This post contains spoilers for the Preacher Season 2 premiere, titled “On the Road.”
No series blends style, action, and humor quite like Preacher, which is perhaps the purest embodiment of a comic book we’ve ever had on the small screen.
Executive producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, along with showrunner Sam Catlin, have distilled everything that made Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s graphic novels so iconic into a shot of live-action adrenaline, and while Season 1 had its speed bumps, taking the show on the road in Season 2 has kicked Preacher into high gear right out of the gate.
That change in energy was by design, according to Goldberg, which is demonstrated by the exhilarating pre-credits scene in the Season 2 premiere, which sees titular preacher Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper), his paramour Tulip (Ruth Negga), and their vampire pal Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) engaging the cops in an anarchic car chase, before the destructive Saint of Killers (Graham McTavish) crashes the party and decimates the police force without getting within 50 feet of them.
“We wanted to start right where we left off, but immediately make it feel quite different,” Goldberg explains. “We just wanted to start with something really shocking and intense and exciting, and not wait one second to give people a taste of what this season’s going to be like, and how it’s going to be a little different. So we definitely amped up the action throughout the whole season.”
Rogen agrees, “One of the most exciting things is the different tones the show is able to take on. It’s able, we hope, to be funny, and kind of ironic, almost winking to the camera sometimes, and then sometimes very scary, and very thrilling, and shocking … You really don’t know what’s going to happen.”
The Saint of Killers embodies that anarchy in the Season 2 premiere; while Jesse and his gang are on the hunt for God, the Saint has only one goal in mind: to kill Jesse. And unlike in the comics, where Jesse’s Genesis-given power has the ability to stop the Saint in his tracks, on the show, the Word of God has no effect on the murderous cowboy.
“One of the reasons is, it seemed like it just made him unstoppable,” Rogen says, noting that Jesse needed his own version of Kryptonite, something that would limit his power. “When you really analyze the moments where [the Saint] had the opportunity to kill Jesse but didn’t, the same thing kept happening in the comics. He’s about to kill Jesse, and then Jesse would kind of convince him not to, basically. Then he’d be about to kill Jesse, and Jesse would convince him not to, basically. Coming up with the idea that it doesn’t work, as the season goes on, we really explore the reasoning for that. That becomes a bigger idea.”
And as the end of the season premiere proved, Jesse’s going to have to reckon with that weakness right away, because the Saint has found him, and he’s not about to stop.
Episode 2 of Preacher Season 2 airs in its regular time slot, Monday, June 26 at 9 p.m.