Preacher: He Gone – Careful What You Pray For (Review)


Things have gotten ugly in Preacher since last week’s  serio-comic episode that ended with the shocking “demise” of Eugene (Arseface).  There is a lot of backstory in “He Gone” and it explains much about Jesse Custer, Tulip and the preacher’s relationship with his father. It also proves the “power of prayer.” The message is simple “Be careful of what you pray for,” it may just come true.

In ways you will not like.

The intro shows Jesse upset by what has happened to Eugene but denying it.  The preacher is also isolating himself. As the episode progresses this cutting off of friends and colleagues gets worse. As does his guilt for what he did to the Root boy.

Interestingly enough, Quincannon shows up telling Custer to sign over his church. Telling Jesse that he is not a Christian and that he has won the bet. Custer refuses. This revelation is not news to us, we did, after all, witness his slaughter of the Green Acres reps.

What is surprising is that Jesse’s influence via Genesis appears to be temporary.  It also looks like Quincannon is not the only one who has switched back to “normal” after a short time period.  There have been no shots of the bus driver aimlessly cruising streets in the big yellow bus either. Initially this could have been down to the story moving on.

Now it seems that the pedophilia inclined driver could be back to “normal” as well. It would not be too surprising to learn that something very bad has happened to backpack girl.

This turn of events brings up the possibility of Eugene’s sojourn to Hell being a short term thing as well. (Although previews of the next episode show Fiore and a reluctant DeBlanc explaining that Eugene could be brought back.)

Of course all this conjecture could be in vain.  Quincannon is a man who likes listening to the sounds of cattle being butchered. He could have just lied in the church but it does seem less likely than the Genesis change being temporary.

Or – Heading into theological territory for a moment – is this an example of “free-will” cancelling out any of Jesse’s suggestions. Where the individual’s true nature fights off  the Genesis order. Time will tell.

Back to the Jesse Custer backstory:  He and Tulip have been friends since grade school.  When her father takes her in briefly (mother in jail and uncle unable to look after her) it ends with Custer’s father sending her to child services.

The furious boy prays to God to kill his dad and send him straight to hell.  Not long after, Custer’s father is overpowered and shot in the head. Jesse is forced to watch it all and he owns his heartfelt angry prayer. The boy carries the guilt into manhood.

Back to the present: Jesse has turned cold and in some ways rather mean.  The meeting with Quincannon ends with the preacher angrily refusing to hand over his church.  Cassidy tries to talk to Custer about Eugene.  Twice.

The last attempt comes during the awkward meal in the kitchen with Tulip, Emily and Cassidy.  Sheriff Root (W. Earl Browncomes to ask Jesse again about Eugene and once more the preacher denies seeing him. Emily then corrects Custer and tells Root that he did see Eugene (the truth) but that she saw the boy leave (a lie).

Custer walks the lawman outside and while he is there, Cassidy hits the preacher in the face with the fire extinguisher used earlier. The vampire angrily confronts Jesse about Eugene being sent to hell. Handing the extinguisher to Jesse, Cassidy then removes his sweatshirt and top and steps into the sun.

He starts to burn, bellowing in pain, and falls to the ground. Custer looks on, doing nothing.

(Interesting thought: Does Jesse allow Cassidy to burn because he is a vampire or because he called God a muppet who smells his own farts?)

Jesse returns to the kitchen and in rapid succession alienates Tulip and Emily.  Finally alone, he bashes in the church floor where Eugene disappeared and using “the voice” shouts “come back.” Several times.

This episode, “He Gone” (a title that could imply that Jesse is gone and not just Eugene) opens up a lot of possibilities. For a start, The preacher shouting down at Hell “come back” makes it seem likely that a load of “lost souls” could return and create havoc. (Having not read the graphic novel, it is not known whether or not this happens in that verse, but…wow, what a concept.)

Another possibility could be Cassidy actually dying (burnt to ashes by the sun) and Custer driving everyone away who matters to him. This latter action could facilitate his living Annville.

Kudos to the show’s creators for creating a series that is brilliantly outside the box.

Preacher airs Sundays on AMC. Tune in and enjoy.


Rating is for mature audiences only due to content.

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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"I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical."

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