NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of, “Preacher” are present in this review
Preacher started to get especially lost in Tulip’s backstory last week, even as a huge chunk of the previous episode also revolved around further developing Eugene, who continues to languish in Hell. This week’s episode however completely pushed Eugene aside to go full tilt into Tulip’s secret marriage to Viktor, which was revealed at the end of last week’s episode. This means we get an especially heavy amount of flashbacks in this week’s episode of Preacher, which could have made for an interesting breather, if it didn’t feel like we already got a breather in last week’s episode, and are thus left to suffer the show seemingly slowing down further in this week’s offering.
“Dallas” is not only a very obvious filler episode for Preacher, but also doesn’t really tell us anything that we couldn’t have already pieced together. The flashbacks that found the episode are disappointingly dull and uneventful, and while the present day’s suspense is a little better, this week’s Preacher offering nonetheless ended up being a low point not just for the current season, but for the series as a whole so far. We do get plenty of questions answered about what Jesse and Tulip were up to before their reunion in Annville at the start of this show’s events, but it’s not going to be vital information that the majority of viewers will care much about.
So, after Jesse and Tulip lose their baby, and their betraying ally, Carlos, they get out of their criminal life, and try to make an honest living somewhere else, which seems to involve sponging off of a stoner friend in his messy apartment. Nonetheless, Jesse is attempting to work graveyard shifts as a bartender, while Tulip begins trying her hand at real estate. Tulip ends up the main breadwinner before long though, since Jesse quickly sinks into a depression, being stuck in the same futile loop of trying to conceive another child, while in turn facing a lack of direction in his life.
If this sounds a little too heavy and real for Preacher, you’re not wrong to think that, because it pretty much is. After the heightened violence and insanity that has founded much of Preacher’s sophomore season so far, these brooding, unremarkable flashbacks pretty much bring the show’s momentum to a screeching halt. Almost completely taking the show’s divine element out to focus on a human-driven episode isn’t a bad idea on paper, but if Preacher is going to do that, it needs to go somewhere novel, interesting and unexpected, and it really doesn’t do that in this episode. This is exacerbated further by the fact that the episode tries to build suspense around things that we already know the outcome of, namely that Jesse and Tulip will fail at conceiving another child, and Tulip will ultimately leave Jesse for Viktor.
Fortunately, in the present, we at least get Cassidy to once again elevate an otherwise less effective episode. Torn between Tulip’s deception and Jesse’s conviction, Cassidy ends up being an awkward victim to their dysfunctional relationship, and seeing him try to appease both sides added some welcome levity and more effective drama to this episode. It was also interesting to see Tulip put Cassidy up to talking Jesse down from killing Viktor, only to have Cassidy seemingly take Jesse’s side in the end, and claim that he will go with whatever decision Jesse makes. Cassidy’s not wrong when he says he’s a right old bastard, but he does have his loyalty, and it’s ironic that an episode that is supposed to provide more riveting character development to Jesse and Tulip mostly failed at that, and instead provided the worthwhile character moments pretty much entirely for Cassidy, despite Cassidy naturally not being present at all in the heavy dose of flashbacks.
Eventually, this episode does reach a fairly effective climax at least, with the show teasingly cutting to a commercial break right as Jesse swings an axe at Viktor. It’s made to look like Jesse gives in to the desire to kill Viktor, but we soon after find out that he didn’t, leading to Tulip forgiving his violence. Of course, Viktor’s survival doesn’t amount to much however, as Jesse’s liberal use of the Word of God at Viktor’s estate leads to the Saint of Killers crashing the place and shooting everyone dead, including Viktor. Viktor’s young daughter does manage to bargain with the Saint before he shoots her dead as well though, with the episode ending as the daughter claims that she can lead the Saint to Jesse. Well, I suppose it was inevitable that Jesse wouldn’t be able to dodge the Saint forever, and it looks like his divine pursuer is going to become a big problem for him again next week!
“Dallas” frustratingly ends up being a complete waste of a Preacher episode in the end. It’s filled with flashbacks that frequently drag and offer nothing but redundant information, most notably. Not only that, but Jesse’s whole conflict with Viktor didn’t ultimately feel like it went anywhere interesting, especially when Jesse sparing Viktor is rendered moot by the Saint of Killers blowing him away mere moments afterward. Instead, it was Cassidy that completely stole the episode, ironically, though even then, this attempt to focus on the humanity of the leads and briefly put aside the show’s divine element ended up being a total misfire. Still, with the Saint of Killers once again having a straight shot at Jesse, hopefully the pacing picks up again in next week’s episode, even though it’s starting to feel like Jesse, Tulip and Cassidy are rapidly running out of reasons to stick around New Orleans.
Preacher sadly misfired this week, due to a flashback-heavy episode that fails to provide meaningful development for Jesse, Tulip or Viktor.
Reader Rating0 Votes
THE GOOD STUFF
Cassidy's standout character scenes
Decent suspense with Jesse deciding whether to kill Viktor
The Saint of Killers once again picking up Jesse's trail at the end
THE NOT-SO-GOOD STUFF
Flashbacks with Jesse and Tulip are boring, and don't tell us anything worthwhile
Most of the episode is way too predictable
Jesse sparing Viktor is quickly rendered pointless