NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of, “Preacher” are present in this review
Preacher hit a pretty strong high note in this week’s episode, thanks to some very clever plotting, and no shortage of standout humour. Just about everyone in the ensemble cast got a strong story arc in, “Les Enfants du Sang”, without much in the way of weak links. The only thing that might annoy some viewers in fact is the episode’s cold open, wherein we finally get to see what Eugene is up to, namely returning to the smoking crater that was once Annville, the setting of Preacher’s first season. After shortly thereafter going to an orphanage (I guess Eugene is still a bit shy of being a legal adult), Eugene is quickly adopted by none other than the Saint of Killers, who just walks off with him to presumably go track down Hitler. This team-up is kind of a funny turn, though it might as well have been placed in next week’s episode, since the show doesn’t really do anything with the Eugene/Saint alliance here.
Fortunately, after that cold open that seems to merely tease next week’s Preacher offering, we got a strong selection of great story arcs from several different locations. Cassidy most notably seemed to find the best storyline he’s had all season, as we see him enter the company of Les Enfants du Sang, or, as translated into English, the Children of Blood. Led by a charismatic and more stereotypical vampire overlord, Les Enfants du Sang are eager to turn into vampires themselves, with Cassidy seemingly being captured as an object of worship. Before long though, it becomes evident that the vampire cult’s leader is simply looking for a friend, since, like Cassidy, he has lived a long time, and doesn’t seem to have anyone that he truly connects with.
This led to a Cassidy arc that felt as effectively dramatic as it was surprisingly humourous. Apparently, Cassidy has barely tapped into the full scope of his vampire abilities, since the cult’s leader, Eccarius (another familiar face from the Preacher comics), shows Cassidy that he can fly around New Orleans (amusingly satirizing DC’s own Superman: The Movie flying sequence with its titular hero and Lois Lane), hypnotize anyone he wants into making out with him, and, most hilariously of all, transform into an adorable black cat. There were plenty of laughs here for sure, but they also led to a very real, emotional place for Cassidy, as we see him finally properly confront the fear and grief around having to kill his son, Denis at the end of last season. Seeing Cassidy initially reject this vampire life in favour of another aimless crack house existence, and even blowing off Tulip when she calls, was not only a great callback to Cassidy’s well-defined weakness of character from the source comics, but also a way to effectively highlight that Cassidy has lost his only true family now, and doesn’t want to lose another in Jesse and Tulip. The episode does end with Cassidy eventually coming around to rejoin the vampire cult however, so we’ll see how Jesse and Tulip ultimately pry him away from that lifestyle sometime later, I imagine.
Over in Angelville, Gran’ma’s life, and thus, Tulip’s life, continues to hang in the balance, with Jody and T.C. initially trying to steal Tulip’s soul to try and keep Gran’ma alive. Jesse successfully talks the duo into allowing him and Tulip to rob the soul deposit from Madame Boyd however, which is apparently guarded by a saliva-controlled scanner (seriously?), thus preventing Jody and T.C. from raiding the souls for Gran’ma. It’s no problem for Jesse and Tulip however, with Tulip effortlessly casing the joint (and even doing it while wearing a pretty blonde wig, which serves as a great nod to Tulip’s blonde hairstyle in the original Preacher comics), while Jesse tricks Madame Boyd into thinking that she’s successfully killed Tulip and Gran’ma, thus stealing a kiss from her at the local bar, and allowing the two to bypass the saliva scanner. It’s a creative solution, I’ll give it that! Better still is that this serves as a nice excuse for Jody to take out the rest of Madame Boyd’s men, while T.C. lures the police away by stealing a goat from a petting zoo. Yes, this is probably as close as we’ll get to the full scope of T.C.’s highly perverse sex habits from the comics, but it’s quite funny nonetheless!
With their robbery operation successful, Jesse and Tulip restore Gran’ma to life, which leaves them right back where they started in Angelville, though also at least prevents Tulip from meeting another untimely end for now. Gran’ma wants her debt paid however, and captures Madame Boyd soon after this declaration, deciding that she can fight in The Tombs. Jesse shoots Madame Boyd dead however, ironically sparing her from a worse fate at Gran’ma’s hands, as he tells Gran’ma that there’s another solution, namely calling the Grail. The Grail have certainly caused plenty of trouble in Angelville, but so far, their attention has been entirely focused on Jesse. The chance to see them finally meet Gran’ma is certainly very promising, and provides another great hook for next week’s Preacher episode, beyond the Saint of Killers and Eugene finally tracking down Hitler.
Speaking of the Grail, they once again served as a particular bright spot of humour this week. Herr Starr is continuing to plot his coup against the Allfather and the higher-ups at the organization, and hoping to offload Humperdoo in the process. This week sees a surprise visit by the Allfather though, who waits in Herr Starr’s office, and decides to test his loyalty. There was a lot of really shocking, yet undeniably amusing gross-out humour with these Allfather-driven Grail sequences this week, namely as we see a flashback of Herr Starr recounting how the Allfather once sat on a man’s head and crushed it, due to the man touching his hot pocket. Yikes! This is also recalled shorty before the Allfather forces Herr Starr to dine on an entire horse carcass with him, in the style of the old knights of the Crusades. I’m starting to wonder if the Allfather suspects that Herr Starr isn’t entirely loyal to the cause at this point, but if there’s one thing that Starr’s character has never failed to do, it’s surprise viewers in a great way! I’m really looking forward to seeing how Starr inevitably defeats the Allfather and takes over the Grail’s operations, because I don’t see any other outcome at this point, especially considering that Herr Starr is probably the greatest villain that the source comics had to offer, likely being the closest thing that Jesse would have to a real arch-nemesis.
“Les Enfants Du Sang” effectively builds on the momentum of the past couple of weeks, providing just the right amount of humour, excitement and emotion. This is another of the strongest Season Three episodes that Preacher has delivered thus far, with the writing feeling especially sharp and on-point this week. It’s too bad that the show merely used the Saint of Killers and Eugene to fill some space though. This especially hurts in the case of Eugene, whom we literally haven’t seen all season before this point, only to have him barely get a few minutes of screentime before we’re left to wait for next week, which will hopefully have him and the Saint doing something useful. Outside of the cold open not really going anywhere for now though, Preacher was in top form this week overall. Now that Gran’ma’s back and at her best again as well, it’s the perfect time to invite the Grail back to Angelville. Perhaps she’ll end up being another surprising ally in the quest to launch Herr Starr fully to the top of the Grail’s ladder.
- Clever, humourous destruction of Madame Boyd and her operation
- Smart, intriguing and funny developments with Cassidy and the vampire cult
- Effectively uncomfortable shock humour with the Allfather
- Eugene's short return might as well have been saved for another episode