Preacher: 2.03 Damsels
Listening to jazz, downing whiskey, and beating the shit out of blasphemers: welcome to a fairly normal night for Jesse Custer. Taking a break from the Saint of Killers story, Damsels is a relatively tame episode that does a good job of introducing, or at least strongly referencing, two major antagonists that will undoubtedly cause trouble for Preacher, Tulip, and Cassidy.
But first, we finally witnessed Arseface's fateful -- um, let's call it encounter -- with Tracy Loach. The first season strongly hinted that Eugene shot Tracy before turning the shotgun to himself, but it really never made sense considering how sweet and considerate he is. And as it turns out, Tracy actually wanted to kill herself! You see, Tracy's boyfriend was caught cheating, and she couldn't stand to think what would happen to her reputation. Eugene successfully talks her down, but when he tries to kiss her, she actually says "ew," and as if she couldn't sink any lower than to be liked by someone with his status, quickly decides to pull the trigger.
That really changes Eugene's dynamic, because now we know that Tracy doesn't deserve as much pity as we've been giving her (although nobody deserves to be in her position), but Eugene most definitely doesn't belong in Hell, reliving those terrible couple of minutes for eternity. In actuality, Arseface become a little less dimensional and more of a straightforward sweetheart. But I'm not any less excited for his journey through Hell, especially since he'll be grouping up with Hitler.
Back in New Orleans, while Preacher is on a manhunt (Godhunt?), Cassidy tries to figure out why Tulip: a) brutally murdered a guy in a hotel, and b) is so desperate to leave New Orleans. It's certainly disconcerting to see Tulip, a woman who can take down helicopters with homemade bazookas, so terrified. Victor will make is debut next episode, and hopefully he can live up to the expectations I have for him.
Fans of the Preacher comics have been dying to see a certain Herr Starr make his appearance, and we finally are introduced to him and his organization. That they apparently know that God is missing, and now that torch singer/master of espionage Lara Featherstone has bamboozled Preacher, Starr knows that Jesse Custer is on God's trail. At this point, we know essentially nothing about the villain, except that he is physically unsettling and remarkably powerful.
There are villains galore in Damsels, but my favorite part is how the episode solidifies the camaraderie between the three protagonists. All three of them have the chance to betray the others -- Cassidy is head over heels for Tulip and Preacher was being seduced by a very beautiful woman -- but all three of them remain faithful to each other. In such a wild, bloody, dark show, it's reassuring to see people that actually care about and trust one another.