[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Director: Maja Vrvilo
Writer: Mark Stegemann
Starring: Dominic Cooper, Ruth Negga, Joseph Gilgun, Ian Colletti, Julie Ann Emery, Noah Taylor, Ronald Guttman
Jesse attempts to recover more information from the God Interview DVD by enlisting the help of two video experts. Tulip struggles on with her PTSD, trying to feel more useful and wandering into the path of Lara Featherstone and Grail Industries – and we know their leader Herr Starr is on his way for the Preacher. Cassidy is struggling with his own inner angst as he tries to decide whether or not to appease his dying son Denis by sharing his vampirism; cursing him with the same eternal life Cassidy “enjoys”. BUT most importantly, we finally get to go back to Hell: Yay! Hitler gets Eugene sent to the hole, where a different kind of nightmare generator forces Arseface to not just relive his worst memory, but extrapolates a fresh new nightmare to torture the poor boy.
The Hell-Prison scenes are my stand-out favourites for this season. The twisted character ark we’re seeing Eugene (Colletti) undergo while eternally incarcerated is entertaining as heck. He’s got his back tattooed, he’s body-building and has fallen in with the dominant block gang. He’s pushing Hitler (Taylor) around like his little bitch, or at least he’s trying to.
While Adolf took a few beatings, he seems determined to help Eugene as he’s acutely aware that the boy does not belong in Hell. Ms. Mannering (Amy Hill), the head officer for the cell block, is also aware that someone in her charge should not be there – because the extra person is shorting out the cells’ nightmare generators. “Why is Hitler being so helpful?” I’ve been asking myself for the past few weeks. Because it takes more than one person to stage a prison break, and I reckon a pure soul in Hell will have its uses for the most evil man in history.
Tulip and Cassidy got to go to an emotional place in both of their separate side-stories. Tulip (Negga) is still trying to overcome her fear of the Saint of Killers (Graham McTavish) after her close call with him on the night Jesse (Cooper) gave up part of his soul. Her nightmares haven’t stopped and she keeps going back to the Hurt Locker to get shot for fun, and maybe to regain her nerve. Not really invested in what’s going on with Jesse and Cass this week, Tulip tries to feel helpful by patching up all the bullet holes left by the Saint when he stormed the apartment building. Little does she know at the end of the hall, Lara Featherstone (Emery) and Grail Industries have set up shop to spy on the trio before their boss – Herr Starr (Pip Torrens) – arrives. The scene between Tulip and Featherstone is brilliant; you have one person who is pretending to be afraid, anxious and overwhelmed while actually being an incredibly dangerous agent/zealot, and facing her is another person who we know for a fact to be a bona fide badass, who plays the tough-girl act, but is actually suffering heavily from PTSD and is currently pretty vulnerable. Basically, I just can’t wait until they fist-fight.
And now onto the Vampire’s shtick. Cassidy has been watching his son circle the drain for a while now, and Denis’ illness really has become quite gruesome to see. Coughing up buckets of blood and struggling to take a breath, it’s no wonder Cass is so conflicted about giving his son more time. He makes the rounds asking friends for advice, and doesn’t get much from Jessie or Tulip. However, he does make a quick call to the mysterious Irishman Sheamus to ask his advice. Speculation (for fans who haven’t read the comics) would be Sheamus might be the vampire who sired Cassidy, and my hope is that we’ll get to see a little more of this old Irish vampire society somehow. And thank God – wherever she is – for casting Joseph Gilgun in this role. In a show with a lot of straight faces and deadpan deliveries, his massively emotive eyebrows charge every expression he makes. This is usually done for comical effect, so imagine my own fragile emotional state while watching Cass sing to his baby boy – both at the start and what could be the end – of his son’s life. I thought this show was a comedy, but it’s pulled a Futurama on us all and hit us in the feels.
I came to watch a slapdash comedy about a Kung-Fu Preacher with hypnotic powers and now I’m cryin’ over an elderly Frenchman and shaming his shambolic, vampiric father. Not cool, Rogen and Goldberg. Excellent, but not cool.
This episode offers a whole lot up to the fans. It pushes its own boundaries with Eugene’s experience in the hole – especially in terms of sex and violence. Tulip’s struggle is utterly compelling and this week we can really start to see for ourselves how badly things could get if she stays so vulnerable. Cassidy’s sad family matters is the epitome of heavy, and while Denis might have entered the show as a humorous curiosity it’s now abundantly clear his fate will signal a massive influence on Cassidy and that’s definitely interesting.