Preacher Episode 2.03 annotations: Finding God in New Orleans bars
Welcome back brothers and sisters to our weekly feature, the Preacher Book Club, where we talk about the latest episode of AMC‘s Preacher, dissecting the episode at hand, annotating the changes made from the Garth Ennis/Steve Dillon comic book series and attempting to predict about what will be coming next. So let’s dive right into our thoughts and annotations on Preacher Episode 2.03!
Eugene in Hell
As I pointed out last season, Eugene’s origin story for how he became “Arseface” is quite different in the series than in the comic. We see it fleshed out more here than before, where it was mostly spoken in whispers. The idyllic and all around good kid Eugene runs to the aid of his crush, Tracy, who is planning on committing suicide because she merely heard about her boyfriend cheating on her. Eugene talks her down, but when he makes a move and kisses her, that pushes her back over the edge and she tries to take her life. Eugene, seeing no way out of this situation, attempts the same.
In the comic books, Eugene is a rebellious teenager that loves grunge and rock music, idolizing Kurt Cobain. He and his friend decide to end their lives in the same manner as their hero, and while Eugene’s friend succeeds, he does not. This event, however, forces Eugene to rethink his appraoch to life and results in him having a unbreakable optimism, kind of like how Eugene seems before his accident in the show. Desipte all the changes, I think this version of Eugene still very much feels within the tone of Preacher to me.
Mary Poppins in The Sound of Music
Mary Poppins was not in The Sound of Music, and she never said “When God closes a door he opens a window.”
In the show, Hell appears to be an unending concrete hallway full of cells that make the occupants relive their worst memories. Hell is only briefly seen in the Preacher comics (exclusively in the Saint of Killers origin series) where it has a much more traditional depiction of Hell (fire and brimstone and all that), so this a slight departure but one that makes sense if we’re going to be seeing this location a lot (I think we will).
Now leaving Texas
This shot of our trio leaving Texas is a damn near perfect recreation of the last panel in Issue #7 right down to the graffiti of “Your loss dipsh*t” on the sign.
The character that Cassidy shacks up with isn’t from the source material. What they could be setting up here, maybe, is Cassidy’s extensive history of making friends and quickly destroying their lives in his quest to get high and have fun. Or maybe not!
The singer at the bar
Jesse meeting a mysterious singer at the bar doesn’t happen in the comics, but what does happen is when we learn the identity of the singer. She’s not some dream, sultry woman behind the mic, she’s actually Agent Featherstone of The Grail. The Grail, as she points out, is a “super secret, crypto-religious facist organization with designs on total world domination.” Once Featherstone takes off her wig, we meet another prominent member of The Grail from the comics, Hoover, who also posed as the bartender that lead Jesse to Featherstone.
Come see Angelville
Jesse has a pretty shocking revelation later when he sees this poster, adverstising the home of the L’Angell clan, his mother’s side of the family. It’s also worth pointing out that the same tattoo on his back (and Jody’s arm, as seen in the first season) appears on the poster.
And then there’s Hitler
Well, I never expected to be writing that sentence, but honestly if there is a character that should have been in Preacher that wasn’t, it’s Hitler. There were characters in the comics that were pretty big fans of Hitler, but the fella himself never did appear. It’s also worth noting that this isn’t actor Noah Tyler’s first time playing Hitler, as he appeared in the movie Max with John Cusack as a young version of the dictator before he fully became a genocidal maniac.
In most cases, Hitler would probably be considered “The Big Man,” but here it’s none other than Herr Starr. The series-long villain in the comics was briefly teased in the first season but now he’s here and played by none other than Pip Torrens. Herr Starr leads the grail, and though they have plans of their own, he has ulterior motives that I don’t necessarily want to ruin here, but they involve Jesse. So a file with Custer’s name on it sitting on his desk is of great significance to the series.