Each Jesse Custer and Herr Starr are searching for one thing. They’re disillusioned with the world, cynical, and so they’re every of their manner looking for a trigger to battle for. To Jesse, that trigger is the Seek for God. It’s a questionable quest, an effort to take the weird occasions of his life and put them to some higher, greater use, however in a manner that means extra about his personal assumptions than it does about any precise want. That’s what makes him extra difficult than only a plain abnormal good man. We’re presupposed to root for Jesse, kind of, however a part of that rooting is the hope he’ll get his shit collectively earlier than it’s too late. When he rants to Cassidy about how he wants to seek out God as a result of “There needs to be somebody in cost,” it’s simple to know what he’s getting at, however onerous to not surprise if he’s truly proper. I imply, a God who’s keen to desert his creation doesn’t seem to be a God you’d need to hold round.
Nonetheless, not less than Jesse’s want for that means is pushed by a want to do the fitting factor. Starr would possibly argue (and, given how this hour ends, most likely will accomplish that subsequent week) that he’s working beneath the identical motivation, however after spending solely two episodes with him, it’s evident that he’s an asshole. As such, his model of “the fitting factor” goes to be inevitably compromised by his contempt for others and basic vanity. In “Puzzle Piece” we see him going about his enterprise within the methods we’ve already come to anticipate: by being a depressing prick to everybody he meets. Even when he does one thing probably weird, he does it with none pleasure or enthusiasm. He’s the last word straight man, the Margaret Dumont to Jesse, Tulip, and Cassidy’s Marx brothers—albeit a much more egocentric and depressing monster than Ms. Dumont ever was.
It’s a fantastic dramatic machine, to drive these two characters collectively—each males obsessed sufficient with a Grand Goal that they suppose they’ll use one another, however neither suited to the kind partnership that can consequence from their assembly. We’ll have to attend until subsequent week to see how Starr makes his pitch to Jesse, nevertheless. The purpose of this week’s episode is to discover a plausible approach to convey them into the identical room—to justify Starr taking an curiosity, when his traditional modus operandi is to easily homicide something that means even the trace of getting in his manner. We additionally get a clearer sense of Jesse’s desperation, Tulip’s woes, and Cassidy’s parenting. And a enjoyable motion set-piece as well.
The “puzzle piece” metaphor that offers this episode its title (delivered by the daughter of the governor of Louisiana who escapes a destiny worse than dying when Starr known as away mid-dinner) is the closest factor the hour has to a thematic via line. To the aforementioned daughter, the “piece” is that lacking factor in a single’s life that can provide every part else that means. For Jesse, the piece is God, or not less than God’s absence; if he can pin the aimlessness of his existence on the Almighty enjoying hooky, he not less than has some motive to go ahead. For Starr, it’s a bit extra difficult—one thing to do with the apocalypse and the ancestor of Jesus Christ and saving the world, or ruling it, I’m positive all will grow to be clear subsequent week.
Do Cassidy and Tulip have puzzle items as nicely? I’m positive you possibly can make an argument, however there’s no have to stretch the concept fairly that far. Whereas Tulip continues to be struggling, she doesn’t have Jesse’s quixotic have to for solutions; as probably the most pragmatic member of the principle trio, she’s simply doing what she will to work via her issues, and if which means getting shot within the chest time and again whereas carrying a bulletproof vest, nicely, not less than she will earn some cash doing it. Jesse’s so apprehensive he makes use of the Phrase on her to make her sleep, and when she calls him on it later, he talks her into serving to him stand watch towards the Grail’s subsequent assault. At a time when a voice of motive might be actually helpful for everybody, Tulip is misplaced in her personal issues; and whereas it shouldn’t fall on her to be the grownup of the group, it will be good if somebody may step up.
Cassidy’s the oldest, and he has a sure fatherly satisfaction/affection for Denis this hour, however on condition that this affection led him to going towards his higher judgement and turning his son right into a vampire, it’s uncertain he’s going to be speaking anybody down quickly. Truly, that’s not honest—Cassidy does supply some steadiness to Jesse’s ravings. The issue is that he’s an empty go well with. Turning Denis was a egocentric act, executed much less for the dying man’s well-being than it was to assuage Cassidy’s guilt for being a shit father. He’s been round lengthy sufficient that he can say good sufficient issues, however his important weak point imply that these issues are by no means going to have the mandatory weight to invoke significant change.
All of which is tremendous heavy and greater than a bit presumptive on my half—actually, all I’m getting at right here is the sluggish constructing however very well executed pressure the present is producing because it turns into increasingly more apparent that one thing is fallacious for our heroes, and the longer this goes on, the extra weak they grow to be to, nicely, every part. Jesse’s leaning increasingly more on the Phrase now; not solely does he apply it to Tulip, he pressured one of many Grail troopers to kill his “buddies,” after which took on small cadre of cops to face watch whereas they watch for no matter comes subsequent. The truth that he’s keen to make use of such unbelievable energy so casually just isn’t signal, as a result of the extra it really works, the extra usually he’ll depend on it.
That’s not simply an moral concern both. After a Grail group tries and fails to kill Jesse and the others, Jesse goes on excessive alert, believing he can cease no matter’s coming by maintaining a guard round the home. He’s sorely mistaken. On Featherstone’s recommendation (delivered in a manner that manages to avoid wasting each her and Hoover’s life), Starr sends Brad in to complete the job—”Brad” being a missile fired by distant management. Jesse has no concept how highly effective the Grail is, or simply how far it’s keen to go to attain its ends, which makes him weak; and the truth that he thinks his powers will defend him makes him much more weak. It’s solely a accident that saves him this time—Hoover calls in some prostitutes to satisfy Starr’s rape fantasy however manages to get issues confused, which ends with Starr getting buggered over his desk, giving him an opportunity to see one thing in Jesse’s identify that adjustments his thoughts.)
That’s probably not the form of factor you possibly can depend on to occur once more. Sadly, Jesse hasn’t realized something approaching a lesson, and issues with the Grail are about to get much more difficult, so… fortunate us.
- Felt like we lastly bought some good characterization on Hoover and Featherstone this week. Hoover’s “I really like you” and Featherstone’s rapid “Shut up” was significantly alternative. Featherstone is eager and keen to go to any lengths to get the job executed; Hoover is form of a putz. (I’m very glad to see Malcolm Barrett on my TV once more.)
- “What sort of a world is it the place a girl obeying a person is seen as some form of super-power.” Starr is a stunning human being, isn’t he?
- The primary Grail assault may be very nicely done–great use of silence to create suspense and laughs.
- Talking of, your mileage could range, however as rape jokes go, this one labored for me. We spend just a few scenes cringing on the ugliness that Starr goes to inflicted on some hookers, solely to see his personal phrases mirrored again at him with him because the sufferer. And to his credit score, he goes together with what occurs subsequent with the identical resignation he applies to almost each different state of affairs. I feel the true key to this present working in addition to it does is how good the writers, administrators, and solid have gotten at managing the tone. It’s black comedy with coronary heart, which could be damnably tough to do nicely.
- A “Do You Like Cats?” pop-up virus plagues each Starr and Featherstone. Which can be a goofy joke, or… hmm.
- When Starr decides to not kill Jesse, Featherstone redirects the missile to destroy Harry Connick, Jr.’s home. Which looks as if a joke that might’ve been funnier ten years in the past, however positive.
- Tulip is so tweaked out she shoots the cleaner the cops ship in to maintain the mess left over from the primary Grail assault. That’s not good.