Martin Carr reviews the eighth episode of Preacher season 4…
Retribution, recriminations and unmitigated amounts of wrath are rained down in an episode which administers pain like no other. People burn, others lose body parts while the humiliation which accompanies it all is palpable. Flashbacks, dream sequences and unorthodox methods of storytelling are in full force as Fear of the Lord gets medieval on certain individuals. Alongside the common place dismemberment and theological segues Preacher provides backstory, dramatic heft and a smattering of cannibalism.
That certain elements of this episode might be considered vaguely hallucinogenic is no understatement, as establishing which celestial plain you are on minute to minute is sometimes difficult. Flashes of dark humour take the edge off the more gratuitous moments which run throughout, whilst every cast member plays it straight. There is a struggle for power and closure which underpins the more serious moments, while Tyson Ritter continues playing a pivotal role as both Christ and Humperdoo.
Featherstone and Starr remain a formidable force even if the latter is stripped of everything he holds dear. Break dancing Jesus, a Saint of Killers airing shades of regret and C4 coated Christ clones are only a few of the things which make Fear of the Lord engaging. There is a harder cynical edge to God as he encounters certain principal players. Gone is the omnipotent easy going demeanour replaced instead by someone unconcerned with collateral damage. Armageddon is imminent and no standing around a table chatting before breaking out the Run DMC will change that. God is no longer into testing faith through hardship or sacrifice, but instead has chosen something more biblical in its finality.
With his battered recreational vehicle, taste for literally playing God and that unmentioned but every present Dalmatian gimp suit, here is a deity devoid of patience in a vendetta kind of mood. With time running short and details on the end being a touch fuzzy it will take more than a tap dancing Christ to tie this up neatly. Hair brained, infinitely inventive and unsullied by such things as logic Preacher has scorched a trail for four years, kicking open numerous doors in the process. Whichever direction Rogen and co decide to go is less important than the impact and legacy left over once the smoke clears.