Jesse Custer’s actions come biting him on the ass in this episode of Preacher. Eugene, AKA Arseface, has been banished into hell, thanks to the powers of Genesis, manifesting its way through Annville’s preacher. Picking up directly from last week’s episode, it is revealed Cassidy, the drug-loving, intoxicated vampire, witnessed Custer’s powers taking a hold of Eugene. Custer proceeds with his day as he would, delivering his Sunday’s sermon to his weekly churchgoers as if his interaction with young Eugene never happened…
But alas, this continuing narrative is sidelined in favour of another flashback episode. Here, the flashes to and fro focus in on Jesse and Tulip, a relationship dating back to Jesse’s childhood. Brought into the Custer household, Tulip’s estranged family history brought her to the embrace of Jesse Custer at a young age. Believing Jesse’s relationship with Tulip would grow into something toxic, John Custer, Jesse’s father, has adoption agencies take Tulip away, breaking young Jesse to bits. Angered by his actions, Jesse prays for his father to be killed.
The narrative in this rather slow-paced chapter focuses on the eventual repercussions that follow Custer and his appointed powers of Genesis. Never feeling as a huge advancement to the overall plot, the one-day set episode sees Custer’s world fall within him. Juxtaposed by the innocence of his youth, Custer’s dark and chaotic facade is brought centre stage as a God-like power chooses to bring forth his most darkest hour.
Cassidy confronts Jesse about what he saw. Transparent and ignorant, Jesse dismisses Cassidy as his darker, masochistic side takes a hold of him once again. Meanwhile, Tulip, persistent in wanting Carlos be brought down, hangs around the church, doing whatever she can to convince Jesse, even if it means making frozen dinners and helping out in this particular Sunday service.
Annville’s infamous landowner, Odin Quincannon, approaches Jesse in regards to their previous bet. Throwing the preacher the land rights to his father’s church, Jesse is bewildered to find that Quincannon had twisted his words, convinced that he had not left an all-out Christian after his last visit to church. Outraged, Jesse refuses to sign any agreement, leaving Quincannon empty handed as he is forced to bring matters into his own hands.
Following continuous jabs at The Big Lebowski, more information is revealed about Arseface. It turns out that Eugene was rejected by his school crush, Tracy Loach, and shot her in anger before turning the gun onto himself.
Cassidy confronts the preacher, questioning his actions. He tells Jesse that he is abusing the strength of his powers, then tells him to return the powers to the hands of DeBlanc and Fiore. Confronting Jesse head on, Cassidy strips himself and walks into the sunlight, believing that if Jesse would let him burn, he would be as worse off as Eugene is.
While off from episode 6‘s visual spectacle of blood and guts, episode 7 opted for a more simplistic storyline, following essentially a day in the life of Jesse Custer and co. The episode focused primarily on character, specifically Jesse and his development as a powerful entity takes ownership.
For those expecting a full-blown episode in anticipation of the impending finale, prepare to be somewhat disappointed. But for those wanting a personal manifestation of our leading character, this week’s episode delivered confronting elements that signify why Preacher remains subversive quality televised entertainment.
THE REEL SCORE: 7/10