‘Monster Swamp’ pulls us deeper into how truly messed up Annville has become, and Jesse realizes to get results, he needs to go straight to the top.
The weirdest, most sexist version of The Deadliest Game unfolds on Annville’s streets, as Quincannon’s men chase down the women from Toadvine Whorehouse.
Clive ends up running down one woman in his truck, then pulling a gun on her. When she holds her hands up in surrender, he shoots her anyway.
Turns out they’re using paintball guns, though, so she’s not really dead, but that doesn’t last for long because she steps backwards into a giant pit that was covered up.
Jesse was the perfect little helper for his dad. He took care of the Bibles being in pews, the communion wine, and handing out the bulletins. The church is packed with people.
A young Jesse stares up at his father adoringly as he prays.
Back in the present, Cassidy tries to talk to Jesse after he finishes praying and he’s leaving the church.
The scene he’s trying to describe is the night he killed both angels in the church while Jesse was passed out. He literally confesses murder, but Jesse can’t understand a word he’s saying.
“A dozen pieces. Buried in a suitcase. Problem solved.”
Cassidy then tries to explain what they might be, (robots with human innnards?), but Jesse goes outside and Cassidy has to run inside and get on his sun appropriate attire again. He’s practically begging for Jesse to leave town because these two guys are going to try and hurt him, but Jesse shrugs him off.
I mean, who’d listen to Cassidy about this sort of thing? He’s nearly always high or drunk.
“Look padre, I’m trying to tell you, that thing you’ve got inside you, people, they’re gonna to want that.”
“And I’m gonna give it to them.”
He drives off, leaving Cassidy in the dust.
Outskirts of Annville
A crowd has gathered around the pit that Lacey fell into the night before. The women from Toadvine and Quincannon’s men are there along with Tulip and Sheriff Root as they raise Lacey’s body from the pit.
She’s caked with mud (that’s what I’m calling it), and quite obviously dead.
Quincannon stands on a wooden crate and delivers a rage inducing speech to all in attendance.
“Uh, thank y’all for coming out today. Uh, there’s some lessons to be learned. Uh, first, you boys need to watch your roughhousing ‘cause this is what could happen. And, uh, you ladies, if you’re gonna be out here in the middle of the night, you need to watch where you’re walking.”
Tulip’s reaction to all of this is incredible, and you can tell her anger is simmering below the surface as Sheriff Root says, “Well, you heard him, show’s over.”
This also FIRMLY shows where the town’s hierarchy falls and Quincannon is its top dog.
As everyone is walking away, Tulip asks Mos what the hell is going on, but she seems as unfazed by it as everyone else.
Clive stands a few feet away, looking at the body hanging there, laughing with a buddy. Some people start housing down the body, and Tulip continues to watch, furious.
Jesse shows up unannounced and Emily’s son opens the door, and tells Jesse that his momma is there, but she’s pooping.
Emily is so shocked when she comes out of the bathroom and finds Jesse in her living room, but he launches into questions right away. He wants to know how many people were in church, and what they can do to get their congregation numbers up.
He suggests a raffle, and Emily says she can get a coupon to Flavour Station , but Jesse shuts her down. He wants to get a flatscreen T.V. to raffle off and get people in the pews.
This is the moment Emily turns serious.
She asks, “What is this? What happened? Did you do something?”
He asks what she means, and she explains that someone saw him going into the bus driver’s house one night and then the guy was sporting a messed up face the next day.
“I just worry about you sometimes.”
“You don’t need to worry about me, Em. Not anymore. Okay?”
He gets in super close, and you just KNOW he’s going in for a kiss. I mean, it’s in his eyes, but he ends up finding a band-aid stuck to her shirt.
Emily tells Jesse that she’ll go with him to buy the T.V., and that she’ll get a sitter for the kids. As he leaves the house, she looks at him the way someone in love would. She’s got it bad.
Jesse’s father catches him smoking with some other kids outside the church and pulls him aside.
He tells Jesse that people look at him and his actions. Then he proceeds to spank Jesse with his belt in front of the other kids.
It cuts to Jesse again, putting his cigarette out in a fancy ashtray.
Cassidy shits between the angels as they explain their plan to him. When they don’t give him enough information, he takes a pen and paper and begins asking questions.
What’s inside Jesse? They can’t tell him.
How they’ll get it out? With the chainsaw, or maybe they could draw it out with a song.
“I just—I think he’d prefer that to the saw, to be honest.”
The angels tell him they’ll take it back home once they get it, and Cassidy just wants to clarify that they’re from Heaven and they’re not in charge of anything.
He then asks them about payment.
“Jesse has a weakness for controlled substances, all right? China White, black beauties, reds, blues. Mmm. Opiates are a particular weakness. Really, a great honking armful of drugs it just— it would really help close the deal here, boys. You know what I mean?”
Their faces are just as bad as Tulip’s from before, and he tells them that money is good enough payment. He leaves the angels, telling them he’ll be back very soon.
Fiore says that he doesn’t trust him, and goes to the bed and pulls out an old looking phone from underneath. Deblanc tells him that they can’t use the phone. They can’t call anyone because no one knows they’re actually on Earth or that the energy they were supposed to protect has gotten loose.
Since they didn’t give him the drugs, Cassidy found them on his own.
He’s using a wide variety of drugs and has a lovely lady helping him use up his cache.
He’s sitting at this old as hell computer playing a game when Miles, the Mayor, walks in.
Miles is trying to start up conversation about how, with Quincannon’s approval, they need to do something about Lacey’s death.
Of course, he doesn’t actually say that, but instead chooses to go another route, talking about the safety of the residents of Annville.
“What’s causing these sinkholes?”
Quincannon has the Mayor and the Sheriff in his pocket.
Miles takes his non answers for law and starts to leave.
This allows Quincannon to open conversation with Miles about Jerry Cutler and Green Acres. The company that’s openly trying to compete with him. See, Miles went to eat lunch with Jerry in Austin last week.
Quincannon launches into a story about his grandfather, who dealt with a similar situation a long time ago with men encroaching on his territory. They were from Los Cruces*. He tells Miles that his grandfather took care of those men and no one said a word, and his father was like that, and… it’s insinuated that he’ll do the same.
Miles insist that Quincannon do what’s best for a dying Annville and listen to these men from Green Acres. The answer isn’t what he’s expecting because Quincannon begins to pee on the pamphlets he brought that still lay in Miles’ briefcase.
(*That town name should be very familiar because that’s where we last left the man from the past back in episode two. With all the flashbacks this episode, hopefully we’ll be getting more of Quincannon’s backstory, too.)
Fiore is watching T.V. and sees a really good looking burger commerical.
All of a sudden the phone rings and both of them think it’s the Heaven phone, but in reality, it’s just the real one. The manager wants to know when they’re checking out and he gives Cassidy’s answer, very soon.
Then he pulls on his jacket and heads out because he’s hungry. In a hilarious turn, he goes to the front desk and asks for the burger from the commercial and gets directed to the vending machine.
Miles is sitting down at her table, drinking wine when she comes back inside.
This is the babysitter, and not only does he have a super crush on her, he’s cleaned her kitchen, set the mood with some music and got the wine out already.
She tries to pay him, but he turns her down. He tells her that there’s nothing he’d rather do.
Emily reluctantly agrees to sit down and have a drink with him and they talk for hours, laughing at stories Miles tells her about the residents of Annville and their complaints. He even mentions Quincannon in passing, but before he can tell the story, Emily cuts him off.
“I’m never going to be with you. You know that, right, Miles?”
“Well, you’ve told me enough times. Sure.”
Emily stands and pulls off her pants as she’s walking away.
“Out before morning. Kid’s almost caught you last time.”
He hurriedly rinses out their glasses and follows after her. I don’t know if I should feel bad for Miles or not. On one hand, he knows she won’t pursue a relationship, but on the other, Emily is taking advantage of his feelings for her.
They’re having a memorial service for Lacey, and Tulip has absolutely had enough.
“Lacey wasn’t called to Heaven by some fairies on a cloud. She was run down by a bunch of cavemen with pop guns and fell into a bottomless shit pit.”
One man tries to say it was an accident, but Tulip isn’t having that either.
“Not talkin’ to you Vern. Shut up. When it comes to men and their deviances, I threw my hands up long ago. But you ladies, you should know better running around in your underwear, gettin’ hunted like animals. What the hell were you thinkin’?”
She gets into it with Clive, who says some completely despicable things, before Mos breaks it up, and give the men an hour on the house.
We find out after everyone leaves the main room, that Tulip’s mother worked in this same whorehouse, and we can assume that this was her home, too. Mos goes to make tea, and Tulip stews in her anger. Once the music and sex noises start, she runs up the stairs, intent on hurting Clive.
She just doesn’t choose the right door, and Cassidy is on the wrong side of her anger. Getting beaten and knocked out a window. He ends up with a shard of glass in his neck, and Tulip rushes him to the hospital.
On the way, she prays to God to save this man. Pleading that she’ll be good. So good that God won’t even know it’s her anymore.
Cassidy tells her to kiss him and she does. Then she tells him not to worry that he’s going to make it and he smirks at her.
Once they get into the hospital, she gets him in a chair and starts yelling at the old woman working check-in that her friend needs help.
The woman looks at her like she’s crazy and asks what friend?
Tulip turns to find Cassidy gone, but follows his trail of blood to the blood storage room. When she opens the door, she finds him propped up against the refrigerators, drinking from the pints of blood in them.
“You were right, love. I think I’m gonna make it.”
Tulip looks less than impressed but not too surprised.
Jesse’s dad wakes him up in the middle of the night and hauls him out to Quincannon’s offices.
He waits outside while his dad goes in, and during that time, he steals the ashtray off the side table. It’s the same one he used earlier in the episode, so he’s been holding onto it for a long time.
There are raised voices from the office, but Jesse’s dad comes out as someone yells, “Denounce him!”
Jesse’s dad tells him in the truck on the way home:
“Some people just can’t be saved.”
He takes a hold of the ashtray in his pocket and doesn’t say anything.
Quincannon’s office (Present Day)
Jesse is helping Quincannon work on a model of The Battle of the Alamo. It’s highly detailed and intricate.
Over craft time, he and Jesse get into a conversation about God and the afterlife. First though, Jesse says that in order to get people into church, he needs someone they look up to to start coming on Sundays. When Jesse questions him about the last time he attended church, Quincannon tells him it’s been a long time.
There’s a statement here made my Quincannon that makes me think that he and Jesse have spent time together like this before.
“You know the rules. I don’t talk about how my meat gets made. You don’t talk about your magic man in the sky.”
Then they start talking about the afterlife. Like the threat of hell will sway someone as evil as Quincannon. His belief is that there’s nothing after this at all, but Jesse asks him what if he’s wrong? The description that Quincannon gives of Hell is scary and well thought out. You can’t help but wonder how often he’s thought about going to hell and if he knows he deserves to go there.
“Aren’t you afraid?”
“Nope. Seems to me you are, preacher.”
Jesse ends up getting Quincannon to agree to come to church the next day by making a deal. His father’s land that Quincannon has always wanted if Jesse doesn’t bring him to Christ.
Quincannon takes the deal.
Jesse is preaching to a packed house because they all want that flatscreen T.V., and Quincannon has taken the bait and shown up, too.
His sermon is definitely something they weren’t planning to here either.
“The world is turning to shit. An you know what? It’s all your fault. You’ve turned your back on the Lord. Your despair has caused you to lose faith, embrace false idols. But these idols, these things, they won’t save you. Your whiskey won’t save you. Your money won’t save you. Your sex, love, romance. They will not save you. Your parents. Your precious little children. That 55-inch flat screen T.V. out there… Nothing. nothing will save you.
You’re sinners. You’ve strayed. You’ve forgotten the power of the Lord, but it’s not too late. I’m here to remind you that starting today, no, starting right now. I’m going to bring you back to God. One by one. Beginning with one man amongst us, who has strayed the furthest.
God wants you back, Mr. Quincannon.”
When Jesse asks him if he’ll serve the Lord, Quincannon answers with a solid no.
After asking several times, Quincannon stands up to leave and Jesse uses his big boy voice to tell Quincannon to serve God.
“Will you serve God?”
“Of course, I will. Yes, sir.”
He says that several more times, too, as Jesse walks away.
The angels are sitting on the beds again, and Fiore is admiring his Cheeto dusted hands when the phone rings again. Fire picks up the normal phone, but the ringing continues.
They look to the Heaven phone. I guess they’ve been found out!
On next week’s episode, “South Will Rise Again”, things take weird turn with Quincannon know under Jesse’s control, and Donnie seems to be on the hunt to find out what Jesse did. We also need to find out if the angels answered that phone call and what’s going on with them.
Check out the stills from the episode below! It looks like we’re going to see more Eugene, too, and there might be a showdown in the Flavour Station between Jesse and Tulip…