Previously on Preacher, “Gonna Hurt”
In thy filthiness is lewdness: because I have purged thee, and thou wast not purged, thou shalt not be purged from thy filthiness any more, till I have caused my fury to rest upon thee.
After last week’s eye-opening revelations that may have irrevocably altered the dynamics between Jesse, Tulip, and Proinsias, “The Tombs” made sure to keep its foot on the throat of the trio’s once resolute friendship. Try as he might, the vileness of Angelville crept back into Jesse’s heart as he resumed his old act as M.C. of the family’s arcane fight club. Despite his worst efforts in putting on a show for Jody and T.C., Custer’s intentions remain vague even to him. In “saving” Cassidy, Jesse placed his alleged best friend in greater harm (and continued to treat him horribly), creating a rift between them that may not mend whenever Custer is able to escape Gran’ma’s clutches.
Worse yet, Jesse’s old nemesis The Saint of Killers was given a reprieve of sorts by the Head Demon In Charge. Though the Cowboy was expressly told not to pursue the preacher just yet, there’s no mistaking his return above ground will turn into violent happenstance – and perhaps the “out” from Angelville Custer is looking for. In any case, Jesse is doing a horrible job in keeping his friends close as his enemies get way too close for his liking.
The same could also be written for the unstoppable monosyllabic killing machine known as The Saint of Killers (Graham McTavish) who was granted a brief respite to meet with the Devil himself down in his ninth circle penthouse shaped like a goddamn were-skull. The sequence was classic Preacher with its propensity for outrageousness in design and execution. It’s as though the art department scanned through all of Iron Maiden’s album covers and thought “not crazy enough”. Satan’s office was equal parts infernal, garish and ludicrous, which I must admit, fits the bill to a “T”.
Jason Douglas (last seen as Tobin on AMC’s other show The Walking Dead) does an admirable (though unintentional) Gordon Gekko impersonation as the King of Hell, coming off as the “cool boss” who keeps things loose but is actually a seething fit of rage just under the surface. Although the order of the universe was already disrupted when those powerful few realized God went AWOL, Fiore and DeBlanc’s desperation play in releasing The Saint made everything go full tilt. Satan claimed The Saint is one of his favorites – and how could he not be with all the souls given him over the years – yet The Dark One has to save face and punish his number one earner and orders his Angel of Death to lash him for virtually the entirety of the episode.
The abuse is also carried on with Cassidy, who not only has to fight a soulless man to his ignoble death but contend with the sudden change in Jesse’s personality. Though Custer did warn Tulip and Proinsias about the hold Angelville has on him, one wouldn’t have expected Jesse to simply allow the trauma and horror of his previous stay overwhelm him to the point of regression. Granted, Jesse appeared to be playing a role for T.C. and Jody’s sakes so Gran’ma won’t get suspicious. Yet that doesn’t require him to dismember his friend in order to ship him out of town. If that’s what best friends are for, I’ll keep to myself! It’s been a weird sequence of events for Cassidy since the premiere; between his lovesickness and rampant jealousy that caused him to purchase a love potion for Tulip, and now being exploited and chopped up by his one and only friend puts viewers in an odd place for the Irishman. He was the creepiest jerk only a week ago and now we’re partly obliged to sympathize for him because, ironically enough, his storyline is the most relatable between the three.
Immortality notwithstanding, for all his glaring faults and harmful decisions at the expense of old friends, Cassidy has the most human narrative of the show. In a way, he never grew after that fateful night with the bog witch in the early 1900s. Clearly, due to all his drug and alcohol abuse, Proinsias is perpetually coping with the massive void left in his unbeating heart. It’s tough to carry on in solitude, but when you finally let your guard down among people you genuinely accept as friends (most especially Tulip) and don’t know how to accept their responses, it hurts. Perhaps that’s why Cassidy remains so affable in spite of his selfishness, he doesn’t keep things bottled in like O’Hare or Custer.
Still and all, the more engaging moments of the episodes occurred during Tulip’s late-night misadventures with Sabina (Prema Cruz), the successor of the Boyd clan – and Jesse’s ex-girlfriend. Always seeking a way to pull Custer’s fat out of the fire, O’Hare took Madame Boyd hostage to impel a spell that would break the blood compact between Gran’ma and Jesse. Like many of her impulsive pursuits for revenge, Tulip didn’t anticipate a handful of things like the best way to exit the Boyd stronghold, which country road leads back to Angelville – and Sabina having a history with her one true love.
Honestly, it’s not too surprising that Jesse L’Angell and Sabina Boyd had a thing going on. It’s apparent the former has a type, which is a woman with the confidence and inner strength Jesse seemingly lacks. If it wasn’t for T.C.’s gentle warning about Gran’ma going after Sabina if she found out about that secret relationship, Sabina likely would have suffered a dire fate, especially for being kin of their sworn rival. So it’s understandable why and how Jesse dumped her, and in the time since Madame Boyd probably doesn’t understand the reason for Custer’s sudden turn… due to her brother’s fervent and ill-fated urgency to restore her honor.
Although there are two truths to the manner which Sabina’s brother died, his passing assured their feud will never be resolved. Nevertheless, Tulip’s insistence compelled Sabine to reveal more about the rules of the compact: the only way to remove it is to eliminate the person who sealed the debt. In other words, kill Gran’ma. Obviously that’s easier said than done, and we still don’t know exactly what spell Madame L’Angell conjured up in or around Tulip’s body while Jesse and Cassidy were away. Another interesting piece of intel Madame Boyd let slip was the potential success of removing the curse. “Nothing will happen to Jesse. Promise.” Nothing will happen to Jesse… but what of Tulip? Perhaps Sabina can detect some kind of covert juju emanating from O’Hare? If there’s one thing she and Marie share as matriarchs of their respective clans, they are extremely adept in knowing everything that takes place across their slice of Louisiana.
Preacher S3E4 Review Score
Preacher – S3E4 – “The Tombs” | Dominic Cooper, Joseph Gilgun, Ruth Negga, Ian Colletti, Pip Torrens, Noah Taylor, Julie Ann Emery, Malcolm Barrett | Writer: Mark Stegemann | Director: Wayne Yip