We had to wait a week for the follow-up to Preacher’s pilot episode. I can’t understand why AMC would decide to debut a new series, then skip a week before giving us the next episode, but for better or worse, it’s here. Maybe the week off bothers me extra because Preacher has been slow to start. It was my main critique of the pilot, and I’ll say I was hoping for a bit more momentum building than this episode gave us, so pacing is a concern for me with the series.
The show is still doing well with capturing the tone of the comics. It’s getting the characters right, and for fans of the books, it’s exciting to see these characters being brought to life. Cassidy is stealing the show so far. He’s been a steady source of brighter moments, and his interactions with Jesse help us get to know the preacher as something other than a spiritually burdened shepherd.
Speaking of Cassidy, his fight in the church came off as one of the few instances in the first couple of episodes that gives the season some kind of narrative shape. We now know a little something about the threat facing our protagonists, and we need more of that in this show.
Tulip is still in need of some development. It’s not clear to the audience yet why we’re supposed to care about her, or how she will fit in with the parts of the plot that are in motion. So far, she’s just the miniature devil on Jesse’s shoulder, and Cassidy is more fun in that role anyway.
This episode spent some more time with locals in need of spiritual guidance, but none of these characters are established enough to carry much of the show, and Jesse’s time with them is contributing to the disjointed vibe of the story. Ultimately, the townsfolk are serving to establish the preacher’s new-found power of suggestion. It’s not an awful plot device, but it’s taken us two full episodes to get there. Here’s hoping next week’s episode steps on the proverbial gas.