‘Preacher’ Explores Its ‘Possibilities’ (TV REVIEW)

[rating=7.00] “The Possibilities”

After an intense one-two punch, Preacher brings it back down for their third episode, which continues to ease us into the world of Jesse Custer as painlessly as possible. The word “ease” is used here as subjectively as possible, of course, considering all of the weirdness that’s been going on, it doesn’t feel much like we’re being “eased” into anything so much as being thrown headlong into an abyss of the bizarre but I suppose you’re going to have to trust me when I say that we ain’t seen nothing yet.

I shouldn’t get ahead of myself here because, clearly, the series is going for something completely new that even readers of the comic books will be surprised over. I’ve said it before: AMC is producing what amounts to a remix of the comic series, taking familiar elements and presenting them in new ways. Which is why your geekier friends might have freaked out over the reveal of the man in the white suit in last night’s episode.

Like The Cowboy last week, The Man in the White Suit, little of him as we’ve seen, is nothing but a good faith promise from AMC, Seth Rogen, and Evan Goldberg imploring the previously devoted to be patient; the changes from book to series have, thus far, been massive, but along the way we’ve gotten glimpses of moments that tease future developments, reassuring old fans while easing new fans into this strange new world.

Herr Starr

It’s been beautifully done so far; the reality is that the books are so strange that “remixing” them is honestly the only way it could’ve been adapted. And in classic remix fashion, this episode lessened the intensity just a bit, bringing the beat down slightly to allow us the chance to catch our breath before the bass, as it were, finally and unequivocally, drops.

While “The Possibilities” was a bit short on action, we did get some necessary exposition last night, most notable about the history between Jesse and Tulip. The map Tulip risked her life for in her introductory scene back in episode one was revealed to be part of a plan to find the address of someone who had betrayed Jesse and Tulip back in a former life. In exchange for the map, Tulip’s friend Danny revealed the last known address of Carlos, a man who had previously stolen a bag of ill-gotten money from the couple prior to Jesse quitting the life to preach the word of God.


This also leads to our first inclination that someone out there is pulling strings we have yet to see, when Danny delivers the map in question to the aforementioned Man in the White Suit. I’ll say little about this now, except to note that seeing that bald head and white suit filled me with an adolescent giddiness I’ve not felt in some time.

Anyway, Tulip reveals that her plan all along has been to find Carlos and convince Jesse to go out for some revenge, a proposition he accepts. Jesse, however, is not in the best of places.

The preacher has finally come to an understanding of the power he now holds, though he still doesn’t know what it is. His run in with the pedophile bus driver and comatose girl in the last episode though has shown him that he has, well, abilities. This leads to a hilarious moment between himself and Cassidy, as Jesse commands Cassidy to hop up and down, box, and admit a secret. This got one of the biggest laughs of the night as the Irish vampire admits he’s a fan of Justin Bieber.

However, this also gave us our first glimpse of the war going on inside of Jesse; he seems to delight in the power he holds over Cass. He grins creepily as his friend is forced to obey his command, up to the point of hurting himself when he’s told to fly. Horrified by Cassidy’s pain, Jesse comes to his senses. This dichotomy between his power and his own moral compass is a major theme in the comic series, and now the groundwork has been laid here, and we see it later in the episode as Tulip and Jesse are leaving to go see about Carlos.

But Cassidy served another purpose in this episode, leading us to another reveal involving the two unkillable government agents who’ve been stalking Jesse. After running an errand for the church, Cassidy returns to the church to see two heavily armed in men in black, who he promptly runs over. Of course he thinks it’s two new people, and he’s appropriately shocked when he realizes it’s the same men he killed last week. “Clones,” he thinks, preparing himself to clean up another mess.


Imagine his shock, then, when they’re waiting for him in the church. This shock is furthered when he find out they’re not part of some government agency hunting vampires. No, the biggest reveal of the series so far is when the two strangers confess to being affiliated with the biggest government of them all: heaven. This of course also gives us some idea about the nature of the power now resting inside of Jesse, which Cassidy agrees to help the two heavenly agents regain.

Jesse, meanwhile, has stopped for a bathroom break on the way to kill Carlos. There he has another run in with Danny, the man who squealed like a bunny in a bear trap back in the first episode. Danny has had problems with respect since words of his righteous ass-whoopin’ has made its way through town, and in typical fragile male fashion he wants some revenge of his own. Forcing Jesse to his knees at gunpoint, Danny’s fragile masculinity is tested again as Jesse refuses to squeal. As he threatens to pull the trigger, Jesse promises Danny that he’ll make his death look like a suicide.


Under the power of Jesse’s voice, a shocked Danny sits on the toilet and puts the gun in his mouth and cocks the trigger. Once again, however, Jesse overcomes the enjoyment of the use of his power and releases Danny with his life, if not his dignity, intact. As Danny flees in horror and shame, Jesse reveals a change of heart to Tulip, stating simply that Carlos is in God’s hands now, and he won’t be helping her murder him after all.

Despite this being a slow episode, “The Possibilities” does a remarkable job at laying the foundation for the wider story and deepening the themes of the series. Jesse is a man whose good side and evil side are constantly at odds, despite the promise he made to his father to be one of the good guys. And that’s really what this entire series is about. What does it mean to be a good guy? Can man hope to rectify the good and evil within himself? Is evil ever good? These are some large questions for a TV show to handle, and so far they’re handling it pretty well.

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