Up until this point, Preacher (AMC) has provided us answers to questions we never even knew existed. What’s Hitler’s Hell Cell like? What would happen if you got into a scrap with Angels that literally can not perish, no matter how ya dispatch ’em? Can you kill nearly an entire cast in a pilot season denouement and live to tell the tale?
In the tertiary episode, “Deviant”, we find that the ole’ creative team still has a bit of propane in their tanks.
We open in on Cassidy (Joe Gilgun) getting his meaty cudgel flayed Six Ways ‘Til Sunday as a means of torture by heavy Frankie Toscani (Lachy Hulme). Though we know our favorite self-saboteur sees this as some extreme and demented version flagellation, this was painful to observe even for yours truly. The amount of sadism in any given episode of this series doesn’t only push the envelope, it fucking cuts its tongue on it gleefully grins as the blood drips down its lips. But I, digress. The fact is this viscera from the opening scene is for the sake of making a Toscani’s Face Creame, a PENIS-PERFUME. Yep, complete with cute ad spot and all. Preacher’s never taken itself too seriously and that’s why the fans love it.. It’s just a bloody shame that they haven’t spoken, as it couldn’t stretch the viewership for one more season.
But back into the swing o’ things, we travel to Texas, where Arseface (Ian Colletti) attempts to convince the Saint of Killers (Graham McTavish) to take repose from the all that walking. HA! This proves to be useful as an asshole on the elbow. The dynamic, however, works for me. There is something just so magical about a Murderous Mime and the Feckless Failure around his neck. They finally agree on grub, because though the Saint of Killers eats objectives like Skittles, Arseface actually requires sustenance.
Meanwhile, in the Middle East at the De Sade Ranch, we meet up with the youngin’ that jacked Jesse (Dominic Cooper) for his boots down yonder. Inside, Custer cleans the clock of the Madame and proceeds up to the boy, but not before receiving a thank you in the form of some strong airborne drug.
At the Grail Hospital, under the aegis of her own crazy cunning and blonde bob, Tulip (Ruth Negga) poses as a staff member “recovering” from the carnage. Upon the poppa Doc refusing to release her with a psychological exam, my girl lets the inner Hellcat raging inside her prowl around for a moment, knocking the dude unconscious. Say what you will for Cassidy or the titular Preacher, but Tulip has always been the reason I came back for the show and though it may never happen except maybe through a web series, I’m rooting for that Broken Flower to man the goddamned driver’s seat! Alas, she’s immediately descended upon and given a sedative. Sadly, this is a fitting metaphor for women in general in the Biz…
As Cassidy in Masada grabs a bit a sharp perspective and jams the spike in his arm like a junkie, his shackled Archangelic (David Field) cellmate hanging about his head like the Sword of Damocles seems like the best Devil on his shoulder. This visual is striking- Cassidy is literally down in the dumps as his more ‘elevated’ chum offers some advice. Cassidy doesn’t want to leave his shit hole and through his Debbie-Downerism, we cut to-
Stark sunshine beaming through the panes of an otherwise pedestrian diner. As the diner doesn’t serve whiskey, the Saint of Killers stares down Arseface with the menace that could skull-fuck a hole through his head without laying a finger on his. Gee, I guess turtle pie isn’t a worthy stand-in for the good stuff. Who’da thunk?
We go back to Proinsias’ Pity Party, where he relays where it all began to his pal on high. We rewind to 1916 Ireland. Cass leaves his family to join the war effort for Irish Independence, promising to them his safe return. When he’s thrust into the Crimson mists of battle, Cass makes the Cardinal sin going AWOL, leaving his mate Billy as worm food at the hands of the British.
We see sink further into cowardice near a bog, observing two British Cavalrymen until he gets in DEEP- he’s pulled in but what I would consider a swamp vampire and is turned. Returning home, he waits in the shadows. He’s a changed person and no longer a man figuratively and literally. He’s a creature that can no longer enjoy a sunny day, and that’s his penance.
Back in the Grail, Featherstone (Julie Ann Emery) is on the prowl as well with a thirst for picking flowers. Breaking into Tulip’s quarters, she finds her Osaka get up got up and walked away. Oh, now the game’s afoot like Donkey Kong. That’s the saying goes, right?
At sickbay, after waking up, Tulip is submitted to the classic Rorshach Test. In natural O’Hare fashion, the images are evocative of gore and guns as the only Tulip could muster up. She’s labeled a Psychotic Deviant. Gee…
As Jesse goes to rescue the reluctant little urchin during a photoshoot at the Brothel, he finds a whole world of opposition. What ensues next is- well, it ain’t sunshine, lollipops and rainbows as the Son of a Preacher Man administers some graphically unChristlike things to his would-be dispatchers. The scene, which actually I think is the most exciting and bloody fights we’d seen in a while on here plays out like a mix of Borne Identity By Way Of Tarantino. Hey, brah’s got skills to pay the bi- ahh. Seems he’s a little bit of arrears, as, amidst the melee, the kid’s killed. Well, I guess Jesse chalks it up to God’s plan and leaves town with Pantless Pilate. God observes from afar.
Back at base, Hoover Two doesn’t mince words to Herr K. Starr (Pip Torrens) fishing for compliments. In a winning statement, Two places value on moral compass rather than physical beauty. The boner-inducing Hallmark moment is shattered when Featherstone busts in, revealing that Tulip walks amongst them.
Speaking of revealing moments, as Arseface is dropping some kids off at the pool, the adorably clueless Cornfed is introduced to how neighborly your stall mate can be… before being stung.
As he’s being taken away in cuffs, he screams for the Saint’s help, but it falls on deaf ears… that is until the Saint of Killers lives up to his name and blows the copper’s head clean off (though it’s never clean and still sometimes on.) I guess the Saint has been listening to Arseface all along! Boner-inducing Hallmark moment back on!
Back at the airport to Australia, Jesse runs into none other than a newly back on top Hitler (Noah Taylor). With Satan deadsies, Fuhrer tries to give Jesse the soft sell on joining him in reigning the one and only true underground. Preacher answers to nobody though and delivers one of the most satisfying scenes in the whole series- Hitler down on his knees, begging for life.
In a gore covered car, the Saint feels a disturbance in the force, telling Arseface he feels Jesse using Genesis in the Middle East. ROOOAD TRIP!
Back at Grail, Featherstone finds Tulip was released. Even worse, she finds Cassidy’s not in his hell pit of sorrow. Dude’s gone to Bensonhurst. Even more jarring is the turbulence Jesse experiences en route to Australia.