Season 1, Episode 3
Jesse risks losing his church after he bets known atheist Odin Quincannon that he can lead him to God. Cassidy makes a deal to bring Jesse to the angels and has a run-in with Tulip.
Preacher is currently not in season.
Lacey, a prostitute from Toadvine Whorehouse, flees through Annville and into a field in the middle of a foggy night. Clive, one of Odin Quincannon’s men, chases her with a gun. He shoots another prostitute who appears in the field. He finally catches up to Lacey and shoots her too: It’s just paint. But, suddenly, Lacey falls into a sinkhole.
In a flashback, a young Jesse prepares the All Saints chapel for services. He later listens to his father, John Custer, deliver a sermon to his congregation.
In the present, Cassidy tries to tell Jesse about Fiore and DeBlanc. Jesse barely listens as he prepares for his day. Outside, Cassidy advises Jesse to flee Annville but his advice falls on deaf ears. Jesse drives off.
Quincannon, his men, the Toadvine girls, and Tulip gather around as a truck hoists Lacey’s dead body out of the pit. Quincannon, who owns the property, warns everyone to be more careful. Tulip complains to Mosie about the group’s apathy toward Lacey’s death.
Jesse visits Emily at home and suggests they raffle off a flat-screen TV to attract more people to the upcoming Sunday service. He asks Emily to buy a TV after work and alludes to a scheme that he predicts will boost church attendance.
In a flashback, a young Jesse smokes with his friends, including a young Tulip. John admonishes him and whips him in front of his friends, emphasizing that the others look to him for guidance.
In the present, Jesse smokes in his church residence, lost in thought.
Cassidy visits Fiore and DeBlanc at the Sundowner Motel. In exchange for cash, he promises to convince Jesse to meet with them. After Cassidy leaves, Fiore expresses doubts about Cassidy and takes out a strange-looking old telephone. “It’s time to let them know what’s going on,” he says. DeBlanc forbids Fiore from making a call, saying they will be punished for coming down without permission.
At Toadvine, a prostitute pleasures Cassidy as he gets high on drugs purchased with his recent payment from Fiore and DeBlanc.
Quincannon plays Q*bert at his desk. Ms. Oatlash alerts him that Miles, the mayor, has arrived.
Miles sits across from Quincannon and asks why sinkholes are appearing in Quincannon’s fields. Quincannon evades the question and brings up Miles’s recent meeting with the Green Acre Group, a sustainable farming company. Miles gives Quincannon a Green Acre brochure and suggests he consider a partnership, given that local tax revenues have decreased 58 percent in 10 years. Without hesitation, Quincannon urinates on the brochure.
The phone rings in Fiore and DeBlanc’s motel room. They panic before realizing it’s just the hotel phone. Fiore answers and tells the front desk they’ll be checking out soon.
At the hotel front desk, Fiore orders a burger he just saw on TV and is informed that there’s only a vending machine.
Emily arrives home with the new TV for Sunday’s raffle and relieves Miles of babysitting duties. She agrees to have a drink with him when he points out how hard she works for everyone, especially Jesse. In her kitchen, Emily laughs at Miles’s stories but reminds him that she’s never going to be with him. She then removes her pants and warns him to leave before morning. “Kids almost caught you last time,” she says.
The prostitutes and Quincannon’s crew gather at Toadvine to remember Lacey. Tulip and Clive trade angry words. Mosie offers Clive a free hour on the house to ease the situation and advises Tulip to watch her temper. Tulip marches upstairs and whips a man who she thinks is Clive, causing him to fall through a window. When Clive comes to the bedroom door, Tulip realizes she attacked the wrong man. Down below, Cassidy grunts as blood spurts from his neck.
Tulip cradles Cassidy in a car as a prostitute drives them to the hospital. She apologizes profusely and chastises herself for having anger issues. Cassidy watches her speak and asks her to kiss him. She does.
At the hospital, Tulip urgently begs a nurse to get a doctor only to turn around and find that Cassidy is gone. She follows a trail of blood to a blood bank and discovers Cassidy slurping blood from a bag.
In a flashback, Jesse’s father John wakes him in the middle of the night and takes him to Quincannon Meat & Power. Jesse waits in the hall while John goes into Quincannon’s office. While waiting, Jesse steals an ashtray. Shouts are heard inside and John walks out. “Denounce him!” Quincannon yells after him.
Back in the truck, John tells Jesse that some people just can’t be saved.
In the present, Jesse visits Quincannon’s office where they’re building a model of the Alamo together. Jesse invites Quincannon to his Sunday service. Quincannon, who is an atheist, declines. Jesse tells Quincannon that if he comes to church on Sunday and does not leave a Christian, he’ll give Quincannon his father’s 20 hectares of land — the biggest plot in Annville that Quincannon doesn’t own.
On Sunday, Jesse stands before a packed house and tells the congregation that the world is turning to shit — and that it’s all their fault. “You’ve turned your back on the Lord,” he says. He vows to bring them back to God one by one and asks Quincannon to serve God. Quincannon refuses and starts to leave. As everyone watches, Jesse puts his hand on Quincannon’s shoulder and employs the Word of God. “Serve God,” he commands. “Of course I will, yes sir,” Quincannon says. The room erupts in whispers.
Fiore and DeBlanc wait in the motel room. The phone contraption begins to ring. They stare motionless at the phone as it rings and rings.