Thursday, September 14, 2017

Preacher, Season 2, Episode 13: The End of the Road

So we open with another scene from Jesse’s childhood, now working for “grandma” Madame L’Angelle - apparently running a southern style theme park with added woo-woo to a steady stream of tourists. The police are also interested but even child Jesse is skilled in spotting them and hiding from them.

The nefarious becomes more apparent when Jesse gets his arm brutally twisted for trying to hold back some money - and kills his pet chicken in a fit of temper. After which he them goes to Madame L’Angelle to fix it… or maybe to give her a chicken dinner.

Now to the future and we have Starr deciding to stage manage Jesse into the new messiah - which Jesse is clearly having issues with - from being called messiah to Starr trying to write his speech and dictate his wardrobe.

The first step of this is to give a speech. To a bunch of school children in a Catholic school… in or near Armenia or a place which is likely to have Armenians willing to attack and shoot people and be plausible because Jesse’s speech is interrupted by a group of men, apparently Armenians, with gun. They menace Jesse, several nuns and the kids and Jesse tries to use the word. But it fizzles. Again. Instead he resorts to violence. Jesse is very very very good at violence and saves everyone

Which gets him hailed and on a talk show. But doesn’t show off divine power - so ends up with lower billing than Kylie Jenner. Jesse is also smart enough to realise the attack was staged which adds to all of his conflict over being the messiah

The rest of the gang are being more interesting. Cassidy is taking this damn show and is determined to carve a storyline out of it. Somehow. He’s trying so hard. And he is hurting because after spying on Dennis he seems more proof of his blood lust and falling into utter vampire murderiness.

Worse, when Tulip comes back and he imagines having sex with her (for a brief moment I thought that scene was real).. And pictures himself ripping out Tulip’s throat. He is planning on bringing Dennis to with them on holiday to Bimini and asks Dennis if he can be a good boy. And Dennis asks him, archly, whether HE can be a good boy…

...Cass can’t. Not with Dennis around. He pushes Dennis out of the window in full sunlight and refuses to let him back. Dennis burns to death and Cass is all torn up. This could have been a real storyline, the struggle of the vampire and the poignancy of not just killing Dennis to save others - but the cruel, self-analysing selfishness of killing him in order to save himself. There’s a whole lot of levels of pain to analyse there and Cassidy would be real fun to analyse it. We could have had this storyline - instead we had Jesse moping around

And Tulip. Tulip continues her path of angst. She’s aiming for her holiday with a single minded and almost grumpy purpose, goes shopping (and then robs the place because the shop assistant is an arsehole and looking likely racist) before returning home to find Cass all mopey and smoking crack. And she finds the spy camera from the Grail. She realises that Starr has been watching them the whole time and probably manipulated everything. Guessing her friendly neighbour is behind this, she goes to confront Featherstone and Hoover with a sharp object

Having seen proof they’re Starr corporation (by them being together again) Tulip decides to stab them. And Featherstone reacts with a gun

Damn it, couldn’t Tulip have one awesome combat moment this season? She took down a helicopter with children’s toys, damn it, and she can’t pull out better than a screwdriver?!

So Tulip gets shot.

Naturally, Tulip being damselled has Jessie hurrying home: (Starr is pissed and cancels the ambulance, just because) so we have Jessie and Cassie competitively manpaining over Tulip’s dying body. Cassie demands Jessie use the voice - but it’s glitching. Cass desperately comes to one conclusion - he needs to turn Tulip. Despite just having clear evidence how terribly that can go. Jesse fights him to stop it and holds Cass back - and Cass throws in all the sad acting here

And Tulip dies.

Not. Amused. Not after this season of damselling and endless trauma. Not amused at all

Of course they put her in the car and go driving to Jesse’s grandmother so I believe we’ll be seeing some evil resurrection in season 3. Then hopefully Tulip will leave them because she deserves better.

We need to catch up with Eugene - he and Hitler do escape hell, via Charon (who is kind of fun) and a snarking matching of ominous voices between Charon and the Demon Superintendent (who kills Charon because no god = no rules). And Eugene insists Hitler come with him

Of course he does… and once back in the real world he quickly ditches Eugene and is clearly not a nice guy any more. Eugene got played. Hitler is now a thing

I’m not sure how worried to be about this? I mean, we’re talking someone 70 years out of date on just about everything without any notable intelligence or skill, and loathed by everyone not having tantrums over racist statue removal?

And this concludes season 2. It looks like it’s already renewed for a season 3 - and I’m sad to say I have mixed feelings about this. I mean season 1? I was ready for this to be renewed. I celebrated when it was renewed. Preacher being renewed was awesome and fun

Because season 1 of Preacher was so much fun. Whatever else it was (more than a little problematic at times, nonsensical often, dancing all over lines a lot, gratuitous in just about every possible way it was to be gratuitous), it was FUN. It was zany, made little sense but was FUN. It was funny, exciting and just a big silly romp throw an orgy of kookiness and I loved it. And it took talent and an incredible amount of effort to make season 2 BORING

I mean, how?! How could you take what you had at the end of season 1 and make it BORING? How do you take Cassidy, Tulip and Jesse and make them boring? But they managed it. Episode after episode of Jesse not caring about anyone else, moping and snapping like a surly teenager. Episode after episode of him doing nothing but snapping and pouting. While Tulip just because more and more damaged and traumatised and that’s not a bad storyline if the focus was her. But it wasn’t on her - it was one long process of damselling her, so her pain could be the backing music to Jesse’s story until the season concluded with her DYING so Jesse can be given a new motivation. This sums up how the more prominent woman and POC on this show was treated. Throw in a lot of homophobic humour, a did-they-didn’t-they-we-can’t-say-even-on-this-show Cassidy/Fiore and this isn’t great for any minority.

I have images of Cassidy staggering under a great weight yelling “guys, I can’t carry the whole show!” but damn, hats off to Joseph Gilgun, because he TRIED. His storyline could have been much more interesting mixing zaniness with some really powerful pathos, but this footnote could never compete with Jesse’s cold, blank mush of blah.

And I still just ask… HOW?! How did you make this so boring?!