The source of the sound effect Jesse hears anytime he thinks of Angelville is revealed in a flashback where we see an unknown person cranking out a giant wooden box from the swamp. Once they open the box, it’s shown that Jesse was trapped within it. A woman with her face hidden by her hat asks Jesse who he is and he replies “Jesse Custer”. Seems this isn’t the answer the woman wants and she demands Jesse be put back into the swamp, until he gives her the correct answer. This answer is obviously embracing his mother’s last name of L’Angelle.
In the present, Jesse and Tulip are having the truck that contains the Saint of Killers pulled from the swamp. Tulip demands to know why Jesse lied to her and he retorts that he isn’t the only one that has been lying. He does keep it from her that he had to use part of his soul in order to make the Saint human, which is the real reason why he didn’t want to send him to Hell. Once the truck is fully emerged, Jesse reassures Tulip that the Saint has no way of escaping…only the truck ends up being completely empty save a lot of swamp water.
Back at the Grail headquarters, Lara and Hoover are called in to be informed of Herr Starr’s new plan. He reveals to them that the Messiah is a simpleton and definitely won’t be the savior they are expecting, so Starr is instead planning a coup and will have Jesse become the new Messiah as he has proven himself capable. This explains to Lara why she hasn’t been allowed to kill Jesse, Tulip, or Cassidy and instead given the mission to place a wedge in between them, in order to bring Jesse to them for good. Herr Starr sends them out to continue the mission, but not before informing Hoover he’ll never forget Hoover’s mistake of hiring male prostitutes for Starr.
In Hell, the warden has begun doing tests on all the inmates to figure out who is the one that actually doesn’t belong there. It seems the test is for them to watch a series of photos and a machine measuring their emotions based on each picture. After Tyler finishes up and returns to the holding area, the warden receives a call informing her that the Saint of Killers would like to speak with her. In the holding area, Eugene informs Tyler that once they find the one who doesn’t belong, it won’t be what he thinks it is. Instead of taking the person who doesn’t belong out of Hell, the warden plans to make their stay even worse. Tyler rejects this when Eugene tells him Hitler was the one who let him in on this revelation, continuing to believe he isn’t the one who belongs. He then demands Eugene cut down the caveman from the TV as he wants to have some fun on his final day in Hell.
In Denis’ apartment, tensions are strong between the trio. In order to lighten the mood, Jesse suggests that they move on from New Orleans to a place like Bimini in the Bahamas if they no longer feel safe due to the disappearance of the Saint. Cassidy and Tulip are immediately on board and begin to pack before Jesse even gets to say another word. He then has to break it to Tulip that he really meant that they can go after he finds God. Tulip explodes and refuses to stay around when the Saint is still out there. The argument then drags Cassidy into it when Jesse gets annoyed by the barking of Denis’ new dog. Jesse heads to Denis’ room and stares at the dog, which triggers flashbacks to the drawings he saw in Humperdoo’s room of a dalmatian.
Jesse remembers that when they first arrived in New Orleans and asked for God, they were led to a sex dungeon with a man dressed as a dalmatian. He realizes it was all under his nose all along and tells Tulip and Cassidy they have to go, but neither of them are on board any longer. If Jesse wants to find God, he has to find him alone and they don’t have to worry about the Saint as long as he’s gone because he only wants Jesse. When Jesse heads to the sex dungeon alone, however, he finds that the room is now empty, ruining yet another lead for him.
Back in Hell, Tyler is forcing Hitler to open up the door to his cell in order to see what Hitler’s darkest memory is. He expects it to be Hitler doing a heinous act, but as we saw before, it’s actually a memory of Hitler being rejecting by an art gallery owner over his drawings. To add insult to injury, Hitler’s girlfriend also reveals she’s seeing someone else after he cowers to some German communists and a Jewish customer at the cafe gets the last plum cake even though Hitler ordered before him. All of this together results in this being the last day Hitler was “good” and when he lost himself, which is why it’s his darkest memory. After the trio return to the holding area, Eugene is taken by the warden to take his test, but not before Hitler explains there’s a back door to escape Hell and he’ll come for Eugene.
At Denis’ apartment, Tulip decides to head out with Jenny (Lara in disguise) to go to a smelter in order to finally get rid of the Saint’s guns and sword. After Tulip leaves, Denis tells Cassidy he can obviously see Cassidy likes her more than a friend. This upsets Cassidy, who demands Denis give back the dog, but Denis refuses. It’s a odd scene that isn’t even followed up on, so I have no idea what to make of it. At the smelter, Tulip and Lara managed to convince the smelter to place the guns in the caldron even though they are loaded. Outside, they discuss the fact that Jesse lied to Tulip, but a surprise to Lara is that Tulip isn’t as mad anymore and assumed Jesse has to have had a reason to do what he did. He tries to turn Tulip against him again, but it doesn’t really work. The smelter calls the duo back in and reveals that despite the lava being 4000 degrees, the guns didn’t melt and aren’t even hot.
In Hell, Eugene is going through the test and seemingly fails at one point, but the warden is distracted by the fact that the inmates in the holding area are joining hands and singing “Hallelujah”. Hitler uses this time to sneak out and save Eugene, taking him into the hole that resides in the warden’s office as that’s where the back door out is. Eugene is hesitant at first as he knows what the hole contains, but Hitler reassures him that he’ll be with Eugene and pushes him in, following in right after him before the warden returns.
Jesse heads to the Grail headquarters after failing to find God and asks if Herr Starr had any idea that God was disguised as the man-dog. He states he didn’t and then reveals his plan once more to Jesse: Why search for God when you can be him? Jesse refuses once more, which causes Herr Starr to ask him why he murdered own father. Jesse is confused by this, so Starr reveals that once God got too overwhelmed by all the prayers of the world, he started outsourcing them to tapes for the Grail to investigate. Starr begins playing all of Jesse’s, including the one where he prayed for his father to be killed. Another is then played where he was forced by his grandmother to thank God for killing his father after finally accepting L’Angelle as his last name in order to not be put in the swamp again.
Even after all this, Jesse is still not swayed and uses Genesis to have Herr Starr insert all the tapes into his own ass (Enjoying these double meaning episode titles as of late). Seems the Grail isn’t being as convincing as they think they are on all fronts. This causes Starr to get desperate and call Hoover, who is revealed to have the Saint of Killers with him. It seems they have forged an alliance against Jesse, but with the Saint wanting Jesse dead, will he really play along with the Grail to capture him instead?
“Backdoors” definitely set things up for the final two episodes of the season. While basically every plan failed this episode (Jesse missed God once again, the Grail didn’t convince Jesse or Tulip, Tulip wasn’t able to melt the Saint’s weapons), this all resulted in the Grail being forced to unleash the Saint onto Jesse since all other options are off. On another front, at least Eugene is making progress in escaping Hell, so that plotline can hopefully stop spinning its wheels. From the preview for next week, it seems we’ll see exactly how the Grail obtained the Saint and seemingly swayed him to their side, so that’ll be interesting.
Backdoors – 4 out of 5
- The Grail’s plan has failed…for now.
- Delving more into Jesse’s past was nice.
- The Hell storyline made some good progress this episode.
- Really beginning to wonder where the Denis story is going.
- I still hate Lara.