Previously on Preacher, “Angelville”
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
– Mark 8:36
After last week’s awkward family reunion, Jesse has begun to settle in to his new old role in the family business. Seeking a path to regain her former glory, Madame L’Angell set things in motion to ensure Custer won’t abandon her once again. Concurrently, Jesse called upon Herr Starr to restore his soul so he could bounce and get back on his original quest to find God… but nothing will be that easy on Preacher! When has any plan Jesse put together worked out? “Sonsabitches” affirmed Custer can be the worst (when thinking expressly about his needs), but more than that, the value of one’s soul is often discounted until it’s forfeit.
In the cold open we gained a bit more insight on the depths of Madame L’Angell’s powers and reputation across the parishes and the world as a spiritist, diviner and “mistress of the pyramids”. Haughty titles yet it’s evident Gran’ma has the juice to back up her family’s longstanding rep. Additionally we learned the L’Angells aren’t the only prominent family steeped in the occult. The Boyds – briefly introduced in “Angelville” as the crew getting their asses handed to them by Jody – are regarded to be an affordable alternative to their rivals, however their skills don’t come at a grave cost, as many of Marie’s clients may attest.
It was obvious last week that Gran’ma is a callous, depraved creature who craves power and authority over others, and no one is beyond her gnarled malevolent hand, not even her beloved daughter. So it’s not surprising when a creepy high school teacher wasn’t given any mercy after a handful of missed payments. Once more, viewers are prompted about the medicinal properties of souls in this world, not only an instant cure-all for all manner of diseases and ailments as witnessed in season two, but in greater amounts a possible inhibitor of the aging process.
Given how important Jesse’s presence is to Marie, her direct involvement in Tulip’s resurrection and the “powers” she’s exhibited for a long, long time, it’s clear the L’Angell matriarch is chasing that clout with intent to restore the family plantation as the epicenter of all things imperative within the country. That, and she’s on the market again for a whole heap of souls.
Obviously the L’Angells had seen better days, yet Marie remains powerful enough to bring Tulip back from Purgatory. In the days since, she’s still processing what was experienced on the other side. At the very least Cassidy is present and ever attentive to O’Hare’s needs; truly she means a great deal to Proinsias beyond romantic love, nevertheless his attraction to Tulip is becoming painfully apparent. Naturally, Custer doesn’t care much for his lovesick friend fawning over his girl, but he’s simply incapable of providing the same level of devotion. The enmity between Jesse and Cassidy will no doubt last for some time, probably after the dust has settled this season. Neither man is in the right, and one isn’t better than the other… plus Tulip can up and leave whenever she damn pleases.
That is if Madame L’Angell didn’t bind her to the plantation as another measure to keep her grandson in line.
One thing’s for certain: Tulip didn’t lose a step while temporarily deceased as she ran after and nearly put her would-be murderer Featherstone (Julie Ann Emery) to sleep. Hoover wasn’t far behind and no one, especially the L’Angells, were surprised the two of them were sneaking around the compound or had urgent questions about their association with Jesse. It’s likely the family and The Grail were equally aware of each other’s power and history and kept a healthy distance for the mere fact they’ve such contrasting agendas. But here we are, both parties unwillingly intertwined because of Custer’s ability to wield Genesis.
Unfortunately for all, their survival is tied directly or obliquely to Jesse and his power. The Grail may have the upper hand for the moment by ransoming a piece of Custer’s soul, but they know full well their chosen Messiah and his two best pals aren’t persons they can merely “handle”. Tulip herself made that quite evident during her kill-crazy cataleptic state during Jesse’s almost-done deal in the front yard. While Cassidy may not be so skilled with firearms or fisticuffs, his own “abilities” make him another puzzling complication within an already formidable adversary. As for the L’Angells, we aren’t sure what they know about Jesse’s issues with Genesis and Cassidy’s vampyrism. Seeing how Jody asked Cass about his umbrella hat, they (or at least he and T.C.) are unaware of their guests’ conditions. However one can never put anything past Gran’ma… when she was left alone with Tulip, who knows what spell(s) she conjured. As much as Madame covets her unrivaled skills as a spiritist, acquiring information on everyone is what truly secures her power over them.
So far, everything is angled in Gran’ma and Starr’s favor with Jesse unable to do anything but literally sweep up the mess he left behind so many years ago. The only problem is his friends will likely pay for Custer’s chicanery alongside him, they just don’t know it yet. For their sakes, Jesse will have to think of the long game to better their odds of escaping Madame L’Angell’s clutches and The Grail’s watchful eye. If anything Custer has plenty of time to scheme, in the darkness of his failings.