AMC’s Preacher, Season 2, Episode 5: “Dallas”
So it turns out the woman you’re dating is married. Not an ideal situation, to be sure, but please don’t kill the guy. “Dallas” is a mixture of flashbacks of Tulip and Jesse post the events their infamous Dallas heist. It’s a bleak time for the couple after losing the baby. In the present, Jesse deals with his feelings about Tulip having been married, all the while mulling over whether to kill her husband or not as he hangs from the torture room ceiling. And as we can expect, reckless use of Genesis has one guaranteed outcome: the arrival of The Saint of Killers.
After the huge revelation from last week, Jesse is still reeling from the shock. He gives in almost completely to his darker impulses, refusing to even acknowledge Tulip’s pleas to stop as he drags Viktor down to the torture room and straps him to the harness. Using Genesis, he forcibly removes Tulip from the room and continues to beat the ever-living daylights out of Viktor. During his captivity, Viktor does himself absolutely no favors by continuing to call Jesse an “asshole,” though he persists nonetheless. With Viktor at his complete mercy (his gang being frozen in place last episode), Jesse has some time to consider whether he should kill Viktor or not.
In an extended flashback sequence to the time right after the failed “Dallas” heist, we explore the effects of Carlos’s betrayal and Tulip’s subsequent miscarriage. Tulip and Jesse settle down together, giving up the criminal life. Tulip takes a job working for a real estate agent while Jesse spends his days watching TV and goofing off with a low rent pothead named Reggie (for the record, Cassidy is a much better third wheel.) A montage sequence tells us that Tulip and Jesse have been trying relentlessly to have another child and failing night after night. During the day, Jesse debates John Wayne movies with Reggie while Tulip goes to work. At night, they take a pregnancy test; it comes back negative; and then they have sex. At some point, Jesse goes out to get a 6-pack, some cigarettes, and another pregnancy test passing a church on his way. Rinse and repeat.
Ultimately, this facade reveals several fractures at its core and eventually collapses. Jesse starts to spiral deeper and deeper into depression as the montage plays out. The cycle stops, however, when Jesse find out that Tulip has actually gotten back into criminal world, having only lasted 3 weeks as a realtor’s assistant and, on top of all of that, Jesse finds out that she’s been taking birth control this whole time. All of this leads to a huge confrontation that results in a less desirable outcome for Reggie, surprisingly. Jesse decides to go back to Annville and take over the church that his father left to him. Tulip starts working for New Orleans mob boss Viktor, who she later ends up marrying. One day, she gets a call about the whereabouts of the traitor Carlos and leaves Viktor. Thus the events of Season 1 are set into motion.
Tulip brings Viktor’s daughter to Dennis’s house, safely out of the war path of an angry Preacher. Right away she repays Cassidy for spilling the beans to Jesse with a swift punch to the nose. Cassidy offers to make up for what he did by going to talk Jesse out of killing Viktor. Of course, that turns out to be a little easier said than done. In the end, Jesse questions why he should ever trust Cassidy again given that he kept Tulip’s secret from him (which I’m sure will be very relevant in deciding whether he should ever tell Jesse about him and Tulip.) Jesse comes to his senses, however, and settles for signed divorce papers instead of, you know, death.
And all is well. That is, until The Saint of Killers shows up at Viktor’s house and murders him and everyone there except for his daughter. After little hesitation, she tells the Saint that she knows where the Preacher is, sparing her life for the time being.
This is a great episode. We have been teased throughout Preacher about Jesse’s darker side, and it was on full display in “Dallas.” It’s also nice that things keep rolling right from where we left off last episode, with Jesse drowning out everything and giving into his rage. There’s an intense tension that I’m almost surprised breaks so early on and heads into the flashbacks, considering how fast things were progressing before Tulip is forced out of the torture room with Genesis.
I don’t know who they’ve got working on the montages in this show, but they really like to hammer it home. I mentioned last time about the Eugene montage earlier in the season that shied away from the lengthy duration, but the Jesse spiral downward into depression one eats up a lot of time. I will say, though, that the end result does drive home the point that the time just before Jesse becomes a Preacher is not all roses, to say the least.
Cassidy is such a great character. In this episode, he gets an added layer of depth that I didn’t expect. First he seems so genuine in his concern over Tulip’s well-being, which is his reason for why he told Jesse about Viktor. But you could also interpret it as him playing on Jesse’s emotions in order to drive a wedge between Tulip and Jesse because of his feelings for Tulip (as she implies when she confronts him.) When Cassidy talks to Jesse later, you can also interpret that in two ways, too. Either he is continuing to play on Jesse’s emotions in order to get him to kill Viktor, knowing that would be the end of his relationship with Tulip. Or maybe he tried to cool Jesse down by playing up the evil vampire bit in order to get the Preacher to back off of going down the road that a vampire would. In any event, it’s great TV and I can’t wait to see this bomb go off.
The flashback sequence really gets into the mindset of Jesse and Tulip from Season 1. I expected that season 2 would largely try to avoid touching on the events of the first, but I am pleasantly surprised that they go back and address some things. Jesse from season 1 makes much more sense in retrospect, considering the events after the montage. You also can see that Tulip is hopelessly in love with Jesse, taking any opportunity to go back to him. She seemed to have the life she wanted with Viktor (you know, wife of a gangster) only to run back as soon as the chance arrived.
All I can say is, more Preacher please! Also more Cassidy. In hindsight, he’s always telling people how terrible he is. Maybe we are about to find out just how true that is. With The Saint of Killers closing in on the trio much sooner than I expected, it seems like a face-off is inevitable and there’s still no way to stop that guy. Here’s hoping for something to even the odds.