Preacher seems comfortable with straying off from the source material. While the comic mostly dealt with Jesse, Cassidy, and Tulip traveling on the road together, the show is committed to exploring their small Texas town for a while before moving on. Other than a mention from Cassidy about how they should hit the road to avoid the mysterious men searching for Jesse, it seems like the characters have no intention of abandoning the lives they’ve built for themselves in Annville, Texas. Jesse is completely focused on rebuilding his church. He wants to spread the word to the masses even if he has to remove their free will to do so. And Tulip is invested in the death of a bordello worker that had recently lost her life during a strange session of paintball. Their stories are connected to this small town, and it doesn’t seem like they’re going anywhere anytime soon.
We get a little backstory on Jesse this episode as it gives us a look at his relationship with his father. While it’s still unclear as to what happened to Jesse’s father that lead to him being killed, we learn that he was in some sort of trouble and was on the run. Jesse’s upbringing as the child of a preacher is briefly explored. His father had to be harder on him in order to make an example for the other children in town. Jesse had a deep respect for his father that still shows to this very day, and we’re finally shown a little more of their relationship. It is also revealed that Jesse’s father had some sort of connection to Odin Quinncannon, which might shed some light on what happened to Jesse’s father later in the series.
Odin is a cold businessman whom has no interest in religion. But due to his status as a huge name in the town, Jesse believes that convincing Odin to join his church would persuade others to join as well. Most of Jesse’s time is dedicated to convincing Ouinncannon to come to his church. But after Odin repeatedly refuse to do so, Jesse offers to give up his land to Odin if he attends and leaves without becoming a believer. The deal convinces Odin to attend, but he still has no interest in officially joining the church. Fearing that he would lose his land because of the bet, Jesse makes a last effort to convert Odin before eventually using the word of God to order Odin to serve God. Odin is now a believer against his free will, and Jesse gets to keep his land and bring newcomers to his church.
Meanwhile, Tulip is still living in a bordello that is revealed to have some sort of significance to her childhood. A girl dies by falling into a sinkhole while being hunted down in a paintball session by a few regulars. Upset at how the girl’s death was brushed off, she tries to attack one of the men involved with the paintball game that eventually lead to her death. But the room she chose to invade was Cassidy’s room that he rented out with money he swindled from angels, and she inadvertently knocks him out of a window. Assuming he’s bleeding to death, she rushes him to the hospital only for Cassidy to pretend to be injured in order to make out with her. She eventually realizes that there’s something not right with Cassidy when he escapes her sight in the hospital in order to raid their blood supply. She catches him in the act, and the scene ends with uncertainty of what happens next.
This episode of Preacher marks the first time Cassidy and Tulip interact with each other. They have remained separate relationships held by Jesse whom have never properly met each other. It will be interesting to see how they form a connection before both learning of their connection to Jesse. The episode also continues Jesse’s quest to become a better preacher in order to live up to his father’s reputation. However, the means in which he goes to do so are very questionable. Eliminating a person’s free will in order to force them to believe in God is not the holy path to take. This continues the theme of Jesse having an inner struggle with light and darkness. And while the show seems to have settled in their small town for now, big things are coming to Annville as the hotline to heaven rings at the end of the episode.
This episode of Preacher was highly entertaining, but it seems like it’s committed to being a slow burn of a season. Four episodes in, and a lot is still surrounded in mystery. And it seems more interested in exploring the world of Preacher than telling the story of Preacher. Bits and pieces of the story is slowly unfolding. But while we’re waiting for more to be revealed, the world building and exploration dedicated to the season so far has been incredibly entertaining.