Preacher Recap Season 1

Preacher Recap: Was the Series' Premiere Heavenly or Hellish?

Loaded with eye-popping action sequences, cheeky humor and unexpected sweetness, the premiere of Preacher, based on the comic book series by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon, suggests that AMC’s supernatural dramedy just might turn out to be the best new show of the year. But we can debate that after you’ve worked your way through this recap and its reminders of how appealingly badass Dominic Cooper and Ruth Negga were as the titular preacher, Jesse Custer, and his combustible old flame, Tulip O’Hare.

WELCOME TO ANNVILLE | As the pilot began, a shadowy something — and surely “something” is the scientific term for it — made its way from outer space to enter and then explode the body of a priest in Africa. Over the course of the episode, this “thing” made itself briefly at home in one religious type (a magister at a Satanic temple in Russia) after another (Tom Cruise at a Church of Scientology), trailed on its travels by an as-yet-unidentified pair that called to mind the tag team of Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd from Diamonds Are Forever.

Meanwhile, in Annville, the town’s prodigal son, Jesse, was approached by the young son of Donny Schenck, a churchgoing Civil War re-enactor and all-around a–hole. Having heard about the preacher’s rough-and-tumble past, the boy hoped that Jesse would beat his father for beating his mother, Betsy. Turned down, the kid asked the preacher to pray for him. “If anyone were listening,” Jesse said to himself, “I would.” That night, he asked Annville’s sheriff, Hugo Root, to look into the abuse report. And the lawman replied that he’d be glad to — if and only if Betsy filed a formal complaint. (Charmed.)

ACTION FIGURES | Three-thousand feet above Annville, an Irish flight attendant named Cassidy (Joe Gilgun) learned to his horror that he wasn’t merely pouring out cocktails for a planeload of rich cokeheads, he was pouring out cocktails for a planeload of something even worse for a blood-sucker like himself: vampire hunters! After doing away with his attackers in a fight scene that should’ve satisfied even John Woo fans, Cassidy grabbed an umbrella to protect himself from the imminent dawn and leapt from the now-pilotless plane. As introductions go, that was gonna be hard to beat. And yet…

Preacher Recap Season 1Tulip did it. We met her in Kansas, as she was locked in an epic battle over a map with two foes in a car speeding through a cornfield. Though she emerged victorious by pulling a Mike Tyson on one of the thugs’ ears, since more adversaries were on the way, she was forced to recruit the kids on whose farm the car finally died to help her make a bazooka out of tin cans and toy soldiers. (Tough, gorgeous and brilliant to boot? Who could possibly resist Priscilla Jean Henrietta “Tulip” O’Hare?!?)

‘WE ARE WHO WE ARE’ | Checking in on Tulip’s Uncle Walter, Jesse deduced that his ex was in Annville and beat a hasty retreat before they could come face to face. However, after paying a visit to Betsy to ask if she’d file a complaint against her husband — a futile endeavor, since she insisted that she liked being hurt — the preacher still wound up reconnecting with Tulip. When he insisted that he was done doing “jobs” with her, she replied, “I’m glad we still hate each other.” Trouble was, he didn’t hate her. “I wouldn’t know how,” he admitted. “Don’t make me teach you, then,” she shot back. (Banter grade: A.)

Later, Jesse paid a visit to Sheriff Root’s teenage son, Eugene, aka Arseface, who feared that the man upstairs was mad at him for shooting himself in the face (an act that left him with what looked like an anus for a mouth). “God doesn’t hold grudges,” the preacher assured him. And if Eugene listened really closely the next time he prayed, Jesse was sure that he’d once again hear the Lord talking back.

MESS WITH THE BULLY… | After making Cassidy’s acquaintance at the local watering hole, Jesse was assaulted by Donny for talking to his wife. Even as the d-bag taunted the preacher about what a tough guy he was supposed to have once been, Jesse didn’t raise a hand to him. Until, that is, Donny announced that he was gonna go home and whup his son for tattling on him. “Don’t touch him,” Jesse said. What’d happen if Donny did? “You’d hear a noise,” Jesse replied, like a bunny might make if it was caught in a bear trap. And Donny would be making the noise. Obviously, a huge brawl ensued. Once Jesse — with a helping hand from Cassidy — had clobbered not only Donny but all of his fellow Civil War re-enactors, he asked if the creep was ready to hear that noise… then broke his arm.

Arrested for his troubles, Jesse was bailed out by Emily, the young, widowed mom who helped him out at the church because she so clearly dearly loved him God. Unfortunately, the preacher didn’t just thank her for being “such an asset” (ow!), he informed her that he was hanging up his collar. Still, he was willing to give the Almighty one last chance. So, upon entering the church, he gave God basically a “Speak now or forever hold your peace” ultimatum… to which God didn’t respond. Something did, though — in fact, the “thing” that opened the show. It arrived and boom! Knocked Jesse on his ass.

POWER? SUPER | Following a flashback to a young Jesse promising his about-to-be-murdered father that he’d grow up to be one of the good guys — “’cause there’s way too many of the bad” — he awakened to learn from Emily that he’d been out for three days. Now it was Sunday, the day he was supposed to tell the congregation that he was quitting. On his way into church, he was waylaid by Ted, a parishioner who, throughout the episode, had complained about his mother’s criticisms. “Be brave,” said Jesse, something magical occurring as he spoke. “Tell her the truth. Open your heart.” Miraculously, off Ted went to do just that.

At the pulpit, Jesse was starting to explain why he was giving up when he realized that he couldn’t do it. Instead, he gave a helluvan inspirational speech, promising to be the good preacher that his flock deserved. “This is why I’ve come home” to Annville, he concluded, “to save you.” But at what cost? While Jesse was re-turning over his new leaf, Ted was at his mom’s retirement home literally cutting into his chest to open his heart to her. Luckily — or not? — the duo who’d been pursuing the “thing” were just arriving in Annville.

So, what did you think? Grade the premiere below, then hit the comments with your review.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. AJ says:

    instantly loved Tulip and Cassidy. perfect summer show.

    • soulsouthfan says:

      Love Jessie ,Tulip and Cassidy.But they are so pushing for a lame triangle that
      wont work . Church lady is crushing on Jessie.I am going to die laughing when Jessie tell her its not happing.Love the kids who was with Tulip they are adorable.Tom Cruise has died was funny and wrong at the same time.I would love it if every week we get a celebrity death.

    • jr. says:

      Just didn’t like the show. So the guy was a vampire, and he used the umbrella to block out the sun, as he jumped from the plane? So didn’t understand the characters. Thought it was just a comical effort by the writers, to suggest he was using the umbrella like a parachute. I missed The Family.

      • The Beach says:

        Maybe I should re-watch it. I didn’t catch at all that Cassidy was a vampire and the ones on the place vampire hunters until I read this recap. Otherwise, loved the show!

    • Martina says:

      I really liked the show but Cassidy’s Irish accent is so bad that I don’t think I’ll be able to watch the show. Pity they couldn’t find an Irish actor to play the part.

  2. AngelWasHere says:

    I didn’t like it. Neither did my family. We wanted to, but we became confused instantly and changed the channel after a hour. Maybe it’s just not for me or my family. Dissapointed, but oh well we tried.

    • N says:

      You changed an hour episode after an hour? Seems like you liked it to me.

      • AngelWasHere says:

        It was a hour and a half genius.

        • N says:

          Yet still an hour… What’s 30 minutes

          • tvjunkie says:

            A full 1/3 of the episode. What other simple math problems are causing you fits?

        • amylynniebug says:

          Oh goody, unnecessary sarcasm. :/
          How about this…. were any of you fans of the books? It might be that you need to read the books or have a general synopsis of them to understand the world that PREACHER inhabits. I doubt it is a good show for the whole fam, but still am curious about it. I read the books from the beginning but got too poor and quit after a while, so I am sort of expecting to feel a bit lost for a while. :)

          • kordus says:

            I think the issues are uploaded on-line at You could try and catch up there.

          • bos4ny3 says:

            And THIS is exactly the problem with so many of these shows. I don’t WANT to have to read a comic to have to understand a TV show. The same goes for Flash, and LoT, and all of the other shows that require me to do homework. Shows should stand alone without having to “know” all of the backstory from some other source.

          • The Beach says:

            Granted this is not a “family-oriented” show but then most of AMC’s originals aren’t…thankfully.

          • AngelWasHere says:

            What bos4ny3 said. I shouldn’t have to read the comics to get it. I’m a Walking Dead fan and I didn’t read a single comic. I’m a GOT fan and didn’t read a single book, but I never once got lost watching the show. With the Preacher, I was lost the whole hour I did watch. As for my family, I’m 20 something and the rest of the watching party are much older adults so we can handle it. ;)

          • Winter says:

            I was mostly able to follow it without reading the comics but I totally understand what you’re saying. Also somethings just aren’t for you and that’s ok. There are somethings my friends watch and I’m just like no can’t do it and that’s ok.

    • Will says:

      Wow…tough crowd. I for one am in. But dude…you missed the last 5 minutes!

  3. Lysh says:

    Oh my goodness, I love Dominic Cooper. I don’t have AMC, but I’m going to have to seek this out! Sounds really good.

    • amylynniebug says:

      Ooh how did I miss that he was part of the cast? Love him!
      I wonder if the AMC website will air eps since a lot of people have ditched cable? I’ll check it out.

  4. dan says:

    I thought Cassidy was spot on, not quite convinced about Custer or Tulip yet but so far so good. I hope they don’t skip over some of the best parts of the book like the Saint Of Killers and John Wayne but I don’t really know how they’d do it. I give it an awesome so far.

  5. Tom says:

    I for one loved it. Looking forward to more

    • The Beach says:

      This was just as wonderful as I was hoping it would be. I’m just as happy as a field of Tulips.

  6. Carol C says:

    Not into comic book super heroes or the Walking Dead, and only tuned in because of Charlie Mason’s earlier review. To my surprise, I absolutely loved Preacher, especially Tulip. Very grateful for Charlie’s recap since there were pieces that I missed. I’m happy there will be a replay next week so I can catch everything.

  7. Mo says:

    Charlie are you sure about Civil War re enactors-since Texas just assumed they were Texas revolutionaries-against Mexico. Probably does not matter but thought should check. Also did they explain Eugene’s condition in the show? Glad you covered detail because I missed the cause. Great recap-look forward to the season.

    • Charlie Mason says:

      Hi Mo… according to Donny’s official bio, they are CW re-enactors. But maybe they do other wars for variety’s sake?… Eugene shot himself… Why, I believe, will be addressed later.

  8. ? says:

    Not sold on Tulip. I mean, I liked the character I saw being called Tulip on screen, but that wasn’t Tulip. She came off almost like an antagonist to Jessie which is plain wrong. I also feel like they’re setting up a triangle between church lady, Jessie, and Tulip, where we’re supposed to root for him to pick church lady because it’ll mean he’s given up on his past life and settled into the role of a preacher? Again, plain wrong. At its core Preacher is a romance about Jessie and Tulip, Garth Ennis has always sneakily been a romantic sap of a writer under all the gore, vice, and gonzo humor. Also the show was missing a lot of that screwy over-the-top humor found in the comic, but I guess they have to earn that by laying the groundwork first. Definitely going to watch, it’s just that, as good as may turn out, I think I’ll always feel a more faithful adaptation would be even better to see on screen.

  9. ? says:

    Also, they didn’t call him Arseface or explain why he looks like that. Spoilers, Mr. Charlie Mason!

  10. Eva says:

    That was delicious. I didn’t have much faith (forgive the pun) in this show, but now I can’t wait for next week.

  11. amylynniebug says:

    I still wish we’d had the film with Jimmy Marsden as Jesse, I thought that was brilliant casting. I DVRd the first ep, will check it out tonight.

  12. Paul D says:

    I tuned in by accident, and I am really glad I did! Talk about serendipity. I’m not usually a fan of over the top gore, but that being said, I did read the Vertigo comics when the series first came out, and have mostly enjoyed Garth Ennis’ writing on that series. Cassidy was like a Brian Bolland caricature! Great casting, great story, great first episode! Awesome!

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  14. Joey Padron says:

    Like first episode a lot, it’s so good. Cassidy and Tulip are great. Jesse’s fight scene at the bar was good. Looking forward to see more episodes in June!

  15. tallsy says:

    That wasn’t my cup of tea. Disappointed because I like Dominic Cooper. But this felt a lot like Banshee, and I never understood the raves for that either.

  16. Wendy says:

    I really liked it. I did have a bit of trouble understanding Cassidy sometimes, but he’s pretty great overall.

  17. yurina says:

    As a fan of the comic, not at all a fan of who they’ve cast as Tulip and Cassidy. Something really annoying and putting off about them. Atleast Jessie is well cast.

  18. Fido says:

    Loved the comics, tv show didn’t work for me. :( Felt like too many characters introduced so quickly.

  19. Steve F. says:

    Just wanted to say that the music definitely set the mood for the episode, starting with “Time of the Preacher.” Also, no mention that we had two MCU/MTU alumni in Dominic Cooper and Ruth Negga sharing scenes… and they killed it!

  20. fatalsin says:

    im still not sure what I watched lol

  21. kathy says:

    There is not much worth watching on television. There is hardly any good writing. I say i hate violence on television and i really do hate most all of it; but every season i get hooked on fargo. I think i will get hooked on the preacher too. I am going to watch the premier again. There was a lot going on in the plot which is not usually the case.

  22. mayor says:

    Ita gets awsome after five episodes

  23. jack says:

    One word epic! So many preachers are whimps. But preacher Jesse do it right he stands up for what is right and defend the weak. The preacher is every thing a man needs to be. I don’t condone his immorality and the fact that he is actually possessed by a demon and hunted by Angeles. So they can take the demonic force back to hell.
    8.8 it of 10