Preacher “He Gone” Review (Season 1 Episode 7)

Much like Tulip and her vanilla extract, Preacher is really cooking with fire at this point. After the great episode last week, the show continued its streak with the excellent “He Gone,” an episode that explored just how far gone Jesse seems to be.

The accidental damnation of Eugene should’ve been an immediate turning point, a moment for Jesse to realize that the power inside of him is a dangerous, inhuman one. However, that’s not the sort of person Jesse is, and this episode explores what exactly drives Jesse to start rationalizing Eugene’s fate as he continues with his plans for the congregation.

This exploration is done in several ways, starting with a series of flashbacks to Jesse’s childhood. At first, this seems primarily like a chance for the show to give us a look at how far back Jesse and Tulip’s friendship goes. It certainly is, but it’s in service to a bigger story; when Jesse’s father has Tulip taken away by child service, he prays for his dad to die, a wish that comes true in the flashback we’ve seen several times this season.

Jesse blames himself for his father’s death, and it leaves the viewer to wonder if that’s when he truly started down the path of violence and self-destruction that he spent the majority of his life on. If nothing else, it’s something he feels the power of Genesis might allow him to seek atonement for, and that desire has completely clouded his judgement. Never mind that he’s taking away the people’s ability to choose to believe in a God, he just knows he’s bringing them into his service.

Because whatever else, it is clear Jesse believes that he can find some form of forgiveness, however bad his prior sins are. He says as much to Quincannon; when Jesse tells him it’s never too late to make things right with God, it is clear how much he wants to believe it himself. That’s what pushes him to try and renounce Eugene, but he realizes the hypocrisy in that by episode’s end. If he’s somehow still worthy of forgiveness, so is Eugene. And though we don’t see his fate, we hope Jesse felt the same about Cassidy as well.

Some may have been bothered by this episode, feeling that Jesse should’ve immediately begun to try and save Eugene. That he didn’t speaks to what a fascinating character Jesse truly is, and seeing him go through so much denial and self-doubt about it this episode was necessary, even as he threatened to veer deep into irredeemable territory. Hopefully, something can be done, and the wrath of Quincannon can somehow be avoided, in the next episode.

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