There's just something about New Orleans that just seems to bleed out the weirdness in everyone and everything there, and even having the holy power of an angel/demon offspring can't keep you immune from it — as Jesse (Dominic Cooper), Tulip (Ruth Negga) and Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) have quickly learned.
Jesse's been hunting God in every jazz bar he can find, not realizing that he's playing into the hands of The Grail and Lara Featherstone (Julie Ann Emery); Tulip's trying to break from her past by forcing a meeting with Viktor (Paul Ben-Victor), getting much more than she bargained for; and Cassidy continues to try to break the tension with his "friend" Denis (Ronald Guttman) while walking that fine line between being honest with his "best mate" Jesse and keeping his vow to Tulip to keep Jesse in the dark about where she's gone.
And did I mention that Eugene's (Ian Colletti) starting to play nice-nice with Hitler (Noah Taylor) in Hell?
Which brings us to Preacher Season 2, Episode 4, the ominously titled Viktor…but first:
This isn't a formal review — more of a recap — 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 definitely should keep that in mind as you keep reading. 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 wanted us to know about Preacher Season 2, Episode 4, Viktor:
"Jesse pursues a lead and dives deeper into his search for God with Cassidy and we discover more about Tulip's secret past."
Overall Takeaway: This was a tough one to call, because while there was a lot going on, it didn't feel like its own episode so much as a bridge between last week's Damsels and next week's Dallas. Don't get me wrong; it was a fun and enjoyable episode with some very cool and very disturbing moments, saved by the writing and continued quality performances of the cast. But as episodes go? It felt more like a "summer blockbuster": lots of noise, lots of action — but like Chinese food, you're left feeling a little hungry and wanting more 30 minutes after it's over.
Having said that, I'm also hedging my bets and reserving full judgment until next week's episode, because Damsels/Viktor/Dallas feels like a little miniseries of its own. Considering everything that's been thrown at us so far, an episode that's a little bit more "brain candy" isn't such a bad thing…and we did get some interesting moments for us to chew on until next week. But I'm saving those for…
Spare Parts: Random thoughts, quotes, and observations from this week's episode to keep in mind, whether you're watching for the first time or re-watching for the 86th time:
● Meanwhile, back at the laundromat: Tulip's asked for her gun as Viktor's men prepare to take her to him. Big fan of how all those guys get nervous, back up, and reach for their weapons when Tulip hands over her gun. Clearly they know what she's capable of…or think they know what she's capable of.
● Staggering around the streets of New Orleans in the morning, hungover after hitting 50 jazz bars in a preacher's outfit…think we've all been there at some point, right?
● Jesse: "For a first night? Definitely interesting."
● Jesse: "For Tulip? It's pretty typical."
● Ahhhh, the secrets that we keep, Cassidy! (With a special nod of respect to The Romantics…)
● Viktor: "Keep at it. This might be one of those 'all-day' things."
● Viktor: "Soooo…what are we going to do with you?" Pretty sure Tulip has a more life-affirming answer to that question than Viktor does at the moment.
● Tyler (Justin Prentice): "Hey, idiot. You're in Hell. You're already in trouble." Good point…
● So Hitler's hell-torture begins in 1919 Munich when he was a struggling artist trying to have his artwork seen. He meets with a woman I'm presuming is his girlfriend, who rages against Communists and tries to get him to show his artwork to a gallery owner who she's "good friends" with sitting at another table. Hitler is hesitant, and during the exchange he's bumped by a Jewish man by mistake. We sense the anger in him as he glares at the man before regaining his composure and settling the manner peacefully. But before we can get any more, Hitler's "hell projector" (gonna go with that) shuts-off, leaving me curious as Hell (heh) as to how it all plays out — and why exactly this is Hitler's more torturous memory.
● Viktor: "Walk around. Clear your head. And when I ask you again, give me a better answer." Not sure giving Tulip time to plan is such a good idea, Viktor…
● Guess it's never a bad thing to be on a first-name basis with your potential future torturer.
● Jesse: "Why would I ask if she's here if she called?" Thankfully, Jesse's been distracted trying to find God, because Cassidy has one of the shittiest poker faces around.
● Only 137 more jazz bars to go, guys!
● For the record? I have nothing to do with a secret society of alien lizards looking to control the plant through popular culture…unless that's what I want you to believe!
● Never did trust those damn sign-spinners.
● Am I the only one who thinks Frankie Muniz could still play Morty in a live-action version of Rick and Morty?
● Next time you're in Best Buy and they offer you the extended warranty on your "hell projector"? Take it.
● Talent agent Teddy Gunth (James Hiroyuki Liao) might have the least enthusiastic secretary ever.
● Whatever Tulip did to Viktor, it must have been pretty bad, because no one wants anything to do with her.
● Cassidy: "If I had a girl like Tulip, I'd be worried day and night." Oh boy…not good.
● Teddy: "Does it have to be European white or can it be…Hispanic?"
● Apparently, Game of Thrones is the "holy grail" for talent agents.
● Sorry, Cassidy, but there's no damn way Peter Dinklage flies business class…but good negotiation tactic!
● Looks like things have gotten so bad with Impact Wrestling that George "Tyrus" Murdoch needs to work part-time as one of Hell's prison guards. Damn shame.
● No need to show me what's in "The Hole" — the screams and steam were more than disturbing enough.
● Yeah…Eugene needs to understand quickly that "sweet, kind, loyal" isn't going to get him anywhere in Hell.
● When a little girl spits in your face and tells you, "I hope my father kills you," your day just went from bad to really, really bad, Tulip.
● I love the fact that the character and actor are both Mark Harelik are one in the same…and that when he's playing God, he looks a little like Bob Odenkirk in a Mr. Show sketch.
● Yeah…what is God's motivation?
● Looks like Harelik's going to be engaging in a little "method acting" whether he wants to or not. BANG!
● Two things that don't make sense: letting Tulip keep her phone, and Tulip thinking that they wouldn't change the combination to the weapons safe.
● Viktor: "No thank you, Pat. Leave her to me." Yeah…that doesn't sound too ominous.
● Hell is no joke: all crossword puzzles are already done and the yule log plays 24/7 on TV. Sick, cruel bastards.
● Tyler: "What happened to you, Hitler? You used to be…Hitler."
● So Hell also has its high school social cliques, too…and for Eugene to fit in? Newfound friend Hitler has to pay the price…leaving me wondering what kind of Eugene we're going to be left with coming out of all this.
● Am I supposed to feel bad for Hitler in this situation or not? I'm so confused!
● Yup…at one point, Jesse is kicking Pet's (Sean Boyd) ass with three arms.
● I'm never going to be able to listen to Billy Joel's Uptown Girl the same way ever again.
● Look…the guy hanging was dead anyway, so why not put him to some good use?
● It's a "Genesis Kabob"!
● Tulip: "He's my husband!" Whaaaaaaaaaaat??!?!?!?
● Hope they didn't forget about The Saint of Killers (Graham McTavish)…because he didn't forget them.
● Mental note: have The Saint of Killers riding shotgun with you in the carpool lane. No traffic whatsoever.
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So that's it for this week, folks! Join me again here next week when I recap Preacher Season 2, Episode 5…and here's what AMC has to say about Dallas, as well as a quick sneak peek:
"After learning about Tulip's secret relationship, we revisit Jesse and Tulip's rocky past and see a darker side of Jesse."