NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of, “Preacher” are present in this review
Preacher really seemed to be finding its groove again over the past couple of weeks, following some disappointing dull stretches that have plagued certain portions of the show’s sophomore season. Sadly though, another dull stretch occupied this week’s episode, “Holes”, which followed up the huge intrigue of Herr Starr and the Grail from last week with yet more of Jesse’s crew simply chasing their tails, and not accomplishing much else.
It should come as no surprise at this point that Cassidy’s character arc ended up being the best in the episode, yet again, to the point where Cassidy is firmly starting to outshine even Jesse himself at this rate. As Denis’ health worsens, and Cassidy is faced with losing his son, he continues to struggle with not being willing to turn Denis into a vampire. Cassidy seemed pretty adamant about that before, but in this episode, he starts seriously reconsidering, as the clock continues to tick down on Denis’ lifespan.
Things immediately begin strong here, as we get a flashback to 1946, when Cassidy first meets his then-newborn son, Denis at the hospital. We see a more laid-back Cassidy here, complete with Cassidy even taking a swig from a flask in the newborn ward, and this eventually gives way to Cassidy asking Tulip in the present if he should turn Denis, which Tulip is naturally unhelpful with. We get an interesting peek into Cassidy’s hidden social circles towards the end of the episode as well, where it seems that Cassidy is part of an entire group of Irish vampires, who don’t seem to like him any more than Denis does, and more bluntly urge him not to turn his son. In the final seconds of the episode, Cassidy decides to sing to his son as the music turns ominous, leaving it ambiguous as to whether Cassidy will turn Denis or not. This was a superb cliffhanger to end the episode on, and will definitely have viewers eager to tune in next week, to see the ultimate fate of Denis.
Disappointingly though, the rest of this episode really fell short, especially since a huge chunk of it yet again unfolded from the perspective of Eugene in Hell. The Eugene storyline of this season has been frustrating, not because it’s innately a bad idea, but because the show just can’t seem to mine any interesting material from Eugene being in Hell. It all just seems to be a roundabout excuse for Hitler to eventually find out that Eugene doesn’t belong in Hell, and then propose that he can help Eugene escape somehow. There’s another bit with Eugene being punished by being thrown into an, “Extrapolator”, which has Tracy not shooting herself, but instead hooking up with Jesse, but that doesn’t go anywhere. The Jesse torment could be a lead-in to the eventual full-blown animosity that Eugene harbours towards Jesse when he returns to the living world, likely fully under his ‘Arseface’ moniker from the source comics, but right now, this storyline still isn’t accomplishing enough to be noteworthy.
Jesse, meanwhile, decides to try and go to an electronics store to blow up an image that could expose the serial number of the gun used to shoot the fake God actor. Tulip also goes with him to buy a fridge, but they don’t share much screentime together. What happens here? Well, not much of anything really. Jesse tries to urge the ‘Dork Doctors’, an obvious riff on Best Buy’s ‘Geek Squad’ or Apple’s ‘Geniuses’, to try various tricks to find information on who filmed the video, but the guys come up with nothing. Worse still is that Jesse storms out afterward, and leaves the DVD behind. Oh, come on! Jesse can be impulsive, sure, but even considering that, this was a really stupid move. As if to hammer the point home, the DVD is then shown to have a ‘Grail Industries’ logo on it before it’s shredded. Jesse seriously didn’t study the disc itself? This was really irritating, because it just seemed like a transparent way to drag out the Grail mystery, while also having the unfortunate side effect of making Jesse look like a real dumbass. Adding insult to injury is the Grail leaving their company name on the disc in the first place, which makes everyone in question look especially stupid and careless.
Tulip’s story arc also continues to flounder this week, as she keeps meandering around, trying to deal with this out-of-character PTSD that she still seems to be suffering from after her confrontation with the Saint of Killers. Tulip not only buys an expensive new fridge for Denis’ apartment (presumably with her Hurt Locker money), but also starts single-handedly patching up the bullet holes in every nearby apartment. This isn’t terribly interesting, as you can imagine, though at least there’s some forward movement here by the end of the episode, since this serves as an excuse for Tulip to accidentally stumble upon Hoover and Featherstone, who are spying on Jesse from a nearby apartment. Featherstone disguises herself as a mousy new tenant, while Hoover just hides away, but Tulip befriending the disguised Featherstone, complete with inviting her to The Hurt Locker with her, presents some great promise for later in the season, when Featherstone’s Grail affilitation is inevitably found out by Tulip and/or Jesse. As you can imagine however, there’s no payoff to the Tulip/Featherstone friendship this week, so we can only get so excited about this prospect for now.
“Holes” is another frustrating instance of Preacher clumsily hitting the brakes, and simply disturbing its momentum. When it comes down to it, AMC may have just ordered too many episodes for the show’s second season, which might be why we’re suffering through some of this frustrating filler material on certain weeks. We don’t even see Herr Starr in this week’s episode at all either, which is a real let-down, considering the excellent proper introduction we got to him in last week’s episode. Next week’s episode at least promises an especially heavy emphasis on the Grail and Starr once again, but that still doesn’t change the fact that we have yet another wasted week for Preacher in this case. I hope Jesse’s investigation gets back on track soon, because this crew ran out of reasons to bumble around New Orleans several weeks ago.