Martin Carr reviews the seventh episode of Preacher season 3…
Amongst the chuck away moments of caustic humour, Viking burials and Mozart references there is something more controversial afoot this week. Surrounded by sandwich fillings and glowing employee testimonials a dictator of renowned plots his conquest of the civilised world. Between the sun lamps, Catholics and blood pact shenanigans there are degrees of structural complexity at play which deserve examination in ‘Hilter’.
Preacher is evolving into a multifaceted thing of televisual beauty. Above all it’s the manipulation of tone, humour, taste boundaries and character development which deserves attention. Whether we are talking the bromance between Eccarius and Cassidy, that love hate relationship between Featherstone and Tulip, or slapstick asides involving TC and Herr Starr there is much to enjoy. Those archetype traits which formed the foundation of Jesse, Eugene and even Hitler have been subverted. Only in Preacher can savage vampire frenzies exist alongside the innocence of Root’s journey back into Hell.
Since the opening episode and emergence of new characters things have gone from strength to strength. A strong return to form from the Saint of Killers has switched things up from road trip segue to chain gang trope in short order, adding dimensions which have been broadened further by Cassidy’s run in with Eccarius. Charismatic, understated and a chief manipulator this Anne Rice throwback provides narrative invention and theological food for thought alongside a darker side. An uneasy alliance between Custer’s relatives and the Grail contingent also provides dramatic tension, giving Pip Torrens and Dominic Cooper moments together which are pure gold.
Agenda driven, sarcastically inclined and in the case of Herr Starr at least jaded with power their reliance on each other has potential. Beyond the meatier character moments Torrens has also shown flair for chuck away put downs, physical humour and cynical resignation which offsets anything elsewhere. Played out against the background of insanity which is season three he provides light relief, grounded perspective and a sense of balance, which considering his actions seems ludicrous. As we hit the midway point all too soon you start to wish there was a longer run in which these bags of crazy could let loose. However consigned as we are to thirteen episodes it is best to just enjoy the moment, whilst considering which parts of Jesse Custer All Father will eat first.