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Preacher - Sokosha & Pig - Double Review: "One Villain Leaves, Another Enters"

Preacher 2.06: "Sokasha" - Review:
Directed by David Evans & Written by Mary Laws

I'd like to apologise for the delay in putting these two reviews up, I was in London for the weekend and was unable to access the internet for an extended period of time.

After the slow burn of the previous two episodes of Preacher I was beginning to wonder if the show had lost its momentum completely, and aside from some decent scenes, there wasn't anything particularly mind-blowing. But luckily "Sokasha" put the attention back front and centre on the Saint of Killers, as he came back in a very lethal way. The intimidating and minimal presence that we'd seen before with him here really paid off when he was unleashed upon Jesse with one goal, to kill the Preacher and stop Genesis. But Jesse himself is someone who doesn't go down easily, and after himself, Tulip and Cassidy were only barely able to escape thanks to some good timing and a well-placed low-hanging window. They then found themselves having to track down the origins of the Saint of Killers in a quest to find a possible weakness.

The scenes that followed reminded me a lot of your average early season episode of Supernatural where Dean and Sam Winchester would hit up libraries or anywhere that had information about the monster that they were fighting. The scene with Tulip, Cassidy and Jesse using their own preferred ways to find out information about the Saint of Killers was a very subtle and clever way of helping to flesh out the characters themselves. Jesse's a reader, Tulip's a listener and Cassidy would rather look at pictures and play with things. This allowed for a quick visual and dialogue heavy expository info dump on the Saint of Killers delivered in audiobook form, but Tulip was able to learn everything about him, including a potential weakness. The Saint has a wife and child who have died and gone to heaven, and as heaven won't admit anyone with a soul, The Saint has been out of luck for centuries, previously trapped in the deepest pits of hell experiencing his own worst memories every day, much like Eugene. But The Saint had been feared even by Lucifer himself if the stories are true, and he's somebody not to be messed with.

Luckily for Jesse, Tulip and Cassidy though the Saint's weakness can be used against him. His longing to end the conflict has saw him in need of a soul so he can be admitted to heaven. Not that he stands much chance of getting there based on his bloodless slaughter of millions, but if Jesse can send an innocent man like Eugene to hell, he has the power to send the Saint to Heaven. But there's just one problem? Where are they going to find a soul?

The situation has been made infinitely more complicated by the fact that The Saint of Killers has taken hostages in order to ensure that Jesse gets his work done, and they are none other than Tulip and Cassidy. So Jesse is left with no other choice but to sacrifice his soul, or at least, 1% of it, to the mysterious man known only as The Technician (James Kyson), who we were first introduced to his daily routine of collecting souls in exchange for deals with innocent people without knowing what his true intentions were. Much like American Gods, Preacher continues to do an excellent job at blending side stories like The Technician's job into the main plot very well indeed. One thing that was interesting to take away from this as well was that Jesse was aware of The Technician and what he did, suggesting that he has more experience with the man and his organization than we know, but this did provide Jesse with the means to make one of his biggest and perhaps most costly decisions yet.

He is now, essentially - a Man Without a Soul. The consequences of course are huge, and although he could have given himself some bonus points by sending The Saint of Killers to heaven thereby placing his soul in heaven, he decided against that, going back on the deal because someone like him does not deserve to be in heaven, according to Jesse. Whilst the scenes that we got to see with both Jesse and the Saint were pretty cool, particularly when it came to the Saint learning about the fact that the God shown to him was a fake, and a paid actor, it did not last long as Jesse trapped the Saint in the back of the van and drove him into the lake. It certainly proved to be a messy end indeed to the dynamic between the two characters.

It's also worth bringing out how well the show mashes humor with its dark narrative without losing focus. The fact that Tulip's audiobook listed Dick Cheney, the very much currently alive Dick Cheney, as the focus of the next chapter of American Psychopaths was something that earned a laugh from me, particularly as the show went straight from someone as supernatural and as mythological as the Saint to Cheney in a matter of seconds. The humour was as well executed as the more emotional and quieter revelations of this episode as we learned that Denis was actually Cassidy's son rather than just his friend really hit home, as the show examined the costs of being a vampire very well indeed in an episode where it wasn't necessarily the main focus, but still served as an important part that would be explored more in the next episode that I'm covering in this double review, Pig...

Preacher 2.07 "Pig" - Review:
Directed by Wayne Yip & Written by Olivia Dufault

With the Saint of Killers apparently out of the way by episode six, we needed a new villain for Jesse and the group to face off against and that came in the form of Pip Torrens' Her Starr, a man who was briefly in fact first sighted in the second episode of Season 1, but this is the first time we've seen him played by Torrens. And I really loved how the show handled his character's introduction here, creating a fascinating cold-blooded antagonist who isn't afraid to just kill people when he feels like it. That was his solution to deal with the witnesses to the mysterious floating pig that generated media exposure in the rainforests, and it wasn't long before we got to see his joining up with the organization known as the Grail, the first time where we properly got an inside view to their ranks.

The Grail themselves exist to preserve and protect the lineage of Jesus Christ until the end of the world, having found his descendants Da Vinci Code style, and now keep the current descendant of Jesus locked up surrounded by multiple guns preventing them from escaping. Presumably we will encounter the descendant at some point in the near future, hell, this being Preacher, I wouldn't be surprised if they did their own take on Jesus properly at some point, and if that ever does occur it will be interesting to see how different it is from the portrayal of Jesus on American Gods, where there are multiple different versions of Jesus that exist because of the many people who adapt his image to suit their own beliefs. But for now the fleshing out of the Grail and watching Her Starr's training exercise unfold was a very solid way to spend most of the episode, especially as he seemed to simply just take care of one right after the other.

The roadtrip hunt for God has stalled as Tulip, Cassidy and Jesse play up their roles as con-men to try and swindle a bunch of betters out of their money. The way Jesse and Tulip in particular were really playing up their roles, with Jesse exaggerating the Preacher part of himself, was pretty awesome and although this episode wasn't quite as action packed as the previous one, scenes like this more than made up for it. Given that the previous two episodes before this double review were rather lacklustre, it's good to see that Preacher wasted no time in making amends with two back-to-back terrific episodes. Hopefully Viktor and Dallas are only blips in what is shaping up to be an excellent season.

The way we got to see Starr take command of The Grail organization was an interesting one as well. His ruthless, bloody technique was always going to see him go far and the way the show handles his character has already in one episode almost made up for presumably taking care of The Saint of Killers so quickly. My one real disappointment now with the Saint of Killers storyline is that we didn't get to see him take on Starr, which would have certainly made for an interesting showdown, but given that Jesse buried The Saint's weapons in his basement suggests that it may not quite be the last we'll see of Graham McTavish's intimidating killer this season, and hopefully the writers find a way to pit Starr against the Saint in what will almost certainly be a bloody showdown for the ages. This show it seems can really write villains well as already they've established how threatening Starr is, doing in one episode what most shows struggle to do in entire seasons. Starr represents a different but at the same time similiar foe for Jesse to face, and this new momentum for the second half of the season has really opened up the potential to take the series in some fresh and exciting directions compared to what we've seen already.

The episode also dealt with the after-effects of the battle with the Saint of Killers in interesting ways, particularly when it came to Tulip who was experiencing a heavy case of PTSD from the episode. She dreamt of being killed by the Saint, which seemed an effective direction for the show to take as it really got the best out of Ruth Negga this week, showing a more emotional side to the character. However Tulip's emotional side was not the only one that we got to explore this week as Cassidy was fleshed out too as the development of Denis continued. It turned out that he's wrestling with the choice of debating to let Denis join the ranks of the vampiric undead, giving him immortality much like Cassidy himself, but at a heavy cost and the price of his humanity. The fact that the show continues to explore Cassidy and Tulip in ways like this when they could have easily just kept them as supporting characters and the focus entirely on Jesse continues to make things feel fresh, exciting and engaging, serving to make them incredibly well-rounded and developed characters.
So in conclusion, we have two very strong episodes that continues the mostly fine form of Preacher Season 2. Where we go next will no doubt be interesting to see, especially with Starr's next target being Jesse, and with Jesse still wrestling over the decision to surrender just 1% of his soul, after receiving a vague warning from the Doomsday Preacher who told him he's better off donating a Kidney, as well as teasing the fact that signs of multiple things, including Trump's Presidency, were an omen of doomsday being just around the corner, we seem to be heading towards an apocalyptic-style finale that could put the devastation of Season 1's finale to shame. I for one, cannot wait to see what the series throws at us going forward, with so many story threads yet to be revealed.

What did you think of Sokosha & Pig? 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, 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, 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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