Preacher “Sundowner” Review (Season 1 Episode 6)

“Sundowner” is easily the best episode of Preacher since the premiere, a quick-moving rush of an hour that features great character work, big movements in the ongoing plot, and one hell of an opening action scene. From start to finish, this was a stellar episode of television, one that sets Jesse up for an inevitable fall before season’s end.

Because there’s no way things turn out alright for Jesse, not after what goes down in this episode. Sure, there’s already been plenty of evidence that things are headed south, given how wrong Jesse’s powers have gone in the past – not to mention what happens in the comics – but this episode is where his ego grows too big. Even after his sit down with Fore and DeBlanc, he remains convinced that he has this power for a reason.

But really, it’s more that he sees it as an opportunity to make up for his own failings in life, to do something good by saving the town. The problem is that it’s left him unable to understand how much damage he’s really doing by allowing the finally named Genesis to inhabit him. He sees it as a being of angels, but it’s got just as much of its demonic parent in him. That destructive force comes out at the end of the hour, when a heated Jesse inadvertently sends Eugene to Hell.

And poor Eugene. Even with the “forgiveness” he experienced last week, a sense of dread was hanging over him the entire episode. It’s a feeling exploited by his subplot this week with the other kids now treating him kindly, a dread that mounts in each scene. Of course, in the past, there’s no doubt they would’ve led him to that tunnel to beat him up or pull some other cruel prank.

Thanks to Jesse, though, they’re willing to include him again, but Eugene feels it’s not a forgiveness he can get by cheating. Jesse disagrees and, well, it’s straight to damnation for Eugene. It’s a tragic moment, but one that will hopefully inspire Jesse to reconsider what he’s doing and, at least to some extent, to listen to Fiore and DeBlanc’s warnings.

All of the character work this week, including the scenes between Emily and Tulip, was great, but special mention also has to go to the hotel room fight with a seraphim at the top of the hour. With three combatants capable of returning from the dead, it made for a brutal, bloody throw down full of creative kills, frantic camera work, and even some surprise moments like Cassidy’s unhelpful intervention. Much like the church fight earlier this season, the show has again shown it’s able to pull off some truly impressive action scenes alongside the quieter character moments.

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