There is no lack of superheroes onscreen these days, but this Preacher Season 1 recap will get you caught up with one of the most unusual ones on television. While ABC and Netflix explore the offshoots of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, The CW cultivates its roster of DC heroes, and FX and FOX get in on the game with the X-Men, AMC has been doing a little things just a little bit different with Preacher.
Based on a Vertigo comic book series, the show is an ultra-violent, ultra-profane tale of a pastor with godlike powers of persuasion, his gun-toting ex-girlfriend, and a hard-drinking Irish vampire. While the comic is mostly a demented road trip saga, the freshman season of AMC's adaptation surprised fans of the source material by mostly staying put in the small Texas town of Annville. And if Season 1 was essentially a 10-episode long proof-of-concept for the show, then it must have worked — because Preacher Season 2 is finally hitting the road and living up to the free-wheeling spirit of the comics.
But before you hop in that red coupe and speed off down the dusty highway, first recap the events of Season 1:
1. Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper)
When Jesse was a boy, he prayed that his preacher father would die after he gave his friend Tulip to Child Protective Services — and then his dad did die. So Jesse turned to a life of crime, robbing banks with Tulip until things went wrong and he returned to his hometown to take up his father's congregation. Just when he's about to abandon his newfound faith, he's possessed by a being known as Genesis: the forbidden offspring of an angel and a demon that grants him the ability to make people do whatever he commands.
2. Tulip O'Hare (Ruth Negga)
Tulip returns to Annville to seduce her ex back into their life of crime; she wants to find someone named Carlos and enact vengeance against him. It's revealed that Carlos was their getaway driver during a bank robbery who abandoned them and called the police, leading to their capture; the stress of the situation led a pregnant Tulip to miscarry her and Jesse's child. Tulip eventually finds and captures Carlos, but ultimately neither she nor Jesse can kill him — but they do give him a good beating before letting him go.
3. Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun)
Nearly cornered by vampire hunters, Cassidy kills his pursuers in an airplane and jumps out, landing in the town of Annville. He quickly befriends Jesse, helping him beat up a local bully. Soon after, he also meets Tulip and, not knowing the history between her and Jesse, the two begin an affair. Eventually, during an argument with Jesse, Cassidy has to subject himself to sunlight to prove to the preacher that he's really a vampire and nearly burns himself to a crisp in the process.
4. Eugene Root (Ian Colletti)
Eugene is a seemingly nice kid with a disfigured face and a troubled past. When his crush rejected him, he shot her, putting her into a coma, and then shot himself, earning the nickname "Arseface" thanks to his scars. When Jesse uses his power to compel the mother of Eugene's victim to forgive him, Eugene is conflicted. Pestering the preacher to undo what he did, Jesse irritatedly tells Eugene to "go to hell" — and poor Eugene disappears, literally dispatched to the underworld by Jesse's inadvertent command.
5. Emily Woodrow (Lucy Griffiths)
Single mom Emily works at the Annville church and holds a candle for its handsome preacher, while suffering the unwanted advances of the town's bumbling mayor, Miles. Eventually, the mild-mannered organist breaks bad, feeding Miles to a starved Cassidy to help the vampire heal after his exposure to the sun.
6. Odin Quincannon (Jackie Earle Haley)
Odin is the owner of Quincannon Meat & Power, and a devout atheist ever since his family was killed. Odin wants to raze Jesse's church, but Jesse cuts a deal: either Jesse can make Odin believe in God, or he'll give him the church. Jesse uses his power to command Odin to believe — but he should have specified which god, because the command simply causes Odin to worship his own deity, the "god of meat." So Jesse makes a new bet: that he can find the real God and make him answer for his crimes.
7. Fiore & DeBlanc (Tom Brooke, Anatol Yusef)
Fiore and DeBlanc are the angels in charge of caring for baby Genesis, who have snuck down to Earth to try to get it back. When the immortal beings are unsuccessful in their efforts — and they get killed over and over again by Jesse and Cassidy during their attempts — they come up with a new plan for forcing Genesis out of the preacher.
8. The Saint Of Killers
A man wanders the Wild West in search of medicine for his sick daughter, only to be waylaid by a nefarious preacher. Eventually, he returns home to find his wife and child dead; so he heads back to town and massacres everyone who got in his way. Only, this isn't a flashback; the man is trapped in hell, forced to relive his trauma. Fiore and DeBlanc find him there and make a pact: they'll release him from Hell if he'll kill Jesse for them. The "Saint" shoots DeBlanc, killing him for good, but agrees to the pact.
Jesse steals Fiore and DeBlanc's phone and calls God, gathering the townspeople to witness. At first, everyone is awed by the divine presence… until it's revealed that "God" is actually an imposter, and the real deity has gone missing. The revelation that there's no one watching down on them throws Annville into chaos. But when a stray cigarette ignites the tanks of methane gas from Odin's slaughterhouse that lie underneath the town, Annville — and everybody in it — is blown off the map.
At a diner a safe distance away, Jesse, Tulip, and Cassidy are the only survivors. Season 1 ends with the three friends setting off on a quest to find God… and maybe rescue Eugene from Hell in the process.
Hit the road with the unlikely trio when Season 2 premieres on Sunday, June 25.