Preacher: 2.12 On Your Knees
The following review contains full spoilers for the twelfth episode of Preacher season two.
After a season filled with long-gestating story lines, On Your Knees is one of those episodes where everything comes to a head. All of the major characters were in some way profoundly affected by what they did, or what happened to them, in one fast-moving and fun hour.
Eugene is finally close to escaping Hell (with Hitler regrettably in tow), and his final interaction with his worst memory, in which he confronts all of his demons, is a fairly satisfying end to an arc that sometimes felt like a hindrance. It's a bit confusing how he was supposed to prove that he was a good person, but in actuality, he just revealed the evils of other people. I'm not sure if the justification was completely sound, but it was a compelling scene nonetheless.
Then, of course, was the somewhat-anticipated return of the Saint of Killers, who hasn't been gone long enough to generate tons of excitement but is definitely a welcome return. His reintroduction included a bunch of scenes that we had already seen in the past, which felt a little unnecessary, but the short moments where the Saint tried to be a good person were nice details, even if they reiterated aspects of his character that we already knew.
Another interesting new facet of the Saint: he became very talkative upon reentry. The man of few words suddenly walked in like Bill Shakespeare, dropping some loquacious monologues and creeping the hell out of Jesse. Luckily for the Preacher, Hell's troops walked in at just the right time to save his scalp from removal (that brief sound was just as disturbing as the Saint described it) and takes the Saint back where he belongs. While the idea of more scenes in Hell isn't very appealing, I will be interested to see what Satan looks like. Maybe he will be as surprising as Preacher MVP Humperdoo.
Meanwhile, our main trio gets a little more time to have wonderful chemistry together before Herr Starr informs Tulip and Cassidy of Jesse's soon-to-be messianic status. While his friends want him to stay with them, Jesse has always had a serious problem with power and the idea of redemption. In fact, he and the Saint of Killers aren't very different; both of them want to be good for once. However, in some strange twist of fate, the Saint recognizes that it simply won't happen, while our hero remains completely oblivious to his flaws.
Ironically, Preacher's protagonist is also one of its least-likable characters. Tulip and Cassidy's eventual hookup has been very plainly telegraphed for most of this season, and its inevitability doesn't spark the feelings of shock that I think the creators want to capture. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Cassidy and Tulip are cute, and Jesse is an all-around limp noodle.
Now that the Pope, in publicly declaring that God is missing, has made it necessary to introduce the Messiah to the concerned masses, Jesse's transformation into God is almost upon us. I can't say that I was expecting his quest for God to lead here, although his behavior since the first season should've raised some serious warning flags. How will Preacher adapt to the fact that Cassidy and Tulip have gone their own route, while Jesse accepts the position of the most powerful being in existence? It's a strange dynamic that, like season one, lacks an obvious resolution. The stage is set for this show to continue being interesting, despite its flaws.