Preacher, Season 2, Episode 8, “Holes”
They say things move along at their own leisurely pace in the Deep South, and recent New Orleans-set episodes of Preacher have been wonderfully layered but painfully slow. “Holes” was no exception.
Once again the three principal characters were isolated either physically or emotionally as Jesse spent most of his time having a DVD analyzed, Tulip was doing her best Bob Villa impression and Cassidy was trying to make Denis’ final days as comfortable as possible (and is trying to resist granting Denis’ request for immortality).
We also circle back around to Hell and check in to see how Eugene is adjusting to life among the worst of the worst. He’s managed to get Tracey’s name tattooed onto his back, and he’s doing exercises to make himself stronger for the times he makes a show of toughness for the guards’ cameras. Eugene’s sweet nature isn’t lost on Hitler, who puts two and two together after the warden announces that one of the group doesn’t belong in Hell.
Eugene is doing all this to prevent being thrown into the hole, but he gets tossed in there anyway. The torture there is a more horrible version of the worst day scenario. In Eugene’s case, Tracey doesn’t react negatively to his stolen kiss, but she’s already promised herself to God in the guise of Jesse, who has been in the bathroom the whole time. Seeing Jesse (Dominic Cooper really lays it on thick here, it’s some of his best work of the series) making out with his beloved Tracey upsets Eugene so much it sends him right back to the shotgun. Once returned to the ward, his bunkmate Hitler sows the first seeds of escape into Eugene’s head.
Tulip spends the episode trying to wipe her encounter with The Saint from her mind by erasing all the bullet holes in the apartment building. It’s hard telling what it’s doing for her psyche, but it does put Tulip face to face with “Jenny”, the Grail operative who earlier in the season was the lounge singer Jesse “rescued,” and most recently has been at the end of the hall observing the goings on in the apartment the principal characters share.
The most dramatic arc was seeing Cassidy tend to Denis, and wrestle with choice of granting his son immortality. In a meeting in the kitchen with Tulip, Cassidy expresses how lonely being immortal is, because after enough time you’ve heard all the jokes, drunk all the liquor and can’t spend a lovely day at the beach. However, second thoughts creep in as Denis deteriorates before his eyes, and Cassidy remembers that he promised to be a good dad to his son (a vow made complicated by Cassidy becoming a vampire at some point). The episode ends with a tight shot on Cassidy’s face, and perhaps the slightest hint of fangs appearing in his mouth.
Once again, this is all fun, but we’re really just waiting on Herr Starr to get to New Orleans so the meat of the back half of this season can get under way. It feels like all the pieces are in place for the series to resume its forward momentum, but this show has given viewers that feeling before, only to continue to move along at the pace of a lazy river.