Jesse Custer

Jesse Custer

Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew Up... in Annville, Texas. His strict, authoritarian father was the local preacher and he frequently used his belt to “make an example” of Jesse in front of the other kids. But Jesse also learned his sense of faith and compassion from his father and spent his Sundays helping with his services. Before his father was murdered, he made Jesse promise to be a good person. 

Living... in Annville. Again. Jesse spent years pulling illegal “jobs with his girlfriend Tulip O’Hare, but the duo was betrayed by their friend Carlos. So Jesse decided to return to his hometown and take over his father’s old church.  

Profession... a small-town preacher. But that’s not the best job for a cynical alcoholic. Jesse believes in God, but his lackluster sermons have trouble attracting much attention in Annville. That is, until he gains the ability to control people with his voice.   

Interests... drinking, fighting, and helping people.  

Relationship Status... single, kind of. Jesse’s life gets significantly more complicated when his ex Tulip shows up in town asking for help with “one last job.” Plus it seems pretty clear that his friend and church organist Emily has more than just friendly feelings for him.  

Challenge... figuring out how to use his newfound powers. When a powerful spirit takes refuge in Jesse’s body he gains the ability to force people follow his commands. Jesse assumes his abilities are a gift from God and decides to use them to help his congregation. Unfortunately, his words can have devastating consequences. When he tells a parishioner to “open his heart,” that man winds up literally ripping out his own heart.    

Personality... conflicted, tortured, and desperate to do the right thing. Jesse genuinely wants to turn over a new leaf when it comes to rejecting his violent past. But that’s easier said than done. While he wants to help people, he can also grow easily frustrated by their petty concerns; his patience doesn’t quite match his compassion. And when Jesse is pushed too far, he lashes out with violence. Given his phenomenal fighting skills, that means he can often leave a bloody trail in his wake. As he puts it, “Violence makes violence makes nothing much at all.”


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