Preacher recap: season one, episode seven Hes Gone

We get a bit too much backstory, a glimpse into hell and perhaps most terrifying of all we find out more about Cassidys taste in films

Your whole life could change in a moment

Hes Gone takes place over the course of a single day: the Sunday of Eugenes banishment. But its intercut with plenty of unnecessary flashback scenes giving more background on Jesses daddy issues and relationship with Tulip. Its a bit of a slow burner, but hopefully it serves as a brief respite before the storm of action in the last few episodes.

As Jesses climactic service finally starts, he appears to have succeeded at saving the town, at least superficially. This is by far the most God-fearing congregation weve seen yet (even Tulip is slumped down in a pew), and throughout the sequence everyone hangs, rapt by his words. But this is not a moment of triumph for Jesse we cut ahead through the sermon to Sheriff Root, looking for his son. It looks like Jesse didnt even use his power on the congregation, bailing at the last minute perhaps because Eugenes criticism struck a chord.

After the service the camera pans down to the floor, telegraphing a cut to Eugene in hell, complete with muffled animal noises and screaming. But instead, the episode jumps over to Quincannons slaughterhouse, in just one of many reminders of hell peppered throughout this episode, exaggerating small details like the fire that Tulip accidentally sets in the church oven and complemented by a glimpse of Eugenes empty room. It would be cool if we got to see Preachers version of hell. But maybe thats for another episode (or next season).

Im gonna lick your eyeball

Little ripper: Nathan Darrow as John Custer, Dominic Ruggieri as Young Jesse, Ashley Aufderheide as Young Tulip. Photograph: Lewis Jacobs/Sony Pictures Television

In flashback, we get some more background on Jesse and Tulips relationship theyve known each other forever, and have spent their lives overcoming the status gap between their families. (Apparently, the OHares have long been bad news in Annville.) After getting into a fight (she bit off Donnies nipple) and staying at the Custers for a while, young Tulip is taken away by child services on the advice of Jesses father, who is later beaten and killed soon after young Jesse prays for his death.

These scenes mostly tell us things we already knew (or worse, that we didnt need to know), and theyre a boring distraction from whats actually happening on the show in the present, where Tulip cradling her uncles head while a woman walks by with a stroller, staring disdainfully, is the most vulnerable shes been yet. Pretty much the only reason the flashbacks exist, besides padding, is to confirm that Jesse apparently feels guilty about his fathers because he prayed for it (snooze) and wants to save the town to make up for this non-crime.

Back in the present, where actually consequential stuff is happening, Tulip has another heated confrontation with Cassidy. Their relationship is sufficiently complicated to be interesting now Cassidy clearly has feelings for Tulip (he uses the phrase make love when he talks about their tryst in the car, which is incredibly cute), but cares too much for Jesse to act on them, while Tulip sees Cassidy as an ally against both Carlos and the rigid, hyper-demanding version of Jesse shes trying to banish from existence. Not much comes out of the argument, except that it persuades Cassidy to confront Jesse with what he really is.

How can you say theres no plan?

Jackie Earle Haley as Odin Quincannon. Photograph: Lewis Jacobs/Sony Pictures Television

It turns out Cassidy saw what happened to Eugene, and spends most of this episode trying to get Jesse to talk about it, in vain, eventually hitting the preacher in the face with a fire extinguisher. Jesse tells Cassidy about Eugenes origin, as a way of justifying what he did: a lovesick Eugene, it turns out, killed Tracy Loach, then tried to kill himself, only to wind up losing his face. (This differs from Eugenes origin story in the comic, which is closer to a grunge-inflected poser scheme gone awry. Also, why isnt he in prison?) Mostly, it confirms that Jesse has become cold, and continues to place his own judgment above basic kindness.

Everything boils over in an incredibly awkward dinner scene, where, among other things, Emily comes close to ratting Jesse out to Sheriff Root, then covers for him (shes caught him in a lie, and now knows something happened). Tulip lights a fire in the oven, and Cassidy confronts Jesse with his real identity, walking out into the sun to burn. It seems insane that Jesse wouldnt have fully internalized that Cassidy is a vampire yet, especially since hes already down with the existence of angels and God and stuff. He has been pretty thick-headed for the past few episodes.

Of course, Jesse didnt let Cassidy die, or if he did, Cassidy wont be dead for long. Hes a regular on the show. So is Eugene. Theyre both going to be around for a while, somehow. But at least these losses have broken through the veneer of Jesses passivity, as he tears up the floors of the church screaming for Eugene. (Something that probably should have happened at the beginning of the episode.) On the other hand, Jesse has a bit more to worry about. After rejecting Quincannons attempt to take the church (the show has yet to explain how he escaped from Jesses use of his powers, or if it was just a technical loophole in the command), Quincannon is sending a small army after the preacher. Time for action.

Notes from the nave

Go to church. Photograph: Lewis Jacobs/Sony Pictures Television

  • The most annoying thing about this episode is that the obvious solution to the Eugene problem is to ask the angels about it while offering Genesis as payment, but I suspect well probably get there next week.
  • This is definitely the best Emily episode so far, mostly because of the play she puts on dramatizing the story of Lots wife turning into a pillar of salt.
  • Tulip asks Cassidy who Jesses favorite movie star is. Cassidy responds: Ryan Phillipe.
  • Also: of course Cassidy vapes.

Scripture of the week

Matthew 19:26, which has been excerpted on the flyer as: With God, all things are possible. Heres the full verse: Jesus looked at them and said, With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.

Worst job in Texas

The child services people who had to deal with Tulip, a process that I can only imagine ended with several people dead, or at least in the hospital.

Cassidys film taste

Cassidy continues to hate The Big Lebowski, but he likes The Ladykillers?!

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