Overall, the slower pace of “Preacher” the AMC TV series when compared to “Preacher” the comic book has proven to be a good thing. In addition to making the admittedly unbelievable story feel believable, it’s given room for the characters to grow early on, to transcend their often crude (if eventually rich) depictions on Garth Ennis’ and Steve Dillon’s pages.
But from a pure pacing standpoint, there are bound to be some sagging moments in a show where an entire season equals three or four issues of the source material. That’s the inevitability that hangs over “The Possibilities,” an episode that maintains the comically bleak tone and piss-and-vinegar character work of the installments before it, but never truly advances the plot until the final moments.
That means a lot of Tulip trying (and failing) to get Jesse back into her unsavory line of work, plus a couple additional flashbacks to their former life of crime together. It means more of Eugene trying (and failing) to actually have a substantial conversation with his dad. In means more of Jesse trying (and somewhat succeeding) to figure out how he really wants to use his new powers.
That last dilemma proves to be the most interesting. After going back and forth on whether to use his ironclad commands for human goodness or personal vengeance, Jesse seems to finally settle on the righteous path after he can’t bring himself to force suicide on Odin’s right-hand(less) man, Donnie. Once again, this doesn’t mean he won’t relapse and speak supernaturally out of anger or selfishness, but he now seems fully aware of his power and how dangerous it is. As far as a standard episode of television goes, this is all fine and good — the show is young enough that it’s still entertaining to simply spend time with the characters.
But a sense of restlessness also starts to creep in around the halfway point, when the angels encounter Cassidy (again) on their way to remove the mysterious force from Jesse (again). We finally get some explanation on where they’re from, but it’s doubtful that the three main cast members will embark on his central quest (which I’ll continue to keep secret for anyone who hasn’t read the comics) until all has been revealed about their backstory. In the first trade, “Gone to Texas,” that exposition happens far too fast, so maybe there’s a happy medium between the television and comic-book format. As the other episodes have proved, “Preacher” is more than capable of covering a lot of ground, even as it takes its time.
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