‘Preacher’ Recap and Reaction: “El Valero”

Drew Dietsch

For a full recap of the episode, visit the Preacher Wiki here. This article is a review of the episode in which specific details and events are discussed. SPOILERS may occur, so read at your own risk.

Last week’s episode was perhaps a little too contemplative for some viewers. Well, they better not be complaining after watching “El Valero.” More than any other episode so far, “El Valero” feels like it was ripped straight out of an issue of the comic book. This episode embraced the over-the-top nature of the property in a way that was almost unexpected at this point. Maybe that’s what made “El Valero” such a sucker punch of hilarity and insanity.


The entire episode hinges on Odin‘s siege of Jesse‘s church. Too bad for Odin and his men that Jesse is the most badass resident in the town of Annville. His easy dispatching of Odin’s men is both comical and awesome (Jesse being drunk the whole time makes it even better), and that’s what Preacher always has been at its core. Everything about the church siege is a riot, particularly when the townsfolk set up chairs and barbecues. One woman even hopes they will see more shooting. What a deliciously mean bit of satire on the subject of society’s love of entertaining horrors.

Less effective was the presence of not-Eugene. The show can always use more Ian Colletti but the idea of Jesse talking to an imaginary Eugene felt more like a writing necessity than an appropriate character beat. Jesse needed someone to talk to before Fiore and Deblanc got there, so they gave him not-Eugene. Maybe Mr. Robot is just causing imaginary person fatigue.

Elsewhere, Tulip continues to feel more detached from the main narrative than she should. Granted, it’s an elongated bit that serves as a teaser for the horror of Cassidy‘s regeneration, but seeing as how Ruth Negga has perfected the character when given the chance to shine, it’s a bummer to see her so sidelined for most of this first season. Here’s hoping she gets some great stuff to do in the finale.

“El Valero” was the perfect response to the more meditative and straight-faced “He Gone.” It’s zany, gory, and unapologetic in its high concept. If the pattern continues, next week will give us some good prep work for a finale that will blow the hinges off those church doors. What’s going to happen when Jesse gets his congregation together and uses the Word to summon the Lord Almighty? Probably nothing good.

And what is up with that guy and the gauge? That’s gotta be Heaven, right?

Best Moments of the Episode:

Nothing is going to beat, “Preacher shot my d**k off.” The entire gag was possibly the funniest moment in the show’s short history. Even when Clive is getting put into the ambulance, the humiliation and pain don’t stop as his boxed-up penis is placed on his groin for one last bit of harsh comedy. A standout for the show in terms of vicious humor.


Clive‘s other great moment came when he charged the church with only a bayonet as his weapon. To make things doubly hilarious, he repeated Odin’s dream of a food court over and over. Jesus, this show is a hoot.

The opening with Odin’s demented response to his family’s death was both ridiculous and disturbing in equal measure. Only a true pro like Jackie Earle Haley could pull off a scene like that and make you believe it. A chilling way to start the night.

The reveal that Donnie didn’t commit suicide but rather deafened himself.

The shot of the muzzle flashes in Odin’s glasses. Preacher continues to have interesting direction, this week thanks to Kate Dennis.


“The second option then.” Oh, Preacher fans know what that means. Someone‘s about to get woken up.

Jesse’s promise to make God appear in front of his congregation. The season has clearly been building to this and the possibilities are absolutely maddening. HOW CAN THERE ONLY BE TWO EPISODES LEFT?!?

Next Week on Preacher

“Finish the Song”

Drew Dietsch
Drew Dietsch is an Entertainment Editor at FANDOM. He hosts a weekly film review podcast at his site GenreVision.com, as well as the shark movies podcast Fin Flicks. If you need someone to talk about Jaws, RoboCop, horror movies, or why Batman Forever is highly underrated, Drew is your guy.
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