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Preacher - On Your Knees - Review: "Jesse vs. The Saint, Round Two"



Preacher 2.12 "On Your Knees - Review:
Directed by Michael Slovis & Written by Sam Catlin & Rachel Wagner

In its penultimate episode of its second season, Preacher certainly brought its A-game to the table, bringing back the Saint of Killers to the forefront as he chased after Jesse with revenge on his mind. This episode made the most of its stakes, and was overall everything that the show could do to move the pieces in place for what is certainly going to be an exciting finale.

One thing that's certainly worth noting though is that it's not just Eugene who's probably going to escape from hell, but Hitler is with him. They're making their way out into modern day America and whilst it's good that Eugene was able to potentially escape after the punishment that he has received over the course of the season, Hitler potentially escaping from hell only means bad things to come. The idea of Hitler in the present being torn from the past was explored in the German comedy Look Who's Back (currently streaming on Netflix for the curious), and it'll be interesting to see what the writers do here even if at this point it's likely going to be put aside with next season in mind with the Grail coup very much front and centre right now. The decision to focus on hell has always been one of the weak spots of the show so far this season once you got over its novelty introduction, as it's dragged out and been a victim of too many episodes in a season, but what we got here was progress, and everything will no doubt come to a head in the finale as the show sets the stages for the third season and wraps up its second. The way we got to see variations of Tracy's suicide offered an interesting twist as to what could have been, eventually pitting a showdown between Eugene and Sheriff Root where he was forced to stand up to his father and succeeded. I kept expecting a showdown between Eugene and a more twisted version of Jesse like we had in the past but with no vision of Jesse it still remains unclear as to what Eugene's path will be like when he gets out of hell. Is Jesse going to find a valuable ally, or another enemy?

The showdown between Jesse and The Saint of Killers was fun as well, with the scared truck driver Hoover actually being one of the rare few to escape death at his hands. It also looks like Jesse's Genesis power does not work on him like before, something that Jesse didn't expect after he had put his soul in the Saint earlier on the season. It's also been acting up on multiple people, most notably the desk-monitoring folks at the end of the previous episode, as well as the Saint, and this means that his luck may be running out - maybe it's because he gave away part of his soul in the first place? Either way, regardless of what's causing it to act up, Given the new direction that Jesse's heading in, abandoning his friends to join up with Herr Starr and The Grail in favour of posing as the Messiah, it's certainly going to be interesting to see if it continues to work in more unexpected ways. The foreshadowing of Jesse losing his faith in his friends has been something that this season has been building towards, with the choice between them and Herr Starr becoming all the more clearer.

The fallout from the second round between Jesse and The Saint of Killers hit home as the team were well and truly beaten despite Tulip trying to stand up to him. They were only saved by the arrival of the Superintendent from Hell and her bodyguards, who threatens to put the Saint's family in hell if he doesn't do what they tell him to do. He eventually is taken back to hell where he demands an audience with Satan himself, somebody who is unlike God, very much not missing and ever present, so it remains to be seen what direction the show takes if it decides to go the whole way with showing Satan. One thing's for certain, the show is known for its memorable villains, so it's pretty much guaranteed that if Satan does show up, his presence is going to be felt. With all these villains around and the heroes becoming more and more divided by the second, it seems that things are only going to go downhill from here. The path ahead for Cassidy, Denis and Tulip without Jesse is unknown, and whilst it's only a matter of time before they have a larger role to play, it'll be interesting to see how long they spend on the sidelines.

The comedic element brought to the table in this script from Sam Catlin & Rachel Wagner really paid off in its favour. Cassidy's first interaction with Herr Starr was just pure gold, and even the way the scared truck driver begged to be spared from the Saint of Killers helped add the touch of humour to the series that has been present throughout. Even though Jesse was not around it also did not stop Cassidy and Tulip arguing about who's in charge in his absence, and despite all the suspense that was present in this episode, it was fantastic to see that there was still time for these little, fun exchanges of dialogue.

The episode ended with Herr Starr bending the knee and bowing to Jesse whilst the Pope announced that God's plan was to bring forward the Messiah and unveil Humperdoo to the world. Having seen Humperdoo in person, Jesse knows that this will cause all signs of chaos, so for now, he's on board with Starr's plan to take over God's job with little choice. It remains to be seen what Starr has in mind for the coup, but now the newly forged dynamic between him and Jesse promises that something big's on the way, and I can't wait to see what this show has to offer us.

What did you think of On Your Knees? Let me know in the comments section below and be sure to check out Preacher's second season finale, which concludes tonight at 9pm on AMC with the ominously titled "The End of the Road".

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, 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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