Preacher – Pig
By: Kelly Kearney
“Preacher” finally introduced fans to the book’s favorite sadistic maniac Herr Starr (Pip Torrens) and that wasn’t the only shocking discovery in this latest episode. Tulip’s (Ruth Negga) run in with the Saint of Killers (Graham McTavish) left her haunted with the feeling that the end is coming. If flying pigs are a sign of the apocalypse, then Tulip’s fears are right on the money.
Episode 7 begins in a small village in Vietnam where a husband (Long Nguyen) and wife (Jackie Mah) squabble over dinner until something shocks the woman to her core sending her into a screaming meltdown. Enter Herr Starr, a white suit wearing, cloudy one-eyed Bond villain type who’s sent to the village to investigate a bizarre sighting of a group of villagers praying to a floating pig. Pigs don’t normally fly, not even in Vietnam, and the locals take this as a sign of some divine miracle.
Back in New Orleans we see Jesse (Dominic Cooper), Tulip, Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) and Denis (Ronald Guttman) come up empty handed when they search the very last jazz club in the city for God. Outside the club, the sidewalks are littered with intoxicated people being rounded up in the police paddy wagon headed for the drunk tank. With the night still young and no God in sight, the three head to a bar called The Hurt Locker to pull a money scam on some local rough necks. The Hurt Locker must get its name from the fact its patrons run bets where they see how many times someone can get shot and still get up. Tulip, who’s the Queen of the Con, sees this as a great way to make money and get out their yayas. She offers up Cassidy, who she pretends is her boyfriend, to the trigger-happy bar crowd knowing the vampire can take as many bullets as they aim at him. She chooses the biggest gun they offer her and with a long kiss goodbye, in front of an exceedingly jealous Jesse, Cassidy is ready to take the shots. With one massive blast from a hand cannon, Cassidy goes down and Tulip plays the part of the grieving girlfriend while the preacher demands they call the police. Shooting people for bets is as illegal as it gets so the bar quickly clears out, leaving our fearless foursome with free access to all the booze and money in the cash register. As cons go, this one was a good score and thankfully Cassidy brought his own blood bag because even vampires need to heal from taking a blast to the chest. The drinks start to flow and Jesse can’t get over that friendly kiss between his best friend and his girlfriend. Tulip’s in no mood to argue with him over it and they head back to Denis’ apartment, leaving Cassidy and his son to drain the bar dry.
Over way too many pints, Cassidy tries communicating with Denis but his lack of French makes it hard. Thankfully, one patron (Patrick Weathers) wasn’t scared off from the gun slinging con and offers to help translate for Denis and Cassidy. It seems Denis is dying and his last wish is for his father to do right by him by turning him immortal. If Cassidy refuses, Denmis will die hating him, which the vampire admits is how most people in his life die. Cassidy might be a crap father, but he’s not about to turn his son into a vampire. Knowing the life of the undead is no barrel of laughs, Cassidy tells him no and making Denis leave in an angry rant. Being told you’re a failure as a parent is a hard truth to swallow so Cassidy helps it go down by drinking himself into a stupor. Wandering outside the bar, the vampire passes out but when the cops can’t find a pulse, they load him into a a cart labeled “Death” and send him off to the morgue.
Who Is Herr Starr?
Back in Vietnam, Herr Starr is getting his shoes shined while on the phone discussing the flying pig and how-to take care of the situation. This sends him into a flashback to 2004, the day he was hired to “sweep the streets clean of parasites in our society.” The interview process is bizarre to say the least, but the organizer of the men in white, Saltonstall (Fredric Lehne), has a similar ideology as Herr Starr. He’d like to clean up society, but do so in the name of Christianity. To say Herr Starr is a Christian would be ludicrous considering his comments on women being provided for sex and “like a 10-inch dick, I need to see it to believe it,” but he agrees to be a Christian since that’s the organization’s focus. The interview moves on to the physical try outs where Starr, along with a group of men, go through obstacles both cerebral and painful to weed out the men from the boys. Hand to hand combat, manipulations and torture are all a part of determining who is worthy of the white suit. Herr Starr dominates every obstacle they throw at him in the most vulgar and shocking of ways – laughing while his genitals are hooked up to jumper cables, masturbating his way to victory in a fight and lastly shooting his final competitor in the head, proving he will do what it takes to get the job done.
Back to the present, Tulip can’t get the Saint of Killers out of her head since he put the woman in his soulless death grip almost killing her. She’s still holding some resentment towards Jesse for almost getting her and Cassidy killed, especially because she’s haunted by nightmares. Much like Eugene (Ian Colletti) was sentenced to an endless loop of his worst day, Tulip is in her own Hell loop and can’t stop dreaming of fingers raining down like French fries and the cowboy killing her. Whatever was in that death grip, Tulip can’t shake it and it’s starting to effect her mood and choices.
Taking another peak into Herr Starr’s past, the job in the white suit organization is his but he’s not really vibing with their Christian outlook – not until he learns the truth about Jesus. Jesus is not only real but alive and living in a secret location surrounded by armed guards. This piques his interest and his new boss explains that after Jesus’ resurrection he fathered a child. The Holy Grail, which is who Star will be working for, protects the identity of this savior child until the time is right to unleash his power onto the world. That time is quickly approaching since he will reveal himself when humanity needs him the most, at the end of the world. Herr Starr’s job is to eradicate any competition to the Grail’s success, anyone that would give Jesus and his child a run for their money. The grail is as old as Jesus himself and has wiped out everyone from Abraham Lincoln to Jon Belushi – anyone whose greatness dares to shine brighter than the saviors must go. This is a task that Herr Starr can happily get behind and once he’s fitted with his white suit, he tosses the organization’s leader off a building and claims himself the leader of the Grail.
Morgues, bullets and side walk preachers
Cassidy wakes up in the morgue, something that tends to happen often considering he’s a blackout drunk without a pulse. He checks himself out, but is starting to have a change of heart about giving his into Denis’ eternal life request, when he sees a grieving woman (Kelly Lind) cry over the body of a loved one. Could this be the one thing the Vampire does right by his son?
As Cassidy is having an enlightening experience, Tulip is having one of her own at The Hurt Locker. After telling the bar crowd that she and her friends conned them out of their money and booze, Tulip straps on a Kevlar vest and places her bet. A gun is raised and it blasts the small woman across the bar, but at the count of four she gets up and says, “again.” Tulip’s felt dead inside ever since the cowboy put his hands on her and taking a bullet to the chest for cash seems like the right way to test her mortality.
While Tulip is taking bullets to feel alive, Jesse goes to talk to a homeless beggar (John Ales) who prophesizes the end of the world from a local street corner. The two share a bottle and a curb while debating the apocalypse. Jesse is convinced that things like the Cubs winning, Trump in the White House and the reports of flying pigs are proof the end is coming sooner than anyone is prepared for. He asks the corner Doomsday Preacher if he’s heard about the Japanese selling souls? The man responds with, “If you are looking for signs of the apocalypse, I would start with men selling off their souls.”
The episode ends on a gruesome reminder of how the Grail works. Herr Starr is in Vietnam surrounded by the bodies of local villagers. The news reports that the crowd of people were poisoned by contaminated water that also led to their miraculous flying pig. It’s obvious that Starr murdered these people to keep the heat from Jesus’s big reveal so it’s no surprise when he gets his next orders. Herr Starr is headed to New Orleans and there is only one guess who his next target will be – a preacher armed with the power of Genesis is an obstacle for the Grail and Herr Starr needs to deal with him before the end of the world can bend humanity on its knees. Just as Jesse found a way to rid himself of cowboy from Hell, here comes the man in white ready to finish what the Saint of Killers started.