TV Show Review

TV Review: PREACHER: Season 2, Episode 12: On Your Knees [AMC]

Dominic Cooper Graham McTavish Preacher On Your Knees

Preacher: On Your Knees Review

AMC‘s Preacher, Season 2, Episode 12: ‘On Your Knees,’ amounted to quite a bit of catharsis. While 2 bats outta Hell & some futile fisticuffs did clear some series deadwood, and kept things moving in the right direction, I think the show needed more than catharsis to keep its momentum going.

As for that catharsis: the biggest recipient was Eugene (Ian Colletti), of course. Hitler’s (Noah Taylor) backdoor solution happened to go through Eugene’s Hell Hole; so with Eugene being Eugene, a certain amount of habit breaking was involved. Some unexpected elasticity to that loop, however, actually kept the exercise from getting tedious (though Hitler standing in for any audience eye-rolls was a nice touch).

A wise(ass) duck once said “nothing easy is ever simple.” He’s never been stuck in a Hell-Loop with Tracy Loach (Gianna LePera), obviously – she’s simply easy. It wouldn’t be a Hell-Loop if she were the kind of easy that got Eugene off the hook, however; so her brand of easy was only meant to make things hard (the attempt to break the loop, not Eugene – y’know, never mind).

Come to think of it, the only reason an animated Green Egotistical Duck came to mind was the absurd level of backup levels, that Eugene’s loop had to it. Just as Eugene learned the real lesson of the Loach, and made Hitler proud (not something to aspire to, kids), a sort of short season 1 root of Eugene Root Review kicked off.

At the risk of sounding insensitive, I’d shoot the mascot without the history – I forgot just how creepy that sight-gag character really was.

Anyway, I suppose Tracy made it easy for Eugene to go on a catharsis spree – keeping the review to a brief WTF moment – but I was left wondering if any of the Loopers were actual, current residents of Hell, rather than projections. The next guest to sign in had a more familiar face than Eugene likely expected – suggesting a personal punishment had been added to the character. It’s possible that Hitler working the window allowed some bleed-through, incorporating three separate, but intersecting loops.

…Right – probably overthinking it. They got out – time to move on.

Moving on meant something else for Jesse (Dominic Cooper), once the Grail decided that his lack of co-operation warranted a proportionate response. Jesse’s ego has been a peripheral factor, to the larger story, and it was only a matter of time before persons of means made a bigger issue of it. Driving home that point was also an exercise in large-scale bait-and-switch, worthy of the Impossible Missions Force

Something I’ve appreciated about the show’s production values: the willingness to go deliberately Grindhouse cheap. This renders any criticism, of moments like an armored car hitting swamp bottom, moot. The same can’t be said for when I feel cheated by the script, however.

The other catharsis sweepstakes winners were The Saint of Killers (Graham McTavish), and Tulip (Ruth Negga). While it’s usually fun, when Tulip gets a go at getting even, having TSK going Terminator is always a crowd-pleaser. Some of the usual touches were there (like slow-build background havoc, tracking shot in-your-face havoc, and Muppet levels of Vampire mutilation), and best of all, the Cowboy was even allowed to get personal – doing away with random destruction, focusing on Jesse, and anchoring his revenge on a pretty chilling anecdote.

The problem was that the only thing that came of it was Tulip getting to wail on the cowboy (albeit harmlessly). Sure, him specifying that he wasn’t interested in anyone else amounted to Tulip being allowed to literally battle her demon – finally getting that monkey off her back (fingers crossed) – but none of these factors added up to anything, except a re-evaluation of God Squad membership value.

What was the point of it all? Herr Starr (Pip Torrens) proving just how influential the Grail was; a status wedge being driven between Jesse & his crew; and Starr convincing the guy with Genesis to be his lead singer (with apologies to Phil Collins, I may run with that one).

Basically, TSK was never meant to go all-out; so anti-climax was a forgone conclusion. There were some intriguing inferences, regarding the Grail’s reach & a sit-down with Satan; but neither will likely serve any use, in the immediate future.

I had to admit, ‘On Your Knees’ was a disappointment. Despite the most direct & hands-on confrontation, between TSK & the God Squad, an anti-climactic outcome makes for a better set-up, than resolution. It may yet be a set-up to something down the road; but that’d be getting ahead of myself out of hope – and hope floats like an inter-dimensional clown’s sewer balloon.

Unless season 2 ends with a bang bigger than Annville, anti-climax does Preacher no good, this late in the game – regardless of how much gets resolved.

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About the author

Sam Joseph

Sam is an Avid consumer/observer of Geek culture, and collector of Fanboy media from earliest memory. Armchair sociologist and futurist. Honest critic with satirical if not absurdist­­ wit with some experience in comics/ animation production.

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