Amazon UK TV review: Preacher Season 3, Episode 9 (Schwanzkopf)
Chris Bryant | On 24, Aug 2018
Warning: This contains spoilers. Not caught up with Preacher? Read our spoiler-free review of Season 3’s opening episodes here.
With the gang still scattered across storylines, each of their struggles comes to a head this episode and, as always, the outcomes are fascinating, ridiculous, and more blasphemous than ever.
Jesse’s predicament (being strapped to a gurney and forced to relinquish his supernatural powers by religious terrorists, obviously) is certainly the most upsetting of the three. Even more blood-splattered than the previous episode, writer Gary Tieche’s decision that exploding humans aren’t worth having unless you can wrestle in their entrails ensures that Preacher’s reputation for the simultaneously stomach-churning and hilarious remains far more intact than some of its characters. However, he then couples the bloody melee with a morally difficult moment for the titular preacher – a risky but smart move following a gory, chaotic open – and continued jokes at Herr Starr’s expense.
Cassidy’s predicament (oddly similar, just replace the Christian fanatics with misled vampire wannabes) also comes to a head, as he foolishly attempts to save Les Enfants du Sang from their charismatic and murderous leader. Winding up being ceremoniously crucified, Cassidy’s story plays out a little predictably, but the joy here comes from watching Joe Gilgun – and newcomer Adam Croasdell – bicker, manipulate, and curse at one another, rather than the narrative itself.
Once again, the spotlight for the episode lands on Ruth Negga. It may be the unpredictable, Satanic danger Tulip faces, or it could be Negga’s gripping portrayal of a woman who is comfortable staring down The Saint of the Killers, The Angel of Death, and Hitler in one bus journey – either way, it’s a winner. Packed with turns, witty dialogue, and Tulip’s abundance of attitude, the bus ride to Hell proves to be the most exciting part of the episode.
Schwanzkopf is undeniably fun, and Jesse being put back in the driver’s seat is well timed – his compromised conscience wasn’t quite the same without limitless power, and his next steps appear to be equally dangerous. Driven forward by utter disorder (and a soul-dispensing anus), Preacher heads into interesting territory as the profoundly personal looks to collide with the literal plan of Satan very soon.
Preacher Season 1 to 3 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 Mondays.