That fight scene, you guys! We all knew Preacher had the potential to balance stylish violence and quiet character beats, but the show’s never done it quite as well as it did tonight.
We begin in the diner, where Jesse Words the heavenly cowboy duo into spilling the dirty secret about the power inside him, and oh boy, it’s a doozy. In the middle of an endless war between heaven and hell, an angel and a demon fell in love, and the result of this forbidden pairing is an entity called Genesis.
“So you’re saying this Genesis is some sort of…angel…demon…baby?” Jesse clarifies.
Killjoy DeBlanc sets him straight. “If by ‘baby,’ you mean the most powerful entity ever known, the singular force that would shift the balance of power, threaten all of creation, then yeah, it’s a baby.”
Genesis escaped its coffee-can domicile, and DeBlanc and Fiore want to stuff it back inside like the never-meant-to-be abomination they think it is. Jesse’s still trying to wrap his head around this reveal when the two cowboys — and okay, for authenticity and simplicity, let’s call them what they are in the comic, which is Adelphi, a.k.a. bureaucratic angels — follow a blonde woman out of the diner.
In the parking lot, the Adelphi start to viciously beat the woman, who’s dressed like every soccer mom ever in a cardigan, khakis, and sensible running shoes. Jesse rushes out to pull the Adelphi off of her when she attacks him with supernatural strength. Fiore shoots her in the head and the Adelphi stuff her body in their car. Then a flash of light pulses from the diner, and the same woman comes striding outside in the same immaculate khakis.
Jesse immediately hustles the Adelphi into his truck, and on the way back to the Sundowner Motel, they explain that the woman’s a Seraphim, an order-loving angel of the first order, and like all angels, she respawned after death through a process called reinvigoration.
Jesse’s awestruck-yet-blasphemous take on the confirmation of a cornerstone of his faith? “Goddamn. Angels.”
The Adelphi explain that Soccer-phim’s after them because they’re on an unsanctioned mission (we even see the heavenly “wanted” poster!) to recapture Genesis before anyone realizes it escaped. In fact, most of heaven and hell don’t even know about Genesis’ existence, as the leadership agreed to keep it a secret lest both sides go to war.
Before they can convince Jesse to turn Genesis over to them, the Soccer-phim bursts into the room and shoots the Adelphi. Jesse stays absolutely cool when she turns the gun on him, waiting until he sees his chance to attack. When it comes, his punches don’t hurt, but hers sure do. Fiore respawns and gets killed again, giving Jesse time to grab a knife from the Adelphi’s insane bag of weapons. (Hammer! Chainsaw! Marital aid — they didn’t know what they might need!) He slits Soccer-phim’s throat, and Fiore kills a wounded DeBlanc so he’ll respawn, too. He explains to Jesse (and us) that sometimes reinvigoration happens immediately and in the same place, but not always.
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Respawned Soccer-phim chooses that moment to punch through the paneling of the wall next door, and DeBlanc screams at Jesse to restrain her, not kill her. But Jesse accidentally shoots her dead, allowing her to respawn. And then all hell breaks loose, and we pan back to watch the chaotic fight through the hole in the wall. Identical bodies pile up, lights flash as angels respawn, gouts of blood fly, furniture gets smashed, somebody screams, “She’s got an axe!”
This entire scene is fantastic. Why have the neighbors not called the police? What will the police make of all those identical bodies? How is Jesse not seriously injured in the melee? Who cares! It’s the best five minutes of the show so far, and certainly the most evocative of the comic’s gleeful, slam-bam violence.
NEXT: Cassidy shows up and makes things worse