Preacher: Season 1 Episode 3 Review – The Possibilities
Last night’s Preacher echoed last week’s episode is one key respect. This was that it gave us one very crucial and powerful reveal for comic book fans early on in the episode. Below you will find our spoiler-heavy review of last night’s episode.
Last week, the crucial comic book character that Rogen and Goldberg brought to the screen was The Saint of Killers. This week, the show gave us Herr Starr himself, which we are truly ecstatic about. Herr Starr is a member of The Grail – a secret, powerful, Holy organisation who have preserved the bloodline of Christ through inbreeding his offspring.
Herr Starr is a former German anti-terror operative who will do anything to acquire power, including usurping The Grail from the inside. Throughout the comics, Herr Starr suffers a variety of very unfortunate mutilations, which only enrage him more and more.
In this episode’s brief scene, Herr Starr sits in a cinema audience, watching what sounds like horrible scenes. A new female character (who Tulip conversed with earlier on in the episode) – Danni (played by Julie Dretzin) enters the room and hands Herr Starr “what he wanted”. He then waves her away and we never see his face. We might be wrong, but we feel that Danni is probably assuming the role of the comic book character Featherstone – a member of The Grail who works for Herr Starr, who is also secretly in love with him.
We’re absolutely thrilled to see such a crucial character as Herr Starr appear so early on in the show. If Rogen and Goldberg adapt this character well (and judging by this scene alone, it looks like they will), then viewers are in for a treat. Herr is depraved and monstrous, yet also frequently comes across as a man who is down on his luck, and you can’t help but empathise with him on occasion. There’s a lot of humour to the character and we hope that Rogen and Goldberg retain this humorous element.
Like with The Saint of Killers reveal, this happened right before the opening credits, however, the show has now adopted its own, fuller opening credit theme/montage. We feel that this new montage doesn’t have nearly the same level of effect that the brief, punctuating ‘PREACHER’ credit shot had in the first two episodes. We understand the need to list cast members at the start of the show, but if we had a choice, we’d rather they reverted back to the old credit opener, due to its unrivalled power.
We adored Cassidy letting Jesse try out his word of God power on Cassidy, and Cassidy’s thoughts on where this might have originated from (which is where this episode’s title originates from – when Cassidy implores Jesse to “imagine the possibilities”). Again we were treated to another Cassidy versus Fiore and DeBlanc fight, with Cassidy outsmarting the two. We liked that Fiore and DeBlanc then took the rational, conversational approach, rather than coming back in, guns blazing. Really Gilgun can do no wrong for us – right down to dressing in Asian attire and flitting about in the sunshine like a little old Lady – he’s nailing this role and is even adding additional quality to the character.
Tulip had a close encounter with a deputy and some more reminiscent dialogue with Jesse, during which they spoke about a particular job that they undertook together. In this flashback, Jesse and Tulip appeared so suavely dressed that it reminded us of the Gecko Brothers in The El Rey network’s From Dusk ‘Till Dawn. Rogen and Goldberg seem adamant to set both Jesse and Tulip up with complex, crime-ridden pasts, but really neither is apt to the comics.
To address Jesse and Tulip’s relationship together, we’ve said before that they don’t seem to hold as much chemistry together (at this stage) as we’d like them to. ‘Until the end of the world’ is a line that Jesse uses to explain the degree of his love for Tulip in the comics for a reason – because their love is so boundless and intense that it lasts until the end of the world. So far, we’re really not getting much of this in the show and Tulip’s motivations seem to be more around having a reliable criminal by her side for a job than because she wants to date Jesse again. It’s something that the writers need to fix and fix soon.
Donnie has a sharp focus in this episode and truly, the writers humanised him quite a lot. This was through both his chat with his son, when he tried to tell his son that his Mother likes and asks for the violence against her, and also when Jesse used the word of God on him and Donnie’s emotional horror during this scene. Don’t get us wrong – he’s still a horrid human being, but we liked the daring of the writers, in them showing us his more human side.
The episode closed out with a very slow sweeping shot of the Church graveyard, which is satisfying because we see one tombstone that reads ‘John Custer 1955-1990’. John Custer is Jesse’s father, who we saw flashes of in the pilot, and whom was killed by Jody (a comic book character who is yet to be depicted on the show).
The level of excitement and glee that this show brings to us comic book Preacher fans each week shows just how well it is playing for comic book audience. Just how well the show is sitting with non-comic book fans is harder to pinpoint. We’ve heard some say that it is confusing in incomprehensible to them, which we can see happening to those who don’t have that core background knowledge. But we’ve had others assure us that they know what’s going on.
To both sets of audiences, the show can feel a little wayward and messy at times, but only slightly so. Overall, we’re loving every minute of it.