When viewing Preachers third episode it’s easy to look at what was missing. There was no insane set pieces, the cowboy tease continues to be just that, and the plot doesn’t seem to have moved on all that much. This show exploded onto the screen like the religious leaders the entity discard (PIP Tom Cruise), with two episodes full of coffin black humour, and high octane action, with a chainsaw. Yet while episode three lacks these traits it’s a necessary episode: one that shows the aftermath of all these crazy goings on in a tiny hick town. This episode shouldn’t be called The Possibilities, which is some trademark Cassidy Brightside thinking, it should be called The Consequences.
We left off last week with Jessie, fresh from accidently wiping a child molesters mind with his Word, testing it out on a comatose girl that he felt deserved help. He3 asked her to open her eyes, she did, and like any sane person (perhaps the only one in town) he ran. Jessie himself doesn’t turn up in this episode until before the first ad break. In his absence we see Annville the morning after: evidence of his darker nature literally meeting each other on the street. Donny, the “wife beater” from the first episode aptly described by his boss as a “Right hand man, with no right hand” putting his son on the school bus driven by the amnesiac pervert. They look at each other’s injuries, perpetrated by the same man, each weaker and looking for recompense. Lastly we have Ted Ryerson, who memorably cut his own heart out at Jessie’s suggestion, whose body has been delivered to the church for cremation and a funeral. This is the path of destruction that Jessie’s good intentions have left in his wake. No wonder he’s hiding.
It’s Cassidy who finds him, and in a hilarious montage they test Jessie’s power, or jedi mind trick, in better controlled conditions, until he tells Cassidy to fly. Cassidy, if you’ve read the comics and didn’t doze through the first two episodes, is obviously something of a loose cannon. Yet in this weeks, and last week’s episodes, he ends up cleaning up Jessie’s mess. He takes Ted Ryersons body to the crematorium, donning some makeshift armour from the sun to do so, and doing his best Walter White impression kills Fiore and Deblanc again when they come after Jessie yet again. In doing this we finally get an explanation to where the cockney cowboys come from, and what they want. They’re from heaven, and not clones as Orphan Black fan Cassidy suspects. They’re here to recapture the entity and bring it back to heaven, in a coffee can. Now credit to Cassidy, he knows when he’s in over his head, instead of killing the angels over and over again, or the angels coming back with a chainsaw, he proposes to be the middle man between them and Jessie. He assures them that he can convince Jessie to give up the entity without resorting to more violence. It could be self-preservation, he could be buying time for his “best mate”, either way it won’t be that easy.
Then there’s Tulip, another consequence of Jessie’s past misdeeds. Her meeting in Houston went a little too well as she doesn’t get to punch anyone for the second week in a row. The map that she had was for a client of her old contact Danni, a member, or enemy of the Grail Corporation. Danni takes the map to her client, a bald white suited man who is frankly quite rude. Now I know how Game of Thrones readers feel, because anyone who has read the comics knows exactly who this bald dick is. Those of you who don’t it may seem like another vague character intro like the cowboy, or Quincannon last week. Rest assured they’re all worth the wait.
In exchange for the map Tulip is given the last known address of someone named Carlos, the man responsible for the day that changed her relationship with Jessie. Told in short flashbacks of a job gone bad, Carlos is the faceless (not literally faceless this show already has Eugene) getaway driver that left Jessie and Tulip to fend for themselves. Tulip is finally able to convince Jessie to come along for a spot of revenge: Tulip is between breaking all his bones with a hammer, or something involving battery acid. Jessie has never seemed more comfortable with Tulip, a brief look at the bad man she thinks he is, he even takes off his collar. That is until he has a moment of clarity in a gas station men’s room. It’s here that Donny, who has been the focus of ridicule from his boss and some mean children threatens Jessie with a gun. For a moment Jessie enjoys some of the possibilities of his power that Cassidy was talking about, as he tells Donny to turn the gun on himself, to put it in his mouth, and pull back the hammer. This is where Jessie pulls back, he tells Donny to drop the gun and leave, his dreams of revenge feeling petty, and he leaves Tulip at the gas station.
The Possibilities is a slow hour from a typically fast show, but it’s episodes like this that make the fireworks count. Without episodes examining your characters the premise can end up engulfing the rest of the show and make it less like a drama than a cartoon.
7/10 A solid episode that keeps everything in Annville ticking along nicely, let’s just get Tulip off the side-lines please.