[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Director: Steph Green
Writer: Mary Laws
Starring: Dominic Cooper, Joseph Gilgun, Ruth Negga, Pip Torrens, Julie Ann Emery, Malcolm Barrett, Ronald Guttman, Tyson Ritter
In what may be the most sacrilegious episode of the show so far, AMC’s Preacher pushes new limits as it unfurls the sordid history of Jesus Christ and the origin of The Grail. Slapping Jesse Custer (Cooper) across the face (or pissing on it, to be more exact), this week our Jesse gets some one-on-one time with the most powerful religious leaders – present tense and future – while Herr Starr (Torrens) tries to bring the power of Genesis into some kind of partnership with The Grail. Meanwhile, Tulip (Negga) almost rumbles the two Grail operatives observing the Denis’(Guttman) apartment. Agent Featherstone (Emery) and her partner F.J. Hoover (Barrett) manage to throw Tulip off their scent, leading her to find some things Jesse kept hidden. And, on this week’s Vampire Watch; Denis is going all Nosferatu on hookers while his dad Cassidy makes concerned faces and doesn’t do much to help.
This episode is ballsy as f*ck, no other way of putting it. Not only did they cast Tyson Ritter (Lead singer for All American Rejects) as their scumbag shagger Jesus Christ, and proceed to choreograph the most explicit shadow puppet display of time featuring the former Mr. Christ and his date for the night, but goes on to end their little historical flashback sequences with some Old Testament/Game of Thrones level brutality – depending on your own personal literary preferences.
But this wonderful heresy doesn’t entirely end in flashbacks to the past; Jesus went and made himself his own family line, and after years of degenerate inbreeding, the 25th Great Grandson of Christ is a developmentally challenged “Dobby the House-Elf” sort of character named Humperdoo. Humperdoo doesn’t seem nearly as harmful as the Grail operatives that protect him, but they do so because they are resigned to believe that he will be the savior of the Earth at the time of rapture. This unfortunate reality is the reason for Herr Starr’s disenfranchisement with his career, and spurred his interest in Jesse’s quest as well as his ability.
There has been a great duality built up between Tulip and Featherstone that I discussed in last week’s review. In this episode, we get to see a little flutter in that dynamic, where Tulip shows us a little bit of her real self as she almost exposes Featherstone’s fake victim persona. Tulip was only able to do so because Featherstone mentioned the Dallas bank job, a story Tulip did not confide in her. This feels like Tulip’s first little win in a few episodes as she’s been mostly out of commission since Jesse started pushing her aside and the Saint put the fear of God (ha geddit) into her, and it’s also the first time we’ve seen Featherstone make such a mistake. Luckily, she has her partner, Hoover, ready to take yet more of a beating that he just doesn’t seem to deserve. How did you get to this place, Hoover?
I’ve been loving the new Vampire Diaries this series, I have. But the point has come where Cassidy has to decide how he actually feels about Denis and his new lifestyle. Specifically; does he or does he not care? Because it’s really difficult to tell if this is just what a centuries-old moral compass looks like or if the writing is just a little inconsistent. I’ve also been loving the little domestic moments between the father and son, like “the talk” Cassidy gives Denis, albeit the Vampiric rapist version of it. Cassidy clearly expressed a desire to get through to his son, and I mean physically expressed – Gilgun has a very emotive face. And yet, when Denis goes missing or when the prostitute is actually yelling for help he reacts in the most chill, nonchalant manner. I understand this relationship will have greater depths to it and I suspect we’ll have more context provided before long, but this still feels like an odd side-story to focus on while approaching the end of the season.
This week’s Preacher is going places seldom dare to go, and the search for God finally has some momentum about it. However, Jesse is definitely walking that path alone right now. Tulip and Cassidy are committed to their own side stories and not with much focus. Tulip has some great moments but Cassidy and Denis is getting a little sloppy.