A disturbing image: a hand-made wooden coffin is being dragged up from the depths of a swamp. The lid is drilled off and, surprisingly, there is a young boy inside. Alive. He is dragged and and shoved to the ground, where he kneels in front of an older woman. The sun behind her casts a shadow over her face, so we can’t tell what she looks like. She asks the boy his name. “Jesse,” he gasps. “Jesse what,” she snarls. “Jesse…Custer,” he defiantly states. And then he gets thrown back into the coffin, the lid is screwed down tight again, and he is dropped to the bottom of the swamp.
As flashbacks go, it’s pretty harrowing. Let’s jump back to the present.
Remember the Soul Happy Go Go armored car, the one into which Jesse stuck the Saint and dropped it into the swamp? Well, Tulip and Jesse are now standing at the edge of the swamp watching it get towed back up from the depths. Tulip is royally pissed at Jesse for lying to her and for not sending the Saint to hell, but Jesse claims he just couldn’t do that to another soul (again). The car is opened and–water gushes out, but no Saint.
Back at the Grail, Featherstone checks in with Starr about Jesse and Tulip’s strained relationship, and Starr, in turn, tells them the Messiah is an imbecile and that he is going to try to convince Jesse to take the Messiah’s place. Featherstone and Hoover agree to help him with this blasphemous takeover. Privately, though, Hoover confesses to a few misgivings about something Starr has tasked him with.
Down in Hell, Mannering continues testing the inmates to find out which one doesn’t belong down there. Suddenly, she gets a phone call about the Saint. Meanwhile, Eugene tells his co-inmate Tyler that Hitler has told him that they have no intention of releasing the interloper. Tyler mocks Eugene’s trust of Hitler.
Back up top in New Orleans, Jesse suggests to his friends they take off to Bimini on a surprise vacation (and as a way to calm their nerves about the missing Saint). And then *record scratch* Jesse turns around and says, wait, no, they can’t go until he finds God. Tulip (rightly, in my opinion) reads him the riot act about how much she and Cassidy have done for him. Jesse suddenly has an epiphany, mentally connecting the Messiah’s dog drawings to the Fetish Man Dog they saw in the basement of the bar way back about 8 episodes ago. He tells her that he now knows where God is, but Tulip and Cassidy refuse to go off with him again. Jesse goes back to the bar basement by himself, opens the door and–nope, no Fetish Man Dog here. Just a (presumably) sticky couch.
In Hell, Mannering continues testing, but stops when she notices an inmate…licking the security camera? While she is occupied with her duties, Tyler and Eugene force Hitler to open up his own cell. He meekly agrees and, slowly, painfully removes a key from his ass. They go inside and watch Hitler’s worst day being replayed on the projector: his lunch date with Elsa. Communists suddenly burst into the cafe, yelling slogans, and beating up a few patrons. They drop a gun and Hitler grabs it…and then meekly hands it back to them as he hangs his head a bit. Elsa is disgusted by Hitler’s weakness and breaks it off with him. He is alone at the table. Aaaaand…the plum cakes he ordered are delivered to a different patron. When the projector stops, Tyler makes fun of Hitler for killing 6 million Jews just because some girl broke his heart.
Later, Hitler confesses to Eugene that the cafe incident was the very last time he was good. Eugene begs Hitler to get him out of there, but Mannering comes to take him to be tested. Hitler promises to come and get Eugene. After they leave, Hitler has an idea. He tries to get everyone in the room to pay attention to him, and Tyler laughs: why should anybody listen to him? With a ferocity unseen before this, he screams, “Because I’m Adolf Fucking Hitler!”
Jesse lets Starr in on God’s little trick: dressing up as a fetish Dog Man, and is kind of down on himself for missing it. Starr wonders if Jesse is really looking for forgiveness about his father’s death. But jesse didn’t kill his father. Did he? Starr unveils a series of reel to reel tapes (God is old school) that contains recordings of all of Jesse’s prayers to God.
Meanwhile, Denis slyly encourages Cassidy to just take Tulip since he is head over heels, and Tulip and Featherstone (in disguise) go to the local smelting shop (as one does–it seems a pretty popular place there in New Orleans) to try to destroy the Saint’s weapons. He doesn’t want to, since he can’t get the pistols opened to unload, and smelting loaded firearms in the four-thousand-degree-molten-metal would be a tad dangerous, what with the bullets and all. The ladies hint that they will acucuse him of various sordid and illegal activities upon their person if he doesn’t, so he reluctantly gets to work on them.
Tulip and featherstone discuss the Saint for a bit, and wonder why Jesse lied to her about getting rid of him, when the smelter beckons them over to his bubbling pot. He dunks the guns in the fiery liquid…pause…then brings them back out and asks Tulip to touch one. She tentatively reaches out and–it’s dead cold. Unharmed.
Back in Hell, Eugene is trying to control his emotions during his imposter test (which consists of various happy, sad, peaceful, violent images in a slideshow) when Mannering notices all the inmates on the screen holding hands and singing peacefully, kind of like the Whos down in Whoville. Mannering leaves Eugene momentarily and stomps down the hallway to the other room. Hitler sneaks past her through the open door and tells Eugene that the way out is through The Hole. They drop down and land hard on the floor.
Back up top, Tulip wraps up the Saint’s weapons, addresses them to Brazil, and drops them in the mailbox. Ooookaaay.
Starr and Jesse sit and listen to prayer after prayer from the kid Jesse. It’s a tender and vulnerable moment, slightly corrupted by the presence of Starr, who claims that the only way to ease Jesse’s mind is to join forces with him. Jesse nixes that idea. Starr plays just one more prayer.
FLASHBACK: young Jesse is hauled out of the swamped coffin yet again. The woman asks his name, and he sputters “Jesse…L’Angelle.” The woman, his grandmother, is pleased, and forces him to thank God for killing his father and delivering him back to his family. Yikes! That’s not disturbing at all.
Herr Starr is still trying to convince Jesse to take over, nay, to become the Messiah when Jesse loses his cool and commands Starr to shove those tapes up his ass. Starr, unable to resist,begins…yep, shoving the tapes up his ass, one painful inch at a time. Jesse commands the receptionist to let him out of the office and…Genesis fizzles and doesn’t really work. He tries again and is let out. Uh oh.
The Saint’s weapons are picked up by a mail carrier, Starr phones Hoover and tells him to start the back-up plan, and the actual Soul Happy Go Go armored car is sitting inside a warehouse. Hoover jumps out of the van and takes off running while a deep voice growls, “Preacher!” from inside the car.
It seems as if Starr is one step ahead of Jesse and has plans for using the Saint to convince him to become the Messiah. And what’s going on with Genesis? Is it petering out? Only two more episodes left to find out!