Jesse hides from the cops, Cassidy gets hangry, the angels head south, and Emily shocks us all
Preacher gave us an amazing Breaking Bad Easter egg this week in an episode in which most of the character do, in fact, break bad. Appropriately, at least 50 percent of “Finish the Song” seems to take place in blood-spattered rooms.
We open in 1881, where our not-so-friendly cowboy’s had a bad couple of days. Having arrived home too late to save his wife and daughter, he straps on his guns and heads back to Ratwater. At the saloon, the preacher who knows him as the killer of 77 men at Gettysburg welcomes him in from the storm — as long as the cowboy professes his love for the Lord.
He will not. “I love my horse, I love my wife, and I love my little girl. And as for Jesus, he can join us all in hell.” When he entered the saloon, he interrupted a singer performing, and he now instructs the terrified man to “finish the song.” Then he exacts some old timey justice.
Did I say justice? That’s the wrong word. He actually murders every last soul in that saloon: patrons, prostitutes, piano player, and all. The scene is shot in what I’m starting to think is the typical Preacher style: Ultra-violence that’s only hinted at. We don’t see the actual killin’, for the most part, but we do hear the mayhem and see the bodies start to pile up.
The last man standing is the saloon’s singer, and even he isn’t spared when the cowboy suddenly and viciously separates his head from his shoulders.
Now the only living person in the saloon, the cowboy calmly pours himself a drink as the wind shakes the bar, knocking over bottles and rattling windows.
And then we’re in the present, where Jesse’s in the back of Sheriff Root’s cruiser, having just confessed to sending Eugene to hell. Root thinks Jesse’s being poetical-like and tells him that child killers don’t find penitentiary easy: “Preacher, you gonna wish you was in hell.” (Hmm. That’s shaping up to be a theme tonight.)
Jesse has other plans, though. He apologizes and dives out of the police car, promising Root he’ll see him in church on Sunday. Root and I are both curious how Jesse got out of the back of a police car, and a quick investigation reveals a battered silver pen. (And not just any pen, but it looks quite a bit like the one a young Jesse eyed at Quincannon Meat & Power while his dad was counseling a grieving Odin in episode 4.) I’ve got no idea how a pen can jimmy a police car door, but Jesse apparently does. You know, part of me wishes we could see bad boy Jesse in more flashbacks, but the surprising bits of criminality that surface certainly do tell their own story.
Anyway, Jesse’s not the only one on the move this week. DeBlanc and Fiore enter a travel agency and ask to travel south. Really far south. When the agent realizes they’re unregistered angels, she forges some paperwork, asking for their occupations in case any of hell’s denizens ask. DeBlanc and Fiore provide them in unison: “Serial killer.” “Architect.”
This show. I swear. It kills me every week with its dry humor and specific little details, like the travel agent throwing a cover over her bird’s cage before planning a vacation to hell. Why? Who knows! But I love it.
The ticket printout shows that a trip to hell costs $348.50, in case you were wondering, and DeBlanc shuts down the agent’s attempts to get Fiore to pay for them in sexual favors. In the end, she hands over their tickets and tells them where to meet their shuttle.
Okay, remember that story line I swore we’d never talk about again? It’s gotten worse, and Tulip cannot deal anymore. She calls Emily to her uncle’s house and tells her that Cassidy’s having trouble healing and, oh yeah, he’s a vampire. The living room’s full of cages, some full and some empty.
Tulip’s care and feeding instructions: “Just open the door a crack and throw in a hamster or chicken or something. Done. Here’s some cash if you need more critters. Don’t go to Pet Express because they’re on to me.”
Furthermore, Tulip says Emily can have Jesse, because Tulip’s done. Emily declines. She’s dating Mayor Miles. You know: ginger goatee, khaki pants, been chasing her forever?
“He sounds … cool,” Tulip lies, then leaves to kill a man in Albuquerque.
NEXT: Emily’s serious about her breakups