Preacher was a surprise to me when it aired on AMC last year. I had burned out on The Walking Dead and didn’t feel like I wanted to see AMC run another comic series into the ground, but once the entire first season finished, I decided why not give it a shot? And I loved it, though that probably was aided by the fact that I didn’t know much about the actual comic series it was based on unlike how I was familiar with TWD. Also helps that Dominic Cooper is a charming lead as Jesse Custer.
Anyway, where we last left off in the first season is basically where season two picks up. The trio of Jesse, Cassidy, and Tulip have left behind the town of Annville (and actually aren’t even aware of its total destruction) in order to find God after he has gone missing from Heaven. The title of the episode really says it all as the group is basically “On The Road” for a majority of the runtime, making short pitstops along the way to find out just where the hell they’re going. We start with a delightful chat about foreskins and how Cassidy believes they are used by businesses in several products, which is intertwined with Jesse and Tulip discussing just where they should check first. Jesse knows a fellow preacher scholar that he believes could point them on the right track and so that’s where he thinks their mission should start.
Due to going 97 mph down the road, the police take an interest to Tulip’s vehicle, but due to Tulip’s insistence that Jesse shouldn’t use his Genesis ability as a cheat code for every struggle they come across, she instead opts to have a good ol’ fashioned car chase, set to the tune of “Come On Eileen”. This is short-lived, however, due to the car running out of gas and everyone is quickly pulled out of the car. After having a struggle with Cassidy due to his need for an umbrella to hide from the sun’s rays, Jesse decides he’s had enough of Tulip’s handicap and uses Genesis to subdue the cops. He has one siphon gas for them, two hold hands, one recite “The Yellow Rose of Texas”, and one…mace his balls. Tulip continues to argue that Genesis isn’t fair or fun and she misses the old way that they used to do things, but this chat is interrupted by a rain of bullets.
The Saint of Killers has caught up to the trio and is out for blood. Jesse gets the police to attempt to cover for them while they plan what to do, but The Saint makes quick work of them all. Tulip is forced to use the intestines of one of the cop’s in order to finish siphoning the gas for her car and they quickly make their escape before The Saint can catch up to them. Jesse glances out of the back of the car at the destruction and sees his first view of who he has after him.
Further down the road, Tulip can’t deal with the taste of blood in her mouth any longer and they make a stop at a convenience store to aid her. Cassidy, being a vampire, knows a thing or two about getting the taste of blood out of your mouth and gives her some hot sauce, followed by a Yoo-hoo. It does the trick for her, but Cassidy then notices he’s injured as a cop’s badge was lodged into his stomach. Sadly, a cat just happens to walk by him and he takes the opportunity to eat it to heal (I hate when cats die in anything fyi). Jesse uses a trinket from the convenience store owner’s car to take the handcuffs off Cassidy and they then continue on their way. Time skips a bit and the owner is now looking for where his cat went when the Saint of Killers makes his way to the store. He demands to know where the Preacher went, but since Jesse had previous used Genesis on the owner to pretend they weren’t there, he can’t answer. The Saint doesn’t like this and decides to just rip the owner’s tongue out and march on.
Meanwhile, the trio make it to the preacher scholar Mike’s home that Jesse spoke of. He informs Tulip and Cassidy to wait in the car as he talks to him. Cassidy takes this time alone with Tulip to ask her what they should do about the secret they are keeping from Jesse: the one-night stand that occurred before either of them knew they were both connected to Jesse. Cassidy wishes to tell Jesse, but Tulip insists that if he tells Jesse, Cassidy will see a side of Jesse that he’ll wish he hadn’t awoken. The conversation is stopped by the fact that they hear a rattling in the garage they’re in and go to investigate. Here they find a woman trapped in a cage that pleads with them to allow her to use a phone. Jesse and Mike come into the garage at this moment and Mike tells the two to leave the woman in the cage and cover it back up with the rags that were on it.
Upon heading into Mike’s home, Tulip and Cassidy can’t ignore the fact that there is a woman trapped in a cage and ask Mike what it’s about, to which he explains it’s the way he helps people overcome their vices. In this case, Ashleigh (the woman in the cage) is addicted to the internet, Twitter, and phone use in general, so the cage is used to prevent her from using it. Mike then asks Jesse to cut to the chase and tell him why they’re here, so Jesse lays down everything that happened in the final episode of season one, with him contacting God on the angel phone and learning that he was actually missing from Heaven. Mike comes to the realization that this is the reason recent prayers of his haven’t been answered, but he breaks it to Jesse that he doesn’t have any leads to help them with. After Mike leaves, Cassidy and Tulip bring up photos they see in a photo album Mike possess that has Jesse’s family in it. Cassidy questions why no one attended the wedding and Jesse state Mike was the only family his father had. As for his mother’s side, it seems that’s a sore subject as ominous music begins to play as a chest in the fish tank behind Jesse suddenly bursts open with bubbles and he bluntly exclaims “They weren’t invited”.
Mike returns and offers his room for the trio to sleep in, but attempts to have all three of them sleep uncomfortably in the same bed causes Jesse to go out for a late night smoke, to which Mike accompanies him. Mike wants proof that Genesis is real, so Jesse has him break the glass bottle he’s holding. Jesse then explains that before his father died, he told Jesse “big things will be coming” for him. He didn’t know what he meant for all this time, but now he believes Genesis was for him and finding God was the calling his father meant. With this, Mike reveals that he actually does have somewhat of a lead on God’s whereabouts. A old client of his claimed she saw God, he assumed she was just back on the bottle, but in light of Jesse’s story, he thinks there may be something to it. He gives Jesse the card to the woman’s business: a strip club in Kimble County.
In the morning, the group say their goodbyes to Mike and head out to Kimble County. Mike knows that the Saint of Killers will be making his way there shortly as he’s on Jesse’s trail, so he pours two glasses of whiskey and takes a seat with a knife. The Saint arrives, murders Mike’s dog, and then breaks down the door to his home. He gives the same question he gave the convenience store owner previously in the episode: “Preacher?”. Mike gives a different answer each time The Saint asks him, so The Saint the asks if Mike knows who he is and if he knows he can force Mike to tell him. Mike replies he does and that’s what the knife is actually for, before stabbing himself in the chest. I like that you can see The Saint is actually impressed with Mike’s self-sacrifice as he departs with a nod and a smirk.
Jesse, Tulip, and Cassidy arrive at the strip club and the former two head in the back to talk to Mike’s client, while Cassidy makes the most of the club. The woman plays coy with Jesse and Tulip about God coming to the club, so Jesse decides he’d rather just use Genesis to force her to tell him. Tulip once again objects to his quick draw on relying on Genesis as they can just force the information out of her with violence. This scares the woman, who keeps calling for her security to come assist her. We see in the background camera feeds that said security guard is currently busy fighting Cassidy after he touched one of the strippers. The security guard pulls a gun and a shot is fired in the struggle, just so happening to go through the wall and hit the woman in the chest. Jesse knows he has limited time and uses Genesis on her before it’s too late. They learn that God didn’t visit there because he fell in love with a stripper like Tulip betted on, but because he enjoyed the jazz that was played there.
After the mess that occurred at the strip club, the group check into a hotel and Jesse scolds Cassidy for his recklessness. Cassidy assures Jesse it won’t happen again and they go into their seperate rooms. Jesse and Tulip use this time away from Cassidy to catch up on the sex they’ve been missing, while Cassidy watches television and notices that he recognizes the person in the ad before nodding off. In the middle of the night, Jesse once again goes out for a smoke, but his companion this time is The Saint of Killers, having finally caught up to them. Jesse attempts to use Genesis to have The Saint stop, but he continues to march forward. The Saint then takes aim at Jesse and we cut to black.
“On The Road” serves as a decent enough premiere for the second season, but besides the stylish car chase and the explosive firefight that occur in the beginning of the episode, the rest is the trio making their way from location to location in attempts to get info about God. The end result though is that they still don’t really have anything to go on after this episode besides the fact that God apparently likes jazz. Knowing where this season is heading, I think it’s easy to see this will eventually point in the direction of New Orleans, but for now much of this episode felt like filler. I did enjoy some of the dialogue in the Mike scenes and the strip club though. And I think it’s good that the discussion on how much Jesse should limit his use of Genesis is already being brought to the table in the premiere as I did feel before this season started that it could make for boring television if Jesse could just easily get out of every problem they come across. The end of this episode shows that at least one problem Genesis can’t solve is the Saint of Killers, however.
On The Road – 3 out of 5
- Basically everything from the beginning of the car chase to the late title card
- Mike’s self-sacrifice for Jesse
- That Jesse/Tulip sex scene was pretty nice
- A dog and a cat were among the causalities of the episode.
- Still wish the Cassidy/Tulip one-night stand thing didn’t exist. Cassidy is obviously going to tell Jesse at some point with the foreshadowing in this episode.