[Warning: Spoilers ahead for Preacher season 1]
Garth Ennis’ Preacher was a comic series that many thought couldn’t be adapted to film or television. After years of discussions and near deals, one cable network was finally willing to try… and that caused more worry, because the network was AMC instead of a premium cable network like HBO (which many believed would be a better home for a Preacher series due to its content). Season 1 of AMC’s Preacher has now come and gone… and it was pretty amazing.
With the first season complete, what does AMC have in store for us in season 2? While there will surely be a number of surprises when the new season gets here, we do know a few things already. There are also a few hints peppered throughout season 1 that point pretty strongly at what elements from the comics will play a part in the show’s sophomore season.
The Saint of Killers
The Saint of Killers is the most obvious thing we can look forward to in season 2 of Preacher, since the season 1 finale ended with him emerging onto the scene with a quest to find Jesse Custer. We saw bits and pieces of his origin story in the first season, but those who aren’t familiar with the comics might not realize just how dangerous the “cowboy” really is.
After the death of his family, the man who would become the Saint of Killers went on a murder spree in the town where he was held up (as seen in season 1). In the comics, though, he ended up dying without getting his revenge on the man who caused him to be late getting back. His hatred and rage was so great that his cold heart actually started freezing Hell; when not even the Devil himself could break him, he gave him a pair of magic guns that were forged from the sword of the Angel of Death and set him loose on the world to give Death a break. He was a bit overzealous, and Heaven ended up putting him to sleep until they needed his special brand of wholesale slaughter again.
Season 2 of Preacher is taking a bit of a different approach to the Saint of Killers, though it’s likely that much of his story will play out the same way. He’s been put on the trail of Jesse Custer, and isn’t likely to stop until his bloodlust has been sated.
The ‘Man in White’
Another major antagonist was introduced in the first season, though only very briefly; in the third episode, we’re given a brief glimpse of a man in a white suit and brimmed hat in a theater. He’s never shown again in the first season, but he’ll be back in season 2. While it may have seemed like a bit of a throwaway scene to those unfamiliar with the comics, long-time fans knew immediately that the man in question was none other than Herr Starr.
Herr Starr is second in command of an organization known as the Grail, which is an Illuminati-esque secret society that protects the bloodline of Jesus himself. This would be the same “Grail Industries” that Tulip saw mention of in that episode, which is another hint to the Man in White’s identity. The Grail is seeking Jesse because he holds the power of Genesis, which Starr’s boss (known as the Allfather) wants to use for his own ends. There’s a good chance that he’ll actually be the primary antagonist of the second season, since even though the Saint of Killers is on Jesse’s trail, it’s Herr Starr and the Grail that are really out to cause him problems.
The Core Cast Returns
It goes without saying that a show called Preacher isn’t going to do away with its titular preacher, and his travelling companions Tulip O’Hare and Cassidy will be along for the ride. Pretty much everyone else kind of blew up at the end of the first season, though.
We’ll likely see the angels again (with the possible exception of the Seraphim, since she was killed by the Saint of Killers himself; what he kills tends to stay dead). Eugene will probably make occasional appearances as well as Jesse tries to find a way to bring him back from Hell. But with most of the first season’s supporting cast dead, season 2 will start off with a largely clean slate and a change in location as well. Any other members of the first season’s cast who show up will likely only appear in flashbacks (such as Jesse’s father John Custer).
The Mystery of Jesse’s Father
In season 1, we find out a little bit about Jesse’s father. The biggest thing that we learn, though, is that his father was murdered while Jesse watched. We don’t actually learn who it was that killed him or why he had to die, though.
Preacher executive producer Sam Catlin explained “We don’t know who killed Jesse’s father, but we’ll know more about who those two men were”, suggesting that season 2 will delve a bit more deeply into the mystery of Jesse’s father and the events surrounding his death. That murder obviously had a strong effect on Jesse, and we’ll be shown bits and pieces of it either to show what drives our Preacher or to see him seek justice for his father’s killer.
Of course, it’s possible that the murder of Jesse’s father won’t be completely resolved in the second season. We may have to wait even longer to find out the real reason that the senior Preacher Custer was killed, but there will at least be a few tantalizing clues in season 2.
The Rest of Jesse’s Family
Jesse’s father isn’t the only notable person in the Preacher’s family, and it’s quite likely that we’ll learn more about the rest of them in season 2. Jesse comes from a bunch of violent rednecks, and they will likely make an appearance in season 2.
The matriarch of the family is Jesse’s grandmother Marie L’Angelle, who is a Christian fanatic and employs some pretty twisted tactics to get her way. In the comics, it’s her bodyguard Jody who killed Jesse’s father; Marie had threatened to kill him if he ever left home, but he left anyway. It’s possible that this has changed in the TV series, based on Catlin’s comments and a number of changes made from the source material (not the least of which is the fact that John Custer is a preacher himself in the series, while he wasn’t in the comics). Even if they aren’t responsible for the murder of Jesse’s father, the cruelty inherent in Jesse’s family and the brutal nature of Marie’s bodyguards will certainly make their appearance unnerving.
Provided that the show doesn’t venture too far from the comics, including Jesse’s family in season 2 might suggest that bad things are on the way for Tulip as well.
Even More Preacher
There is one last thing that we know about season 2 of Preacher: There will be more of it. AMC has confirmed that the show’s second season will contain 13 episodes, as compared to the first season’s 10. This gives the show more time to cover the next arc of the story, which is good because the second arc of the Preacher comics includes two stories: “All in the Family” (revealing Jesse’s past and introducing his family) and “Hunters” (where Jesse and Tulip help Cassidy get revenge against Jesus de Sade, a perverted millionaire who was involved in the death of Cassidy’s girlfriend, while being pursued by the Grail).
If the first season is anything to go by, there’s a good chance that all of the arc will be adapted in some form by the show’s second season. If the producers do go with a “one arc per season” approach, that’s exciting news for fans; there are enough arcs in the Preacher series to keep the show going for a total of eight seasons, or possibly more if they decide to include more material from the spin-offs of the comic as well. The Saint of Killers spinoff had much of its story adapted in the first season, however, so it’s likely that any spinoff adaptations will simply be included where appropriate in the seasons as they go by.
Preacher returns to AMC for its second season in 2017.
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