Preacher “Sundowner” Review: Jesse Shows His True Colors

7-5 preach

After two weeks of shaking the bottle, Preacher uncorked a rollicking episode that more than satisfied fans’ urge for action while lifting the veil on Jesse’s real motivation for wanting to keep his newfound power, named Genesis.

While the fight in the motel at the start of the episode was surely the highlight (more on that in a bit), it was Jesse’s showdown with his own conscience in the guise of Arseface’s Eugene that might be the highlight of the series so far.

Both characters met at personal crossroads of sorts. After the Preacher helped get the town off his back, Eugene is uncomfortable with the populace of Annville treating him decently. Eugene is still struggling with the aftermath of what he did and believes that God is exacting His punishment on him. So when some classmates sit with him at lunch and invite him to experience the divine beauty of watching some fireworks go off in a drain pipe, Eugene feels hollow inside, like he’s not earned the positive feelings he’s experiencing, which leads him to see Preacher before his next big Sunday sermon.

Jesse himself has seen his world turned upside down over the course of an evening. He learns from the cowboy angels that Genesis is more abomination than blessing. The product of the union of the divine and the demonic, this power inside Jesse is the heavenly host’s biggest secret, greatest shame and juiciest prize.

Despite taking part in a battle royal where he saw agents of heaven fighting (and killing and resurrecting and killing and resurrecting) amongst themselves time and again, Jesse decides to keep the power, because as we learn in that sweaty little church later on, he is more the man Tulip knows him to be.

When Eugene calls what Jesse did for him a cheat, it caused Jesse’s façade to crumble. Jesse does see the power inside him as a quick path, a means to the end of fulfilling a promise made under duress to his father all those many years ago. Jesse wants to bring salvation to the people of Annville by any means necessary, because the quicker he does it, the quicker he can move on to something that is Not This and be who he really wants to be.

It’s why Jesse is dumbfounded that Arseface is fighting happiness. Jesse has no idea why Eugene would rather suffer honestly than prosper with doubts in his mind. It calls Jesse’s grand plan to use his power and a loudspeaker to save all the souls in the town and move on into doubt. Jesse finally blows his top because Eugene calls out the move for the sinful act that it is. He uses Genesis to tell Eugene to go to Hell. And like that, Eugene is gone without a trace.

7-5 fight

It’s a powerful moment in a series that has struggled to find a direction for its title character. Jesse has been adrift, but Eugene’s disappearance and its sure aftermath will generate the conflict and consequences that is certain to bring the titular Preacher into sharp focus.

The rest of the episode brought back the action with an absurdly wonderful and violent fight sequence that saw the bodies pile up in the hotel room like shells on a beach. It also kept up with the recently winning formula of pairing unlikely characters together (this time it was Tulip and April). This was surely the kind of episode that had the right mix to draw any wavering viewers back into the fold, as the water Jesse finds himself in gets deeper and hotter.

Craig Wack

Craig Wack

For a weekly discussion of comic book TV shows please join Craig Wack and Tatiana Torres for the Agents of GEEK podcast updated every Friday and now on iTunes

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  • ChainedVase

    Ooooooh I’ve been waiting for this recap because I have questions! (My long weekend started Friday you guys so what was I supposed to do all day yesterday while you were being Independent?)
    Am I supposed to know what Eugene did that was so terrible? Something about the comatose girl? I don’t know whether I missed something or if it’s meant to be a mystery or if they just forgot that we aren’t all comics readers?
    I’m enjoying this show but I feel like there’s so much going on that I am either missing or they aren’t telling us, and I don’t know whether that is a deliberate heightening tension thing, or if they really just think we all know the back story?
    Thanks for this recap, Craig! Your perspective on what’s going on with Jesse trying to get the salvation over with so he can move on explains some thing for me. 🙂

    • emmalita

      I think Eugene and the comatose girl were in a suicide pact gone wrong?

      • ChainedVase

        Yeah that’s what I gather from context, I just wish they showed us some back story on that. I’m not sure how I’m meant to feel about Eugene. He’s such a pitiful character but the whole town hates him like he’s a villain?
        There’s all that Sepia Cowboy stuff that I still don’t get but no time to explain about Eugene. I hope it all comes together later.

        • emmalita

          Unless it all goes Bad JJ Abrams on us, I assume that all this will come together.

          • now now, let’s blame that on Lindelof. lolol

          • emmalita

            Maybe he IS Bad JJ Abrams. But I’m not sure who gets the blame for the last season of Alias if not JJ.

          • i blame ben affleck by extension. because if jen hadn’t been super pregnant she could have just been sydney not sydney in the office….. and lord knows Jen is perfect so it’s not HER

          • emmalita

            Jennifer did say he has magic sperm.

    • It’s deliberate. They are slow playing a lot of the details and filling in the backstories a detail or two at a time. It’s what makes shows like this fun: feeling a little lost and guessing what is coming next.

      • ChainedVase

        I’m really enjoying it, so I can wait it out!

  • this ep was so good! i think it’s everything everyone has been wanting and the end was so heartbreaking!

    Not to mention you can totally Cassidy is now totally broken hearted cause he was totally digging on Tulip and they he found she was “Jesse’s Tulip” #sobs
    Not to mention this is the first time Jesse referred to Tulip in a way that doesn’t seem like he wants nothing to do with her, i mean sure she’s no where around but….

    Also the stuff with Em and Tulip was so great. You can tell that as soon as Em called out Tulip, tulip like HAD to help. I was so worried that tulip was going to sabotage the church errands in some way, but nope she was just 100% genuine.

    I’m just going to stare at these pics (1 in which they look SO ADORABLE together and @chainedvase:disqus we could just hang out with them i’m sure) until next week

    • Kala

      I should have listened to my lions and put both of these men on my top five list. Regrets. I have a few.

      • ah yes. meanwhile i at least put Dom on there. hopefully someone told him. so i can cash in

  • mzblackwidow

    I have been waiting to really like this show. It is in my wheelhouse {batshit crazy, vampires, cowboy angels etc} and I have enjoyed Cassidy and Tulip every time they are on screen. The fact I am bored with Jessie rather than like or dislike is to do with the actor? writing? character? I don’t know, never having read the comics.

    Anywho, I enjoyed this episode and I think if they can get out of the one horse town things will improve. Also, guilty confession, brilliant prosthetic notwithstanding I cannot STAND to look at Arseface. I don’t know why. It isn’t because of the mental image from the name, I’m a big girl. I just can’t look at him. So I hope he stays in hell 😛