Each season of Preacher has been its own thing, within the broader context of the show: the first season was all in Annville, and focused more on Jesse’s personal faith; the second season took us to New Orleans and opened up the mythology of the show while also giving us the dark side of Jesse Custer. Now, the third season is taking us to Angelville and back to Jesse’s roots. This premiere episode felt the most outside Preacher‘s normal oeuvre than most: the Grail doesn’t even get mentioned, Jesse doesn’t use or try to use Genesis and God almost doesn’t even feature.
Instead, this episode tells us we’re moving into a darker world of voodoo.
We start with a flashback to an undisclosed time, where we meet Jesse’s Granma, a powerful witch, and her helpers: Jody, TC and a woman named Christine who hates her life. Things get dark almost immediately when Christine tries to escape, is brought back by Jody and TC and swallows a photo so Granma can’t get to it – or so she thought. Granma ties Christine down and uses a scalpel to open her up and dig out the photo of, of course, baby Jesse. She tried to keep him away from Granma’s clutches, but it clearly didn’t work.
Back in present day, Jesse and Cassidy are bringing a very dead Tulip to Granma for a resurrection. Last season ended with Tulip bleeding out and Cassidy trying to bring her back by turning her into a vampire, but Jesse objected. Why? Is using voodoo to bring someone back to life really better than vampirism?
Of course not, but this way he’s still in control, and he gets to be the hero to save her. Jesse and Cassidy even spend Tulip’s death vying for her attention, fighting each other instead of trying to save her. Cassidy finally reveals he and Tulip slept together, and when Granma says they bring Tulip back by surrounding her with her favourite things, they start to bicker over who knows her best. Tulip needs to let both these guys know they aren’t good enough for her.
Speaking of Tulip, she’s spending the episode in Purgatory. We’ve had a glimpse of Heaven and a good look at Hell, so it makes sense we’d finally see what’s in between. Purgatory is like a single-set play with a sitcom-style laugh track. It’s the most artistic part of the episode but still fills in Tulip’s backstory nicely and gives Ruth Negga a chance to really act.
But of course, Tulip was never going to stay dead – Granma brings her back to life just before she was about to get a special assignment from God. We’ll have to wait and see what exactly he wants from Tulip.
Points of Interest:
– Cassidy’s suggested Janis Joplin song for Tulip worked! Looks like he knows her just as well as Jesse after all.
– Jesse had to give Granma some of his blood — what’s that for? Now he’s given up a piece of his soul and some of his blood, what’s going to be next?
– Jody and Jesse threw down pretty hard (Jody was going to drop a truck on him!) and not once did Jesse even try to use Genesis! We know its power has weakened, but if a dude that massive is coming at you, I’d at least give it a shot.