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TV Review: Preacher, Season 1, Episode 6 "Sundowner"

07.04.2016

SYNOPSIS: Jesse finally comes face to face with Deblanc and Fiore, and learns about the mysterious entity that has taken over his body.

REVIEW: "Sundowner" picks up right where the last episode left off with Jesse talking to the Adephi Angels, Fiore and DeBlanc at the diner as they reveal to him that they need what's inside of him. Jesse still thinks that he has God inside of him, or that it's God's power, but Fiore and DeBlanc are coaxed to tell the whole story (after Jesse uses that very power to make them do so). They explain that what's inside Jesse is a thing called "Genesis", the product of the mating of an Angel in Heaven with a Demon from Hell. "So you're saying this Genesis is some sort of angel-demon baby?"

"If by baby you mean the most powerful entity ever known, the singular force that could shift the balance of power, threaten all of creation then, yeah, it's a baby."

Before they can go any further, Fiore and DeBlanc are distracted by a seemingly unassuming blonde woman who enters then leaves the diner. They move to confront her in the parking lot, leaving Jesse inside. An argument starts and then a fight breaks out, prompting Jesse to run out and assist. However, after the woman chokes Jesse and lifts him into the air, he sees she's more than she seems. But, before the situation can escalate, Fiore shoots her in the head, "killing" her. Jesse naturally freaks out wanting to know what's going on. However, it becomes apparant that the woman is just like Fiore and DeBlanc as she is suddenly back in the same body and walking out of the diner toward them, just like the T-1000 from Terminator 2. 

Fiore, DeBlanc, and Jesse make a break for it in Jesse's truck, where it's explained that the woman is part of the Seraphim, Angels of The First Order, who want order and control (In the comics, they're the "Seraphi", Warrior Archangels who sit at the right of God's throne).

They head to the Angels' motel, the Sundowner, and make a plan to get Genesis out of Jesse (DeBlanc: "I'll sing to it, it'll come."), while preparing for The Seraphim to send back-up along with the blonde woman who is on their trail presumably. Jesse says he'll just use "The Word" to stop them, but Fiore and DeBlanc are adament that he not use the power as this would signal to them what he has and the sheer power of it, causing everyone in Heaven and Hell to come looking for Genesis to use to their own advantage. Ultimately, they are the custodians of Genesis (although they don't know how it escaped to Earth) and are being tracked simply because they came to Earth without "permission."

However, it becomes apparent why Jesse isn't to use his power in the following scene, which becomes a kind of Evil Dead style showdown with the blonde angel, who shows up at their room and proceeds to "kill" DeBlanc and Fiore before turning the gun on Jesse. Jesse attacks and we get a taste of his brawling skills that we haven't seen since the pilot episode. It made me happy to see him back in action, as it's a signature trait of his character in the comics, who uses "The Word" sparingly and his fists generously.

What transpires is a fun and bloody sequence that echoes the earlier church scene in episode 2. The three angels basically kill each other over and over again with their resurrected selves coming back into the room to continue the fight after each "death", creating a pile of corpses in the room. Somehow Jesse is never killed, but continues to fight. It's revealed that the Angels must fully die to come back (i.e. can't be resurrected if they are clinging to life after injury), so their aim is to "subdue" the blonde Seraphi, rather than just kill her as she'd just continue to come back. At one point Cassidy shows up and joins the fight (why he shows up isn't revealed). 

Eventually, they subdue the blonde Seraphi with a chainsaw (naturally) and turn their attention back to Jesse, ordering him to give back Genesis, saying they'll give him anything he wants if he does. But, Jesse is conflicted as to why Genesis chose him to begin with. Nobody knows the answer to that, though, and Jesse makes a decision. "I'm sorry, I'm keepin' it." Fiore and DeBlanc are desparate and tell him that "God does not want this."

"So if I'm wrong and God wants Genesis back, he can come and take it." Jesse and Cassidy start to leave, DeBlanc and Fiore pleading all the way to the parking lot, warning of the consequences of what he's doing. Jesse responds by using "The Word", saying "Stay away from me." which would ultimately stop them from approaching him ever again. As they drive off, Fiore says "Of course there's the other option", which I'd guess is likely the one we've all been waiting for: The Saint of Killers.

We then segue into an odd new relationship, as Tulip drives to Emily's house, storms in and yells at her to stay away from her "boyfriend". She breaks one of Emily's kids' art statues then storms back out to her car to sit and stew. Emily goes out and yells at her about breaking the statue and Tulip has some kind of moral crisis over it and knocks on the door to come in and fix it. What transpires is a weird bonding moment at the kitchen table, where Tulip offers to help watch Emily's sick kid while she handles her church errands. Emily asks Tulip if she has any experience with kids and she reveals that she used to have one. In the end, Tulip agrees to help do the church errands for Emily, while she watches her sick kid.

We then have a little half-naked bonding moment with Cassidy and Jesse, as they return to the church to wash their bloody clothes. They talk about their collective tattoos, with Cassidy asking Jesse where he got a tattoo in the center of his back with a skull, Texas star, and horseshoe. Jesse replies that "a mean old lady" gave it to him, which could very well be a hint at his Grandmother, Miss Marie in the comics. Jesse is also riddled with scars and has a shoulder tattoo of a Tulip. "That's my Tulip," he says with more affection than we've heard him have for the character in the show thus far, signifying a deeper historical connection to her.

Cassidy wants to know what Jesse is going to do with Genesis and it's obvious he's got bigger plans, but the only thing he'll reveal is "more". It's very obvious that the power within him is starting to corrupt his faith and ideals. Absolute power and all. Later, Jesse is seen installing a loudspeaker on top of the church, while Cassidy (covered up in a hoodie to block out the sun) is arguing with him about using Genesis, especially in the obvious way he is planning to use it. "This is why Genesis was given to me, Cassidy. This is what it's for. God doesn't make mistakes."

"God may not make mistakes, but people are bloody famous for it!"

There's a subplot going on throughout the episode that has a group of kids seeming to befriend Eugene (Arseface). Eugene is naturally suspicious, as most people are always regarding him in horror and telling him to "finish the job". At one point, Eugene follows the kids into a fenced-off tunnel where we expect the worst to happen, but instead they just set off some fireworks inside and watch them, at which point Eugune seems to have a bit of a revelation, which comes into play at the end of the episode.

Jesse is setting up for an outdoor sermon, preparing to unleash the full power of "The Word" on the town with his newly-installed megaphone when Miles, the Anneville Mayor, shows up seeking advice. Miles is suffering with covering up the murders of the Green Acres executives that were committed by Odin Quincannon in the last episode. In the end, he makes the decision to follow through with the cover up, as we see the bodies of the Green Acres execs in a turned over, burnt out car as Miles calls the headquarters to advise of the "tragic accident". Miles takes a step to the dark side here and things are sure to catch up with him after this.

Inside the church, just before service, Tulip arrives and drops off a bunch of "church stuff" for Emily, much to the shock and dismay of Jesse, who didn't expect to see her there. While dropping off the supplies, Tulip runs into Cassidy and it becomes very clear what's going on. "You're HIS Tulip?" Jesse suddenly enters the room, but Cassidy is hidden behind the door. Jesse and Tulip have a brief exchange, while Cassidy stays in hiding, conflicted over his friendship and burgeoning relationship with Tulip. Ah, the drama.

Prior to the service beginning, Eugene enters the church to talk to Jesse. After his revelation in the tunnel he's had a change of heart about being forgiven by Jessica's mother in the last episode, saying he doesn't want it, as it feels like "cheating." He seeems to have a grasp on the power that Jesse wields and very quickly takes to trying to stop Jesse from abusing that power. Jesse becomes angry at this. "This is God's will, what I've done. What I've done for you. What I'm about to do. Understand? It is not cheatin'!" Eugene asks him what he's going to do.

"I'm gonna save the damn town!"

Jesse asks why Eugune keeps coming to him, to which he replies, "Because you're the Preacher." Jesse says he's going to make the town see the light and then he'll be free, but Eugene says that it's wrong, implying that using the power of "The Word" to make people see the light is not the way to do things. "People need to choose. That's the whole point." Jesse lets his nasty side loose as Eugene continues to argue with him and at the peak of that argument yells, using "The Word", "Go to hell, Eugene!" which promptly makes Eugene disappear.

While I hate to be a broken record about the slow pace, this is another episode that falls into that category. It's not that we need a break-neck speed in each episode, but in terms of the actual story, everything is sluggish and progressing at a snail's pace. Considering that Jesse's mission in the comics is set up within the first few issues and the origins and stakes of what he's dealing with are laid out in a way that's easy to understand. However, even non-comic fans are scratching their heads at just where this story is going and why any of it matters. It feels like the series is headed toward getting to Jesse's mission by the finale, which really feels way too late in the game.

There's been some criticsim of comparing the show to the comics and holding it under that scrutiny, but if we can't compare it to the source material then what's the point of adapting it to begin with? If it's just going to use names and likenesses and just "do its own thing" then what's the point of adapting the story to begin with? There had to be a reason to want to make it and if it was just to nibble at the source and then run with your own take on it then it feels pretty haphazard to me. As someone who has read the comics over and over, I know what gems await, and I know where the deviations occur and at this point, we're headed into some very uncharted waters and I continue to struggle with why so much has been changed when the source material worked so damn well.

While I am pleased with the actors and the general style of the show, I feel like it is going to need some serious course correction to be a proper adaptation at this point. I'm happy that it's been renewed for a second season, but my fear is that this will allow the showrunners to stretch out the slog rather than pick up the pace. I hope they choose the latter. Right now, it's an enjoyable watch that simply isn't measuring up to the pace, edge, and humor of the comics. You know it's not firing on all cylinders when even non-comic fans are complaining about a lack of coherency and direction. Preacher has all the elements in place, but they just aren't fully aligned in perfect working order and quickly heading away from what makes this a story worth adapting. Here's to hoping the next four episodes get us back on track.

COMIC CONNECTIONS:

- DeBlanc & Fiore reveal the true nature of what is inside Jesse: Genesis, the offspring of an Angel and a Demon, who fell in love during "The Endless War" in Heaven. This is, thankfully, exactly as it is in the comic, but would've been punctuated to a greater degree had they shown some of this backstory, rather than just told it. Additionally, Jesse uses "The Word" to make them tell the truth about this, again an aspect from the comics, albeit in a very different situation (after his first altercation with The Saint of Killers).

- While waiting for their clothes to wash and comparing tattoos, Cassidy asks Jesse where he got the one on his back, a skull of some sort, and Jesse replies from "a mean old lady" which could very well be a hint to his sadistic and evil Grandma, Miss Marie.

Source: JoBlo.com

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3:27PM on 07/17/2016
I don't see any problems except I wanna see more Saint of Killers. Great show.
I don't see any problems except I wanna see more Saint of Killers. Great show.
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12:03PM on 07/06/2016
I am very torn on this show. Never read the full story in the comics, but I find this show to be moving really slowly. I'm guessing the rest of the season will play out with a build up to Jesse's public sermon. In that build up, we'll learn that God has abandoned his post in Heaven. The public sermon will end up destroying the town instead of saving it. As a result, Jesse will team up with Tulip and Cassidy to go track down God and figure out what the hell is going on. And that's all well
I am very torn on this show. Never read the full story in the comics, but I find this show to be moving really slowly. I'm guessing the rest of the season will play out with a build up to Jesse's public sermon. In that build up, we'll learn that God has abandoned his post in Heaven. The public sermon will end up destroying the town instead of saving it. As a result, Jesse will team up with Tulip and Cassidy to go track down God and figure out what the hell is going on. And that's all well and good, it's just an incredibly long burn to get there. I'm hoping they'll pick up the pace in season 2 once they've established the world in which these characters live.
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12:21AM on 07/06/2016
While I agree the pace is slow and we haven't gotten the story yet, I have no issue with the show. I do know what the comic is about, despite having not read it, but it doesn't bother me that they've not gotten to the story yet. I like the characters and I like the strange events of the show, but I especially like Custer. He's an interesting character and his exploration is great writing and acting. I also thought this episode was fantastically paced. It opens with a bang and we actually do get
While I agree the pace is slow and we haven't gotten the story yet, I have no issue with the show. I do know what the comic is about, despite having not read it, but it doesn't bother me that they've not gotten to the story yet. I like the characters and I like the strange events of the show, but I especially like Custer. He's an interesting character and his exploration is great writing and acting. I also thought this episode was fantastically paced. It opens with a bang and we actually do get some development of the plot here. I guess it helps not having read the source material to enjoy the show for what it is.
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7:06PM on 07/05/2016
I haven't read this comic so I'm not sure of what the main differences are, but I'm really liking the show and haven't had any issues with the pacing and I haven't felt like they are over complicating the story. I guess I was seeing it as a slow burn where once all the pieces do finally come together the viewer gets a big AHA moment, like whenever they actually revealed any answer to a mystery in Lost, it felt earned. I can understand though that the comic readers could feel totally different
I haven't read this comic so I'm not sure of what the main differences are, but I'm really liking the show and haven't had any issues with the pacing and I haven't felt like they are over complicating the story. I guess I was seeing it as a slow burn where once all the pieces do finally come together the viewer gets a big AHA moment, like whenever they actually revealed any answer to a mystery in Lost, it felt earned. I can understand though that the comic readers could feel totally different because they have a different idea of how this story should play out. Whenever Walking Dead made huge jumps from the comics (Andrea, the Governor, Tyreese, etc) I felt the same about that show. Why change the story just to keep us on our toes when the source material was fine to begin with? So again as a show, JUST a show I'm really liking it, but if/when I read the comics that may change.
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4:59PM on 07/05/2016
Guess Im gonna skip the Preacher Reviews from here on. The writers opinion differs just too much to mine to get any Kind of useful Information or fun out of reading it. Having not read the Comics (yet) I judge the series by its own not by the source material. Love the series, the rich characters, the writing, the whole intriguing backdrop and that Episode shined in those regards once again.
Guess Im gonna skip the Preacher Reviews from here on. The writers opinion differs just too much to mine to get any Kind of useful Information or fun out of reading it. Having not read the Comics (yet) I judge the series by its own not by the source material. Love the series, the rich characters, the writing, the whole intriguing backdrop and that Episode shined in those regards once again.
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12:14PM on 07/05/2016
The problem...for some of us who have read the comic...is not that the show's bad in its own right (it isn't)...it' just really isn't 'Preacher' other than the fact that it shares the same name and a small handful of similarities. It's one of those situations for me where you wonder "why not just make an original show" rather than take a work of such brilliance, which is so adored, and then change it almost to beyond recognition? Why remove most of the aspects which made the original story
The problem...for some of us who have read the comic...is not that the show's bad in its own right (it isn't)...it' just really isn't 'Preacher' other than the fact that it shares the same name and a small handful of similarities. It's one of those situations for me where you wonder "why not just make an original show" rather than take a work of such brilliance, which is so adored, and then change it almost to beyond recognition? Why remove most of the aspects which made the original story brilliant to begin with? Why change the essence of all of the main characters (the Jesse and Tulip in the source are so much more interesting and relatable)? Why strip it of the humor, the satire and (most importantly) the poignancy which made the original story arguably, one of the greatest ever told? I guess to me this is why it feels like I've been conned.

To judge it as it's own story is fine of course...and it is a good show in this respect. It's not incredible however, where as the original work of the same name truly IS incredible and the story being presented here in TV form is seriously struggling to hold a candle to it. (In my opinion).
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2:51PM on 07/05/2016
Exactly this. The show is enjoyable and well made, but it has deviated from the original concept that made it special enough to even adapt. And, although some non-fans of the comics are digging it, which is fine, there are still just as many that have no idea what's going on. They've made it WAY more complicated than it need be. The comic is revered for a reason and certainly that reason is why they chose to fight to adapt it.

And now...this. A decent enough show that has only skimmed the
Exactly this. The show is enjoyable and well made, but it has deviated from the original concept that made it special enough to even adapt. And, although some non-fans of the comics are digging it, which is fine, there are still just as many that have no idea what's going on. They've made it WAY more complicated than it need be. The comic is revered for a reason and certainly that reason is why they chose to fight to adapt it.

And now...this. A decent enough show that has only skimmed the surface of the characters and gone off the rails on the story. It's not the first time a comic or novel has lost sight of the material they're adapting. In their struggle to tell a "new" story out of Preacher, they've sacrificed what the story is. In my opinion, they went "Walking Dead" way too early. It would've served this show better to be more "Game of Thrones" in terms of a faithful adaptation, taking turns as needed, not just to keep people on their toes just because they already read the book.

We'll see how it pans out.
11:08AM on 07/06/2016
This.... bingo, man. I was actually bummed it got renewed because it makes a truly faithful adaptation feel so much further away now
This.... bingo, man. I was actually bummed it got renewed because it makes a truly faithful adaptation feel so much further away now
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10:36AM on 07/05/2016

I agree, it does feel like the writer has too much of a stake in the comic.

I've never read the comic (maybe that's a good thing) but I am really enjoying the show. I'm actually enjoying the slow burn of this show too.
I've never read the comic (maybe that's a good thing) but I am really enjoying the show. I'm actually enjoying the slow burn of this show too.
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1:50AM on 07/05/2016
Writer has too much stake in comic I think. Understandable, it sounds really good.
Having not read them, I think the series is doing fine, and this being the best episode by far (shocked by lower score). My only gripe with this one as the writer said, it's unexplained how Cassidy arrives at the motel, passing by and heard the scuffle perhaps?

So can 'The Word' literally send people to hell simply by commanding it?
I can't wait to find out
Writer has too much stake in comic I think. Understandable, it sounds really good.
Having not read them, I think the series is doing fine, and this being the best episode by far (shocked by lower score). My only gripe with this one as the writer said, it's unexplained how Cassidy arrives at the motel, passing by and heard the scuffle perhaps?

So can 'The Word' literally send people to hell simply by commanding it?
I can't wait to find out
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9:54PM on 07/04/2016
Sigh. Can someone else please review these episodes? If nothing else, just for a different opinion.
Sigh. Can someone else please review these episodes? If nothing else, just for a different opinion.
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10:07PM on 07/04/2016
Nope.
Nope.
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