Ignoring the sound advice that Kenny Rogers offered us all in “The Gambler,” Preacher’s Jesse in this week’s episode acted like he didn’t know when to fold ’em. As a result, we were left anticipating an appearance by the ultimate Special Guest Star. Or disaster. Or, most likely, both. What in “the god of meat’s” name am I going on about? Read on and find out!
SOULLESS SURVIVOR | Beginning with a flashback, “El Valero” revealed that Odin hadn’t always been quite so awful: He had been shocked into heartlessness when his entire family was killed in a freak skiing accident. His beef — no pun intended — with Jesse’s dad stemmed from the fact that, in the wake of the tragedy, John had refused to denounce God.
When next we joined Jesse in the present, we found him alternating between kicking the butts of Odin’s invading employees and pleading with the Lord to return Eugene from hell. Which, miraculously, He seemed to. (Key word: seemed.) “You dug outta hell with your hands?” asked Jesse, incredulous. “It’s not that far,” Eugene replied.
After Arseface explained that the preacher’s “voice thing” had called to him, Jesse admitted that the teen had been right — using his superpower was cheating, and he had to give it back. To the guys from the motel? Eugene asked. Hey, wait a minute — Jesse never told him about DeBlanc and Fiore. Dang it, the boy wasn’t really there!
‘WHOLLY’ WAR | Meanwhile, outside All Saints’, Odin explained to his militia what they were fighting for (and was surprised to learn that he had not just come up with the concept of a food court). Unfortunately for him, as one of his men noted when they attacked again, “Not only can Preacher fight, he can shoot.” As a matter of fact, he shot Clive’s pecker clean off!
After calling DeBlanc and Fiore to the church, Jesse offered to return Genesis if they’d help him retrieve Eugene. A deal more or less struck, the entity was at last extracted from the preacher — using the “Wynken, Blynken and Nod” technique, not the chainsaw method. But the angels then balked at the idea of helping save Eugene. Worse, Genesis quickly escaped its can and reentered Jesse! That’s it, DeBlanc declared. “No more trying.” (At that point, even Jesse’s vision of Eugene vanished.)
TAKE TWO | Later, even drunk, Jesse managed to repel Odin’s army once more. But Donnie, of all people, had a plan. To protect himself from the preacher’s power of suggestion, the bully had stuck his head in his car trunk and fired a gun, deafening himself. (If he couldn’t hear Jesse’s command, he couldn’t obey it!) Though Donnie successfully delivered the preacher to Odin, Jesse still refused to give up his land to the self-proclaimed “god of meat.” “Gimme one more Sunday,” he said. Yes, he’d tried and failed to bring Annville to God. “So next Sunday, I’m gonna bring God to the town!” And if he and his congregation didn’t like the Lord’s answers to their questions, the preacher swore to denounce Him right then and there!
DOGGONE | While all of this was going on, Tulip went out and adopted an adorable dog named Brewski. And, for most of the hour, we were left in the dark as to why (other than that dogs are awesome). When finally, we realized the reason, I dunno about you, but I was sorry I had: She’d taken in Brewski to feed him to Cassidy, who, though unseen, was surely worse for wear after Jesse let him burn up.
As the episode drew to a close, we cut briefly to that mysterious control room that we sometimes visit. There, an alarm went off, the DANGER light flashed, and the guy monitoring the system relieved the rising pressure. (Is it just me, or does his job remind you a lot of Homer’s on The Simpsons?)
So, what did you think of “El Valero”? Did you suspect all along that Eugene hadn’t returned from hell? How horrified were you that Tulip fed Brewski to Cassidy? I would’ve sacrificed Miles or Odin instead! Hit the comments.