NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of, “Preacher” are present in this review
Preacher finally put Jesse on a much more direct path to some answers regarding the whereabouts of the missing God this week, even if it came at the cost of having to team up with the rather distasteful and menacing Herr Starr. “Dirty Little Secret” is a very aptly named episode too, since much of it revolves around the one dirty secret of Jesus Christ himself, namely that he secretly fathered a child in this universe, and the Grail continues to protect the descendant of that child to this very day. Finally, Jesse is going to meet the man who will lead the world in its time of crisis!
Obviously though, it’s not that easy. Thankfully, despite that, Preacher delivered another very strong episode this week, after last week’s similarly great offering, avoiding another disturbance in momentum that previously seemed to alternate every other week, ever since Jesse’s crew stopped in New Orleans. The show’s pitch dark sense of humour once again shone throughout much of this episode, whether it was Jesse having to suffer Herr Starr and his holy connections, Tulip having to play a legally safe Guitar Hero clone with the disguised Featherstone, or Cassidy treating Denis to some prostitutes, video arcades and tattoo parlours. Overall, this was a very fun episode, and one that also benefited from pushing the characters forward in meaningful ways.
Predictably, the team-up between the outwardly professional and inwardly sadistic Herr Starr, and the inwardly selfish yet outwardly determined Jesse, paid comedic dividends, especially when Herr Starr proves to Jesse that not even the pope and the arch-bishop have any idea where God is currently hiding. Jesse and Starr then end up taking a long trip to the secret hideaway of the current Christ child soon afterward, after Jesse uses the Word to force Starr to take him to the messiah, even if it means Jesse has to wear a shroud the whole time. Why couldn’t Jesse have used the Word to just make Starr not put the shroud on him? Then again, I suppose the gag wouldn’t have been funny if he’d just done that.
What followed is a ridiculous, yet strangely logical twist, when Jesse finally meets the modern Christ child, only to discover that he’s inbred and severely mentally handicapped. This helps to explain Starr’s concerns about having to devote his life to someone that is obviously not fit to lead humanity in a time of crisis, while also nicely highlighting that Jesse’s search for God isn’t necessarily going to have a happy ending, and if the show has any intention of faithfully following the source comics, it’s definitely not going to make Jesse’s mission any easier from here! Starr’s warning to Jesse that he will ultimately need the Grail to succeed at his mission also rang pretty true. Starr is right when he says that Jesse has already proven that he can’t find God with his current resources. He’ll need help from a higher authority, and that might mean not being able to escape making a deal with the metaphorical devil.
Surprisingly, despite stealing much of the season, Cassidy’s arc was given a bit less emphasis than Jesse’s and Tulip’s this week, but it still provided an entertaining, and gradually more uncomfortable way to showcase Denis not being able to control his new vampire urges. Denis ends up getting too rough with one of the prostitutes that Cassidy provides for him, which leads to Cassidy having to try to explain, via a handy translator, that Denis needs to start looking after himself, and not giving in to his innate bloodlust. It’s interesting that vampires don’t technically have to feed on blood in this universe, and mainly do it to heal injuries, which is likely why Cassidy has remained so likable and sympathetic, especially when turning Denis has now forced him to be a present and devoted father, in a way that he never was before. Still, Jesse coming across Denis with blood smeared on his face as Starr drops him back at Denis’ place no doubt indicates that Denis is quickly losing the battle with his vampire urges, even if drinking blood is optional for Preacher’s vampires. Is Cassidy going to have to make a hard choice soon?
The Tulip/Featherstone friendship also got some nice development in this episode, as Featherstone decides to take the opportunity to get closer to Tulip, even if mainly to keep her metaphorical enemy closer. Herr Starr and Featherstone have stood as the most interesting antagonists this season by far, so getting an episode where both got to come to the forefront in a big way was a great treat. The scenes with Tulip and Featherstone are genuinely sweet in several places as well, even when Featherstone accidentally lets slip that she knows about Tulip’s bank robberies in Dallas, despite Tulip never having mentioned them. This makes Tulip aggressively suspicious, though a quick (and painful!) save from Hoover seems to get Tulip to back off. Featherstone making such a careless slip-up around Tulip feels rather out-of-character, since she’s otherwise been ruthlessly professional and perfect at disguises, but that’s ultimately a pretty small nitpick. Viewers likely won’t dwell on it either, as the episode ends with Tulip discovering the Saint of Killers’ weapons in the broken tile, and thus she now knows that Jesse lied about returning the Saint to Hell. Uh oh!
“Dirty Little Secret” presented another superb Preacher episode, building some more gradual hope that the season can keep up this heightened momentum until it wraps, especially now that the Grail is no longer hiding in the shadows. Every story arc in this episode was executed very well, providing the perfect balance of satisfying character development and more highly irreverent dark humour. Jesse is going to be in more than one tight corner next week, now that Tulip has discovered his lie and Herr Starr is pointing out that Jesse will need the Grail’s help to accomplish his mission. That’s before Cassidy’s inevitable realization that maybe he was wrong to turn Denis, especially if Denis is now creating more vampires around New Orleans with his reckless behaviour. With the Christ child now confirmed as unfit to boot, it looks like both Jesse and the Grail in particular have a lot of problems, and that should hopefully give us plenty of material to keep Season Two strong over its remaining three episodes!
- Hilarious and rewarding Jesse/Starr team-up
- Denis growing gradually more out of control
- Tulip's charming interactions with Featherstone
- Featherstone being uncharacteristically careless around Tulip