preacher-recap

It was the showdown at the Little Church of Annville, Texas, on this week’s Preacher.

Arrayed against Preacher Jesse Custer are the forces of Odin Quincannon, the meat packing kingpin who believes he now owns the church and its land thanks to a verbal agreement with Jesse, one that’s in dispute between the parties.

But Odin is not a man to be delayed or denied, particularly when it comes to matters of religion. So it is that he brings an army of Civil War re-enactors and his employees in an Alamo-like siege of the church.

How did things come to this?  Let’s recap:

*** We open with a flashback (it’s becoming standard fare with Preacher) that shows the family of Odin Quincannon on a ski trip. Unfortunately, the ski gondola they’re in fails, sending their cab plunging into a foggy abyss. The results aren’t pretty, and when Jesse’s father John is called to Odin’s office in the middle of the night, he can offer no solace as Odin, surrounded by coffins, holds the mushy entrails of his daughter. He compares it with a cow he butchered in his office while railing against his apparent abandonment by God. He tells Father Custer he must rebuke the lord from the pulpit this week, since there’s “no spirit, no soul.”  At last we know why he is so adamantly anti-religion, and we learn what young Jesse saw in the office in episode four (Quincannon holding the entrails).

*** Back to the present, and Jesse’s church is under siege by a rag-tag Quincannon army. He defeats the first wave, and shoots the penis off of a would-be hero who did a solo charge on the church. But Quincannon’s army is dug in and determined, and Jesse’s only company is his bottle of whisky and a few guns. Yet Jesse seems less concerned with the Quincannon posse than he does with Eugene, still mourning the foolish utterance of “Go to Hell” that apparently sent poor Eugene to that fiery inferno.

*** But wait – there’s some scratching near the church floorboards that had been removed in the previous episode in an effort to call Eugene. Jesse begins frantically digging and who pops up but – wait for it – a filthy, dirt-encrusted Eugene!  He apparently heard Jesse’s summons in hell and began digging his way up. Jesse is flummoxed – you dug your way out of hell with your hands?  “It’s not that far,” says Eugene. He also allows as to how it’s crowded, but really doesn’t want to talk about it. He asks for some water, and a relieved Jesse calls the Sheriff to come get his boy.

*** But there’s the small matter of the siege. The Sheriff arrives to a carnival-like atmosphere around the church and doesn’t seem inclined to interfere, save to warn Quincannon that his son is with Jesse. The Preacher, relieved that Jesse is back, realizes that the Genesis creature that allows him to command others is more curse than blessing, and acknowledges that Eugene’s admonition that people should choose their own path was the correct one. But just as things seem to be going in the right direction, Jesse has a realization after Eugene starts talking about the “guys from the motel,” something he was never told about. As it turns out, Eugene is a Jesse hallucination. He’s still in Hell, and Jesse is in his own personal Hell over that. As such, he gets on the church loudspeaker and asks that the angels from the motel be summoned.

** Angels Fiore and DeBlanc arrive to remove Genesis. Jesse asks if they can help retrieve Eugene, and while they deny it at first, DeBlanc finally allows that there is a way, albeit a difficult one. Empowered by that hope, Jesse agrees to undergo the strange ritual that will return Genesis to its coffee can if they help retrieve Eugene. But once the ritual is complete and Genesis is in the can, the two angels try to welch on the deal, saying they’ll take it under consideration. A panicked Jesse sees his one chance slipping away, but all of a sudden, Genesis erupts from the coffee can and re-enters Jesse’s body. The angels pack up and head out, saying they’re shifting to an unknown “Plan B.”

*** Donnie, in full on rebel gray, comes up with a good idea. He retreats to his vehicle and deafens himself by shooting off a gun in an enclosed trunk with his head inserted (ricochets apparently are no issue). He manages to enter the church and get the drop on Jesse, whose Genesis persuasive powers are useless on a deaf man. Defeated, Jesse tells him to go ahead and shoot, since they’ve both earned it. But instead, he’s knocked unconscious. When he comes to, the Quincannon men are inside the church, and the quit-claim deed is presented to Jesse by Odin Quincannon. Jesse can’t understand why his power and command to “serve God” didn’t work on Odin, and the explanation is given – Odin serves but one God, meat. Thus, he is devoutly serving that God by taking over the church in anticipation of expanding his packing business. He does note that serving a God that doesn’t acknowledge his presence is equally crazy. But Jesse has one more request before signing – he wants one more Sunday to try to bring the town to his God. If the church attendees don’t heed his summons, then he will denounce and rebuke the lord from his pulpit, the culmination of Odin’s long-ago request to his father.

*** In the aftermath, we have a brief interlude with Tulip. She’s acquired a hound from the local rescue, and while we see a sweet moment between them, she eventually leads him into a nearby room, where lurks a creature that we don’t see, but suspect may be the burned-up Cassidy, now healing from his self-imposed immolation. Tulip curses Jesse as she leads the dog into its demise.

*** The final scene finds Jesse loaded into the back of the Sheriff’s car. He will have to account for why he called the Sheriff and told him to come fetch his son at the church. But hopefully he’ll get out in time for the final Sunday service.

Next week:  Will Jesse’s final sermon have an impact?  What is “Plan B” by the angels to retrieve Genesis?  Will Eugene ever re-surface from Hell?  Why did Genesis refuse to leave Jesse?  Is Cassidy the creature in the back room?  There are only two episodes left in this season.