AMC’s Preacher, Season 2, Episode 6: “Sokosha”
Am I the only one picking up on a serious David Lynch vibe up front here? Maybe it’s because I’ve been watching a lot of Twin Peaks lately, but that cold open was such a strange yet intriguing (Lynchian) way to start off an episode. Not only does the concept of soul extraction sound super enticing, it pays off so well by the end of the episode. I also love Jesse’s development this episode. He continues to become a more intriguing character as season two plays out. And the cherry on top of everything is we get to actually hear The Saint of Killers say something more than just, “Preacher,” and hell, he even finally gets to ride in an actual moving vehicle.
We start off in an extended scene of a Japanese man soliciting a couple for a minimum of 10% of something that they possess. The man tells the couple anything that they give over 10% would result in their payment being doubled. The couple reluctantly signs off on this procedure and the Japanese man extracts a clear fluid from the leg of the husband. Afterwards, the man takes the clear liquid, stores it in a briefcase, and gives the couple $150,000 before boarding an armored truck. The liquid is taken to a wealthy man who purchases it after it is confirmed as a match for his seemingly mentally challenged wife. After they determine that the sample is a “close enough” match, the man compresses the liquid into a chewable tablet that the woman takes. After a few moments, she seems to have fully recovered from her disability.
Back at Dennis’s, Tulip makes a healthy breakfast of pancakes (filled with the entirety of the toppings bar from an overrated froyo place.) While engaging in a hard to follow three way argument, Jesse notices a bullet pierce through the fridge. The bullet is, of course, fired by The Saint of Killers, who Viktor’s daughter has led straight to Jesse (well, close enough.) Once in the apartment complex, The Saint of Killers starts going door to door killing people in his search for preacher. By the time he reaches Dennis’s apartment door, the gang has already escaped out the window.
Jesse decides it might be a good idea to figure how to stop The Saint of Killers once and for all. They head to the library to read as much lore as they can on The Saint of Killers (which is apparently an old folk tale in this world.) They discover that The Saint of Killers was a ruthless killer known originally as the “Butcher of Gettysburg” (this guy really has the market cornered on menacing bad guy names.) After serving in the Confederate army, he falls in love with a woman and they have child together, during which time he finally finds peace. After his wife and child die to fever, however, The Saint of Killers goes ballistic on the neighboring town, killing everyone man, woman, and child there. Ultimately, he’s sent to Hell where he is forced to relive the nightmare of the day over and over as we saw in Season 1.
The trio decides to use The Saint’s desire to be with his wife and daughter again against him. Proposing a deal with The Saint of Killers, Jesse agrees to find him a soul with which he can use to get him into Heaven, where he assumes his wife and daughter are. The Saint of Killers agrees, provided he gets him the soul in an hour. He will keep Tulip, Cassidy, and Dennis (who we discover is actually Cassidy’s son) as hostages until Jesse retrieves the soul. We finally learn what that man in the cold open was doing: he was extracting a human soul and selling it off to wealthy consumers (and netting a pretty healthy profit in the process.) After using Genesis on a couple of cops, Jesse is able to get into the armored vehicle and force the Japanese man to find a matching soul for The Saint of Killers. Unfortunately, they are not able to find a suitable match for The Saint, that is, until they discover that Jesse is actually a match (go figure.)
Soul in hand, Jesse makes it back to The Saint just in the nick of time before Tulip is stabbed, but right after Cassidy loses his fingers in the same near fatal attack. The Saint eats the encapsulated soul only to realize that by gaining a soul, he’s now susceptible to Genesis. Jesse takes advantage of this and traps The Saint of Killers in the armored truck, which he promptly drives into a remote swamp. The Saint tries to escape, screaming “Preacher!” as the truck submerges into the water.
“Sokosha” is a very strong episode in a season that continues to deliver. I was particularly enthralled by the cold open and the way it’s tied back into the main story. It all just really works for me. Introducing such a new concept like soul extraction into a show that already has so many magical elements is a risky choice but, in the end, I think Preacher would do well to continue taking these kinds of risks.
One thing I’ve been looking forward to seeing in Preacher is more back story and depth into The Saint of Killers: check. I also thought it important that they find a way to slow down his pursuit of Jesse significantly: check. There’s honestly not a whole lot to complain about with this episode. It’s actually surprising that we get a confrontation like this between Jesse and The Saint of Killers so soon. It is kinda worrying that, with our primary protagonist disposed of for the moment, the show will start running on fumes heading towards the season finale. Who’s to say, though? It’s definitely possible that The Saint of Killers comes back this season (nigh probable) or maybe we’ll just deal with the new villain that was teased back in episode 2 (the creepy looking guy in a white suit.) In any event, Preacher may be taking a page out of Marvel’s Netflix series playbook (for better or for worse) and essentially splitting the season between multiple different story arcs, which hasn’t always worked out so great. But you know what? This was a great episode, so count me among the cautiously optimistic.
So Cassidy’s a dad? I don’t know how I didn’t see this coming, but it’s never been made clear whether or not vampires could procreate in this universe (in some mythology, they can’t.) Honestly, he could have hundreds of kids, unless he had Dennis back before he was turned into a vampire. Cassidy is just an interesting character that needs more screen time. We keep getting teases of what his backstory might be and I hope we are gearing up for at least one meaty Cassidy episode (God willing.) Jesse’s douchebaggery last episode will come back to bite him, and his refusal to apologize to Cassidy for what he said to him will highlight the beginnings of a huge rift brewing between them. This looming fracture seems poised to be a hard one to overcome for the two mates.
Finally, let us all rejoice, Dennis lives yet another day. “Sokosha” has a lot to offer and, for me, is one of the best of the season so far. If I have to gripe about something, it’d be the way in which Jesse and Tulip rebound from the events of last episode so easily. Yeah, sure, Jesse didn’t kill Viktor, but come on, Tulip, he got pretty close (not to mention the psychological damage that little girl must be dealing with now.) Tulip does seem to let Jesse get away with a lot, but where is the line if he didn’t get close to crossing it last episode?
I am somewhat worried about the prospect of there being no major obstacle to overcome heading into the back half of the season. They will almost definitely cook something up, but I’m not sure there’s enough time to let the fuse burn for a proper explosion. However, while Jesse has bested The Saint of Killers, the cost to do so may have been too high. Time will tell but, without a fully intact soul, Jesse’s may start to going down an even darker road. Maybe he’ll live long enough to see himself become the villain.