TV Show Review

TV Review: PREACHER: Season 2, Episode 8: Holes [AMC]

Dominic Cooper Preacher Holes

Preacher: Holes Review

AMC‘s Preacher, Season 2, Episode 8: ‘Holes,’ was pretty much all set-up, for things to come, with only one thread leading somewhere – and that was actually nowhere. It was pretty heavy on the titular references – all the principals working on, digging, or being tossed into one variation on the theme, or another – but all as just prelude to what comes next. I was just left hoping that the payoff will justify the setup, is all.

First up, for setup: the original throwaway, Eugene (Ian Colletti).

Hell is not a nice place, for nice people – goes without saying. What Preacher has been hammering home is that Hell has a zero tolerance policy towards good deeds. That’s just silly – I don’t see the point of making people pay for sin, by strongly encouraging more of it… unless Hell was in the business of breeding Demons, rather than just forking up Humans. It was still kind of ironic, however; a fact that lent itself to the absurdity of Eugene being there, in the first place. Once his very presence became an issue for the institution, itself, however, this New Black went a little Orange.

Ironic silliness is one thing, but I’ve been having a hard time taking Hell seriously, through all this. Given that the core concept of the material is to deny a certain degree of legitimacy to all dogma, however, I suppose I shouldn’t complain.

On a side note: gotta wonder how the Zagnut people felt about the product placement. There may be a line forming, behind the Church of Scientology….

As for how Hell can do worse, by someone who plays well with others – there’s always more irony. Anyone else figured High School Musical would make a great Hell to condemn someone else to? A silly question – I’m sure most of us do – but it came out of a particularly silly moment, to Eugene’s time in a Hell Hole. So silly, in fact (Millennials singing a Gen-X anthem – blasphemy!), that some viewers might’ve missed the initial point of its happy beginnings: sometimes, the dog catches the car it’s chasing.

At least that’s what I’d have in mind. Tracy (Gianna LePera) was not a nice person, and I think a life spent regretting getting tied to her would’ve made for an epic Hell Loop. What he actually got, however, seemed like kind of a cop-out; but he’s going to have to face Jesse (actual), sometime – so I guess it could be relevant to some future point.

The Hell thread re-set Hitler (Noah Taylor) as Eugene’s potential anti-hero, at the moment; but given the fact that Hell has been one big high-tech funny farm, and I’m holding out for more of a long game twist, down the road (cue AC/DC).

Season 2 has been a comedown for Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) – it’s time to face it. He’s always been the voice of reason, to some degree (had to have earned some wisdom points, for having Peter Pan-ed this long); but without anything of his own to deal with, this season, he’s only been the voice of reason. Throw Denis (Ronald Guttman) into the mix, and he’s now had to fumble over actually being a role model, if you can believe it.

When the rogue-est thing Cass gets to do is tie one on, while doting over his newborn son, then we’re due a lot of hell-raising – from at least one of them.

On another side note: Baby Denis was so perfectly cast, I though he might’ve been one-a-dem creepy CGI kids. Scarier was the thought that he actually might’ve been one, and I missed it. He wasn’t, though. Right?

Somewhere between a convincing case made for Denis’ request, and a hint at something of a Cass support network, the episode sort of took Cassidy further away from being the Id of the group. Forget wet blanket – Cassidy was now the remorse-laden downer. Was I the only one channeling Underworld‘s Lucien – whispering “bite him” to the screen? That wasn’t pathos – I just wanted the downing to end.

At least Tulip (Ruth Negga) had been actively working on getting out of her rut.

OCD can often be PTSD’s homely cousin; so given that Tulip’s new unsettled has begun to get a touch irritating, her finding an activity to be OCD about was a welcomed development. The fact that it facilitated the resident Grail detail having to come out of the surveillance shadow: that was just plot progress by association.

Unfortunately, her stumbling unto the Featherstone & Hoover (Julie Ann Emery, Malcolm Barrett) operation was too little, too late. I was actually looking forward to seeing Lara Featherstone get into a new character, again; and her latest seemed tailor made for Tulip. It was only an improvised introduction, though; so I guess I’ll have to wait to see how a professional spook works a professional grifter.

Then, there was Jesse (Dominic Cooper).

The least productive of the threads was also the least interesting. Waiting for Geek Squad results doesn’t pass for suspense, on this show; and while we were meant to feel Jesse’s mounting frustration, I don’t think we were meant to be irritated by the effort. I suppose Jesse missing Grail hints, all around him (including the one he had been holding the whole time… then destroyed), was meant to be something of an Easter Egg hunt; but that just added futility to the frustration. Not a winning combination.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed by the episode. After a convincing case was made, for the momentary passing of the Big Bad torch, it seems that one frustrating question remains – despite a tweak to its subject.

We’ve gone from “when is the Cowboy getting here,” to “when is Herr Starr getting here.”

A conflict is only as good as its villain; but really, guys, you anti-heroes need to carry your own weight, between binges of Scum & Villainy.

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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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