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Preacher - On the Road - Review: "Come On Eileen"

Preacher 2.01 "On The Road" - Review:
Directed by Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg & Written by Sam Catlin

When Preacher aired its first season last year it was one of my favorite shows on television. I loved the oddball nature of the show and despite not being a fan of most of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's movies (This is the End aside), I was quickly swept up by the dark humour that the show brought to the table in its intriguing mix of shows like Fargo, Justified and Supernatural. However, the first season itself did suffer from some weakness, namely the relative slowness where some episodes weren't quite as gripping as they could have been. That didn't stop them from bringing to the table plenty of bizarre action sequences, like this particular fight scene with the Angels from episode six that for me remains the best this show has been. And after the revelation that God has gone missing, it now falls to Jesse (Dominic Cooper), Tulip (Ruth Negga) and Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun), to go on a road trip to find him. But they're being hunted by The Saint of Killers (Graham McTavish), an unstoppable killing machine who has been plucked from hell with one objective, killing Jesse Custer. Dexy Midnight Runner's Come on Eileen playing on the radio may well soon be the least of their worries.

For much of the episode, the group are on the road and seemingly unaware that they're being stalked by The Saint of Killers. Tulip is determined to see that Jesse avoids using Genesis as much as possible, and as a result the two come to blows multiple times on how it should be used. Tulip views it as a 'last resort' situation, but Jesse's more laid back about its usage. After all, why have that power if you don't use it? The resulting opening chase sequence with the police in Texas is the first of many times that Jesse uses his power in this episode when Tulip's car runs out of gas, forcing them to be captured by the police, who don't know what they're getting into. I loved how they handled Cassidy catching fire every time he was exposed to the sun, and the writers have come up with a clever way to keep him hidden through an Umbrella. Pretty much everything about this opening sequence was just pure gold as I loved how things played out here, with the little things like Cassidy crawling under a moving patrol car to avoid the sun and Jesse ordering the cops around really being played out well. And then things quickly got out of control when the Saint of Killers was unleashed, obviously trying to target Jesse but the cops were unfortunately caught in the bloodbath in a very brutal scene indeed that once again served as a reminder of what this show is capable of, and that it isn't afraid to unleash hell whenever possible.

The new status quo of the road trip that is established here in this premiere that focuses around the Cassidy/Tulip/Jesse dynamic is really promising. The chemistry between all three is fantastic, and it helps that Cooper, Negga and Gilgun are all fantastic actors and have been able to really make up for the lack of regular cast members that were all killed off when Annville was destroyed in the episodes' end. The gag where the group almost find out about Annville's fate only to be distracted at the last possible second was fantastic too, and these touches of humor thrown into the script really helps make things stand out.

The tension here is pulled off spectacularly well. Thanks to being introduced to McTavish's The Saint of Killers in Season 1 we know full well of what he's capable of, and his distinct lack of presence in this episode, only appearing sparingly, makes him feel like a very intimidating threat indeed. The fact that Jesse's friend would rather take his own life than even try to fight The Saint of Killers shows just how deadly he can be, and when even Jesse's word doesn't work on him, it's pretty clear that Jesse and co are out of their depth. It was only a matter of time before he caught up with Jesse, I just wasn't expecting it to be this quickly. However it's good to see that the series is moving forward with what looks to be like a faster momentum than before, which is very promising indeed. The smaller cast also helps in its favor too, so it'll be interesting to see how that plays out going forward.

I haven't had the chance to read the comics yet unfortunately so I won't comment on them, but if you're a fan then feel free to discuss in the comments below. I'd love to know just how much stuff is being adapted faithfully here, and what fans of the comics thought of the show's premiere, as well as those of you who aren't familiar to the source material like myself. From what I've read the first season was essentially a prequel, which if that's anything to go by, we're only now going to get into the main storyline. And what a storyline it's shaping up to be. I really can't wait to see how the show continues to handle its new structure, and see most of all, just how weird it's going to get. At the moment I think Legion just about edges out Preacher for the weirdest comic book show on television, but there's plenty of potential for this show to reach Legion levels going forward.

What did you think of Preacher's Season 2 premiere? Are you happy with the new direction of the show? Let me know in the comments section below and be sure to check out the next episode tonight on AMC at 9pm.

About the Author - Milo MJ
Milo is an Arsenal FC supporter and loves TV shows like Battlestar Galactica, Justified, Black Sails, The Americans and Person of Interest. He reviews Preacher, The Mist, Star Wars Rebels, Silicon Valley and Veep for Spoiler TV and will be covering Castle Rock, Counterpart, Krypton, Marvel's New Warriors, Rise, Marvel's Runaways, Snowfall, Succession, Star Trek Discovery, and Trust. He also contributes to comic reviews on a weekly basis for All-Comic. He also regularly watches and reviews films on Letterboxd, and you can find his ever-changing list of 300 favourite movies here.
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