Check out Our Review [WITH SPOILERS] for AMC’s Preacher Episodes 3 and 4!
Preacher Season 1, Episode 3: The Possibilities
Yet again, Preacher pushes the limits of television in its first few minutes. Instead of starring somewhere foreign, the third episode begins with Tulip making a simple exchange. Strangely though, this trade takes place in a theater presumably playing snuff films. Unlike other trades, drops, or exchanges on TV, Preacher goes right for the unorthodox dark stuff instead of stereotypes.
Awhile later, the viewer catches up with Jesse, stunned by his power. Concerned for Jesse, Cassidy agrees to be “shown something.” Hilariously, Jesse tests his power on Cassidy, making him sing, hop, and attempt to fly. This is where the title comes in. Responding to the power, Cassidy has an epiphany, begging Jesse to “think of the possibilities.” This moment seems to represent a change in the show. It is here that the show starts to give explanations to everything going on.
With that in mind, the third episode finally dives into Jesse and Tulip’s history, allowing Jesse to have a small, significant arc in character. After retrieving the map earlier, Tulip convinces Jesse to help her make their past betrayer pay. Unable to argue, he agrees, embracing his talent for dirty deeds for a greater good.
However, Jesse’s “do bad for good” attitude comes to a screeching halt in a very memorable scene. In a confrontation with Donnie, who was seeking swift revenge, Jesse commands Donnie to place his gun in his mouth. In a split second, Jesse sees what he is doing and feels his sin. For Donnie’s sake, he commands him to drop the gun. Perhaps Preacher remembers Spider-Man in that moment and sees the irresponsible use of his great power. Either way, both Dominic Cooper, Derek Wilson, and the uncomfortably close camera angles capture the moment perfectly. By building the tension with such intensity, the audience is fully immersed in the moment.
After this, Jesse returns to Tulip. He informs her that their target Carlos should be “left to God,” completing Jesse’s arc into and from darkness. This kind of character arc would normally take two or three episodes, possibly half of a season, but Preacher pulls it off in one, culminating in Jesse’s intense scene with Donnie. For that, it’s a fantastic continuation of the series.
The Possibilities: 4.5 Stars
Season 1, Episode 4: Monster Swamp
To be frank, this episode was the worst by far, but overall, not too shabby.
The episode opens like a horror movie, again drawing the viewer in. The shots chosen by the director seem different than the usual cinematic approach past episodes of Preacher utilized; however, this new approach fits perfectly for the slasher-style opening. Unfortunately, it doesn’t help the rest of the episode.
After this opening, the rest of the episode just feels slow. Tulip shines in her quest for justice. As she fights for what is right, she becomes something akin to a vigilante when she “meets up” with Cassidy. Simultaneously, Jesse goes through flashbacks from his childhood while the Angels plot to take back his power. The episode moves slowly, providing some background info, foreshadowing, and little else.
The best part of the episode comes from Jesse and Jackie Earle Haley’s Odin Quincannon. After challenging Odin to attend church by betting his land, Jesse has his ultimate Preacher moment; he forces Odin to “serve God.” While that should seem suspenseful, we have seen the scope of Jesse’s power. We know he can make him serve God. While the scene is intriguing, based upon Jesse’s twisted view of forcing Christianity upon someone, it is not suspenseful. There isn’t any risk that would be associated with a big bet like this.
Overall the episode is slow, but each character’s selfish drive for selflessness manages to keep it interesting enough.
Monster Swamp: 3.5 Stars