Drowning in the Disappointing “Monster Swamp” on Preacher

Let me start off by saying that Episode 4 of Preacher gave us two amazing scenes. One was the shot of that sweet, sweet Annville Hotel sign. I need to own that somehow. The other magic moment was Tommy saying, “She’s poopin’,” in regards to his mother when Jesse asks if Emily is home. That was amazing. Sadly, those were the highlights of last night’s episode. (Spoilers ahead.)


I’m a book loyalist. I know this. But I don’t think it’s unfair to be more than a little choked that the AMC version of John Custer is a total a-hole. Really? The guy was pure love and rock solid goodness in the novels. He was Jesse’s hero for god’s sake. That flashback to him beating Jesse made me throw my remote. Oh, and not to mention the fact that a young Tulip was among a group of children watching this beating happen behind the church. As the saying goes – WTF?

Here’s my beef. Considering in the books, the “thing” (I won’t spoil what that is just yet, in case by some miracle it is accurately revealed later) living inside Jesse blows up the church and kills the entire town when it enters him, from the get-go this show has been a stretch. Timelines and character lines have been blurred from the start, but I was open and willing to go with that flow. They nailed the general vibe in the first 2 episodes. Even after last week’s episode (“The Possibilities”) I was still the tiniest bit optimistic, clinging to a scrap of hope that they may somehow veer back onto the right path this week. But now? The lines seem blurred beyond recognition.

Tulip’s a borderline sadist, Jesse is a control freak with daddy issues, and Cassidy is… well, actually kind of an OK guy. These are not the characters we know! Not to mention the pool of people in the same place at the same time that should never meet at all, let alone in a church in Annville that shouldn’t technically even exist anymore. It’s starting to feel like someone threw Preacher into a blender. Naturally there would be changes. It was never going to be a mirrored translation to TV. But aside from the title and certain characters’ names, I feel like Preacher is unrecognizable.


There were some funny moments, and as always the cinematography was phenomenal. In general, though, I’m disappointed. But, because I can’t ever seen to fully give up on anything, I’m hoping somehow this is all rolling out this way for some purpose, some greater good I can’t quite see. Hoping maybe the season as a whole will feel better than each of the individual episodes, that it will all make sense and come together in a satisfactory and even remotely loyal way. We shall see.

I’m torn, man. I’m torn. Will I watch next week? Yes. Damn it, I will. But mostly because Andy Burns is making me.


Check out a preview for “Episode 5: South Will Rise Again” (airing June 26) below.



2 Replies to “Drowning in the Disappointing “Monster Swamp” on Preacher”

  1. Agreed, particularly about the father. One thing I liked about the books is that it very subversively affirmed traditional American values like fatherhood, patriotism, loyalty (big one), etc. Falling back on the tired TV trope of the jerky father seems to have missed the point. I will say two things – Jackie Earle Haley is a terrific actor, and you want your Shazam app open for the entire episode.

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