Preacher, Season 2, Episode 3, “Damsels”
The Preacher road trip makes a stop in New Orleans this episode for a double slice of hell. The first helping is the actual Hell, where we find Arseface Eugene, and the second is Tulip’s personal hell of being in the stomping grounds of Victor, the shadowy figure she done did dirty not too long ago.
Eugene’s existence isn’t all that much different than what we saw from the Saint of Killers in Season 1. Eugene is doomed to relive his worst moment/greatest sin.
His scenario starts heroically enough as he rides to the rescue of Tammy, a white knight on a 10-speed. Being popular has its pitfalls, as Tammy is suicidally distraught over the fact that her boyfriend got a BJ under the bleachers from another girl.
With a shotgun and a 15-page suicide note, complete with funeral playlist, Tammy is ready to end it all right there in her bedroom. Eugene talks her off the ledge by saying that the cheating doesn’t matter because God has a plan for everyone, but you have to be around to find out what it is.
That seems to calm Tammy until Eugene sneaks a kiss as she laid her head on his shoulder. Tammy’s reaction is instant revulsion, and returning face first in front of the business end of a double-barrel shotgun. There’s a brief struggle and the gun goes off, blowing the top of Tammy’s head off. Eugene panics, faced with a mess of blood and bone as Tammy’s mom is knocking on the door, trying to see what the ruckus is all about.
With no escape and Tammy’s suicide note burning in the garbage can, Eugene turn the gun on himself. The gun misfires at first, leading to Eugene’s own disfiguring incident. Cut to black. Repeat for eternity.
Except it’s all an illusion. The giant title card tells us Hell is a very real (and is a gray prison), but the scenario is a holographic projection, and Eugene’s is broken. The lock on the door is also broken, and Eugene steps outside his cell do discover that the guy in the cell next to him is Hitler.
Back on the bayou, Jessie’s search for God isn’t going well. There are 187 jazz clubs that God can be in, and his companions aren’t making the search terribly easy. Tulip is anxious about getting spotted by someone in Victor’s employ and Cassidy, is well, Cassidy.
In the first club they roll in to, Jesse asks to see God. The bartender wears a puzzled look before leading them to the back of the club, and eventually through a maze of halls and alleys until a curtain is revealed, and there sits a fetishist in a latex dog mask and costume. Tulip is bemused, Jesse is frustrated and Cassidy is game to try. After not being into the whole thing, they get kicked out. However the camera lingering over the eye of the man in the mask leads you to believe this isn’t the last we’ve seen of him.
The trio splits up as Tulip has had just about enough of the streets of New Orleans and Cassidy is the only one who knows the person whose house they’ll be crashing at while in town. So, Jesse soldiers through the clubs alone.
Jesse’s search takes him though a lot of clubs and a lot of whiskey. He’s finally directed to talk to the singer at a speakeasy, Lara. They engage in a little banter about state capitols and theological pursuits before she tells him to meet her outside.
There, Jesse sees she’s kidnapped by dudes in a white van wearing white suits and masks. Jesse uses Genesis to stop the van and he beats up the goons to rescue the dame.
Back at her place, Lara said that she’s heard that God is missing, and that a super-secret crypto-fascist religious organization with designs on total world domination is after her, and Him. Lara seems hell-bent on finding out how Jesse got the van to stop, and eventually flirts her way into getting Jesse to use the Voice on her.
Lara and her baby decide to get out of town and Jesse puts them in a cab and send them on their way … or so he thinks.
While Jesse is in another club listening to a song about the end of the world, it turns out Lara (and the bartender) is an agent for that super-secret crypto-fascist religious organization, and his power might help their quest for total world domination. She kicks his name up the chain of command, where Jesse’s file ends up on the desk of the menacing looking Herr K. Starr.
Tulip’s night isn’t going much better. She got made by a sweet old lady on the street, and spends most of the night at Dennis’ stewing about it. Cassidy offers to help pointing out the many times his particular skill set came in handy. Tulip decides to go it alone after a testy phone call with Jesse. She walks to a laundromat for a pack of smokes. By the time she’s able to put her first coins in the vending machine, Victor’s black-suited men converge, and menacingly surround Tulip.
In the span of one episode, Preacher has gone from romping road trip to a steamy Southern noir slow burn thriller with all of the show’s heroes in some form of peril or another. It’s another way the series keeps viewers on the edge of their seats.