The Saint of Killers is rarely scared, but Jesse's got him. Image: Michele K. Short/AMC/Sony Pictures
AMC's Preacher has never shied away from doing crazy shit. In this season alone we've seen the bowels of Hell, Hitler as a nice guy, and a casino headliner who kills himself every night. But last night's episode, "Sokosha," did something that feels even bolder: it sidelined the show's bad guy.
That bad guy is the Saint of Killers, and he's been a pain in Jesse's arse all season. But the latest episode took him out of commission in a way that's a massive detour from the comics, opening the door up for another major villain to be introduced.
If you haven't the latest episode, these are definitely spoilers.
So the Saint of Killers has finally found Jesse, Tulip, and Cassidy. But Jesse tells the Saint the one thing he wants, to get to Heaven, is impossible because God is missing. This stops the Saint from killing Jesse and he gives him one hour to find a human soul that would allow him to see for himself. Jesse is forced to remove one per cent of his own soul to do it but completes the task in time. When the Saint ingests the soul, he begins to see the potential but Jesse immediately uses Genesis to control him.
The reason the Saint was previously immune to Genesis is because he was the only being in existence who didn't have a soul. Now that he does, he's controllable. So Jesse locks him up in a armoured truck and submerges the truck in the swamps of Louisiana. For the moment, the Saint is taken care of.
This story borrows a bunch of smaller elements from the original comics, but for the most part, it's unique to the show. And risky. Why take the show's villain and dump him in a swamp?
Well, because Herr Starr and the Grail are coming. After being introduced in the first episodes this season, the white-suited group out for world domination have been largely absent since. But as a trailer revealed at Comic-Con over the weekend, that obviously isn't going to be the case for the rest of this season. So it seems likely the writers needed to push the Saint off to the side to concentrate on these new bad guys for a while. Two villains may not be too much for Jesse, but they do muddle a clear narrative.
That doesn't mean the Saint is dead and buried though. Not by a long shot. He'll be back and madder than ever. But he's just going to take a few episodes, if not the rest of the season, off. Which is a considerably surprising choice.
Are you keeping up with Preacher? How have you been enjoying this season?