Preacher: S02E04 “Viktor” Review

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By Jaclyn Cascio (@jaclynator)
 
The New Orleans adventures continued for the God-hunting crew of Preacher this week with the fourth episode of the sophomore season of the AMC show. If you’re in the mood to find out how the adventures went this week, read on for a spoiler-free review!
 
One of the most astonishing things about this week’s episode of Preacher, “Viktor,” was its uncanny ability to address almost every single concern I developed throughout the course of the episode. As I wrote down particular critiques, I had to keep crossing them off as the episode hit on each one and turned them around into strengths. For example, the mystery of Tulip (Ruth Negga) seemed never-ending, as “Viktor” brought her to a large house with a rough-and-tumble crowd, all with an apparent ax to grind with Tulip. Just as I was about fed up with the lack of any clues offered about her predicament, I was thrown a bone near the close of the episode. In a sudden, “Ah-ha! It all makes sense!” moment, the plot twist pulled together loose ends into something recognizable, and any complaints I had about over-extending the audience teasing went right out the window!
 
“Viktor” also seemed to be taking things much slower this week, initially. I began to feel some concern that the solid pace established by the previous episodes was going to get lost this week, with the characters potentially getting stuck in the mire of the new and old mysteries. Preacher is an unpredictable and chaotic universe, but “Viktor” looked to be taking a more sedate route. I wondered if the violent, bloody, and always slightly ridiculous action had been put on a back burner for the week, which was troubling. However, just when I thought there was no chance for action and a splash of gore, I was rewarded with Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper) engaging in a fantastic fight sequence that included a severed arm and Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl.”
 
After the big bad Saint of Killers (Graham McTavish) went on a killing spree in the first episodes of this season of Preacher, “Viktor” looked to be keeping things quiet on that front. The odd trio had begun their search for God in New Orleans and at least temporarily escaped the harassment of the hell-bent (Yuk yuk!) supernatural gunslinger. Cutting out the dangerous villain for the sake of story development felt unwise, and this week I began to wonder when we would have the opportunity to see crazed cowboy again. “Viktor” found Jesse using Genesis in a very real way once again, and it’s fairly safe to say that the Saint of Killers is going to be in the jazzy city of New Orleans faster than you can say “Louisiana!”
 
Meanwhile, down in hell, Eugene (Ian Coletti) is having a journey all his own. Operated much like a prison but without encouragement of good behavior, Eugene is struggling to find his place. It looked like that place might be by the side of a seemingly domesticated Adolf Hitler (Noah Taylor), but hell might have some surprises in store. Preacher is always predictably unpredictable, and keeping a sweet demeanor might not be in the cards for Eugene. The story is proving to be intriguing, but with no relation to Jesse’s (Cooper) journey in the second season, it feels disconnected from the happenings of the season. “Viktor” moved into the realm of character development with Eugene, and we can only hope it will pay off with a trip back to Earth sometime in the future.
 
While it sounds like Eugene’s (Coletti) and Tulip’s (Negga) stories may have taken over “Viktor,” Preacher didn’t forget that the core of the season is the search for God. With Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) paired with Jesse (Cooper) this week, instead of Tulip, the two found a thread to pull on with an infomercial revealing the actor who played God in their bizarre phone call to heaven in the show’s first season. Where that lead will take the team, no one can tell just yet. However, “Viktor” was an excellent example of creating great subplots without losing the main plot in the process!
 
Once again, Cassidy (Gilgun) proved to be of value to the team, getting answers from a talent agent where Jesse (Cooper) might have otherwise failed. He was not only helpful to Jesse this week, but loyal to Tulip (Negga), almost to a fault. The roguish vampire never ceases to amaze in his abilities to move things along while also being a friend. But what’s the deal with Cassidy and Dennis? (Will we ever know?)
 
Overall, “Viktor” was another great episode to put in the books for Preacher. Smartly written and executed, this week ensured the audience didn’t forget about the search for God, Genesis, or the Saint of Killers. It explored its subplots with aplomb and didn’t fail to throw in a dash of action just for fun! Where will this week’s revelations lead us next week?
 
To find out, you can watch Preacher yourself every Monday night on AMC at 9/8c.


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