“That’s what it is: unlucky start. Nuthin’ but smooth sailin’ from here-on-out.” -Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun)
Okay…let’s be honest. Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper), Tulip O’Hare (Ruth Negga) and Cassidy didn’t exactly start-off “THE SEARCH FOR GOD: DAY ONE” on a particularly strong note: a lot of people died and secrets continued to grow as the threesome attempted to roll away their troubles from Mumbai Sky Towers with renewed direction (even if it’s a direction Tulip would prefer they not take). They’re hoping that Frank Patel’s (Vic Sahay) “music is the answer” advice from last episode proves prophetic as they hit the road and set their sights on New Orleans. Makes sense, right? God’s gone missing…God really likes jazz…New Orleans is the birthplace of jazz (and home to some incredibly spiritual/religious stuff)…so it seems like a logical path to follow. Thankfully, Fiore (Tom Brooke) already took care of The Saint of Killers (Graham McTavish) for them (…then again, maybe not…).
So that’s where things stand with Preacher as our road trip takes us to “The Big Easy” in this season’s third episode, Damsels.
But before we jump any further into this, a quick heads-up…
This isn’t a formal review…more of a recap…but it will cover some themes and “takeaways” involving some major and minor developments from the episode. If you’re not familiar with the comic book series or the show, you definitely should keep that in mind as you keep reading. If you’re a fan of the series or have some idea of what’s coming-up, then spoilers probably aren’t that big of a deal for you but there may be some discussion of subtle changes that you might want to avoid until you see them for yourself.
So here’s what AMC had to tell us about Preacher S02E03, Damsels: “Jesse, Tulip and Cassidy get a tip that God might be in New Orleans. Tulip’s hiding a secret and their stop in New Orleans risks exposing her.”
Overall Takeaway: After two episodes with a ton of action, I was glad that Damsels slowed the pacing down a bit and began foreshadowing long-terms plot elements (The Grail, Jesse’s issues with the swamps, and some other things that I’ll touch-upon later in Spare Parts). My biggest takeaway from this episode thematically was the 800 lbs. of irony in the episode’s title, an obvious turn on the phrase “damsels in distress” that gives connotation of women in trouble needing to be rescued by men.
Through three separate storylines involving Tulip, Tracy Loach (Gianna LePera) and Lara Featherstone (Julie Ann Emery) respectively, we are presented with three female characters who are taking control of their situations. Whether we like their decisions or not, they’re handling their business without the need for a “shining knight”…in many instances, surviving and persevering despite the “male saviors” in their lives.
For Loach, she had planned to kill herself over fear of being socially embarrassed over her boyfriend cheating on her…with someone who she considered only a “five.” She was never the victim of a murder-suicide attempt by a crazed, love-sick stalker as the story would eventually become after the accident. Whether we agree with her actions or not, Loach was in control of what she wanted to do in that moment…and it can definitely be argued that Eugene’s (Ian Colletti) interventions were more self-serving and actually made the entire situation worse.
For Tulip, it’s her understanding that while Jesse and Cassidy mean well there are things about her past that are best dealt with by her and her alone…an understanding that only she can have. She knew what going to get cigarettes in the middle of the night in New Orleans meant…still choosing to go that route because only she has the best chance of settling things with Viktor with as little violence and as low a body count as possible.
For Featherstone, it was using her “jazz-singing, single-mother-in-over-her-head, femme-fatale Lara” persona to manipulate the information out of Jesse that she needed. From the moment they met, she played-upon Jesse’s “savior complex” and hormones to learn how formidable of an opponent he’s going to be and test the extent of his powers. Interesting to see how Jesse (and Tulip, for that matter) reacts when he realizes he was played by someone who has more answers than he even has questions for right now.
These three “damsels” may need help, but they’re definitely not victims in need of saving.
Spare Parts: So here are some random thoughts, quotes and observations from this week’s episode to keep in mind whether you’re watching for the first time or re-watching for the twelfth time…
● I forgot that’s how Colletti looks without all the make-up…totally and completely threw me.
● So was Loache upset that her boyfriend cheated on her…or cheated on her with a “5”?
● Loache: “It was anal so I’ll still get into heaven.”
● Between Preacher, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, and a big-screen remake, it seems like Mary Poppins struck a crossover deal with Media (Gillian Anderson) from American Gods because her pop culture media presence has been hardcore lately.
● Eugene is a walking, talking, one-man “makes matters worse” in every way possible.
● So how much did God have to do with that shotgun being delayed?
● No surprise that this would be Eugene’s hell…just ask The Saint of Killers.
● “You Are Now Leaving Texas (Your Loss Dipshit)” – Now that could be debated…
● Tulip: “Like cats screwing. At an airport. Under an ice cream truck.” Showing her appreciation for jazz…
● Jesse: “It’s a family thing.” Another reference to familial horrors in Jesse’s past…
● Is there such thing as “mexi-jazz”?
● Jesse: “Well, I’ve got a good feeling about New Orleans.” Well, so much for any good luck moving forward…
● In case you wondering, there are 187 jazz clubs in New Orleans. Jesse looked it up so you don’t have to…
● If “All three of you?” is the answer you get from a bartender after you’ve told him you’re looking for God, then there’s a really good chance that you’re in the right place.
● And is looking for God usually a solo act? Not a group dynamic-kinda’ thing?
● When presented with a “man” in a latex dalmatian suit being held with a leach by a woman on the couch next to “him” and offered a variety of sex toy option on a silver platter by pleasant old man, the going rates are: $1800 just to watch; $4000 to play; and $12000 for doggy-style.
● How fucked-up would it be if the “man-dog” turned-out to be God?
● Gotta’ respect Cassidy’s willingness to support capitalism by trying to pass the hat and grab donations.
● Jesse: “Marriage is stupid, like you said.” Doesn’t even try to look at her or make it sound believable…
● Have these three learned nothing from years of horror movies? Nothing good ever happens when you split-up…and who thought leaving Jesse alone in New Orleans with Genesis was a good idea?
● While we’re not sure what the full history between Cassidy and his “friend” Denis (Ronald Guttman) is just yet, it seems that Cassidy is very concerned with trying to impress him with what he’s doing.
● The Three Stooges (Moe, Larry & Curly) are like The Marx Brothers: eternally hysterical
● Cassidy: “You’re treating me like an idiot Irish sidekick.” To Tulip, trying to man-up and show her that he’s just as useful to her as Jesse is…
● “You’re about the hottest thing I’ve since fire” reminds me of just how many shitty pick-up lines there are out there…and how many times women have had to deal with that shit.
● It’s not just about knowing that Tallahassee is the capital of Florida…it’s being confidant in that knowledge.
● That dude’s going to remember every capital of every state for the rest of his life…confidently.
● Jesse: “That’s Catholic. I can be involved in whatever I want.”
● Damn…now we’ve got “Action Jesse Custer with Kung-Fu Grip and New Orleans Playset!”
● Jesse: “Jesse Custer. I’m not with them.” Which is good because if he was, then there might need to be some conversations about how badly their plan went…
● Jesse: “It’s the collar. It give me…an authority.” Though Genesis doesn’t hurt…
● Once you’re told there’s a “super-secret, crypto-religio-fascist organization with desires of world domination” on your trail, it’s not something you can easily forget.
● That moment when Jesse really hates using Genesis to make his point…
● “Come See Angelville! Experience The Magic Of The Bayou! All Souls Welcome!” Based on Jesse’s reaction, a whole batch of no-good is about to come barreling their way.
● Tulip: “Heeeeeeey…whatcha’ doin’?” / “No…I just wanted to say…stuff.” As the lines of communication between her and Jesse grow colder and colder…
● Good news, Eugene? Your prison cell door in Hell is mysteriously open. Bad news, Eugene? Hitler’s (Noah Taylor) your neighbor. You win some, you lose some.
● God really, really likes A Walk To The Peak…and was that God in the form of George R.R. Martin with Jesse?
● Now we know that “Lara” is actually Lara Featherstone, one of the super-secret organization’s (The Grail) best operatives who will stop at nothing to achieve the organization’s goals. Which means Jesse’s file is being kicked upstairs and now has the attention of our “big bad”…Herr K. Starr (Pip Torrens)!
● Getting $100 for $5 is a pretty sweet exchange rate at The Bank of Tulip O’Hare…but with Viktor’s men cornering her at the laundromat, she may not have a need for any of that for a very, very long time.
So that’s where we’re at for this week, folks! Join me again here next week when I recap this season’s fourth episode…and here’s what AMC has to say about Viktor as well as a quick preview:
“Tulip’s past catches up with her as she’s brought to Viktor’s mansion.”