This week starts in Vietnam. That’s right, Vietnam.
A married couple are bickering over dinner when the wife looks out the window and starts screaming. The husband looks too and his dinner dramatically crashes to the ground. Whatever’s outside must be a doozy.
The next morning, Herr Star arrives in their village to see what all the fuss is about. There are hundreds of villagers and tourists gathered around staring in awe at… a floating pig. Alright.
Back in New Orleans, our trio (plus Denis) has hit the last jazz bar with still no sign of God. Jesse is distracted by a street preacher talking about the end of the world but instead of investigating, the gang goes with Cassidy’s suggestion: a bar where you get paid to get shot.
‘The Hurt Locker,’ as it’s aptly named, is simple. You put on a bulletproof vest and get shot and if you’re back on your feet in ten seconds, you get cash. The bigger the gun, the more money. Our gang decides to grift the place: Cassidy and Tulip pretend to be a naive couple while Jesse, a strange preacher, eggs them on. Cassidy gets shot with the biggest gun (after declaring his love and briefly making out with Tulip) and they pretend he’s dead. The bar clears out and they help themselves to the cash and booze.
Tulip’s acting strange though, so she and Jesse head home while Cassidy and Denis stay and drink together. Denis tries to talk to Cassidy who still doesn’t speak French, but thankfully we’re in New Orleans! A French professor (who hadn’t run out of the bar with everyone else) translates for them: Denis is dying, hates Cassidy and thinks he’s a terrible father, but will forgive him if he lets Denis become an immortal vampire too. Cassidy freaks out and refuses.
Back at Denis’ apartment, Tulip is having nightmares about the Saint of Killers. She revisits the night he attacked her and then has an extensive horror sequence where she hears noises around the apartment, sees flickering lights and then ultimately is attacked by him. It’s clearly a reoccurring nightmare of hers, and this is with her thinking he’s been sent back to Hell – imagine if Jesse told her the truth!
Cassidy went out on a bender and was picked up by one of two wagons that roll through New Orleans to pick up the passed out drunks on the street. Only problem is Cassidy’s lack of a pulse (the whole vampire thing) put him in the dead wagon, and then the morgue. After spending a night among the corpses, Cassidy is walked out by an apologetic hospital employee (“it happens more often than you think” please give me a spin-off about this hospital) and passes by a couple of children grieving for their father. “I’d rather be them than him,” the employee adds. Cassidy is clearly rethinking his stance on Denis.
Tulip tells Jesse about her nightmares and implies she’s mad he almost got them killed, and Cassidy was the one to save her. They bicker and Jesse leaves to track down that street preacher and talk about the end of the world. It turns out that’s not all Jesse has on his mind: he’s worried about the piece of his soul he sold to the Saint and wants reassurance it will be okay in the end. He doesn’t get it.
Tulip heads back to the Hurt Locker and lets them know the whole thing was a scam and she robbed them blind – now it’s their chance to get their money back. She straps on the vest and faces down the gun, weilded in her mind by the Saint. Facing her fear dead on, or almost dying just to feel alive? Either way, she wants another round.
The rest of the episode deals with how Herr Star made it to Vietnam in the first place and what that secret cult he works for is all about. They’re called the Grail and they’re a super secret organization that recruited Herr, a German counter-terrorism expert, to join their ranks. First, he has to pass a rigorous audition process, which he does in horrifying and hilarious fashion. First, the horrifying: he begins masturbating during a wrestling match to distract and ultimately overpower his opponent. Then, the hilarious: during a “seduction challenge” he calls the woman a bitch and threatens to murder her entire family. He also enjoys his testicles being electrocuted and, in the final round, shoots his opponent instead of beating him at target practice. Congrats! You got the job.
And now for the inside scoop on what the Grail does: protect the heir of Jesus Christ. Jesus had a baby (very Da Vinci Code) and the Grail monitors the descendant in a secure facility until the end of the world comes (soon, sources say) and the world needs Christ. Herr Star’s job is to kill all the false prophets so only the real Jesus will matter. He accepts this position and pushes his boss off a balcony.
Back in Vietnam, he takes care of the floating pig easily – poisons the water supply to kill it and all the townspeople. (A Stephen Hawking-esque scientist on Jesse’s TV explains the poisoned water made the pig a ‘meat balloon’). His next mission is New Orleans, for a preacher named Jesse.
This was a great, hilarious and horrifying episode, but I need to take on minute and give a slow clap to the costume department. This season has seen Cassidy wear a sparkly butterfly t-shirt, a ridiculous old man getup, and now a puppy shirt. Every time I see his clothes I burst out laughing. Thank you AMC!