Preacher: 2.04 Viktor
The following review contains full spoilers for the fourth episode of Preacher.
If nothing good ever comes from Preacher again, at least I can say that this latest episode, Viktor, gave me two experiences that I never thought I would have: I remembered that Frankie Muniz is still a person, and, in an obvious case of empathy training, I momentarily started to feel kind of bad for Adolf Hitler.
For the first time this season, Eugene played a prominent role in this hour, as the technical malfunction in his little portion of Hell forced him to interact with some of the other damned souls, including Hitler, who seems to have been somewhat reformed, or at least a bit regretful, after decades of reliving his worst memory on repeat. We get to see the beginning of that memory, which doesn't seem that bad -- pre-Fuhrer Hitler is on a date with a pretty lady -- but we can assume it gets darker from there.
As cool as Preacher's concept of Hell is, the place turns out to be less interesting than I thought it would be. While it's sad (and a little jarring) to see Eugene stop being a good person in order to save his skin, I found that the place and its inhabitants weren't gripping enough to warrant as much screen time as they get. For the sake of the meatier plots going on above-ground, this portion of Eugene's story should be resolved sooner rather than later.
While it seemed like this episode's titular character would pose a very serious, episodes-long threat to Tulip, that conflict makes big strides this episode, with some cool action sequences, including that awesome fight involving a hanging corpse, a taser, and "Uptown Girl." We now also know why Tulip didn't want to marry Jesse: it seems that after they lost their child, Tulip moved to New Orleans and got hitched to Viktor. I would guess that Preacher will be a little upset about this new development.
The best part of Viktor was Preacher and Cassidy's search for the actor who played God in the season one finale. The Hurricane Katrina commercial with Frankie Muniz, the Game of Thrones referencing conversation with a cocky agent, and audition tape was the exact kind of quirky storytelling that Preacher thrives on.
Last season's back half suffered from a lack of humor and slow pacing. This episode showed signs of that, even though it also had its fun moments. There's still a lot on Preacher's plate -- Viktor, the return of the Saint of Killers, Herr Starr -- but it needs to keep things moving and, most importantly, make sure it doesn't take any of it too seriously. If there's a show wacky enough to show Hitler getting his ass kicked in Hell, I don't really want to feel bad watching it happen.