Previously on Preacher, “The Tom/Brady”
The time is come, the day draweth near: let not the buyer rejoice, nor the seller mourn: for wrath is upon all the multitude thereof.
In a way the last two episodes were equal parts treatise and confessional for Jesse, Tulip and Cassidy. Apparently the agents of Heaven and Hell are active participants in the goings-on in the world, and for those observant few, their presence is as commonplace as voodoo, soul-currency. and Swamp Nazis. So it wasn’t too surprising that All Father and Gran’ma had a direct line to Satan, or Proinsias’ presence at Angelville wasn’t met with surprise but disdain and an expert hand in eliminating vampires. Evil has thrived for a long, long time on this earth and in spite of Custer’s presently fruitless quest to find God, the Almighty had checked out of His duties well before Genesis arrived.
Which brings us to our fearless trio’s long and winding individual journeys of violent self-realization. In “Schwanzkopf”, Jesse, Tulip and Cassidy (and most of the supporting cast for that matter) touched upon the faint light that’s endured inside them in defiance of the malevolence that shaped their lives. Things surely could have gone a whole other way if Dr. perfected her Tom/Brady DNA cocktail; thankfully for Custer he still got the upper hand on All Father and channeled his inner Jackson Pollock with the rotund psychopath. Though Jesse never intended to be The Messiah, technically he did save the world from All Father’s crazed machinations yet left a huge power vacuum no one but Herr Starr could fill.
Custer has been a grave liability to those he cares for since the end of season two. Obviously his quest to find God and kick his ass is a wash so far, and in his desperation for answers, Tulip and Cassidy suffered because of his oddly gullible nature in dealing with The Grail, but most especially due to Jesse’s indifference towards their angst. Granted, it wasn’t all Custer’s fault yet his narrowmindedness provoked the schism that guided much of season three’s discord. Now in the clutches of a secretive, all-powerful, Judeo-Christian doomsday cult, Custer believed he had his best chance to rid himself and his friends the axis of their problems.
It could be argued that Jesse doesn’t quite have the head for complex schemes. Thanks for his upbringing in Angelville, he’s a bruiser like Jody but was “saved” by the temperament his father John instilled in him well before he was murdered in front of him (but more on that later). After watching The Grail waste multiple Humperdoo clones to find the perfect DNA cocktail, their demonstration was both for Jesse and the viewers’ benefit to prove they are a dominant force whose will cannot be deterred. God? Jesus and his inbred ancestor? They may be revered by some of the lower level members of The Grail, but for Herr Starr and All Father, they are tools to be used to manipulate the hearts of the masses.
Custer’s faith may be worn after a lifetime of tragedies and disappointments, yet he proved himself the better man by granting Humperdoo and his brothers their freedom. For that brief moment when he had the gun aimed at the Messiah’s head, he mirrored Jody before he executed John Custer. Like Jody, Jesse believed he was going to do what was best for the world. However the worse was already behind him when Genesis eliminated All Father and Custer restored his soul. Yes, in this world God and his supernatural ilk haven’t done much for creation save its continued decline, but for all his crudity, putting down Humperdoo would do nothing to improve mankind’s standing. If anything, Custer become like all the other lost men his father warned him about.
This sentiment is echoed in a less successful manner by Eugene while under Tulip and The Cowboy’s stead. Arseface had next to nothing to do this season except be a fly in the ointment for O’Hare and Hitler on separate occasions. All the same, his positivity no matter how surreal and ridiculous the scenario developed, was unyielding. God likely never put Eugene on this path (but would take credit for it) yet his ability to see the goodness in everyone – ever Adolf Hitler and Lucifer – got to his disgruntled captor. Add a hard push from Tulip and The Saint of Killers finally took the initiative against Sidney (Erinn Ruth) and ultimately, Satan himself. Like Custer, the Cowboy’s life was influenced far in advance for the benefit of its manipulators. It only took him a century of torment and bloodshed to realize what remains of his life is his to control.
Which brings us to Custer’s final encounter with Gran’ma. Obviously mercy and forgiveness have their limits in Preacher. Marie knew this day was going to pass soon, hence her new contract with Satan. Sadly for her, L’Angell could have used better language because Jesse found a loophole mighty quick, forcing Gran’ma to toss her souls in the fire rather than kill her and be Hellbound when his time passes. This would have been the perfect revenge against the old lady, having to waste away all by her lonesome in a rotting plantation, but after beating to death the man who killed his father, Custer still had the taste of blood in his mouth. Like many things he’s done since the show premiered, this decision by Jesse was foolhardy and certainly not worth the risk. It’s understandable that he needed to make sure Gran’ma wasn’t going to bother him or his friends any longer but now eternal damnation is ensured (for the moment). Seeing how quick Hitler was to assume the big chair after Satan was dispatched, he definitely won’t let Custer escape from his clutches once he peruse his file with greater detail.
How swiftly the honeymoon period ended between Cassidy and Eccarius. Now aware of his partner’s murderous ways, Proinsias tried to alert his new friends about their master’s deception and his plan to exploit their loyalty for his personal gain. It’s not surprising Les Enfants clung to Eccarius; he wields a powerful combo of Old World charm and the promise of immortality, which he has bestowed time and again. Unfortunately for Cass, his tip-off to the vampire club was useless as Eccarius managed to weave a yarn for his callow underlings while Proinsias was knocked out.
The situation as a whole wasn’t entirely surprising and proved what viewers – particularly comic fans – likely expected from Eccarius. If there was any quality he shared with his literary counterpart, Eccarius’ ego and thirst for power was as excessive as his compulsive desire to single handedly bring back Rococo. Eccarius expertly turned the blame on the missing Enfants on Cass and twisted the knife by digging up recent history, chiefly the Irishman’s remarks on these “losers” who follow the gospel of this effectively disarming con man.
In no time flat, Cassidy was crucified on the pool table and left to contemplate his transgressions before a single beam of sunlight touched him. Of course it was all theatrics for the sake of his followers and it was just enough from Eccarius to keep his dim-witted admirers on his side, and ready for slaughter. By the way, the reason for their murders – to acquire greater powers – was an inspired bit of writing and doubly provided a nice twist in the narrative and affirmed Cass’ take on what it means to be a vampire: it isn’t fun. It’s not a lifestyle one should attain or hold in regard.
After a few decades or centuries of immortality, life apparently begins to lose its luster, and in Eccarius’ case, has little to no value at all. Perhaps this is also why we hadn’t seen other vampires in Preacher as they are seemingly prepared to kill their own kind to attain a drop more power.
As for Cass, he confessed his sins to Mrs. Rosen (Theresa O’Shea) who took an initial liking to him weeks ago. Once the shroud of lies Eccarius professed began to clear from her mind, she began to realize the depths of her master’s brutality. Of course it didn’t take long for Mrs. Rosen to spread the word and let her fellow initiates in on Eccarius’ dark secret. In a way, it was a great relief to watch all of Les Enfants turn against their leader and literally drain his influence over them, as opposed to their fate as written in the comic. Then again, it also proved that revenge truly is a double-edged sword that cannot be wielded by even the most steady hand. Hours ago, they were ready to let Cassidy roast and now he became their savior by giving them the “dark gift” they sought for whoever long.
And in less time, the hopes and dreams of newly turned Enfants swirled into ash thanks to Hoover, who returned to assist Herr Starr in his own quest for vengeance. No longer under the eye of All Father, though lacking a Messiah figurehead to push his own agenda, Klaus is primed to go on the offensive against Jesse. His warped version of order will be implemented one way or the other, and with The Grail’s near-limitless resources at his complete disposal, Starr has a legitimate chance to reign over the planet. There’s just that pesky Genesis to contend with. Not to mention the power vacuum that’s occurring in Heaven AND Hell. Also, there is the relentless and invulnerable Saint of Killer roaming around unchecked.
Yeah. Season four is going to be a total fucking blast.
Preacher S3E9/S3E10 Review Score