HOLLYWOOD—The season premiere of “Preacher” on Sunday night on AMC was a little bit of everything. Personally, being a horror super fan, I have been excited for this show based on the comic book series by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon.
I will start off with a warning: SPOILERS and BEWARE GRAPHIC CONTENT! This show is not for little ones.
We begin this new series in the most unlikely place: Outer Space. An asteroid is headed for Earth and knocks down an African preacher in Africa in the middle of his sermon. He gets up after the blow and as his parishioners are saying it is a miracle, he stops everyone by yelling in a distorted voice, “Be quiet! I am the prophet!”
The African preacher then spontaneously explodes. The show leaves the parishioners screaming as the cameras travel to Texas where we meet our main preacher, Jesse Custer. Jesse is played by Dominic Cooper who is known for playing Howard Stark in the “Captain America” movie franchise.
Jesse wakes up from a dream about his father, who is a preacher, telling Jesse to promise something. He gets up and walks down to the All Saints Congretional church. Throughout the sermon scene and the after church lunch Jesse seems lackluster about his job and it shows by the boredom of his parishioners.
At the picnic, he is bothered by a man named Ted complaining about his mother, which he does throughout the episode. A kid comes up to ask if Jesse could do something to stop his father from hurting his mother. There are rumors going around about what Jesse was before he became a preacher.
Another key player named Cassidy, played by Joseph Gilgun, enters the scene on a private jet 30,000 feet in the sky. This Irishman acts jovial with everyone on board until he finds a Bible in the restroom with a bunch of crazy looking writing in it. He proceeds to kill everyone on the plane before jumping off without a parachute.
Back in Texas, Jesse checks in on a sleeping man named Walter until he hears a woman singing in the shower who watches Jesse from the window as he drives away.
A little while in the past the audience comes to a fight in a moving car in a cornfield. Tulip O’Hare, played by Ruth Negga, is fighting a man for a map. Tulip wins the fight and kills the man, gaining the map.
She gets two kids to do “arts and crafts” creating a makeshift bazooka. She hides the kids in the cellar as she uses the weapon to take out a helicopter. Tulip turns out to be Walter’s niece.
Jesse has another flashback that shows his father getting shot. Cassidy is physically smashed in a hole in the ground where he presumably landed after jumping from the plane. He convinces a cow to come over so he can eat it.
In Russia, something attacked the Magister and shortly afterwards he exploded. I am starting to sense a pattern of religious leaders spontaneously exploding.
Tulip and Jesse meet to hint around the kind of past they had together where Jesse was not a good guy. He then goes to the Sheriff’s house to meet a teenager named Eugene who seems to have suffered from some accident due to his facial abnormalities. Jesse is able to restore some faith in Eugene, even though we know he has lost it in himself.
We see a hint of the directors’, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, usual comedy flair when over the news we hear that Tom Cruise spontaneously exploded at a Scientology convention.
The kid’s abusive father comes to beat up Jesse at a bar for the kid snitching on him. Jesse beats the man and his friends with Cassidy, now looking more whole, helping, and he seems happier now than he has preaching. After Jesse gets out of jail he tells Emily, the church’s assistant, that he is going to quit. He then goes into the church to pray one last time.
Something answers his prayer as the church doors open and a large invisible entity tackles him. Jesse wakes up three days later and is inspired to not quit the church. He is approached by Ted and he tells him to be brave, tell his mother the truth, and open his heart.
Jesse seems to have finally gotten through to Ted who flies to Florida, tells his mother the truth, and then cuts his heart out of his chest. We end with two men who were in Africa now dressed as cowboys and walking towards Jesse’s church.
Enough story to keep me curious, great acting, amazingly choreographed fight scenes, and just a hint of humor. I am looking forward to what demons may come next Sunday!