Disclaimer: Firstly this recap will contain spoilers of the show. Secondly, I’m not a Preacher expert. I have not read the comics and aren’t sure I want to. I actually am Ok with being caught up in this shows cinematic universe instead of always drawing comparisons between the show and the comic which is something that ticks me off about other review/recap I’ve come across. I’m sure I’m not the only one so, if you are like me then this is for you.
In this episode we are basically introduced to the world and the people in it. This show is made off a comic and we all know AMC has had phenomenal success with shows of this nature, siting The Walking Dead as on of these great successes. The comic, so I’m told, features sex, violence, gore and blasphemy, YAY!!! So much so that I read that HBO turned it down for being too violent and pornography and blasphemous. I gotta give that one a side-eye because, Game of Thrones, but, all the same I’m glad AMC got this one, because let’s face it, every comic they touch turns to pure cinematic gold.
Episode one, starts with an African preacher of the fire and brimstone verity, preaching about, what else, an upcoming war. When suddenly the doors burst open and he is hit with/entered by a flying ball of something. He gets up, demands quiet in an unworldly voice, declares himself the chosen profit, then blows up. Just like that. Blood and guts all over the good God fearing people, who do the only sensible thing and flee.
From this scene alone I can extrapolate that this is gonna be a study in Old Testament-esque-ness.
Que change of scene to somewhere in middle america. A small town full of odd characters to say the least. The religious leader of which, is Jesse Custer. A sad little man trying to fill a sad little role as the preacher of a practically empty church of sleeping men, distracted ipad children and just the spirit of general disinterest. Come to think of it, he doesn’t even seem to be interested as he drags himself to church to deliver something only slightly resembling a sermon, which he forgets half of at home and is forced to wing it, not very well, to the end.
We soon find out that maybe his lack of Preacher-y-ness isn’t so much of a bad thing, as he is a reformed bad boy and every body knows it. He’s trying not to fight, trying really hard. Even when a kid walks up to him and flat out asks him to beat up his wife-beating dad, he doesn’t. Sigh. We do get some fighting though, as we join Cassidy on a flight from somewhere to God knows where, with whom he finds out to be some Bible thumpers who mean him harm. And the party was going so well too… what with the booze and drugs and high laughs all set forth by him and his charming Irish accent.
He makes short work of them, to include ripping someone’s throat out, with his teeth, and then pouring a bottle of blood for the road…er sky…from a broken bottle in an officer’s chest. A tip of the hat and a jump out of a plane and all is right with the world again. By which I mean he ends up a pool of uck somewhere near Jessie’s town. This guy is gonna be fun.
Tulip, similarly, enters our presence in heated combat. She beats up two guys in a speeding car which comes to a halt in front of some, come to think of it, very interesting kids on their farm. Knowing that more folks are coming to get her, she gets the kids to help her build a bazooka out of old cans, moonshine and toy soldiers. She then locks them in the Tornado bunker, and they emerge to see a flaming helicopter who’s occupants are dead. Impaled with those same toy soldiers.
When we get back to Jesse, I guess the town and it’s occupants to include a sadistic housewife and her Neanderthal husband have pushed the good-ish preacher just a bit too far. His inner bad-boy unleashes some serious judgement at the local bar with Cassidy’s help. For thanks they get tossed in the drunk tank. At this point Jessie figures this preaching thing isn’t for him and just kinda decides to give up.
Of course if that happened it might be the end of the show, so it doesn’t and instead our ball of comic energy who has been busy throughout the episode exploding pastors finds Jesse and enters him. He doesn’t blow up, of course, but instead decides to stick with it and gives, finally, a pretty decent sermon.
Did I mention that just before that he gives one of his most annoying parishioners some advice about his nagging mother, which prompts him to go to her, pour out his heart and then cut out his heart? Jesse doesn’t know it, but that seems to be the doing of our little explody friends.
So far so good for Preacher. I’m all engrossed and eager to see what comes next. I wanna know who the creepy dudes who have been following the ball are. I wanna know more about Tulip and Jesse and their love, if it was that. I wanna know about the vampire world here. I like the way the thing was cut together, each scene giving little nods to the last. Its fun and funny.
I gotta ask though, do you guys thing I should also read the comics? Is it in your opinion essential to know what’s coming or do you think it’s OK to be surprised. Especially since in any adaptation there are bound to be differences and knowing what they are can be kind of distracting.