“Holes” finds Preacher nonetheless in setup mode, as Jesse, Cassidy, Tulip, and Eugene wrestle to search out methods to maneuver ahead with restricted data. In contrast to “Pig,” there’s no origin story to tie every thing collectively, however in a means, the shortage of a transparent, sturdy narrative makes the entire hour really feel extra cohesive. Starr was such a standout final week that it was arduous to remain each time we reduce to Tulip coping with PTSD, or Jesse chatting with a avenue preacher. This week, everybody’s trapped in their very own personal hells (actually in a single case), and the consequence, whereas not probably the most gripping entry of the season, will get again the sense of rising motion that was misplaced when Jesse managed to derail the Saint.
We begin with Eugene, who’s nonetheless in Hell, ready for the issues in cost to repair their busted programs and put him again in an endlessly repeating re-enactment of his worst reminiscence. Eugene’s attempting to faux he’s hardcore (when the hell did he get that tattoo?), however regardless of the beatdown he gave Hitler just a few weeks again, he’s actually simply as mushy as he ever was. Engaged on his personal schemes, Hitler tips Eugene into revealing his mainly first rate self for the safety cameras, which earns the child a visit to the Gap, whereby his worst reminiscence is made much more painful: now, as an alternative of reliving Tracy’s suicide, he has to look at her give Jesse Custer a handjob.
It’s a bit odd—I hadn’t realized Jesse had that form of significance in Eugene’s life—however any illustration of somebody’s nightmares is certain to be bizarre. The trick of getting Eugene briefly assume he’ll lastly get to be proud of Tracy (which in flip fools the viewers into believing that Hell’s equipment has someway been thwarted by his presence) makes the reveal even funnier, and it additionally helps to justify the following step in Eugene’s storyline: teaming up with Hitler to flee. The present’s dealing with of Hitler has been one of many extra under-the-radar fascinating components of the season, and a part of the suspense of Eugene’s story (which, so far as I bear in mind, isn’t from the supply materials in any respect) is seeing how all of this may play out.
On the very least, it doesn’t appear like Jesse goes to be lending a hand any time quickly. He’s hit a roadblock in his quest for God, and his newest determined effort has him hitting up the tech geeks on the native Greatest Purchase knock-off to attempt to get a clue off “God”’s audition tape. That is by far the goofiest plotline of the hour, with Jesse apparently so muddle-headed as to overlook the very apparent “Property Of Grail Industries” written on the facet of the disc, however his efforts, fruitless although they in the end are, do function an honest thematic abstract of the hour as a complete. At one level, he prays to a god he is aware of isn’t there for assist. That’s kind of the place everyone seems to be.
Tulip’s issues are the vaguest on the present proper now—it’s clear she’s nonetheless coping with her encounter with the Saint, and whereas it’s refreshing to see somebody really traumatized after coping with a terrifying monster, it appears like we’re lacking some piece of the puzzle as why this trauma is restricted to her. There might be further backstory ready, or it may simply be that the writers determined they wanted to present Tulip one thing to do to ensure the present’s most important trio can be drifting aside within the season’s second half, however the result’s drama that, whereas effectively acted and directed, doesn’t really feel prefer it has a variety of locations it will possibly go.
Fortunately “Holes” offers Tulip extra to do than simply undergo dangerous desires. She decides to get proactive, shopping for a brand new fridge to exchange the one the Saint’s bullet broke via after which going to every room on the identical flooring as Denis’s condo to restore the bullet gap left by the Saint’s gun. Having her take motion helps forestall a doubtlessly sluggish storyline from wallowing too lengthy, and it additionally offers Tulip an opportunity to make pals with “Jenny,” a woman who lives down the corridor who claims to be on the run from an abusive ex. The truth that Jenny is definitely a Grail agent in disguise—the identical one who tricked Jesse with the lounge singer act again in “Damsels,” and a part of a two particular person group monitoring Jesse and the others in New Orleans—implies that issues are going to get difficult in a rush.
Surprisingly, Cassidy supplies the hour with its biggest emotional depth. Denis remains to be dying, and Cassidy nonetheless refuses to show him. However as his son’s physique slowly eats itself alive, the vampire is having second ideas. The episode doesn’t present a lot in the best way of backstory; we see Cassidy standing over what have to be child Denis again in 1946 (Cassidy seems the identical, though the truth that it’s a sunny room means he most likely hadn’t turn into a vampire but), and late within the episode, he calls somebody on the to speak over his son’s state of affairs, however these are all hints, not a concrete narrative. In some unspecified time in the future, we’ll nearly definitely be getting an extended have a look at Cassidy’s previous, however for proper now, his scenes keep kind of within the current.
Which works very effectively, largely as a result of it’s an opportunity to see Cassidy as greater than only a goofball or a self-serving dick who needs to get into Tulip’s pants once more. Within the transient flashback, he sings to child Denis earlier than taking a swig from a flask, promising the child he’ll be father to him; given how issues have turned out, it’s not arduous to guess he broke his promise. However what makes this compelling is that Cassidy is clearly attempting to make the correct selection. He doesn’t need to flip Denis as a result of it seems residing endlessly and by no means seeing the solar is sort of horrible. However he can also’t stand watching his son die in horrible ache.
As cool as Tulip is (thanks largely to Ruth Negga’s terrific efficiency), and as enjoyable as it’s to look at Jesse combat to be man, Cassidy may be Preacher’s most fascinating central character—a supernatural goofball who can be a manipulative liar and deeply weak but in addition sensible sufficient to acknowledge his weak point and hate himself for them. There’s stunning nuance within the writing and in Joe Gilgun’s work, and that closing shot of him coming into Denis’s bed room, singing the music he sang to his son as a child, gave me chills. Even at its greatest, the present is a conglomeration of untamed concepts simply moments away from spinning uncontrolled. The second season has properly chosen to pin its give attention to the primary trio and head outwards from there, and it’s moments like the top of “Holes” that exhibit why that works so effectively.
- Ever sweet bar in Hell’s merchandising machine is a Zagnut. No less than Beetlejuice would get pleasure from himself.
- Tulip’s new buddy is performed by Julie Ann Emery, who I principally bear in mind from the primary season of Higher Name Saul. Good to see her in a task that can presumably have just a little extra endurance.
- Hell’s gear is malfunctioning as a result of somebody doesn’t belong there. Principally probably that particular person is Eugene. This raises some questions on how Hell is run which I truthfully hope the present by no means bothers to reply. (I choose the “That is simply the shitty means issues are” strategy.)
- “It’s a must to belief me, Eugene.” -Hitler
- I believe I’ve been writing about too many ten episode season exhibits; I assumed Preacher was only some hours away from the season finale, nevertheless it seems we’re barely previous the midway level. Huzzah!