Martin Carr reviews the fifth episode of Preacher season 3…
Soft shoe shuffling Lords Almighty complete with boss eyes, bad teeth and incoherent mumblings compete for screen time opposite obese potentates and John Wayne spirit animals. Black and white hallucinations, Monty Python references and grave side confetti litter this forty minutes of abstract television mixing the mythical and mundane. Pip Torrens proves once again how much of an asset Herr Starr has become to this series, channelling sardonic alongside moments of cunning resignation.
His minions charged with tracking Jesse, Tulip and Cassidy against their better judgement remain optimistically stoic in the face of inebriation, hillbilly threats and swamp consume. That a majority of ‘The Coffin’ involves either literal or figurative incarceration says much for how characters are progressed, tested or humiliated this time around. TC, Jody and Gran’ma remain a strange brew of matriarch, farm hand and dog’s body where roles between the men at least is darkly interchangeable. There is little doubt even in the opening minutes that Jesse and Tulip will escape their current predicament which is why Herr Starr and to a degree Cassidy are more engaging. Fist fights to Warren Zevon soundtracks aside the invention for this episode lays with Cassidy’s online dating app. By contradicting these segues with tap dancing Messiahs and an over inflated Grail boss season three keeps things decidedly left of centre.
There are overtones of Interview with the Vampire towards the conclusion, but beyond that other plotlines are beginning to stagnate. Both Tulip and Jesse are getting an indestructible air to them which plays havoc with any preconceived notions of threat. Perpetual death and resurrection also feeds into that sense of infallibility and therefore undermines audience engagement. Which is why when the smoke clears and those wooden planks are floating atop decades of swamp consume, we know it will take more to delay this Preacher than a pine box and water pressure. Pursued by biblical charlatans, dominated by family witch doctors and pressganged by girlfriends and blood sucking confidantes this man of God could do with a little guidance. It is perhaps unfortunate then that help is more likely to come from the man below ground surrounded by fire and brimstone than elsewhere.