Welcome back brothers and sisters to our new weekly feature, the Preacher Book Club! Every week we’ll talk about the latest episode of AMC‘s Preacher, dissecting the episode at hand, annotating the changes made from the Garth Ennis/Steve Dillon comic book series and attempting to predict about what will be coming next. So let’s dive right into our thoughts and annotations for Preacher episode 2!
Briefly alluded to last week, the beginning of this episode might not make a lot of sense to non-book readers, though a visual motif from the start returns at the end of the episode.
This man we see with a wife and sick child, this is The Saint of Killers, albeit before his ascension into the service of Heaven. The important things to note from his lone appearance are two fold: his trademark pistols, which he left behind before leaving; and his view of the world, that being it’s a wretched place filled with gruesome violence, and it doesn’t even phase him. This is no more clear than when he passes the tree filled with lynched and scalped Native Americans without even batting an eye.
Recall if you will that last week saw The Saint’s image plastered on a bottle of whiskey called “Ratwater,” the same name of the town he’s seen entering.
Cassidy meets Eugene
The episode sees Cassidy and Eugene meeting for the first time, and with it Cassidy delivers the exact line he says in the comics when they meet, “That fella’s got a face like an arse.” Granted the circumstances of their meeting is quite different in the series, and Eugene didn’t actually hear Cassidy refer to him as such in the series.
As Eugene and his father, Sheriff Root, are leaving the church, someone makes the passing remark of “Murderer” toward them. It’s unclear which of the two they’re referring to, but what’s important is that this is a new addition to the story and not something found in the source material.
The new characters
On that note, it’s worth pointing out who in this ensemble is actually from the source material. Jesse, Tulip, Cassidy, Eugene, and Sheriff Root all come from the comics, but almost every other character that is shown in Annville is created entirely for the show. Lucy Griffiths’ Emily Woodrow, Derek Wilson’s Donny Schenck, Ricky Mabe’s Mayor Miles Person? All new characters.
Speaking of characters from the comics though, we get to finally meet Jackie Earle Haley‘s Odin Quincannon in the series. Now Odin himself is from the source material, but his appearance in the show is unexpected because he didn’t appear in the comics until much, much later. In fact, Odin never even lived in Annvile in the comics, but instead he was the kingpin of Salvation, Texas. It’s worth noting that Odin is a tiny, scrappy racist in the comics whose power comes entirely from exploiting his wealth to get what he wants. We certainly see his ability to write a check and get his way in the series, though his underlying racism might be taking a backseat for the show… for now.
“Who taught you to fight?”
When Jesse and Cassidy are drinking and talking, his newfound vampire friend asks him this question and assumes it must be Jesse’s father. Jesse says no, and he’s right, though the person who taught him how to fight does have a connection to Jesse’s father (which was briefly alluded to in the first episode).
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod
After Jesse passes out, Deblanc and Fiore arrive to purge Genesis from his body. They do so by putting a coffee can on his chest, playing a music box, and singing an old song to the entity. It doesn’t work, and none of this comes from the comics.
Like much of the rest of the population of Annville, the Toadvine Whorehouse is nowhere to be found in the “Preacher” comics. Though the name probably comes from the Cormac McCarthy western novel, Blood Meridian.
“Nothing keeping you here.”
In the very peculiar scene where Tulip abducts Jesse and tries once again to convince him to help her out, we learn a little more about their criminal past, namely that there was someone named “Danny” involved in their escapades. Again, this is all-new territory. The real focal point of the scene however is that Jesse believes himself a prisoner here, his ankle bound to a chain, but when Tulip reveals the chain is connected to nothing, it’s showing him (and us) that he has no reason to stay in Annville.
The Tree and the Angels
After Cassidy gets done burying the intruders behind the church, we see where he chose to do so: beneath the very tree we saw the Native Americans hanging from in the 1880s. As soon as this concludes, we see DeBlanc and Fiore back alive speaking with Sheriff Root. This isn’t a flashback or a mix up in editing, they’re back.
The Word of God
Once again we see Jesse use his newfound power, though this time he himself sees what he is capable of doing. He meets with the bus driver and tortures him with scalding hot water before commanding him to “forget” the young girl he’s been lusting after, and then once again at the end of the episode when he commands Tracy Loach to open her eyes.
You can watch previews for the next episode, titled “The Possibilities,” using the players below.