NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of, “Preacher” are present in this review
Don’t let the title of this episode fool you. There’s actually very little of, “Hilter” to enjoy this week, as Hitler’s very inspired modern alias goes by. In reality, this week’s episode of Preacher centers much more around starting to ramp up events for the conclusion of the season in a few weeks, namely by bringing most of the show’s ongoing factions together for one big mission. The exception of course is Cassidy, who is continuing to grow further and further interested in life with Les Enfants du Sang, and begins to develop a very surprising relationship with the cult’s leader, Eccarius.
As with our re-introduction to Eugene last week, we only get to see Hitler in the cold open of Preacher this week, where he’s working at a Subway-esque sandwich shop under his alias of, “David Hilter.” To be fair though, this point of the episode was probably the most interesting bit of an otherwise slow first half, as we see Hitler resuming his old strategy of re-starting the Reich (at least, with minimum-wage workers), while also covering the store so that his boss can cheat on his wife. The skit-style opening of course ends with the Saint of Killers finally showing up to collect Hitler however, and Eugene peeking out to rectify his mistake was a cute bit of icing on the cake. Things in the opening merely end with the Saint carting Eugene and Hitler away in chains, which is a bit disappointing, since rounding up these two escapees from Hell didn’t really amount to much of a challenge in the end. Still, I’m sure that these three characters will find something productive and shocking to do before the season wraps up.
When the episode proper begins, Jesse barely has any time to mourn the late Madame Boyd, before the Grail shows up to negotiate for Jesse’s presence. Herr Starr and Featherstone are present for the negotiation effort, though Hoover goes off on his own private mission to round up Cassidy, after Les Enfants du Sang so thoroughly embarrassed Starr and his cronies when snatching Cassidy for themselves a couple of episodes ago. In both respects though, the Grail continued to be at the top of their game in terms of balancing ridiculous humour and surprising menace. The tense introduction between Starr and Gran’ma is everything that viewers would hope for, just as the long-awaited latest confrontation between Tulip and Featherstone also doesn’t disappoint. T.C. keeping watch on the two women only makes that situation better as well, particularly when this serves as a convenient means of informing him of the existence of Genesis.
After a catheter-flavoured insult or two (ick!), Starr and Gran’ma finally come to an understanding, which will see both parties happy. Starr will get to take Jesse into the Grail’s custody for an indefinite amount of time (effectively trading one prison for another), if Starr’s and Jesse’s people manage to bring Gran’ma the million-strong soul reserve of Soul Happy Go-Go, the Japanese soul outfit that was glimpsed last season. This mostly serves as a device to set up for next week, which is another disappointing element of the episode, but at least there was plenty of entertaining dialogue, even if we have to wait for the payoff. Nonetheless, the promise of Tulip, Featherstone and Jody all taking a trip to Japan should definitely be a memorable one in next week’s episode for sure!
Cassidy, meanwhile seems to have fully settled in with Les Enfants du Sang, and arguably possessed the strongest story arc in this week’s Preacher offering. After agreeing to turn his seemingly sweet-natured blind date from before (after a bit of convincing), Cassidy continues to frolic around New Orleans with Eccarius. The two have a disappointingly brief confrontation with some killer religious folks that Hoover hires to snatch back Cassidy, but naturally, the two vampires come out on top and kill their attackers, forcing Hoover to flee. This serves as the catalyst for one of the most unexpected surprises of the episode, namely Cassidy and Eccarius beginning a homosexual relationship. This actually would be a very happy moment for Cassidy as well, who, despite his bad decisions and rough exterior, really has suffered and lost quite a lot since the end of last season. The show does effectively calculate a way to foreshadow doom for this relationship from the get-go however, since we see that Eccarius is actually lying to the vampires he creates from his cult, and is in fact feeding on them to presumably increase his own power! Even considering Cassidy’s recent bout of cowardice and selfishness, there’s no way he’s going to take this well when he inevitably finds out, especially when the woman he just turned is Eccarius’ latest victim!
This wasn’t the only story element that helped this week’s Preacher episode pick up considerably in the second half too. Starr finally getting his hands on Jesse again also tipped a key part of his hand in revolting against the Allfather, namely in that he will somehow incorporate Jesse into this rebellion effort. Starr has naturally promised Jesse the missing piece of his soul back if he complies, thus also restoring Jesse’s Genesis powers, and this ingeniously allows Starr to effectively kill two birds with one stone; Off the Allfather, while also installing his own messiah and discrediting Humperdoo. We don’t get to see exactly how this plan is carried out yet, but it does create another exciting story turn to look forward to in next week’s Preacher episode, when the show will inevitably kick things up even more, as no one’s mission is bound to go exactly right.
One could rightfully accuse, “Hilter” of being a filler episode to a degree, especially considering that it barely features its titular character at all, but there is at least the consolation that the current season of Preacher is taking the time it has to in order to build up to a satisfying climax. The first half of this week’s episode is especially sluggish, but it does pick up towards the end, especially as parts start moving into place for what to expect in the season’s final handful of episodes. Hoover pursuing Cassidy seems like it’s going to provide a good excuse to bring the wayward vampire back to his friends, especially when he finds out exactly what Eccarius is up to with his followers, and while it seems inevitable that Jesse will be the necessary lynchpin to the success of Starr’s takeover, that simply creates another new threat that’s bound to spill over into a potential fourth season. As much as the folks in Angelville have seemed unstoppable all season, it’s quickly feeling like they’re merely the calm before the storm. As dangerous as Gran’ma is, she is a mostly contained threat, after all. Starr and the Grail however have the very means to change the world itself. Thus, even as Jesse resolves the final hurdles of his family drama, it’s still true that his problems, as ever, are only just beginning.
- Tulip and Featherstone's tense reunion, and subsequent trip with Jody
- Jesse and Starr coming together to overthrow the Allfather
- Standout subplot between Cassidy and Eccarius
- The Saint, Eugene and Hitler still have nothing useful to do
- Sluggish pacing in the first half