Written by: Mathew ‘JJ’ Simoes
Preacher’s third episode takes the gang to New Orleans as they confront enemies old and new.
‘Damsels’ opened and closed with Eugene in Hell, and boy does it suck down there. Similar to the Saint of Killers, Eugene is forced to relive the most painful moment of his life, in this case his suicide attempt. Frankly Eugene’s reason for shooting himself wasn’t very compelling, and this one area where the comic is clearly superior. That being said, the opening really drives home the consequences involved with using the Word of God irresponsibly. The closing moment is intriguing, as the various cells in Hell open up, freeing their occupants (which included Hitler). Considering that God has abdicated his throne, I’m curious if this is connected at all to what’s currently happening in Heaven now that God’s gone.
Back on earth we were given an amusing scene with the trio driving to New Orleans as Tulip dreads Jesse discovering her past association with Victor. Her attempts to dissuade Jesse from venturing to New Orleans was a humorous diversion from what became a very dramatic and character heavy episode. Upon arriving in New Orleans Jesse ventures into various establishments asking if anyone’s seen God. He’s directed in one establishment to the basement where he is shown something incredibly bizarre which I will describe, but it was pretty funny as was Cassidy’s reaction to it. It added some levity to what turned out to be a pretty dreary episode.
Jesse walking around New Orleans and asking if anyone’s seen God, from an outside perspective, seems really silly. While watching the episode I couldn’t help but feel embarrassed for Jesse as he gets negative to hilarious responses from people. The way his search is written makes it seem stupid, but it adds to the pointlessness Jesse feels after most of his searching proves fruitless. As Jesse feels defeated you start to really empathize with him due to his awkward encounters with people, getting viewers invested in his story.
Jesse’s difficulties in his search, and Tulip’s attempts to hide her past in New Orleans are beginning complicate their relationship. Tulip spends this episode worried about her old boss discovering that she’s returned, and about Jesse finding out about her employment history with Victor. Tulip is worried about how her past will impact her present with Jesse, and this makes for great character development. This fear on Tulip’s part added a nice layer of suspense to the episode, and made for an excellent cliff-hanger. As Tulip was confronted in the Laundromat the camera stayed focused on her, which both built suspense and kept Tulip’s emotions during this scene at the center. Jesse knows Tulip’s hiding something, but his frustration over the lack of progression in the hunt for God is making him even more agitated when talking to her. It seems their renewed relationship is already facing trials, and it’s interesting to see how Cassidy will factor into this considering his growing feelings for Tulip.
Jesse eventually gets directed to a lounge singer who may be able to help him, only for her to be kidnapped by a van full of men in white suits. Jesse then used the Word to stop their van from driving off. This led to a well choreographed fight sequence between Jesse and her kidnappers where he defeated all of them with brutal efficiency. Later on, she reveals to Jesse that her kidnappers were agents of The Grail who were sent to kidnap her for her knowledge about God’s absence. After getting Jesse to reveal how he stopped her attackers, she re-enters The Grail’s van, revealing herself to be an agent of the organization (Agent Featherstone). This was a twist aided by Julia Ann Emery’s performance as well as the rift growing between Jesse and Tulip. Rather than being a romantic obstacle, which is what I initially assumed, Featherstone is more of a threatening one obstacle. Through their ruse the Grail is quickly established as a dangerous threat to our protagonists, and the episode even included a brief appearance by Herr Starr, a major antagonist in the comic series.
Two more things of note:
-Cassidy’s one of the least developed characters among-st the trio, so it’s nice to see the series delve more into his past through the introduction of an old ‘fr-enemy’.
-It’s good that the show isn’t putting the Saint in every episode, as his constant failure to kill his targets every episode would reduce his threatening nature.
Over-all an entertaining, character driven episode of Preacher that made the series’ world a little larger.
What did you think of Preacher this week? Drop us a line in the comments section with your thoughts.