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Review: ‘Preacher’ Gets Gross As It Emulates The Alamo

Season 1, Episode 8, 'El Valero' fills in more details as Jesse takes on an army.

Dominic Cooper in “Preacher.”

Lewis Jacobs/Sony Pictures Television/AMC

LAST WEEK’S REVIEW: ‘Preacher’ Brings Us Jesse At His Worst

This Week In Backstories

We finally learn what Odin Quincannon’s deal is this episode, including the full story of John Custer’s visit that was seen from Jesse’s perspective a few episodes back. Turns out the entire Quincannon family, minus Odin, died in a freak ski lift accident, and he didn’t take it very well, In fact, he went completely around the bend, dissected his families corpses, and called John to tell him there is no soul, only meat. John fled as Odin cried, “Denounce him! Denounce him!” So you can maybe see why Odin doesn’t go to church that often.

So why, then, did Jesse’s command to “serve God” not work on Odin? Well, it did, it’s just that Odin’s god is the God of Meat, the god of what’s “touchable and true,” and he’s been serving it faithfully ever since Jesse’s sermon. These revelations make sense and are suitably creepy, making Odin into a kind of dark reflection of Jesse’s own religious souring, but it’s still pretty frustrating of the show to give us all this info in a big rush like this. What was the point of hiding the full extent of John’s meeting with Odin in the first place? It’s not a mystery, it’s just a tease from the creators, basically saying, “We’ll tell you this stuff later.” It’s one thing to tease a reveal at the beginning of an episode and pay it off by the end of that same episode, but doing it over weeks isn’t intriguing, it’s just aggravating. Fortunately this episode answers questions and doesn’t raise new ones, so it’s ahead of the game.

Speaking of revealed motivations, Miles finally comes clean with Emily about why he’s helping Odin (although he doesn’t mention the murders). The town is in deep financial trouble, and Odin’s the only man who can get it out, so Miles is willing to throw in with him, even if it includes covering up multiple homicides. Oh Miles, that’s probably not going to work out for you.

Say The Word

Hooray, Jesse’s not insufferable this episode! He’s feeling suitably guilty about what he did to Eugene, enough so that he actually hallucinates Eugene clawing out of hell and hanging out with him again. Fortunately Jesse pings that Eugene is just in his head pretty early, so we’re not subjected to a drawn-out realization. It’s a good way to get Ian Colletti into the episode, plus Ghost Eugene gets some fun interplay with Jesse, who’s all alone in defending his church from the Quincannon men, Alamo-style. Fortunately, Jesse’s formidable enough that he’s able to hold off an entire invading force, and even manages to blow Clive’s dick off (in case you were worried Clive wouldn’t get his comeuppance for his crimes against prostitutes earlier this season).

In between battles with the Quincannon men, Jesse’s willing to let the angels remove Genesis, provided they get Eugene out of hell. Jesse still has questions, a lot of them, but the angels are unwilling or unable to provide answers, plus once they successfully lure Genesis back into its coffee can, they immediately start hemming and hawing about helping Eugene. When Genesis breaks out again, and zips right back into Jesse, so the angels throw up their hands and leave, deciding to implement “the other option.” With the angels abandoning him and God nowhere to be found, Jesse proposes one last deal to Odin: he’ll bring God to the church on Sunday, and He will answer everyone’s questions, or else Jesse will denounce Him, because Jesse knows the magic words to get Odin to agree to this crazy deal.

Dominic Cooper in "Preacher."

Dominic Cooper in “Preacher.”

Lewis Jacobs/Sony Pictures Television/AMC

Most Bonkers Moment

In an episode where two angels sing a magical entity out of a man’s body and into a coffee can, it’s actually Donnie who brings the bonkers. Realizing that the Quincannon men have no chance against Jesse, Donnie uses a car trunk and a revolver to improvise a way to deafen himself. This allows him to get the drop on Jesse, and deliver him to Odin.

Tulip Does (Not So) Cool Stuff

This week, Tulip adopts a dog, plays fetch with it, pets it gently, and feeds it to a monster she’s got stashed in a room in her house. Presumably it’s Cassidy, who still hasn’t been seen since bursting into flames last episode, and who would need some fresh blood to heal up. Still, maybe she could have drugged the dog first? You can’t tell me Tulip doesn’t know how to get her hands on some horse tranquilizers.

What’s With That Guy In The Control Room?

We’ve seen him in at least one other episode, and the room is in the credits, so what gives? Speculate away.

For Those For Those Who Have Read The Comic (Skip If You Haven’t)

It makes sense why the show creators didn’t go with John Wayne as Jesse’s imaginary friend, considering how easy it would be for that to come off as goofy. (They could still spring it on us, I suppose, but you think it would have come up before now if they were going to.) It will be interesting to see if Eugene winds up playing the part of Jesse’s imaginary friend going forward, or if it’s just a hint of a possible revolving door of imaginary friends to come. Still, it’s a detail I’m glad they kept.

Grade: B

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