‘Preacher’ Recap: “Monster Swamp” – Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door

     June 19, 2016


(Spoiler Policy Regarding the ComicsPreacher recaps will steer clear of comic spoilers in the main text, but for comic readers or those interested in learning more, there’s a “Comic Issues” section at the bottom that deals with specifics. As always, be respectful of fellow fans and avoid spoilers in the comments).

Our new episode of Preacher begins with quite the strange scene, with scantily clad women running from a group of armed men. As I had mentioned in previous recaps, Preacher could make for one heck of a horror movie if it went in that direction. Of course, not all is as it seems and it turns out the women were simply denizens of the brothel, playing a twisted game of paintball with workers from the Quincannon Meat Packing Plant. During the scuffle however, one of the girls, Lacey, falls into a ridiculously deep hole and dies in from the fall. This eventually results in the police, along with Odin Quincannon, pulling up the girl’s body and exclaiming to the crowd of callgirls, and employees that they need to watch where they step at night. Jackie Earle Haley gives his best performance during this episode, presenting a Napoleonic complex that’s only overshadowed by his dramatic temper. Of course, he harbors a dark secret, which seems to be a trend among most of the cast.


Image via AMC

But it is Jesse’s backstory that is brought to light in this episode more so than the others, showing how his dark side overtook his childhood, balanced out by a strict and rigid father who acted as the town preacher before him. These are much-needed scenes to get us inside Jesse’s head a little bit more, though I wish there had been more time dedicated to them. Jesse currently has a newfound passion in attempting to bring his congregation to “the light,” dragging poor Emily into his fresh plan. Emily continues to be a strange addition to the series, acting as something of a doormat to Jesse, clearly harboring hidden pain and resentment for her life as a single mother and having discrete one night stands with the town’s mayor. She doesn’t appear to have any hook or character traits that have you wondering what her adventures will be from week to week, so perhaps she was created to simply eat up time? I can understand the need for normalcy in a show with Irish vampires and angels, but I wish they’d made Emily a more dynamic character if they’re going to devote so much time to her.

As was the case with the first three episodes, Cassidy continues to be a runaway train of enjoyment. After unsuccessfully attempting to inform Jesse of the angels vying for the power inside of him, good ole Cass returns to the angelic duo and asks for some money as a reward for bringing Preacher to them. Cassidy hasn’t been the most trustworthy character so far, stealing money for liquor and drugs and almost leaving Jesse to his death underneath a chainsaw, so during his conversation with the angels, viewers should definitely worry for Jesse. However, the fantastic swerve of Cassidy playing them to merely have an outlet for more drugs and booze is a great one. The Irish vampire’s trail of debauchery leads him on a path, accidentally mind you, into the arms of Tulip after she mistakes him for a man with whom she had an axe to grind. That’s right, Tulip knocks Cassidy out a window with a golf club and has to rush him to the hospital thinking that he’s about to bleed to death.


Image via AMC

On the way to the hospital, Cassidy manages to take full advantage of the situation by asking Tulip to kiss him as he apparently lays dying. Outside of the emergency room, Cass gives Tulip the slip for a moment before chowing down on a smorgasbord of blood samples stowed away nearby. Cass and Tulip have a long history in the comics, and while their meeting here is different, I’d say it rivals if not surpasses the event from the books. Since these two are far and away the strongest part of the series so far, their interactions should make for some great TV moving forward.

Meanwhile, Jesse confronts Odin Quincannon, seeing him as something of a giant hurdle to overcome: the big man in town who has turned his back on God. Ultimately, Jesse gives a proposition to Odin that if he can attend one of his sermons and not bend to God’s will, then he’ll give Quincannon the church to do with as he wishes. What ultimately happens is far more interesting than the build up, with Custer using his power to force Odin to “serve God.” What makes this so interesting, and quite like a wish from a monkey’s paw, is that we will get to see how Quincannon will interpret this command. Who does Odin see as his “God”? How exactly does he interpret “serving” him? This should make for an interesting series of events to be sure.

Our episode finishes with the angels receiving a phone call from heaven, terrified at whether or not they should answer. Ultimately, this episode was a solid one, though still rough around the edges. Cassidy stating in the beginning of the latest installment that this is all inevitably leading to a “roadtrip” hints at the insanity to come, and hopefully it’s worth waiting for.

Rating: ★★★ Good


Image via AMC


– The series still has the best soundtrack on television right now, that’s for sure.

– Cassidy’s outfit to protect him from sunlight continues to be hilarious.

– Jesse: “Is that an apple pipe?”
Cassidy: “Yes, but that’s not what this is about.”

– Madame: “What’d you expect? It’s Chinatown.”

– Angel: “When will you be back?”
Cassidy: “Soon.”
Angel: “Be specific.”
Cassidy: “Very soon.”

– Cassidy: “You were right though, I think I’m gonna make it.”

– Jesse: “I ask you now, will you serve God?”
Odin: “Nope!”


– Well this should be a long one! In this episode, we’re given perhaps our biggest changes to the core characters yet, with vast differences to both Jesse and Tulip’s backstories. Jesse’s dad being a preacher is so odd, as this was never the case in the comics. At first, I believed that this could possibly be the hand of Grandma and Co., forcing him to act as town Preacher. This seems pretty hard to believe at this point though with his whipping of Jesse. John Custer’s backstory was such an instrumental part of the series that it seems like a misstep to change it, but we’ll have to wait and see on this one.

– Tulip’s backstory change is also disheartening. I think a big part of what made Tulip so different was her mundane upbringing, raised by a father who had always wanted a son and so he raised Tulip as one. Here, having Tulip grow up in a brothel with her mother working there is such a huge change that it’s difficult to wrap my head around why they’d go in that direction.

– Was the hole Lacey fell into the cave that holds the Saint of Killer’s undisturbed body? Maybe…

– So when Jesse walks past Quincannon’s door horrified as a child, did he catch a glimpse of the “meat woman”? That’s my guess.


Image via AMC


Image via AMC


Image via AMC