Rob’s ignorance-fuelled reactions to the Preacher TV show continue, read up on what he thought of previous episodes here…
And now, with Probable Spoilers..
Episode 3: The Possibilities
Seems to me like we’re really settling into the rhythm of the series now. This is the shortest episode so far, just shy of forty five minutes, and the first one to feature a full opening credits sequence. This disappointed me a little, as I really liked the ballsy way the other two began, just “BWAAAARP!…PREACHER” then back to the story.
The new thing is in the same style, but, I dunno, it just doesn’t have the same impact. Anyway…
We’re getting a fair bit of Tulip in this one, the cold open was all her, and introduced yet more mysterious, probably evil characters to the roster. In this case a bald, white suited snuff movie aficionado whose face we don’t see. Some sort of crime boss, who Tulip maybe works for? We also get a smidge of back story about Tulip and Jesse’s past, specifically that they were double-crossed by this dude Carlos, and Tulip blames this event on Jesse finding religion and so on. Certainly his betrayal rankles with the both of them, as this is the closest Tulip has yet gotten to tempting Jesse back to being a hitman with her, she manages to get him in the car to go kill the guy, until he changes his mind. It feels to me that this is a scene that may get repeated throughout, with some variations, the whole season.
The other main bit that I enjoyed this week was Jesse and Cassidy experimenting with Jesse’s powers, with some great dumb show by Joe Gilgun acting as if he’s mind-controlled. This bit also made plain that Jesse’s use of the voice often has consequences other than what he’s intended. Guy’s gotta what how he phrases those instructions.
Overall not a great deal happens to move the main story forward this episode to be honest, it’s not bad, or a failing, it’s the just a question of managing the pace of the show, so this episode we simply explore the characters a bit deeper, and not a whole lot of plot progresses, and that’s fine.
Episode 4: Monster Swamp
Things picked up a bit in this one, We got some extended flashbacks to Jesse’s childhood, which I reckon will carry on in parallel with the main narrative, and quite a bit of focus on Jackie Earle Hayley’s character Odin Quincannon, who is obviously the real power in this town. Everyone works for Quincannon Meat & Power (what a combo!), and he can piss into the mayors briefcase and brush the accidental death of a hooker under the rug without even looking vaguely concerned or anyone except for Tulip and Jesse really caring.
I really dig this guy as a baddie so far, I like JEH’s understated performance, which is a nice counterpoint to the tendency for villains to chew up the scenery, and a balance to the looney toons antics of Cassidy. He’s also got a nice dynamic with Jesse, they clearly have history, much like old enemies who still respect each other, and the scene where they build the model Alamo together says a lot about their relationship without really spelling it out (I notice the final volume of the Preacher comic is called Alamo, could this be some sort of foreshadowing? who can say?). I can’t help feeling that Jesse’s grand stunt, using his power to make Quincannon vow to serve God in front of a packed congregation, is a terrible mistake, one that’ll bite him in the arse eventually. I may be wrong, but I can’t shake the feeling.
I enjoyed the English hitman dudes this time around too. We’ve established they’re probably angels, and can resurrect themselves and stuff, but until now they’ve been kind of faceless automatons, it was gratifying to see them show a bit of character this time around, as they’re evidently on earth without permission, because heaven is unaware that the thing that gave Jesse his power was lost, or escaped, and they’re shit scared of being found out, via their soviet field-telephone thing, which is a hotline to the hereafter.
This series has settled into a good rhythm now, easing off a bit from the all guns blazing opening, but not so much as to indicate a dip in quality rather that the creators are going for a slow-burner, much in the vein of the excellent Better Call Saul, which has slowly teased out back story and setups over two seasons, to truly spectacular effect when things really started hotting up. At this early stage Preacher looks set to have the confidence to do something similar, but with more fantastical (and totally batshit) ingredients. More please!
Preacher is showing on AMC in the US and Amazon Prime in the UK, check back in a fortnight for Robs ignorant reactions to episodes 5 & 6