Preacher: Season 1, Episode 6 – Sundowner Review

Image for Preacher: Season 1, Episode 6 – Sundowner
★★★★★

Various elements of the episode will be discussed in this review, so beware spoilers. And watch the episode before you read on, lest you face the wrath of the almighty. Or Cassidy...

Jesse

Beyond the madness of the initial fight (more on that in the next section), we endure another frustrating time with Jesse. His Pulp Fiction-referencing underwear-clad chat with Cassidy's good for a giggle, but then we seemingly reset back to the conflicted Preacher still figuring out what his power means. It's all a little one-note, even as he tries to figure out how best to use his not-quite-God-given influence. His scene with Eugene is a good example of reaching for something that doesn't quite work, though that "Go to hell" has some power, especially if it ends up more literal than the Preacher probably intended.

Fiore and DeBlanc

At long last the pair of heavenly hosts clues our hero in on his mysterious power and we get the full Genesis backstory data download. Fortunately, given the charisma of the angels, it never just feels like raw exposition or someone explaining the comic book aloud. Anatol Yusef's reading of "conjoined" in particular is fantastic, full of disgust and horror. The trump card though, is one of the show's specialties, that amazing fight between the angels, Jesse, Cassidy (at the end) and the Seraphim Terminator Lady. Superbly staged and shot by director Guillermo Navarro (who has worked with Guillermo del Toro, Robert Rodriguez and others as a cinematographer and has forged a healthy career directing shows such as Hannibal), it's a marvel of stretching the budget and creating a comic book tone on the screen.

Tulip

Tulip was kept away from the madness this week, instead veering slightly from character by raging at Emily about Jesse before finding common ground. Would she really be jealous of his connection with Emily? We suppose given his claims to have changed, but it's a bit rich coming from the woman who was having sex (though showing little emotion doing it) with Cassidy in a car just last week. That we can see as something to get under Jesse's skin, even if she's yet to tell him. This... feels like finding something for her to do in the episode and setting up that momentary farce with Cassidy in the cupboard.

Cassidy

Cassidy's used sparingly but to solid effect this week. Yet another conversation with Jesse, though their near-naked condition added to the entertainment value. Because of course they'd reference Quentin Tarantino. Two standout moments for Cassidy in Sundowner – the fact that in the darkness of his sun suit and with those glasses on, Joe Gilgun looked for a moment the spitting image of the comic book Cassidy and the aforementioned encounter with Tulip in the cupboard, letting some real emotion creep into his face as Jesse and Tulip leave.

Eugene

A big change for Eugene here, as townsfolk, at least in the wake of Jesse's ordering Mrs. Loach to leave the boy alone, finds some acceptance from her son Miles and a few other kids at school. Such is his ingrained apologetic response that he doesn't realise when someone genuinely wants to be nice to him, and then of course you worry that the kids are simply taking him to that spooky sewer pipe to pull some cruel prank. So it's a refreshing change to see things work out on that front. It's also good to see Eugene push Jesse a little, confronting him about his feelings that this new treatment is cheating and eventually prompting that hell-bound order. Anyone think he's really gone to the hot place down below? And, assuming they get him back – because surely you don't just lose Arseface after six episodes – what will he be like when he returns? Anyone who has seen Buffy, Supernatural or any other genre show of the type knows that you tend to come back changed... Could this be the start of a darker, comic-driven story for Eugene?


With Sundowner, we must once again break out the phrase "mixed blessing". Because while Preacher continues to impress with its ability to stage wild, wacky, inventive fight scenes, other constituent elements of the show just don't have the same drive or spirit right now. It's almost as if the show feels like it's on pause when people are simply talking. Sure, you get one or two nice moments, such as the Cassidy/Tulip confrontation in the storage cupboard or Tulip and Emily bonding in the latter's kitchen, but everything else is starting to drag instead of patiently unspooling a story. We'd assume that things will start to pick up now that there are four episodes of the season left, but there are only so many times you can watch Jesse wrangle in similar fashion about his calling and what part God has to play in it, and you have to wonder what exactly (beyond Jesse's order this week) is keeping the angels from simply taking Genesis back. That said, talk about a great pair of bookends: the fight at the start and Jesse shouting at Eugene at the end, before we also discover the final fate of the poor Green Acre corporate team. Crispy.

In summary

Highlight: The fight.

Lowlight: The art-thing.

Kill of the week: The seraphim, about 10 times. Maybe more.

Quote of the week: Not a quote so much as the message on the church's board: "You don't have to go home, but you can't pray here"

MVP: Both DeBlanc and Fiore, for services to Finally Laying Out Things, and their multiple sacrifices.

Random thought: We would not want to be the person who has to clean up the room in the motel.

Airing on AMC Sunday nights in the US, Preacher is available weekly on Amazon Prime Mondays in the UK.