AMC’s Preacher Episode 106, “He Gone,” reveals why Jesse is desperate to fill his fallen daddy’s righteous shoes.
Before Jesse made a vow to his dad to be “one of the good guys” just before his father’s execution, he made a promise to Tulip– to be there for her until the end of the world. This youthful vow accounts for Tulip’s adult desperation. It seems Jesse consistently makes promises he simply can’t keep.
Jesse’s father gives a young Tulip temporary shelter, but she proves to be too wild for his liking. Inevitably, Jesse curses his father, wishing death and Hell upon him, when children’s services takes Tulip from his home. Even without a supernatural entity, words have power.
This child’s enraged curse is not a far cry from Jesse’s most recent sin– quite literally sending Eugene, a repentant innocent, to Hell. But Jesse appears to feel fine about sending Eugene to the pit of fire… if not fine, then numb.
He certainly broke his vow to be a good man when he decided to violate the free will of others and compounded that mistake when he, a supposed man of God, delivered Eugene to Hell.
Now, Eugene is no saint, but certainly it was not Jesse’s place to cast him to eternal damnation. He’s lost control of Genesis. He’s lost control of himself. Yet he continues to rationalize that his affronts, affronts that angels from Heaven oppose, are God’s will. Can you say irony?
Tulip is right– Jesse is a bad man. How else would he let his dear friend, Cassidy, burst into flames and fall to ash? How else would he slight his childhood friend who was trying to do right by him? Sure she put vanilla in her hashbrowns, but she tried!
But how much of a chance did Jesse stand? Here’s a man that witnessed his father’s murder. Maybe the powerlessness that he felt as a child explains his need to control everyone in his father’s parish.
“He Gone” is not without its confusing moments. I can’t make sense of Genesis having the power to send Eugene to Hell, yet Odin Quincannon, who Jesse, a la Genesis, commanded to serve God, clearly does not abide by the Ten Commandments…especially thou shalt not kill.
Did Genesis not work on Quincannon because he is not a believer? And if Genesis didn’t work, why would he feign salvation before Jesse’s parish? Perhaps the power of Genesis is temporary. Perhaps it only works until someone intervenes. Perhaps it only works so long as a person’s innate nature punches through the surface.
Once again Tulip and Cassidy shine in Preacher. The two most dynamic characters are also, on some level, the most simple. Both are comfortable with whom they are, but both, for whatever reason, see something in Jesse that no one else can see. They adore him and he does nothing but hurt them– an all too familiar trope.
Resourceful, kick a$$ Tulip forces herself into a more domestic role, doing her best to prepare a dinner…made mostly of frozen goods. It isn’t who she is, but she’s trying to meet Jesse halfway, but he still pushes her farther out of his world.
Cass finally reveals his true nature to Jesse in an attempt to save him, but Jesse simply lets him burn. How are viewers supposed to root for Jesse when he is increasingly unlikeable?
Will their devotion pull Jesse into the light, or will they suffer because of their devotion? Maybe AMC’s Preacher will deliver a bit of both fates.
The proverbial chickens are ripe to roost with Quincannon coming to claim what he perceives as his. In his eyes, Jesse lost their bet and so should relinquish his land.
After all, would someone who served God murder multiple people and torch their corpses? Who will stand by Jesse and help him protect his father’s church? And how long until the parishioners under Genesis’s spell wake up?
Previews for next week’s Preacher show Jesse working with the guardians to surrender Genesis. That probably won’t go well.
Will you tune in for next week’s Preacher? What did you think of tonight’s episode? Feel free to leave your insights, questions, and predictions in the comment section.