Preacher Review: Searching for the Soul of a Saint

Preacher, Season 2, Episode 6, “Sokosha”

After spending two episodes adding depth and breadth to the characters (and very little else), Preacher did a much better job of balancing the need to at least move the plot along a little, with character development.

The major plot point introduced in the open is that the soul is a tangible thing that can be harvested in bits or as a whole. This has been knowledge that certain corners of the world have had (including members of Jesse’s family) for quite some time. We learn during the course of the story that distilled soul has to be matched like organ tissue, and that the Japanese have used technology to refine the process and corner the market for the soul’s curative properties.

This becomes key for Jesse, Tulip and Cassidy, as Viktor’s daughter has led The Saint of Killers to Denis’ floor, and he’s killing his way to their apartment where the trio are enjoying a sugary breakfast.

Jesse feels that something is amiss, and his suspicions are confirmed when he discovers a stray Saint bullet boiling away in a tub of yogurt. Our heroes retreat to the library to discover what they can about the crazed cowboy that has been hunting them down.

The show catches up the characters (and the audience) on The Saint in a clever way. Each member of the group does research in their own way, which gives life to the story being told. Tulip’s book on tape provides the narration, Cassidy’s comics and ViewMaster slides provide the visuals, and Jesse sticks to good old fashioned books.

The long and the short of it is that The Saint is the scariest hombre in all of creation, partially because he has no soul. It’s that lack of a soul that is keeping The Saint from getting to Heaven and reuniting with his family. It’s also the reason why Genesis doesn’t work on him.

This newfound knowledge comes just in time because The Saint took Denis hostage when the old man bumbled back into his apartment. Jesse decides to make a deal with the man the devil fears.

Jesse tells The Saint that he can get him a soul and send him to Heaven with The Voice. He sent Eugene to Hell; sending to Heaven is the same. The Saint gives Jesse a deadline, demands hostages (Tulip, Cassidy and Denis, who we learn is actually Cassidy’s son), and sends Jesse on his mission.

Of course the soul business isn’t what it used to be, and the mom and pop voodoo shops have been run out of the market by the Japanese. To get a soul, Jesse has to break into the “Happy Soul Go Go” armored car as it makes it rounds through the streets of New Orleans. He can’t use Genesis because the car is soundproofed. He tries to blow it open with a jury-rigged explosive, built with Tulip’s help. All that manages to do is attract the attention of the cops.

The police prove to be a godsend, because they can be controlled by Jesse and they have the authority to force the armored car to open its doors.

Once Jesse gets into the truck, his difficulties only compound because The Saint’s makeup is extremely rare, and the only soul in the truck that matches The Saint’s is Jesse’s. So, Jesse gives up one percent of his soul to give to The Saint.

Of course, once The Saint has a soul he is vulnerable to The Voice. Jesse turns the tables by commanding him to drop to his knees and disarm. Instead of sending him to Heaven, Jesse is prepared to send The Saint to Hell. However, The Saint reminds Jesse that if he does that, Jesse would be condemning his own soul to Hell. Instead, Jesse locks the Saint into the back of the armored car and drives it into a swamp outside of Angellville, taking The Saint off the board … for now.

After Jesse hides The Saint’s weaponry, there’s something off about Jesse, like that whole play cost him more than one percent of his soul.

This episode was light on its feet and got the narrative of trying to find God back on track, while still managing to explore the depths of Jesse, Cassidy and The Saint. If Rogan and Co. decide  Preacher needs to follow any kind of formula, this episode is a prime example.

Craig Wack

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