Preacher- Season III- Ep. 1 “Angelville”: A Review

Posted: 06/29/2018 in Uncategorized

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Sweet Lord Betty Buckley is simply killing it as “Granma Langelle”. Her less is more performance accompanied by depictions of her family ‘support’, TC (Colin Cunningham) and Jody (Jeremy Childs), takes the show into a deeper horror territory. Having learned a bit of Jesse Custer’s (Dominic Cooper) family history, from seasons past, seeing his present play out stands to make this season one of the show’s most memorable. My review follows below.

An open sequence featuring ‘Angelville’ as a historic, tourist site is shot in sepia tones and black and white, featuring Jesse’s mother Christina (Liz McGeever) working for her mother “Granma Langelle” and clearly under duress. We meet Jody and TC and the creep factor is duly upped. Her actions with Christina are preceded with a demonstration of the old woman’s power and influence.  No words are spoken by Granma as she provides services to her clientele ‘voodoo style’ but her presence implies much. Her actions via TC and Jody towards her daughter are unsettling and tell the viewer every thing they need to know about the woman.

A present day sequence features Jesse and Cassidy (Joe Gilgun) racing toward Angelville with Tulip’s (Ruth Negga) corpse. The previous conversation between Cass and Jesse is revisited in which the preacher advises the vampire, ‘you think you hate me now…just you wait…” The majority of the episode then focuses on Jesse’s ‘reconnecting’ with his family  as he attempts to resurrect Tulip with the sub arc of her waiting in purgatory.

This is one zany show and the grim, dark humor that informs it since inception stays on point with Tulip’s moments playing like a sitcom with requisite canned laugh tracks. Tulip’s harsh early life including her love of junky breakfast cereal absurdly remind the viewer of what she has endured growing up an O’Hare. The core of the moments are tragedy, played grandly as over the top farce. Her relationship with her mother is given less of a voice than that with her father. She clearly feels more warmly toward one over the other as demonstrated by the ‘shoot out sequence’ featuring her younger self acting as back up to her father. None of the trio, Cassidy, Jesse or Tulip has had it particularly good or easy. This sub arc reminds us exactly how well she copes overall, perhaps even in superior fashion to her associates who both have supernatural abilities to help them out. A strange Joni Mitchell sequence alludes to one of her associates having a stronger connection over the other, or maybe not. It is that kind of show.

While manically bizarre, “Preacher” remains nonetheless linear and the main arc featuring Jesse offers a pretty tantalizing prelude to how much chaos we have to look forward to this season. Jesse’s moments with Jody, a man who he acknowledges as having killed his father- deliver. The violence between both men is equalled only by the older, larger man’s physical strength and presence. The acknowledgement that Jesse has never beaten him in a fight yields an epic throw down and the intimation that Jody might not be fully human…or possibly super human. The truck sequence was something to see.

TC is creepy and the more human-ish of the two though his servile behavior masks something inherently rotten within. His assisting Jody with Christina earlier reveals him to be quite awful. There is comedic potential between him and Cassidy. The heart of the ep however revolves around the dynamic between the cruel Granma and Jesse. She ultimately obliges him but unquestionably expects something costly in return, perhaps too costly. He as much acknowledges this notion as he threatens to renege and simply ‘push her’ to which she calmly replies he should try. Her performance is perfectly chilling.

The mood was tense and unsettled. The action was gritty and hard. Seeing Jesse facing his past while tenuously dealing with the aftermath of his ‘post-genesis’ state is gripping from the get go. The promise of this season is – again – enormous. Preacher Season III is off to a rousing start and remains simply outstanding and well worth your time.

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