After a bust trying to gather info from the audition tape, Jesse is clearly getting desperate as he is left searching YouTube for videos of God. What he finds is multitudes of bullshit, such as a man claiming to see God in his toast. Cassidy joins him in the kitchen and begins to warm up some blood, stating that Denis is starting to actually feel better now, confirming that Cassidy ended up turning him into a vampire. Jesse’s lack of concern upsets Cassidy, who begins to mock his sad attempts at looking for clues. Just then, Tulip returns from the Hurt Locker once again, claiming it took three shots from a .44 to put her down this time. Jesse tries to be there for her and convince her that she should finally get some rest, but the tensions just increase between everyone. Jesse is forced to use Genesis on Tulip, which upsets Cassidy as he leaves to give the blood to Denis. Our trio has definitely seen better days together.
Meanwhile, Lara is showing footage to Herr Starr of Jesse giving Tulip the command to sleep through Genesis. He shrugs it off as uninteresting to him and that a man telling a woman what to do isn’t a superpower. Nevertheless, he commands Lara to kill them all as he departs for a date. Militarized members of the Grail are called to Denis’ apartment and we see them prepare for the assault in a somewhat unnecessary way. They make it seem like they’re about to take out a terrorist organization when it’s really only four people inside the establishment.
The actual raid is shown through the first person perspective of Grail operative Phil. They break into the kitchen of Denis’ apartment, but Cassidy is waiting for them and begins to fight several operatives at once. Phil continues forward and finds Denis laying in his bed harmless, but shoots him anyway. He then proceeds to Jesse and Tulip’s room and is ready to take out Tulip, but Jesse comes out of hiding and subdues Phil. He rips off Phil’s noise cancelling headset and commands him with Genesis to kill all his fellow operatives. Before Jesse can take more info from him, however, Denis revives and kills Phil by ripping into his neck.
Herr Starr’s date is a very odd encounter. After explaining that he is happy with his job since it is the most powerful organization in the world, but still feel somewhat disenchanted with the world, his date explains that she once felt the same way until she met a young mentally challenged boy. The moment that he smiled at her, she felt happy with life and believed he was her missing puzzle piece and that maybe Herr Starr will find his someday. Starr mocks her claim that a mentally challenged boy smiling would be her puzzle piece as they do that all the time and then demands that she stand, take her shirt off, and then hold butter under her chin. Whatever he has planned for her is cut short as one of his men inform him of the failed Grail raid on Jesse.
Lara and her associate Hooper are waiting in Herr Starr’s office for their execution as another member lays out the tarp they’ll be killed on. When Starr arrives, however, the Glock he attempts to use is jammed, so Lara helps fix it while explaining to him that Starr taking on Jesse alone might go bad since he already took out 6 Grail operatives. She recommends they activate B.R.A.D. and Starr eventually agrees, though states he first must attend to a rape fantasy. He allows Lara and Hooper to live for now on the basis that they don’t mess up again and assigns Lara to B.R.A.D. and Hooper to find a professional for Starr’s fantasy.
Tulip wakes up the morning after the raid and heads to the bathroom, unaware at what had occurred. She even steps over the part of the floor that Jesse hid the Saint of Killers’ guns inside, which he did a shitty job of patching up. After leaving the bathroom, she finally see the massacre in the kitchen and notices that Jesse has recruited several members of the New Orleans Police Department through the use of Genesis in order to try and track down the Grail, clean up the mess, and prepare for their next assault. After telling everything that happened to Tulip while she was asleep, he states “Good morning” and continues to prepare, while Tulip stands awestruck. Jesse checks in with each team of cops he has set up on a perimeter around Denis’ apartment, but they still have no leads on when the Grail will attack again.
Lara gets in touch with Herr Starr to inform him B.R.A.D. is in progress of being activated, while Hooper is still locating a professional for Starr’s fantasy. After the call and attempting to click out of a cat pop-up that appears on his computer, Starr ends up watching the footage of Jesse from earlier in the episode again. This time, however, he takes an interest after hearing Jesse describe just why they should be on the search for God. This leads Starr to finally crack open Jesse’s file that was given to him by Lara in order to learn more about the target.
Cassidy and Denis bond while trying to heal each other from the wounds they sustained from the previous night, with Cassidy giving Denis the ropes of how his life will have to be from now on. Jesse interrupts the conversation, to which Denis departs. He asks Cassidy why he didn’t tell him about turning Denis into a vampire and Cassidy states he thought Jesse wouldn’t have agreed to that solution, but he’ll remember to be honest next time. Jesse questions if Cassidy will be ready for when the Grail strikes again, but Cassidy is still heavily injured and states he will try his best since he has his meds (blood) handy. Before Jesse departs, Cassidy tells him that he shouldn’t be the one Jesse worries about.
This leads to Jesse taking Tulip aside in the kitchen and recounting a time in the past where she complained of a earache while they were hunting the Rodriguez Brothers. It was only after they finally found the brothers and killed their entire group that Tulip’s earache went away. Jesse explains that she has to stop heading out at night to the Hurt Locker and harming herself, all she needs is a good fight and the Grail are about to give one. Tulip tearfully asks Jesse if he used Genesis on her, to which he tells the truth and explains he didn’t know what else to do and he was worried for her. He takes her silence as a refusal to take part in the coming fight and says she can go to a hotel and relax, but Tulip finally replies that she’ll need a gun for what’s to come.
Tulip recalls that when she went to patch the hole in Lara’s wall that she had a gun, so she heads over to ask her to borrow it, completely unaware that Lara is part of the Grail. Despite this, Lara does hand over the gun to Tulip. When Hooper asks her why she gave up the gun, she informs him that a gun isn’t going to do anything to B.R.A.D. A cleaner arrives to finish up taking care of the blood in the apartment, while Jesse gets everyone prepared for the Grail to arrive. Denis begins to blast music, while annoys Jesse as he attempts to get updates on what is going on outside. A large shirtless man in a Obama mask starts to attack the police and seems to be the B.R.A.D. that Lara spoke of, but the police are quickly able to subdue him and it’s nothing more than a drunk on the street.
Tulip, on the other hand, believes that the cleaner was an undercover agent for the Grail and shoots him while Jesse is downstairs trying to get to the cops. He returns to demand why Tulip shot the cleaner and she explains she thought he had a gun, but it’s only a spray bottle. She apologizes and leaves the room while Cassidy scolds Jesse for getting everyone on edge when there might not even be anyone coming again. Lara continues to watch from the camera, however, and we see B.R.A.D. arriving via air, revealed to be an attack drone.
B.R.A.D. shoots a missile directed at Denis’ apartment, while Hooper asks Lara if they should evacuate seeing as they’re in the exact same building the missile will hit. Lara explains she’s been waiting for a chance to see B.R.A.D. in action and would gladly die seeing it. At Herr Starr’s office, the professionals that Hooper hired finally arrive, only they are revealed to be male prostitutes instead of the female ones Herr Starr requested. They refuse to leave and begin Starr’s fantasy anyway, despite it not exactly being the way he wanted it. While this is occurring though, Starr looks at Jesse’s file again and realizes that he might be the missing puzzle piece for Starr. He immediately calls Lara and demands she calls off B.R.A.D., which is hard to do since the missile was already activated. Lara managed to divert the course of the missile, but it hits Harry Connick Jr.’s home, killing yet another celebrity in the world of Preacher.
Jesse is slowly going insane waiting for the follow-up attack that he believed to be coming and then decides to call it quits, using Genesis to get rid of the police and their memories of these events. He heads out to the bar to clear his head and in comes Herr Starr to accompany him. He informs Jesse that he has come alone and that he heard Jesse has an interest in finding God…and that Starr may be able to help him in that mission.
I appreciate that “Puzzle Piece” raised the pace of the show as I wasn’t actually expecting for the Grail’s attack to be resolved in one episode, though spending a few episodes on them plotting made me hope it’d be the case. The trio of Jesse, Tulip, and Cassidy are still strained with their own demons, but progress was made in each story arc both good and negative ways. I don’t think Cassidy’s decision to keep Denis alive was a good one as he may eventually come to also realize the life of a vampire is lonely, Jesse’s continued insistence that finding God is of the upmost importance may have paid off with Herr Starr taking a interest, and Tulip’s healing over the Saint’s attack seems to be heading in a good direction after the pep-talk with Jesse. I can’t help but wonder that with 4 more episodes to go, will the story finally advance out of New Orleans? With Angelville still being unresolved, I could see it not being the case, but at least that’ll be a change of scenery.
Puzzle Piece – 4 out of 5
- Most of Herr Starr’s scenes.
- Jesse’s pep-talk with Tulip.
- Jesse using Genesis to the full degree now that the Saint isn’t an issue.
- I was expecting B.R.A.D. to be a human combatant rather than a drone. Would’ve been more interesting to have someone fighting the trio before Starr called it off instead of the missile business.