It took me some time to understand the chilly open was a few man shopping for a share of one other man’s soul. It was such a putting, odd strategy to start an episode: a pair bargaining with somebody, worriedly asking for phrases and after-effects earlier than signing on as a result of they desperately want the cash. We don’t see any characters we acknowledge, and whereas it’s doable the soul measuring machine confirmed up within the first season (it’s been some time), there’s no instant thread of story connecting this to the adventures of Jesse, Tulip, and Cassidy. And but it’s such an evocative, acquainted picture that it by no means turns into indulgent. The poor being pressured to surrender one thing valuable to assist the wealthy isn’t a brand new concept, even when the precise materials alternate is weird. The straight-faced endurance helps too. There’s an inherent suspense in seeing one thing seemingly random in a well-made present. it should repay finally. You simply don’t know when.
“Sokosha” has one hell of a pay-off, truly, lastly giving us a confrontation between Jesse and the Saint that doesn’t finish in a draw. The showdown occurs sooner than I might’ve anticipated, provided that we’re simply previous the midway mark of the season—there are numerous threats floating about proper now, however after tonight’s episode, there’s nothing that’s urgent down on the heroes straight, which leaves the story in a dangerous, thrilling place because it strikes by the season’s back-half.
That may be extra regarding if this episode wasn’t so robust. I’ve just a few reservations about it, however I think at the very least a few of these reservations come from what I bear in mind of the comics. As a result of except I’m grossly mistaken, none of this got here up within the supply materials. There was a Saint, there was a confrontation (of types), however Jesse didn’t should discover a soul to assist the Saint get into heaven, and his household wasn’t into soul promoting, as far as I can bear in mind. I’m torn between discovering this all terribly intelligent and sudden, and being a bit confused at how out of the blue all of it occurred. And but that latter response is nearly definitely my mind simply dealing with having its expectations subverted.
So for now at the very least, I’m going to place these reservations apart and simply respect how the whole lot performs out. Viktor’s daughter leads the Saint to Dennis’s home, simply in time to interrupt a pleasant breakfast (Tulip made actually sugary pancakes). Our heroes, realizing they’re up shit creek, go perform a little analysis on the native library, the place they discover out the Saint’s backstory and Jesse comes up with a plan. He makes a cope with the Saint: one hour, and he’ll discover the Saint a soul so the Saint can get into Heaven and be reunited along with his household. The Saint retains Tulip, Cassidy, and Dennis as hostages, which provides us an opportunity to seek out out that Dennis is definitely Cassidy’s son.
Right here’s the place the boys and the van from the chilly open are available; it appears issues have modified within the native soul enterprise since Jesse’s time, and a Japanese firm has found out a strategy to promote souls in fractions, turning the process into one thing much less occult and extra techno-capitalist. Jesse tries to steal a soul from Soul Completely happy Go Go, however finds out which you can’t simply combine and match—the souls must match, like blood varieties, or the physique will reject the donation. Seems Jesse and the Saint match, so Jesse offers up one p.c of us soul to avoid wasting his associates; it’s a tough worth to pay, however on the plus aspect, an ensouled Saint is now weak to the Phrase.
All of that is very cool. I do fear that loads occurs in a short time, however it’s all carried out with the kind of model we’ve come to anticipate that it goes down simple sufficient. The heroes doing analysis at an area library is ridiculous, however such a time-honored custom of style storytelling that it’s not that onerous to purchase into—and the truth that it’s so clearly tongue-in-cheek, with Cassidy studying sections from a comic book guide spun off from the supply materials the present is predicated on, makes us in on the joke. It’s a tonal steadiness between self-parody and sincerity that the present manages fairly properly; we notice it’s absurd that Tulip might hearken to an audiobook on the Saint that talks about how he was refused entrance into Heaven, whereas on the identical time accepting the knowledge as true and mandatory for no matter occurs subsequent.
This might tip over into disaster pretty simply. If the present veers too exhausting into who-gives-a-fuck humor, the jokes will get outdated and the story will die; but when it will get too grim, it’ll lose what makes it distinctive and very important. So perhaps the velocity is an asset, actually. Most the whole lot in “Sokosha” performs out in a means that’s simple to comply with, however it by no means lingers on a lot of something. Final week’s episode slowed down for a tragic flashback, however this week picks up with life or demise as soon as once more on the road, and provides Jesse an opportunity to point out he’s truly decided and good sufficient to perhaps pull off this complete “seek for God” factor.
There’s one thing a bit off-putting about his victory as properly. The Saint deserves to go down, however Jesse’s self-righteousness makes for an odd match. Nothing he says is precisely unsuitable, however there’s a satisfaction to his conduct, a holier-than-thou angle that’s virtually definitely going to chew him within the ass down the road. Like Cassidy, and like Tulip, he’s an advanced character. However in contrast to both of them, Jesse must imagine that he’s a superb man. It’s that want that despatched him again to church, and that has him looking for God—it’s questionable whether or not or not this a job that wants doing, however like all self-motivated protagonists, Jesse is keen to place himself and everybody round him in danger to do what he thinks wants doing. What stays to be seen is how a lot this may value him and the others ultimately.
- Sufficient occurred this week that Cassidy’s revelation about Dennis virtually will get dropped. It has potential to be fascinating, however proper now, it principally simply serves to remind us how outdated Cassidy is, and make you surprise how badly he’s fucked up his life that he has a son who speaks a language he doesn’t perceive and despises him. It’s additionally doable that Cassidy is mendacity to attempt to get some sympathy from Tulip, though it’ll be extra fascinating if he’s telling the reality. Regardless, I hope we get a flashback episode for him finally, as a result of there’s a narrative there.
- Viktor’s daughter leads the Saint to Room 19. Dennis’s place is definitely Room 14—it’s a simple make to mistake, though I suppose you can argue the child did it on goal.
- Tulip tries to barter with the Saint. It doesn’t go properly.
- Jesse burying the Saint’s weapons beneath the ground in Dennis’s rest room looks as if a foul concept. I doubt the Saint is gone for good, and he’s going to need these again.
- I respect the clarification on why the Phrase didn’t work on the Saint, and why it now does. There’s a cleverness at work that makes me much less fearful concerning the different adaptive adjustments—specifically, the concept that Jesse’s household, the Langelles, are (or have been) within the soul promoting enterprise. I’ve very clear reminiscences of that storyline from the comics; it was a superb one, and I’m actually hoping that if the present does resolve to adapt it, they don’t fuck it up.