Jesse Custer’s Best Laid Plans Go Astray: Preacher, ‘Sonsabitches’

Preacher Season 3, Episode 2: “Sonsabitches”

After a season premiere that focused on Tulip’s resurrection, Preacher took a more familiar turn this hour with the return of Herr Starr and the Grail.

There’s still tension between Jesse, Tulip and Cassidy, and Jesse has a plan to get his soul back; it’s not a very good plan, but it’s still a plan. This episode went a long way toward setting up the show’s various factions, seeking that little tube filled with Jesse’s soul. Also, there was a goat cannon.

Cassidy

Once again, Cassidy is reduced to a hanger-on in the main story. He wants the road trip to resume, ostensibly so he can have the satisfaction of ditching Jesse somewhere and getting Tulip all to himself. He’s very tender with Tulip and protective of her, and willing to go along as best as he can.

For now, there are drugs and Swamp Consomme, so Cassidy is willing to stick around.

Tulip

Still trying to figure her mission out, Tulip decides to blow off steam with some beer and a high-powered rifle. She decides that her mission from god is to get back at Grail agents Featherstone and Hoover for, you know, killing her.

As luck would have it, both those Grail agents are hiding in the grass while Tulip is getting in some range time, and Tulip takes a measure of revenge by bloodying Featherstone’s nose. She was going to finish the job by adding them to the Swamp Consomme grinder before Jesse intervenes.

Tulip is in an interesting place post-resurrection. She’s still smitten with Jesse, mainly because of their long history together, though she doesn’t exactly trust him, either. She loves Cassidy for entirely different reasons and may be friend-zoning him. But, it’s enough to keep the peace between the three of them.

Jesse

Since losing his soul, Jesse has become a character things happen to, rather than a character who initiates the action. His grand plan is to trick Starr into giving his soul back. Jesse believes that once his soul returns, he’ll get his power back, and then there’s nothing that the Grail or Mama Marie can do about it. Of course, Jesse’s plan goes south with his soul inches away from his fingertips, setting up what will undoubtedly be the plot engine for the rest of the season.

The prologue and epilogue offer a window into what life with Mama Marie was like for Jesse. A teenaged Jesse was Angelville’s outside sales rep and part-time enforcer, helping out teachers with a thing for their underage students, and sending a message when they miss their payments. It also gives us a demonstration of Mama Marie’s soul extraction contraption.

The epilogue sees Jesse going into a bunker (The Tombs) under a seemingly abandoned cabin. There he starts mopping the blood-spattered floors when out of the shadows comes that same gym teacher, chained at the neck and looking much worse for the wear, begging for help. Jesse asserts he can’t help, and appears to be just as trapped as they pervy teacher.

Thoughts and Impressions

The second episode of the season felt a little more like home than the first (the shootout in the Krishna monastery helped), and it feels like the setup is finally done. Now, what feels like the four-way battle for that piece of Jesse’s soul will truly begin.

The dynamic between the three main characters has stabilized, though it still feels like Cassidy is getting the short end of the stick here, story-wise. Jesse has his thing, Tulip has her mission from god, and Cassidy is just left in the kitchen huffing who-knows-what with Mama Marie’s creepy henchman.

If this was truly the last of the setup, then these dark days for Jesse should become brighter ones for Preacher.

Craig Wack

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