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Preacher - Dallas - Review: "The Way Things Were"

Preacher 2.05 "Dallas" - Review:
Directed by Michael Morris & Written by Philip Buiser

This season started off so well. The momentum appeared to be breakneck, high-speed, right the way through, but unfortunately, even since we've gotten to New Orleans things have slowed down a bit in terms of pace and structure of the show, and a flashback episode focused on the initial breakdown of Tulip and Jesse's relationship didn't really work as well as it could have done, feeling boring. I like the Tulip/Jesse relationship and think both of them have great chemistry, but much of this episode felt a bit too slow in places, and definitely dragged. There wasn't even any crazy fight sequences like last week's Uptown Funk-set battle to act as a standout in this underwhelming and ultimately disappointing episode.

The mystery regarding what happened to Tulip and Jesse has always been there in the background and it was interesting to see how it would be approached in the series, it was seemingly inevitable that we'd get a flashback episode at some point and whilst this seemed like a good place for the flashback to happen, whilst Jesse was wrestling with the decision about whether or not to kill Viktor, who always seemed to be in the background of this episode and really, I could have done with more screentime devoted to his character. He was never really developed as well as he could have been even though we got to see why it was clear that Tulip decided to get married to him, this could have easily been fleshed out a bit more. The repetitive nature of the flashback sequences showing Tulip and Jesse's everyday routine after they had quit their previous jobs in an attempt to live a more normal life was a well-executed one however, as even though it may have, much like the episode, dragged on a bit too long, it did help generate sympathy for both Jesse and Tulip. Jesse has become bored stuck in the mundane atmosphere of his everyday life, reduced to an alcohol and John Wayne-fueled lazy nature, whilst Tulip is working as someone who is one level beneath a realtor's assistant. It was interesting to see the non-violent side of themselves, but at the same time, it was clearly a destructive relationship that was getting out of hand, and was only a matter of time before it reached a breaking point.

The whole debate regarding should they kill Viktor also felt ultimately pointless, too. Whilst it was cool to see Jesse grappling with that moral dilemma about whether or not he should actually kill him, and the inevitable word confusion when Tulip in particular mistook Jesse's terminology for meaning that he had done the deed, only to find out that he had cut him down just like she wanted, really was a tense moment in the episode especially as I wasn't quite sure what would happen next. if Viktor died at Jesse's hands that would have been a real gamechanger for the series and despite Cassidy's insistence that it wouldn't have driven apart Tulip and Jesse for good, it would certainly have pushed them further into conflict, especially as this is now the second time Jesse has used Genesis on Tulip without her permission. I did wonder for a second there if Tulip would have been capable of resisting him, but I guess not.

The episode also fleshed out Cassidy a bit with his shared love for Tulip that ultimately could have created a love triangle had the show chosen to run with it further like most of the CW dramas would have done (and indeed, probably most of network television). Cassidy himself admits he screwed up and once he realises he can't sway Jesse one way or the other, he is willing to back Jesse whether he kills Viktor or not. I really liked Joseph Gilgun's performance here even though his character wasn't the main focus of the episode, and hopefully we get a Cassidy-centric episode sooner or later. The fact that his character is a vampire is merely only something that now seems to just be a background detail rather than being a defining personality trait really helps too, as the show continues to avoid the standard cliches that are normally attached to a drama with vampires and it's all the better for it.

The Saint of Killers showing up at the end really undercut the dramatic weight caused by Jesse's decision not to kill Viktor, and was telegraphed the moment Tulip's step daughter showed up at the place where the trio are staying. You knew Viktor's time was up regardless of whether or not Jesse killed him, and as a result, this kind of robbed the decision of his impact. He may not have been killed at Jesse's hand, but he was still killed at the end of the day, and it's interesting to see how Tulip reacts to this when she learns of his death, especially as she's gone through so much already this season, particularly with the fact that she still had connections to the people in Annville. But at least the appearance of The Saint at the end of the episode and the girl promising to take him to Jesse should signify that the next episode isn't going to be as underwhelming as this one was.

What did you think of Dallas? Let me know in the comments section below and check out the next episode of Preacher this Monday at 9pm on AMC.

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, Snowfall, Silicon Valley and Veep for Spoiler TV and will be covering Castle Rock, Counterpart, Krypton, Marvel's New Warriors, Rise, Marvel's Runaways, 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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