So when we last left Jesse (Dominic Cooper), Tulip (Ruth Negga) and Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun), they were happily reunited back at Denis' (Ronald Guttman) place after a minor disagreement at Viktor's (Paul Ben-Victor) place that was easily cleared-up, and they even made plans to meet-up next week for lunch. The Saint of Killers (Graham McTavish) realized the error of his ways and decided to leave the three of them alone to make their search for God as easy as possible…
Folks? This is Preacher. You know things don't usually go that smoothly. The first part's right, but it should actually go more like this:
So when we last left Jesse, Tulip and Cassidy, they were happily reunited back at Denis' place after a bloody and violent run through Viktor's house. Jesse tortured and damn-near killed Viktor after finding-out that Tulip was married to him, deciding against killing him at the last moment (but not before getting the divorce papers signed). Cassidy felt the bitter rage of both Tulip and Jesse as he continued to screw-up while trying to do the right thing. The Saint of Killers lived-up to his rep by killing everyone at Viktor's place in his hunt for Jesse and the Genesis power save for Viktor's daughter, who does her daddy proud by brokering a deal with The Saint to spare her life… as long as she delivers The Saint to Jesse's doorstep. Oh, and in the background? An internationally powerful, religio-fascist organization by the name of The Grail, waiting to make its big move.
So that pretty much gets us up-to-speed for Preacher Season 2, Episode 6: the season highlight Sokosha…but first!
This isn't a formal review — more of a recap-ish type thing — but it will cover some themes and takeaways involving major and minor storyline developments from the episode. If you're not familiar with the comic book series or the show, you should definitely keep that in mind as you keep read on. If you're a fan of the series or have some idea of what's coming up, then spoilers probably aren't that big of a deal for you, but there may be some discussion of subtle changes that you might want to avoid until you see them for yourself.
So here's what AMC had to say about Sokosha:
The Saint corners the trio; Jesse makes a deal with the killer Cowboy; Jesse races to save Tulip and Cassidy.
Overall Takeaway: This episode was the defining episode of the season so far, and that's saying a lot for a show that's done a great job of building upon the first season's foundations. Jesse, Cassidy and Tulip have been hovering close for almost one and a half seasons, but this episode was the first time they functioned like a complete unit, similar to the team chemistry they had in the comic books. I'm going to throw a whole gaggle of reasons at you in Spare Parts to make my argument, but let me just say this: it's never a bad sign when the episode ends and you're checking your DVR because you could swear that it was only on for a half-hour.
Biggest and most obvious thematic takeaway from Sokosha? It's all about havin' soul, kids! More specifically and best represented by the timeless lyrics of the great '80s pop-metal gods Cinderella, "Don't know what you got till it's gone." The idea that everyone has a "soul" is one that now transcends any one religion or faith, and even some agnostics and atheists subscribe to a concept of the "soul" as something universally ethereal. We assume most people have one, that bad people don't, and that it's something that can be either blessed or damned based on the choices that we make. We rarely ever really talk about the importance of a "soul" and how it defines us as individuals. It's something we generally accept but also in many ways take for granted. This episode took the idea of being "soulfully apathetic" to a disturbingly absurd degree, turning the "soul" into nothing more than a commodity that can be bought for the right price. But Sokosha doesn't hesitate to show us the other side of the coin: the degrees to which those who are "soulfully lacking" will go for that feeling again; and the realization that there's always a price to be paid for losing a part of yourself…even if it's "only" one percent. It's something you will definitely miss.
Spare Parts: Here are some random thoughts, quotes, and observations from this week's episode that came up while I was screening it: just some things to keep in mind whether you're watching for the first time or re-watching for the 66th time:
● Remember that "right price" for a "soul" I talked about earlier? Apparently, Tamashii Ureshii Iku Iku ("Soul Happy Go Go") rep The Technician (James Kyson) has the answer: $5000/1% of soul (minimum 10%); and if the customer is willing to give-up 15%, the total price is doubled. For Mr. Thibodeaux, that's $150,000 for something he "won't even miss." I mean, it's only a "soul"… right?
● Jesse seems pretty cock-sure of himself. Hmmm…
● Still working on the Denis/Cassidy dynamic – they're definitely closely related in some way.
● A Redi-Whip/marshmallows/hot fudge breakfast? I didn't know it was possible to get diabetes from your TV screen – it's like having breakfast in Wonkaland.
● Cassidy: "You got anything you want to say to me?" / Jesse: "…you're forgiven?" I'm a big fan of the brotherly bond forming between these two: it's developed into the kind of relationship where fighting is expected but never taken personally and pretty much forgotten after the dust settles. It's interesting to see how Cassidy is still getting used to it, especially considering there's that whole "he-had-sex-with-Tulip" thing that we know is going to come out. The fact that I'm already dreading when that happens says a lot about how Cooper and Gilgun have continued to elevate their performances with every episode.
● Cassidy might be the worst wing man ever for someone he considers his "best mate."
● Tulip: "It's always good to give a girl a good helpin' whenever you can." The sexual chemistry between Tulip and Jesse again speak volumes about the actors involved. Negga and Cooper give us well-rounded characters whose love, passion and desire to be with one another can't be denied no matter how much of their pasts (and an insane present) rise-up to challenge them. Tulip and Jesse are equals in every way possible: strong enough to be there for the other when they need; and begrudgingly accepting of the weaknesses in them that makes having the other in their lives so essential…even if they don't like to admit it.
● Jesse: "I didn't marry her, Tulip. I can tell you that much." To paraphrase a little Disney number you may have heard once or 1600 times, let the whole "married Tulip" thing go, Jesse. Let it go. But props on that line 'cause it was damn good one.
● Viktor's daughter wastes no time getting the f**k out of Dodge once she's pointed-out the apartment to The Saint. Unfortunately for everyone on that floor, it doesn't look like her memory's too strong so everyone pays the price…and for The Saint, your faith ain't his problem: "There's no preacher here, man! I'm a Jew!"
● Let's be clear about this so there's no confusion: doesn't matter if it's by gun, saber or electric toothbrush, The Saint will kill you.
● This scene brought to you by Fage Total 2% Steaming Ammo Yogurt…
● Tulip (to Cassidy): "So basically you watch trash TV?" Make sure to watch this scene a second time to really catch the dialogue in the background between Tulip and Cassidy…really good stuff.
● "The Day The Dying Died": Nice to see the Mumbai Sky Tower Resort & Casino paying proper respect to the late, great Fiore (Tom Brooke).
● Sorry, Jesse, but "We read" shouldn't be a huge rallying cry or "unexpected revelation" on how to learn more about The Saint's backstory. The fact that it was doesn't say a whole helluva lot.
● Cassidy: "We used to drop acid and flick through these for hours." I'm not condoning it…I'm just saying that objectively, it sounds like it would be an interesting experience looking at 3D photos what slightly altered. You know what? Let's just move one…
● Who knew that The Saint (#57) would only rank one place higher that ex-VP Dick Cheney (#58) in the library's American Psychopaths audio book series?
● Fans of the comics will really appreciate the artwork used in telling The Saint's full backstory, and Hell's Butcher and Hamlet of Doom were two of the more notable books based on The Saint.
● The Saint is described as "The Only Living Man Without A Soul!" and "Rumored To Be Feared By Satan Himself!": not only two great things for him to put on his resume (probably under "Additional Achievements"), but I think there might be some clues in there to help-out Jesse and the gang.
● Jesse (to The Saint): "I got bad news for 'ya. God ain't giving you shit." Jesse and The Saint meet, and Jesse lays it out to him: God's gone AWOL and they're trying to find him; which means that right now, Jesse (and Genesis) are The Saint's only way into heaven.
● A little weird and pretty funny seeing Jesse and The Saint watching television.
● Jesse (to The Saint): "God won't get you there. Not anymore." Jesse makes his final pitch to The Saint and it works…a little too well: Jesse has only sixty minutes to get The Saint a soul or Cassidy, Tulip and Denis die.
● Papa Bebe's House of Voodoo: Got nothing to add to that…just like how it sounds.
● Geek Alert! Jesse referred to himself as, "Jesse L'Angell." That's what I call ten-ton foreshadowing…
● So Tamashii Ureshii Iku Iku ("Soul Happy Go Go") is like a Costco for the buying and selling of "souls"? And they've forced the mom-n-pop soul merchants out of business? I'm sensing a kinda' huge Costco-analogy here…or am I wrong?
● Tulip's recipe of fertilizer, D batteries and junk phone still seems safer for you than what she made for breakfast.
● Cassidy: "All the time in the world and I never learned to speak French." And now we know about the relationship between Cassidy and Denis, and we're presented with one of the tragedies of living a life of never dying: watching those you care about (in this case, your son) grow old and get sick while you live-on. A heart-wrenching scene with a strong performance from Gilgun.
● Tulip (to Cassidy): "He…he touched me." Tulip tries to get The Saint to let Denis go, invoking the wrath of The Saint when she makes reference to his "little girl." The violence inflicted upon Tulip seems to have brought back something inside of her, something I think will start getting addressed next week.
● Makes sense that soul transplants would run like organ transplants: gotta' find a match.
● The Technician: "One percent. You won't even miss it." So Jesse tries to steal a soul from one of the Soul Happy Go Go trucks, but The Technician shows him that none of the souls will match The Saint. That is…except for one.
● Ummm…so what's going to happen to those left-over souls in the Soul Happy Go Go truck?
● Damn. Cassidy went a painful 10/10 on fingers trying to save Tulip.
● Jesse (to Tulip): "Family Business." Some more of those "Jesse L'Angell" references…
● The Saint (to Jesse): "Go ahead, preacher. Send me to Hell. Along with with your filthy, stinkin' soul. Do it!" Jesse gave The Saint one percent of his soul, so now The Saint can be controlled by Genesis. But what price did Jesse have to pay for it? And do they now have some kind of Harry Potter/Voldemort thing going on?
● Jesse (to The Saint): "Let's go for a drive." Just because he can't send him to Hell doesn't mean Jesse can't lock-up The Saint in the back of the Soul Happy Go Go truck and run it into the swamp. He knows it's not going to stop The Saint, but it will buy them time to get some answers.
● A big-screen TV, PlayStation 4 and a blu-ray player may not make-up for Cassidy being an absentee father…but it doesn't hurt, either. And Mr. Magoo look so much better on a larger screen.
● We see Jesse stockpiling weapons underneath the floor tiles in Denis' bathroom; and as he looks himself in the mirror, I feel like I was left wondering the same thing he was: was giving-up a piece of his soul a good idea, or will it doom them all down the road?
So that's it for this week's Preacher, folks! Join me again here next week when I recap Preacher Season 2, Episode 7…and here's what AMC has to say about Pig as well as some previews:
"Tulip confronts her near-death experience; Denis asks Cassidy for a favor; Jesse questions the price of saving Cassidy and Tulip."
And for being kind enough to scroll to the bottom? A look at Preacher's SDCC 2017 season trailer: