Previously on Preacher, “The Tombs”
And I will execute vengeance in anger and fury upon the heathen, such as they have not heard.
Life sure does come at you fast in Angelville. One minute your girlfriend is cooler than a polar bear’s toenails, your best friend hates you, and the only person that can turn everything around is your grandmother who gutted your mom to know what secret (i.e. you) she was hiding from her. Now that the honeymoon period is over, Jesse Tulip and Cassidy are possibly far worse off than they’ve ever been. Unlike The Grail, who pride themselves on their subtlety and precision maneuvers to eventually take over the world, the L’Angells are desperately seeking notoriety and legend for their particular brand of depravity.
After failing to get Cass out of Angelville before Jody and T.C. really put his pal through the ringer, Jesse was partly successful but only on Proinsias’ terms. He wanted Tulip to recognize how far gone her beau had become once back in The Tombs, however Cassidy was never one to catch on to a scam until it socked him right in the face. Now temporarily out of the equation, Custer and O’Hare must contend with the three-headed snake that is the L’Angells on their own, while Cassidy endures a solitary existence in New Orleans – until he discovered the grass may have been a lot greener before his “rescue” by a certain vampire cult.
Before creeping around the dank and dusty corners of Angelville, The Grail is trying to do their damndest to make Humperdoo (Tyson Ritter) show ready for the Apocalypse. Short of performing a “Give Me That Old Soft Shoe” to the delight of Herr Starr’s boss The All Father (Jonny Coyne), the Messiah remained a hot stinking mess. Given All Father’s urge to accelerate the End Times and not feeling confident about Humperdoo being accepted by the masses (let alone not knowing his asshole from his elbow), the ever opportunistic Featherstone suggested a plan that may pull Starr’s fat out of the fire and guarantee a prosperous Second Coming.
The Grail’s success only relies on the cooperation of an weak-willed alcoholic womanizer of an Irish vampire. Yeah, this is gonna work out so well.
Remarkably, things appeared to be going as well as they can be for Cassidy. Sure, he still has a rampant drug and alcohol problem and would resemble a slab burnt bacon without his parasol, but at least he has his sense of humor! Proinsias is still dejected from his recent conversation with Tulip and gives it a half-hearted effort with another vampire thanks to an niche app called Bite Me. Unfortunately Cassidy made the mistake of believing it’s a means for legitimate vampires to meet up for casual encounters… or grab something to eat together. Alas, his date turned out to be a fake, and something of a saving grace near episode’s end when her cult – Les Enfants Du Sang – saved their newest companion from the clutches of Herr Starr.
For Cassidy, either group is probably a match made in Hell. No doubt once sober, he’ll continue to fret about not being in the company of his friends amid a throng of worshipping strangers.
As for life in Angelville, in hindsight Tulip’s hesitance to double tap Gran’ma in her sleep was a good thing, given we now know that Madame L’Angell tethered her soul to O’Hare’s. While preparing the resurrection spell, viewers also witnessed Marie simultaneously readying her second spell that required bits of hair and skin. It really shouldn’t be that surprisingly to her or Jesse that Gran’ma would cover her bases to insure she keeps the upper hand over her grandson and his woman. While Madame L’Angell wasn’t the most personable character in the first few episodes, she was decidedly reserved given the fearful reputation Jesse claimed she earned.
This all changed during “The Coffin” as Marie’s fervent desire to return Angelville – and her formidable powers – to its former glory were on full display with her savagery and madness went unchecked among enemies and allies alike. This is the Marie L’Angell we’ve come to know and hate in the comics, and boy, could she turn into a real handful for all within Angelville.
Before things go completely shithouse, Jody and T.C. are looking to have a talk and resolve issues with Tulip and Jesse about their missing friend. Naturally, by “talk” I mean “fist fight that quickly turned into a melee with improvised weapons across multiple rooms of the plantation” and by “resolve issues” I mean “make each other good and dead”. Playtime was ultimately cut short by Gran’ma and Jesse’s blood compact, which she used to choke the life out of her grandson and coerce Tulip to drop her piece. For most of “The Coffin”, as much as Jesse is front and center to its narrative, the lead thread remained between Tulip and Gran’ma for obvious and unstated reasons.
Essentially, O’Hare and L’Angell are a pair of alphas that are similar in quality and execution yet are diametrically opposed in their life’s purpose. Tulip and Marie have proven time and again they are willing to make the hardest decisions to get done what needs to be done, no matter the expense. Seeking revenge against Carlos, betraying Viktor, gunning for The Grail on her own and taking on the Boyds on her own… Tulip has every bit of fire as Madame L’Angell and given one’s perspective and inclination towards evil, very little separates the women apart. Which is why I believe Marie bound herself to Tulip; game recognizes game despite their contrasting goals. Not to mention there’s plenty of spirit within Tulip, something the old lady appeared to be lacking for some time now.
That isn’t to say Jesse was a slouch; his time inside the coffin forced his unconscious to muster up The Duke (Danny Vinson), an old friend that got him through hard times in Custer’s youth, beginning with his father’s murder. Assuming the role of Marshall in his dreamscape, Jesse guns down one gang after another before they can rob a train, a task even the figment in Custer’s imagination has grown tired of repeating. If anything this hypermasculine Commie hatin’ version of his superego managed to inspire Jesse to get his MacGyver on an escape from his watery timeout – which is baffling seeing as he never had the wherewithal to do something similar long ago.
In any case, by the time Jesse returned to the plantation, he Jody and T.C. learned what Gran’ma had done to Tulip and what’s required to keep her alive: the harvesting of a fresh soul. Unless some complete random walks into the fracas that began just as the end credits rolled, someone will be sacrificed for the greater evil. Perhaps not in the next episode, but eventually. If Gran’ma’s mental decline continues as feared, virtually no one is safe from her insidious machinations in Angelville.
Preacher S3E5 Review Score
Preacher – S3E5 – The Coffin | Dominic Cooper, Joseph Gilgun, Ruth Negga, Ian Colletti, Pip Torrens, Noah Taylor, Julie Ann Emery, Malcolm Barrett | Writer: Mary Laws | Director: Millicent Shelton