Preacher: Sokosha

"Say your prayers, preacher."

We finally get our showdown with the Saint of Killers.

Of course, the showdown is mostly verbal. I mean, there's really nothing our heroes can do to the Saint. At least, not physically.

Preacher vs. Saint

Picking up where 'Dallas' left off, Viktor's daughter leads the Saint to Denis's apartment. She points him to the wrong door, which I'm sure was intended to help her former stepmother Tulip. However, this results in the Saint going from door to door, killing all of Denis's neighbors. Jesse, Tulip and Cassidy manage to escape before they get in his crosshairs.

After learning of Fiore's death at the Saint's hands, the trio decide to do some research to try to find the phantom gunslinger's weakness. They learn everything we already knew about him and more. There is apparently a lot of lore on the Saint of Killers, which fills in a few details in his backstory that weren't fully explored last season. Not only is he the Butcher of Gettysburg and listed as one of America's most famous psychopaths, he's the only living man without a soul, dreaded by the forces of Heaven and Hell. Even the Devil is said to live in fear of this cowboy.

Jesse is forced to confront him when Denis haplessly falls into the Saint's grasp. Thankfully, Denis is spared when they face-off at last. After proving to him that God is gone, Jesse and the Saint make a deal. The Saint will end his bloody rampage if Jesse finds him a soul and uses Genesis to send him to Heaven, where he can be with his wife and daughter. He has one hour to find a soul, while the Saint keeps Tulip, Cassidy and Denis as collateral. If he's not back in one hour, the Saint kills them all.

Soul Happy Go Go

We discover that Jesse knows an awful lot about souls. He enters a New Orleans voodoo shop and addresses himself as Jesse L'Angelle. He discovers that the black market selling of souls has been overrun by a Japanese organization, Soul Happy Go Go, which has got the whole thing down to a science. This was all rather convoluted, but I suppose it somewhat explains why Jesse is so unsurprised by all the crazy things he encounters.

Jesse locates these soul dealers (primarily represented by Ando from Heroes) and uses Genesis to get inside their impregnable armored truck. In a dramatic turn of events, none of the souls match up with the Saint of Killers' soul. None except Jesse's. To save his friends, Jesse has 1% of his soul removed into a nice little chewable piece.

He arrives back at the apartment just after his time is up, when the Saint is about to kill Tulip (narrowly prevented by Cassidy, who lost all of his fingers grabbing the Saint's saber). The Saint has what he wants now. He consumes the piece of Jesse's soul, allowing him to pass into Heaven. Unfortunately, his lack of a soul was the only thing guarding the Saint from the power of Genesis. Jesse finally has the upper hand, forcing the Saint to get on his knees and disarm himself. Jesse considers sending him back to Hell, but then another idea occurs to him. Perhaps a crueler punishment...

Dad Cass

Though we are once again seeing Jesse's morality hit new lows, we continue to see a softer side to the amoral vampire Cassidy. A big revelation is the fact that Denis is not Cassidy's old buddy. Denis is Cassidy's estranged son. That's right, the grouchy old Frenchman is really just annoyed by his perpetually immature, deadbeat dad. This casts their earlier awkward interactions in a new light; when Cassidy brought Denis a bag of candy and only received a sour look, or here when Cass tries to help Denis tie his shoes and Denis lashes out at him.

To be fair, we really can't blame Denis for not being overly fond of his papa. I mean, he's lived to be a senior citizen and Cass can't even communicate with him in his own language. Denis is nearly killed in this very episode because it didn't occur to Cassidy until the last minute to tell him there was a mass-murderer waiting in his apartment.

He tries to make up for it by buying Denis a new HD TV, among other items, after the Saint smashed his old one. This, in addition to getting his fingers sliced apart saving Tulip, proves he's not as bad as he says. Or, at least, that he tries not to be.

Angelville

On the flipside, Jesse takes a huge turn towards darkness. He takes the Saint's guns and locks him inside of the Soul Happy Go Go's armored truck -- I must say, a nice Chekhov's gun -- and drives him out to Angelville. Then he runs the truck straight into the swamp lakes, where it sinks to the bottom. Jesse's neutralized the threat posed by the Saint, but he just crossed a serious line by submitting the Saint to a dark and swampy hell. And the look on his face at the end as he stares at his reflection in the mirror could imply that he knows it too.

Jesse essentially selling part of his soul to the Saint is a very unique idea. On the one hand, it means he and the Saint are connected on a spiritual and cosmic level now. On the other hand, this sacrifice may have just changed Jesse for the worst. He was already dark and haunted before.

We also are left to wonder: Did he not send the Saint to Hell because a part of him (his soul) would be going there too? Does he feel a glimmer of a connection with the Saint, now that a part of one exists within the other? The soul transfer is specifically likened to a kidney transplant. Did Jesse trap the Saint in Angelville -- evidently the source of Jesse's inner demons -- because they share the same soul? Is it Jesse's roundabout way of punishing himself?

Whatever the motivation behind this new form of imprisonment, it's unlikely that something as powerful and relentless as the Saint of Killers will remain submerged for very long. He's going to be even more passionate about getting revenge on the preacher now.

Bits and Pieces:

* "Sokosha" apparently means "armored vehicle" in Japanese. Apt title.

* This show really knows how to start from a point of total bewilderment. I had no idea what was going on at the opening introduction to Soul Happy Go Go.

* When Jesse suggests reading to discover the Saint's weakness, the look on Tulip's face was priceless.

* The Saint's head (greasy hair, beard, dirty hat and all) plastered onto the cover of a bodice-ripper novel was hilarious. Not to say Graham McTavish is bad looking or anything. It's just so not the Saint. I do love that they also incorporated images from the comics in that scene, though.

* I made a mistake in a previous episode where I stated the Saint's wife and child had been murdered. They died of disease.

* Still love the way Genesis is portrayed. Jesse tells the Soul Happy Go Go crew to "Get lost" and all three of them run off in different directions. They aren't just leaving, they are literally going to run until they are lost.

* I like that Tulip's ability to assemble high-explosives on the fly was revisited. She walked Jesse through it over the phone.

* The Saint grabs Tulip by the neck and lifts her off the floor when she tries to reason with him. His touch seems to have chilled her to the bone.

Quotes:

Tulip: What the hell happened between you and this girl?
Jesse: I didn't marry her, Tulip. I can tell you that much.
Burn!

Random Neighbor: (to the Saint of Killers) Don't make me bust you up, man!
Nice reference to Terminator.

Book-on-Tape Recording Lady: We hope you have enjoyed this edition of American Psychopaths. Join us next time on Chapter 58: Dick Cheney.

The Saint of Killers: Keep talking, and maybe I won't lose this bullet in your skull.

Cassidy: All the time in the world, you'd think I'd learn French.
I know the feeling.

Jesse: What is the least I can give?
Soul Dealer: One percent. You won't even miss it.

This felt like a big episode. I guess it's about time. We are about half-way through this season. Four out of four chewable souls.

1 comment:

Heather1 said...

I just love the fact that they're chewable - like Flintstones vitamins.