Thoughtful & Abstract: Preacher: “South Will Rise Again”

In which Kim and Shawn find themselves at the halfway point.

Kim: So, we’re halfway through this very short season of Preacher and I’m actually going to criticize it. Not because I don’t absolutely love it, because I do. I’m going to bitch for a minute that there is a lot of time taken up by things that will make absolute zero sense to you if you don’t read the comics or use Google. I refuse to do either, because I don’t want to ruin the show.

There are people out there who insist that things are better if you are familiar with the original source material. These are the exact same people who bitch constantly when the adaptation doesn’t follow the source. I mean, they’re the people who hate that there is a Daryl Dixon in The Walking Dead and spoil it for the rest of us by saying, “Well in the comics, this is who Negan kills”. Piss off. I’ll wait until October. But I digress.

There has been an inordinate amount of time given to the cowboy in the opening scene, who doesn’t appear to be related to the show at all. Yes, I’m well aware that it’s likely a key element from the comic being worked in, and I am being oh-so-very-patient. No, I don’t want the answer handed to me, but I want to see the tie in.

Right off the bat, I’m going with the crow symbolism. They were pecking at the family and the rag doll, and then there was one in the street in present-time. And that’s as far as I’ve gotten. With only five episodes left, I’m concerned that there isn’t enough time to delve into this person and how he is going to interact with our beloved preacher while still furthering the current storyline.

I’m confused by several other things in this show and I think without diving too deeply into “let’s just recap the episode, make a sex joke, and move on” territory, I’m just going to question these things. Some of them will play out and the others will always be a mystery to me.

1.) How can anyone get nailed by Cassidy in the back of a car and look bored? OK, OK, she loves Jesse, but come on now. I’d at least be enthusiastic about it. I mean, you have to be, right? It’s Cassidy for crying out loud!

2.) So, the dudes with the coffee can are from heaven? For real? I’m interested to see how this all plays out. Will Jesse let them try to get whatever it is out of them? Will they decide to let it stay in him as long as he’s using it for good? Is he really using it for good?

3.) Where were Emily’s children that she could pee with the door open and not have them constantly saying, “Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom!”? I only have one and can tell you that I can’t pee with the door open, or even unlocked.

4.) So, it’s really Donnie’s wife who wears the pants? Three cheers for her then.

5.) I have to guess that somehow Odin was doing what he viewed as “God’s work” when he wasted all of that bourbon. And the people. I’m not sure how that’s going to play into things. Did the suggestion wear off? Were those people assholes that needed killing? What is happening here?

6.) Do we get a second season of this? Will it be longer? Can’t we just extend The Walking Dead to 23 episodes, make this 23 episodes and just have six weeks of stuff in between? Do we really need anymore?

All in all, I still love Preacher. The eye candy is delicious. The pacing is starting to get on my nerves though. I was happy at first, getting bits and pieces tossed to me like scraps to a dog, but now that I realize that we’re half done, I’m troubled by it. Put the damn steak in the middle of the floor and let’s have at it. I’m worried that I won’t get everything I need answered by the end of the season. I’m worried that I won’t care about the cowboy at all. I’m worried that they are wasting Tulip. I’m worried about a lot of things being left open for too long. There are a lot of pieces in this puzzle. Let’s put some together in the last five and start planning for the future.

Shawn: I’m happy to see you talk about this show with a critical eye. Your observations as someone who isn’t familiar with the comic helps me figure out what I’m seeing and not seeing might be influenced subconsciously by my limited knowledge of the series. I actually liked more about this episode than last week’s but my overall view of the show meandering remains. Here are just a few thoughts.

1.) There’s a slow burn whenever we are in the present time and setting. Things are unraveling at a pretty slow pace compared to most shows and I don’t really have a problem with that. This episode takes place over a couple days right? Yet there are these hints at a more violent and magical universe. The Pilot episode had the fight in an airplane and the fight in the car driving through the cornfield. We get a hint at something bigger at the beginning and end of each episode. I don’t know exactly how they are going to work the Western story into the main plot but if it’s important to the current plot, they better give us a good idea pretty soon. And then each episode is predictably ending with some “unpredictable” act of magic or in this week’s case “reversal of magic”. It’s starting to feel like the person that tells you “I have to tell you this exciting thing that happened” but then keeps getting distracted in the middle. I don’t need everything spelled out with this time jump but I do need to know somehow that it matters.

2.) That scene between Tracy’s mom and Eugene felt like it was lifted from every other episode. I want to call a moratorium on these scenes for awhile. We get it – Jesse can make people do stuff. And if he is changing people in a way that will later come back to play an important role in the plot than I think you should include it. Anything else like this feels like repetition and wasted screen time. Jesse is doing his best to use his powers to do what he thinks is in the best interest of the town. That was evident from the initial use of it though. I need more judicious use.

3.) I mentioned that Odin was a “reversal of magic”. I meant that more in a plot device way. I think what we have is typical of any “wish” show. They never just go as planned, right? I think we have a true Old Testament Odin. He’s bringing forth his wrath. I don’t want to explain it any other way so until we are explicitly told otherwise, that’s the explanation I’m going with. I think this is going to be the impetus to get our group on the road. It’s never just as easy wishing things away.

4.) Jesse shot a Komodo Dragon in the head? I want there to be a rule that every episode, Tulip tells a story and has sex. Both are really entertaining (except like you said, her boredom seemed too bad considering the situation and partner). Tulip is the the least realized of the three main characters at this point. We are getting her back story very slowly and apparently pretty filtered. I like that episode last week with her worry over Cassidy. This week I only really bonded with her over an overgrown lizard.

5.) Tulip and Lucy are going to have to fight over Jesse at some point. Right now it seems like such a one-sided fight but I’m thinking there is more to Lucy than meets the eye. If nothing else, her ability to stop midstream, breathe, and then continue was pretty impressive. I have grown to like Lucy and I completely get the peeing with the door open. It’s a freeing moment. You don’t expect an assassin to stop by at that moment.

We’re at that halfway point and I think the arrow is still firmly pointed up. I love the show and I fear that all those Game of Thrones fans will tune in next week instead of watching the marathon this weekend first. I hope there is more of a summary going into the episode. Because this fabulous show needs a Season Two.

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Shawn Bourdo

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