Warning this contains spoilers.
“No, I do not like cats.”
Preacher’s new antagonists get in full swing this week, going after Jesse and co. with everything they have. Herr Starr’s unique brand of indifferent ruthlessness and sexual issues lead him to a realisation about the preacher, while the gang do everything they can to fend off The Grail’s many resources.
Beginning with Jesse looking for The Lord Almighty on YouTube of all places, the distance between Dominic Cooper’s supernatural holy man, Tulip, and Cassidy is as clear as ever, but this week, they’re a little busy for that. Fending off a stylishly shot tactical assault that alerts them to The Grail’s power as well as Denis’ newfound lust for life, the team are forced into siege-mode as they await another attack from the militaristic religious cult.
Puzzle Piece is split between Herr Starr’s depressed journey through the world, and the blood-soaked apartment where the crew desperately mount their defence. Having used The Word on Tulip again, and discovering that Cassidy has turned Denis into a vampire, as well as a difficult housemate, it is clear that Jesse is feeling as fraught and lost as ever. Luckily for him, so is Herr Starr.
Unimpressed by Jesse’s powers, Pip Torrens’ absurd dictator manages to fit in a date, an attempted murder, and a very poorly communicated rape fantasy into the time it takes Custer to mount a defence. Arriving at the conclusion that the preacher might have answers, the final few moments are the most suspenseful of a bullet-riddled, blood-thirsty episode.
Although it contains a missile attack, a brutal shootout, and a reference to Harry Connick Jr, the episode seems to lack the weight behind each event to turn them into real threats. Aside from the final exchange, and Jesse’s wonton use of Genesis, Puzzle Pieces feels like the journey rather than a destination – quickly moving between actions without focusing on the characters’ reactions and leaving the audience to feel this is all purely functional.
Entertaining to the hilt, and boasting the most deadly pop-up ad ever, it may lack a sharpness that’d really keep everyone’s attention, but one particularly eye-catching storyline, however, is that of Denis. Without learning much thus far about Cassidy’s vampirism, beyond his ability to heal and aversion to sunlight, it’s Denis’ conversion that provides fascinating new details, and it would seem he is not handling them too well. From the few moments of euphoric ignorance and greed he shows, Ronald Guttman’s newly immortal bloodsucker is certainly one to keep an eye on.
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.