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Preacher Recap: In ‘Holes,’ ‘It Can Always, Always Get Worse’

by  in TV Reviews Comment
Preacher Recap: In ‘Holes,’ ‘It Can Always, Always Get Worse’

“Holes” might not be everyone’s favorite episode of Preacher. Actually, it definitely won’t be for the vast majority of Preacher fans who dislike the show’s occasionally glacial pace. Nothing much happens in “Holes” that moves the plot forward. We just spend the hour sitting with our main characters as they attempt to process their current realities. It’s one of the most honest episodes the show has ever produced, though, and the acting is powerhouse. Bottom line? This show is as good at contemplation as it is at shootouts.

Tulip is still reeling from her experience with the Saint. She accompanies Jesse to a Circuit World (think Best Buy) where he’s taking the God tape to see if a serial number can be seen on the gun used to kill FakeGod/Mark Harelik. She’s still largely uninterested in the search for God (a fact that is not lost on Jesse and is really starting to get under his skin), but she is committed to getting Denis a new fridge, considering the old one has a bullet hole in it. She buys one, has it installed and proceeds to patch up the bullet holes in Denis’ walls and those of his neighbors. The last door she knocks on is the door to an apartment rented by Featherstone and Hoover (Julie Ann-Emery and Malcolm Barrett), who are staking the trio out. Featherstone achieves another feat of disguise to answer the door, seamlessly inserting herself into Tulip’s life as an abuse victim worried about her ex. At first, it looks like Tulip is suspicious of the woman’s story, but by the end of their interaction she’s inviting her to go get shot in the chest at the hurt locker. It’d be really sweet if it weren’t based on bullshit, but what are you gonna do?

While Tulip’s trying to put the pieces of her well-being back together, Jesse spends the day at Circuit World, still oblivious to his lover’s troubles. He’s still totally wrapped up in the search for God and the hopelessness of the endeavor, but unfortunately his efforts are still in vain for the time being. He gives the gents at Circuit World the DVD of Mark Harelik’s audition tape and asks them to find the serial number on the gun barrel used to murder the actor. The employees misunderstand him and erase the serial number thinking Jesse’s a murderer trying to cover his tracks. By the time Jesse makes it clear to them that he is not, in fact, the guy holding the smoking gun, it’s too late. They’ve erased any identifying marks on the tape — hilariously, in his frustration, Jesse storms out and the employees shred the DVD, totally oblivious to the “Property of Grail Industries” label on the side of the disk. #Oops

But Jesse and Tulip are B-plot this week, if we’re totally honest. “Holes” is really an episode about Cassidy and Eugene. The latter finally learns just how bad Hell can really get, and the former is stuck in a Hell of his own making.

Eugene’s cell block is still malfunctioning, and the Warden (Amy Hill) confirms our suspicions — the malfunctions are due to the presence of someone in Hell that doesn’t belong. She confronts the cell block and asks the infiltrator to show themselves, but Eugene thinks twice before admitting it’s him. Good thing, too, because it’s not long before Eugene learns firsthand what the Hole is. They say no good deed goes unpunished, and in Hell, that’s especially true. Anyone caught doing something nice or considerate gets sent to the Hole — a cell that features the offender’s worst memory intensified. Eugene relives his encounter with Tracy, but this time she embraces his kiss. They have a moment of perfect happiness until she reveals that Eugene should’ve talked to her sooner about his feelings because she’s already promised herself to God. Then Jesse walks out of her bathroom and identifies himself as Tracy’s new boyfriend. They start to make out, we all vomit a little and Eugene shoots himself again. It’s rough. Luckily, Eugene isn’t condemned there for long, and once he’s put back in gen pop, Hitler reveals he’s been hatching an escape plan…

Things don’t go as well for Cassidy, however. He spends the episode wrestling with how to help his dying son, and what we learn by the end of his journey is that there’s no right answer. We see Denis’ birth through flashbacks and Cassidy’s happiness at the arrival of his new son. We don’t get to learn why Cassidy was an absent father, but it’s pretty clear he was never really equipped. In the present, he nurses his ill prodigy and Joe Gilgun is masterful at communicating the gentle side of Cassidy’s nature throughout all of it. Tulip and Jesse are still too lost in their own drama to really be there for their vampire buddy, but Tulip at least asks how he is at one point. Cassidy’s response is a heartbreaking monologue about the benefits of immortality, but also, ultimately, it’s curse. He’s lived too long for anything to amuse him anymore. Drugs barely work, he’s seen so much of humanity that nothing is a surprise to him and he watches all of his friends and family die around him.

But, at the end of the day, Cassidy has a very, very good heart, and he can’t watch his son suffer. We don’t see the transformation actually happen, but the episode ends on him returning to Denis’ apartment heavy with the intention of finally being the father his son wants, despite the fact that it might not be the right thing to do.

We’ll what comes of it…

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