, it’s the end of the world.”

To be fair, I didn’t think it was quite THAT bad.

And the woman Jessie saved? She is picked up by my white suited minions, hands off the baby, removes her blonde wig and reports that she’s duly tested Jessie and there is indeed woo-woo at work. And in an all white office with eerie white uniforms, a man with a scarred eye looks ominous while we look at a file of Jessie on his desk. I’m going to take a leap and say these are more angels and this is heaven.

Also I think all that white means heaven is going to be awful to clean.

This episode also returns to Eugene, who was sent to Hell by Jesse’s careless use of Genesis.

In Hell we have what is now rapidly becoming a cliche (and we already saw with the Saint of Killers) - the hellbound soul relives his experiences over and over again in Groundhog Day like fashion. But we do see the original assumption of the town about Eugene’s sins are not what they assumed - that he shot Tracy for rejecting him then shot himself.

Instead it seems he was a friend of Tracy’s and she was going to kill herself because her boyfriend was cheating on her with “a 5”. There follows a series of explanations and events that I find unpleasant - and not because blood and gore or the subject matter of suicide but for the comic way it is portrayed. How Tracy’s suicide note is such a passive aggressive, self-absorbed mess, how she kills herself when Eugene tries to kiss her with an “ew!” and then grabbing the gun - it’s all supposed to be funny and ridiculous wit Eugene trying to put Tracy’s brains back in her head - and that’s the tone - but this is the suicide of two young people and left me feeling distinctly dubious about the whole scene

It also vindicates Eugene since he’s certainly not guilty of what he was accused of - but nor is he entirely innocent. But I don’t think the show will acknowledge that his coming on to her when she was emotionally low and suicidal was also predatory

SO he’s in hell when all the visions stop and the doors open - and he steps out his cell to see fellow inmate… Hitler.

Yes, Hitler.

There are a few shows I think I could trust to take a portrayal of Hitler and not make me cringe. Preacher is not one of them. This is going to be a hot mess.