[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Director: Wayne Yip
Writer: Olivia Dufault
Starring: Dominic Cooper, Ruth Negga, Joseph Gilgun, Pip Torrens, Ronald Guttman, Graham McTavish
“Can’t you feel it, Jesse? That somethin’ is…not right?”
This week on AMC’s Preacher, the Unholy Trinity raise some money for the everlasting search for God by outsmarting some gunslingin’ gamblers while a floating pig in Vietnam attracts the unsavoury attention of Herr Starr. Cassidy and Denis enjoy a fortuitous conversation with a French translator, allowing the father and son (yup, still getting over that one) to share another tear-jerking revelation together.
This week, us Preacher fans got to learn all about Herr Starr, the one-eyed man in white stalking out of scene for the past two seasons. The mysterious figure appeared fleetingly in the first season, making a really lovely first impression as we watched him walk out of a cinema screening a snuff film. Ever since, we’ve all been desperate to know whether this laid back, easy-going bald man would be here to help Team Preacher or not.
Well, as it turns out the former Nazi with the nipple rings and chain is actually a bit of an unpleasant chap. We get to see just how unpleasant in a flashback to 2004, where, in London, Starr along with a dwindling line-up of applicants are competing for a position with a mysterious company of white-suited Christians, eventually labelled The Grail. During the process, Starr proves himself to be an unwavering, unfeeling (dare I say, soulless…) sunnavabitch.
The Grail is tasked with the protection of Jesus Christ, who is kept hidden in an underground bunker somewhere. While they wait for Judgement Day to roll out a psalm leaf carpet for big J-Dog, Starr joins the Heresy Division and is tasked with rooting out false idols. It’s not long – at all – before he becomes head of the division, and after wrapping up an incident in a Vietnamese farming village involving a floating pig, Starr is given a new target – the Preacher, Jesse Custer.
Also, this week on: The Adventures of Vampire Dad and his son Wrinkles; More heartache to be had over the seriously distorted relationship between Cassidy and Denis. As Cassidy learns – with the help of a French translator who serendipitously was drinking nearby – that his son is gravely ill, and desperately desires respite from his fate. Fans of The Walking Dead be aware, there is a not-so-subtle cameo from the zombie drama’s prop department, but anyway, back to Cass and Denis.
He believes his father, what with his vampirism, could make something happen here but Cassidy’s not having it. Why won’t Cassidy share his vampire blood with his dying son though? He seems to genuinely love being a vampire, living in eternal hedonism – is he being kind by allowing his son to have a death, or is there something more malevolent on his mind? I remember when I used to trust Cassidy, but now I’m not so sure.
Tulip is struggling to trust her own sense of reality this week after her close call with the Saint of Killers in last week’s episode. She has nightmares of the Hell-spawn Cowboy choking her, haunting her throughout the house and robbing her of her rest and peace of mind, whatever little of it was there to begin with. Of the three leading characters, Tulip has always been the toughest, so to see her shook like this – which Ruth Negga plays so well, because she’s the best – was more unnerving for me than any of the stuff with Herr Starr. Murder an entire village of Vietnamese farmers? I’m desensitized, I’ll move on. Show me Tulip O’Hare lose her self-confidence? I’m a bigger mess than she is and I’m not even fictional. This show’s cast is outstanding, each and every member and it’s the honest, human moments like the ones we get with Tulip that give this show’s irreverent and heretical plot an endearing depth.
Lots of new information was given in the week’s episode, specifically about Herr Starr and the Grail. This primes the next wave of enemies Jesse, Tulip and Cass will have to deal with. While I can’t wait to see Herr Starr properly enter the main story, I am also really curious about what he’d do if he ran into Hitler. I know I make this same complaint each week, but you can’t tease Prison Break: Escape from Hell (Starring Hitler and Arseface) and then make me – I mean us – wait for this long to see it happen. Patience is a virtue and all, but this show has never been virtuous.
Well, Eugene and Hitler are still stuck in side-plot Hell, but Herr Starr is getting ready to tear stuff up in New Orleans now that his sights have been set on the now heretical Preacher. The gang may not have found God yet but they definitely found plenty of other stuff to occupy their minds, and now the trials of the adventure are starting to wear down the strongest of the trio.