Preacher “South Will Rise Again” Review (Season 1 Episode 5)

Preacher bounced back strong this week with a much more entertaining, exciting hour of television. “South Will Rise Again” pushed all of the show’s various plot threads along well, while also putting the elements in place for the celestial conflict to really start heating up.

Jesse Custer means well. He’s been granted an enormous power, one that he could easily exploit for far more selfish and destructive reasons. While it’s true he’s doing what he’s doing in an ongoing attempt to atone for past mistakes, he’s at least trying to do good in his community. The problem is that he’s taking the easy way out, giving the cosmic rubber stamp to the ills of his congregation.

Some of this situations don’t seem too dangerous, like Jesse telling a man to be patient with his mother-in-law. However, Ted’s suicide in the first episode shows that what Jesse says isn’t always going to be interpreted in the way he means. It makes the bigger commands he gives all the more unpredictable; Quinncannon’s decision to murder a group of businessmen that closes out the hour is somehow, in his mind, a way to serve God. Jesse can give commands, but he can’t fundamentally change the people he’s giving them to.

Of course, Jesse’s yet to realize this, and there’s no telling if his visit from Fiore and DeBlanc will actually convince him of anything. He thinks he’s in the right, and he’s failed to listen to anyone else’s warnings as a result. Tulip is stricken with a similarly one-track mind, though Cassidy only serves to further inspire her vengeful side. The dynamic between these two continues to be one of the best on the show, and watching them talk about Jesse without ever actually realizing they both knew him was a lot of fun. Their love-making session at the end of the hour, meanwhile, is likely to add further complications when the core trio finally spend some time together.

This episode also offered plenty of entertaining asides, including the scenes of Fiore and DeBlanc rehearsing what they’ll say on the phone and Donny being chastised by his wife. The highlight, though, was the flashback to the Saint of Killers in the Old West. It’s still not immediately obvious what role this character is going to play – unless you’ve read the comic, of course – but his scenes work well to show how lawless things used to be and showing that Annville still operates on a lot of the same principles.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments!