SPOILER ALERT-Preacher– Season Two-Do not read if you have not seen episode seven of Preacher.
Quote of the Week- “Do you validate parking?”
This episode of Preacher, “Pig,” has several major story lines.
- The backstory of Herr Starr.
- Tulip’s PTSD caused by being manhandled by The Saint of Killers.
- Jesse’s search for God.
- Cassidy’s relationship with his estranged son, Denis.
The episode opens in Vietnam on a farm where a poor farmer is having dinner with his wife. She looks out of the window of their shack and starts screaming. Her husband joins her and is stunned by what he sees. Later, Herr Starr arrives in the area and a young man directs him to the farm. At the farm, there are several people worshipping the poor farmer’s family pig, which is floating in the air.
Back in New Orleans on a street corner, there is a street preacher yelling at the revelers about the end of the world. Jesse wanders out of a local club jazz club followed by Tulip, Cassidy, and Denis, who is still having a difficult time breathing. Jesse is having doubts about the search for God. Cassidy suggests that they take a break from the search and go to a certain club that he had mentioned previously.
They arrive at the club, where the patrons take turns shooting at each other while wearing a bulletproof vest. Jesse, Tulip, and Cassidy decide to run a scam on the patrons of the club. Cassidy pretends to be Tulip’s boyfriend and she volunteers him to wear the bulletproof vest. Jesse appears and admonishes the group to do what God would want them to do. Tulip goads the group into using the largest gun in the place, which will pay the most money if the “target” can recover from the gunshot in a certain amount of time. Tulip kisses Cassidy to shore up her “boyfriend’s” courage. The gunshot knocks Cassidy down, causing Tulip to wail in grief as Jesse pronounces him dead. The patrons flee as Jesse calls upon them to stay and report what happened to the police. Tulip feeds Cassidy blood as Jesse steals the bar patron’s money.
Later, Jesse and Tulip sit in the bar, very drunk. Tulip is falling asleep but she refuses to go to Denis’ apartment to sleep. Being manhandled by The Saint of Killers (TSOK) has affected her deeply. She is beginning to experience PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and does not realize it. Jesse tries to reassure her that TSOK is gone. Tulip finally agrees to go home with Jesse.
Only Denis and Cassidy are left in the bar with one other patron, who is a professor of French at Tulane University. He agrees to translate for Cassidy. The professor explains to Cassidy that Denis has been telling Cassidy all night that he is dying from heart failure. The professor also says that Denis has been trying to tell Cassidy that he is an “awful, selfish, absent father.” The professor finally explains to Cassidy that Denis says that Cassidy could help him live forever. When Cassidy realizes the full impact of what Denis is asking, he is shocked and absolutely refuses to help Denis. Denis leaves but not before telling Cassidy that he will die hating him. Later, Cassidy is passed out drunk in the street. The street crew taser him but there is no reaction, so they assume that Cassidy is dead and take him to the morgue
In Vietnam, Herr Starr is on the phone reporting to his staff in London that the people in the village are praying to the floating pig. Initially, he asks for a task force; but, after looking at his glass of water with floating parasites in it, he tells them that he has the situation under control. As the shoeshine boy finishes polishing his shoes, Herr Starr tells him that he missed a spot, which frightens the boy. Herr Starr tells the boy not to worry as he “was young and careless, once.”
Flashback to 2004, where Herr Starr is being interviewed by a man named Saltonstall, who is the leader of Lara’s mysterious group of men in white. Herr Starr says that he was promised women in a high-end brothel. Saltonstall says that may happen later but he assumes Herr Starr is there because he wants to wipe the streets clean of the useless parasites that befoul the earth. Saltonstall asks Herr Starr if he is Christian. Herr Starr answers that he is indeed a Christian, after he ascertains that it is a condition of the position for which he is interviewing.
Back in New Orleans, Tulip is having a nightmare. In it, she sees Cassidy’s severed fingers falling like rain as TSOK holds her by the neck. Tulips wakes from the nightmare and goes into the kitchen, where she puts on water for coffee. When she hears a sound in the hallway she goes into the hallway to investigate and all she finds is a flickering light that is making a strange noise. When she returns to the kitchen, the window she had closed is open and the boiling tea kettle she had turned off is whistling again. TSOK appears and he grabs her, telling her that her time is up as he shoots her. Tulip finally wakes from this nightmare.
Tulips tells Jesse about her nightmare. She tells him that he was late and she would have died if Cassidy had not stopped TSOK. She tells him that there is something wrong but Jesse is unable to feel it. Tulip is unaware that she is suffering from PTSD and, unfortunately for her and Jesse, neither one of them is equipped to deal with it. Meanwhile, Cassidy wakes up in a freezer at the morgue.
Back in 2004, Herr Starr is part of a group of naked men who are the finalists to join the secret organization. When asked if there are any questions, Herr Starr asks if they will validate his parking. Eventually after some discussion, they agree to validate his parking.
The group then goes through extensive physical testing. One test has Herr Starr fighting against a wrestler who has defeated all the previous applicants. The wrestler tackles Herr Starr and places him in a chokehold. To his amazement, Herr Starr starts to fellate himself. This distracts the wrestler to point where he loosens his grip and Herr Starr takes advantage of the wrestler’s surprise to beat him senseless. The next test is seduction. One applicant clearly seduces the woman while Herr Starr threatens to kill her and her family unless she hands over the information.
The following test has car batteries attached to the applicants’ genitalia via jumper cables. The other applicants are screaming in pain, while Herr Starr appears to be unaffected. In the final test, Herr Starr and the other remaining applicant take part in a shooting competition in an indoor range. The other applicant places his shots all in the head of the target. Herr Starr shoots the other applicant.
Saltonstall welcomes Herr Starr to the Grail, which is the name of the secret organization. Saltonstall reveals that the source of power for their organization is Christ. Herr Starr is not impressed by “myths and legends.” Saltonstall tells Herr Starr that Christ lives in a top-secret place guarded by men with machine guns. This intrigues Herr Starr. Saltonstall explains that Christ fathered a child and that The Grail has protected this line for generations. The Grail believes that their savior will reveal himself in the final days. Herr Starr is finally introduced to his uniform, which is the white suit, white shoes, and red tie he always wears in the current timeline.
On the balcony of their building, Saltonstall tells Herr Starr that he will be Saltonstall’s right hand man. He explains the history of The Grail’s actions to influence history. He tells Herr Starr that The Grail killed Abraham Lincoln as well as John Belushi. Herr Starr pushes Saltonstall off the ledge and takes charge of the organization.
In New Orleans, Jesse talks to the street preacher. They decide to go for a beer. Meanwhile at the morgue, Cassidy walks through the facility with a technician. He sees a grieving couple crying over a dead older family member. This scene deeply affects Cassidy, as the man resembles Denis.
At Denis’ apartment, Tulip finds the bullet hole in the refrigerator made by TSOK’s bullet. She goes back to the bar, where the patrons are shooting each other again while wearing bulletproof vests. Tulip dares them to shoot her after she tells them about the scam that she, Jesse, and Cassidy ran on them. They take her up on the dare. Before she is shot, she sees TSOK aiming at her. In her hallucination, TSOK appears to fire at her (it is really one of the bar patrons). She goes down, but she gets back up, smiles, and tells them to shoot her again.
Jesse and the street preacher talk as they drink beer. They discuss the end of the world. Jesse asks if the street preacher knows about fractional soul selling and the effect it would have on a person. The street preacher tells Jesse that if he is looking for a sign of the Apocalypse, then it would be people selling their souls. This clearly troubles Jesse.
In Vietnam, Herr Starr has poisoned the villagers and the pig. His next target is Jesse. In New Orleans, Jesse is watching the news report about the dead villagers and the dead, floating pig.
This episode was very uneven. There are moments of truly absurd comedy (Herr Starr and the competition) and other moments of compassion (Cassidy and Denis). There are moments of people suffering from trauma from which they cannot find relief. Both Tulip and Jesse are suffering from PTSD: Tulip from her encounter with TSOK and Jesse from selling part of his soul. Unfortunately for Jesse, Tulip, and Cassidy, they are not equipped to deal with the truly weighty issues in front of them.
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