UK TV review: Preacher: Season 2, Episode 3 (Damsels)
Chris Bryant | On 04, Jul 2017
Warning this contains spoilers.
Having travelled to New Orleans, Jesse scours jazz clubs in hope of finding God, while Tulip worries about her past catching up with her. Cassidy, meanwhile, continues being Cassidy, this time involving some M&Ms (peanut) and a very unimpressed Frenchman.
Having dealt with the shock-and-awe opening to the new season, Preacher continues to impress. Flashing its signature absurd style at every chance, Episode 3 makes use of a smooth Julie Ann Emery (Better Call Saul) to guide Jesse on his quest for God, while ensuring the audience know that the small world of Jesse Custer is about to get a lot bigger, thanks to a secret society of crypto-religious-fascist-ninjas (yes, you read that correctly).
Holed up with Cassidy and his ‘friend’, a visibly inconvenienced Frecnhman (Ronald Guttman), Tulip is struggling with her conscience. Ruth Negga’s straight-shooting Southerner is troubled by the distance between her and Jesse, especially while her mysterious past edges ever closer. While Tulip and Cassidy have less to do during Damsels, that doesn’t slow Negga from being the world-class talent that she is, or Joe Gilgun’s ethically-grey vampire from producing some quotable nonsense and attempting to have sex with someone dressed as a Dalmatian for money. Their respective charisma dictates the tone of the show and dominates the screen, even when they’re not on it.
Directed by Michael Slovis (Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead – basically anything that has won an Emmy in the past five years), the episode accounts beautifully for the stunning New Orleans setting. Having made his name as a cinematographer, the director’s striking visuals are matched only by the striking fight scene between Dominic Cooper’s titular Preacher, some holy ninjas, and a van. Blending John Wick with Constantine, the sequence barely moves three feet throughout, and serves to remind the audience that even with the Saint of Killers tracking Genesis, Custer has the grit to complete his mission.
While Preacher’s talents extend far and wide, its penchant for sewing the preposterous into the sentiment takes centre stage this episode. Opening with a torturously repetitive montage involving a pre-Arseface Eugene, whose impulsive incarceration in Hell hits a speed bump, when he escapes from his cell and runs into a shockingly outfitted Noah Taylor. Eugene’s sad, unjust tale highlights perfectly the shows ability to blend a poetic story of teen heartache, a malfunctioning shotgun, an anus, and Hitler, into something that loses no impact no matter how bizarre it becomes. And that’s the absolute wonder of AMCs 18-rated hit: you simply cannot believe it’s going to get any stranger.
Preacher Season 2 is available to watch online in the UK exclusively on Amazon Prime Video, as part of a £5.99 monthly subscription. New episodes arrive weekly on Tuesdays, within 24 hours of their US broadcast.