DISCLAIMER: This Preacher recap contains more spoilers than the number of times Tulip has kicked boatloads of arse. Our girl knows how to handle herself, thank you very much. You’ve been warned. Say your prayers, and enter at your own peril.
Welcome back, sinners of Angelville! Preacher blessed us this week with a Tulip-heavy episode, and it did not disappoint. Why Academy Award nominee Ruth Negga hasn’t been showered in accolades for her performance on this show is puzzling to me. Anyway, Tulip, against Jesse’s pleas to the contrary, decided to find a loophole for our preacher’s escape from Gran’ma. Her efforts led her to Marie L’Angelle’s arch rival in the spiritual arts – Madame Boyd. Meanwhile, TC caught Cassidy literally red handed when the latter was sniffing around for fresh meat in the dark of night. We learned what really goes on in the tombs, and that Gran’ma’s blood compacts are nearly inescapable. There’s a lot to unpack, folks.
Alright, ready to delve into “Gonna Hurt?” Just be sure to leave a few blood bags stashed away for Cassidy. He really despises hunting for his food.
We open with Tulip (Ruth Negga) speeding toward the Grail headquarters. Metal music blasting, pedal to the medal, gun locked and loaded. Tulip is a bona fide bad***, but we already knew this. Unfortunately, when she reaches her destination she discovers that Herr Starr and his lackeys have vanished. It would appear they knew of her secret visit and planned an escape.
Later, as Tulip forlornly drives back to Angelville, she spots a familiar Man-Dog driving a motorcycle with a blonde woman perched behind him. Tulip pulls over, intrigued. Man-Dog removes his mask to reveal God Almighty Himself (Mark Harelik). God meanders toward Tulip’s window and the two have a nice chat regarding the latter’s role in the Grand Plan. God reassures Tulip that she was meant to fail, and Jesse is meant to be in Angelville as they speak. It’s all part of His glorious plan.
However, this doesn’t sit well with Tulip. She begins questioning God’s plan, and calls His bluff. She inquires as to His appearance on Earth. He reveals that He’s staging a test for all of creation. Then, He goes into Hulk-rage mode and knocks Tulip to the ground. No one questions Him…ever. As Man-Dog flees the scene, Tulip vows to catch up with him – and beat Him senseless. That’s my girl (I may have just committed blasphemy by typing this, and I’m okay with that.).
Meanwhile, TC (Colin Cunningham) is tending to Cassidy’s (Joseph Gilgun) bullet wound. TC extracts the bullet. Cassidy, being the chatty Irishman that he is, begins to regale TC with stories of past brushes with death. People stabbing him, slicing him, shooting him. You know, typical rapscallion vampire stuff. TC questions why Cassidy doesn’t have any scars. His skin, save for his tattoos, is blemish free. Cassidy quickly backpedals and adds that he does Pilates. Nice save, dude. Just as TC leaves, Cassidy procures a blood bag and slurps his way to health.
Then, Tulip informs Jesse (Dominic Cooper) of her interaction with the Almighty. Jesse is reticent to believe her, and wonders why He’d reveal Himself to her. Jesse also urges Tulip to lay low, and especially steer clear of Marie. He warns her that Gran’ma is much more formidable than she appears. Jody (Jeremy Childs) barges in on the two just as they’re about to engage in the horizontal tango. He reminds Jesse that they have work to do. Ever heard of knocking, Jody?
Later TC, Jody, Tulip and Jesse are in the kitchen consuming some cups of jo. Tulip learns that Jesse and Jody are heading off to church. TC questions Jesse regarding Cassidy’s miraculous healing capabilities, which sets our preacher into high alert. He decides to pay Cassidy a visit prior to leaving, and once again urges Tulip to not do anything out of the ordinary. Of course, we know Tulip doesn’t take orders from anyone.
Next, Jesse pops in to find a healthy Cassidy, his bullet wound now nonexistent. He apologizes to Cassidy for the way he’s treated the vampire. Jesse also proclaims that Cassidy is indeed his best mate. Cassidy seems reluctant, but he accepts Jesse’s apology all the same. Yay, now everyone’s happy again! That is, until Jesse pleads with Cassidy to leave Angelville. Cassidy vehemently vows to stay until Tulip agrees to leave with him. Jesse assures Cassidy that, should he stay, Marie will discover that he’s a vampire and have him burned alive. She doesn’t take too kindly to creatures of the night. Suddenly, as he hears TC and Jody approaching, Jesse stabs Cassidy in the shoulder. As the L’Angelle henchmen open the door, Jesse informs the duo that Cassidy still needs time to heal.
Meanwhile, Tulip is snooping through Marie’s office, after learning that the spiritual healer is still snoozing. She discovers odds and ends, macabre items and ghoulish objects. Tulip also finds a file cabinet containing handkerchiefs doused in blood. A multitude of them. Suddenly, a hand flops out from underneath a shrouded bed. Tulip recoils, utterly spooked, and flees the room. We see the hand slip underneath the shroud once again. This is something out of a horror movie, folks.
Later, Jesse and Jody are attending a Glue Huffers Anonymous meeting. They’re on the prowl, hunting for a fresh soul to do business with Marie. After the meeting ends, Jesse approaches a man who spoke at the meeting, revealing intimate details about his crippling addiction. Jesse offers Marie’s services to help cure said addiction. However, the man refuses, citing that he could get what he needs from Madame Boyd.
After the rejection, Jody gives Jesse the next location on their list for the day – Gamblers Anonymous. Jesse, in desperation, begs Jody to help him escape. Jody, of course, is loyal to Marie and declines to help. Instead, he slaps Jesse across the face for invoking the name of the latter’s mother, Christine. There’s definitely pain under the surface with Jody.
Meanwhile, Tulip decides to charm TC in an effort to glean information regarding Marie’s practices. We see her with TC in the old “Angelville Slave Quarters,” where the latter lives. Tulip learns that the bloody handkerchiefs are “blood compacts” that Marie makes with her customers. He reveals a story of a couple who tried to end their compact with Marie. The husband of the couple pleaded with Gran’ma to hand over the bloody handkerchief. Marie conceded, and triumphantly the husband ripped the handkerchief in two, spitting curses at the spiritual healer. Suddenly, his wife released a bloodcurdling scream. Her body was ripped in two along with the blood compact.
Now, Tulip asks TC why this happened, if the couple already paid their debt to Marie. TC informs her that Marie decides when a debt is paid. That’s some ominous stuff, you guys. Tulip, launching into desperation mode, grabs TC’s family jewels and demands to know how Jesse can break his blood compact with Marie. TC reveals that it’s impossible. Tulip storms out, and we see that a slithering critter is gripping TC’s junk. Tulip, never change.
Later, Cassidy pays Marie (Betty Buckley) a visit in her office. He asks her why she hasn’t healed herself of her paralysis, and generally tiptoes around his real reason for visiting her. Marie, who doesn’t enjoy small talk, demands he gets straight to the point. Cassidy informs Marie that he refuses to leave Angelville unless Tulip is at his side. He wishes to take Gran’ma up on her offer regarding the love spell. Don’t do it, Cass! Side note: I adore Gilgun and Buckley together. More scenes with them, please.
Now, we see Cassidy prepare the necessary ingredients for the love spell – locks of hair being a key ingredient. Jesse is ushered into Marie’s office by Gran’ma herself. He informs her of his failure to procure fresh souls for Marie’s business. Marie reminds him that he has a long way to go until his own debt to her is paid. She mention “the tombs” as a way to expedite the debt paying process. Jesse instantly shoos away the idea, to which Marie threatens to put him in “the coffin.” I’m glad my Granny never punished me for insubordination by putting me in a coffin.
Next, Tulip is waiting inside Madame Boyd’s offices. She left her phone in the car, and we see Jesse is trying to call her. Sabina (Prema Cruz), a secretary for the Madame, ushers Tulip inside. Tulip fabricates her name and a story involving her boyfriend “Rick,” and that she needs Madame Boyd’s service to help him get out of a blood compact. We see members of the Boyd gang playing cards. One situates himself as a guard by the door when Tulip sits down across the legendary Madame Boyd herself.
Then, Tulip tells the Madame her story. Sabina is perched in the corner. However, the secretary reveals her knowledge of Jesse Custer and that Tulip is really, well, Tulip. Tulip, realizing she’s now in a precarious situation, starts punching her way to freedom. She takes on the guard and successfully wins. Tulip jumps through the window, only to be thrown right back inside by members of the Boyd gang. We see Madame Boyd fall forward, lifeless. She was really a skeleton sitting in a chair. Sabina is the real Madame Boyd. She reveals that she had been waiting to meet Tulip for quite some time. Uh oh. This won’t end well.
Meanwhile, Cassidy is outside in the darkness, hunting for his food since Jesse confiscated his blood bags. He finds a chicken and pounces. We hear a gun click, and see TC is at the other end of the barrel. TC comments on his suspicions regarding our favorite vampire. Then, we see Cassidy hanging upside down from a tree, courtesy of TC and Jody. They plan to leave him hanging until the sun rises, and watch him burst into flames with day’s arrival. Jesse proposes a different sort of plan, one that doesn’t involve burning Cass.
Later, we’re finally inside the infamous tombs. We see a crowd swarm the space, including the glue huffing man from earlier. In one corner is the child predator from the previous episode – the one Marie has kept locked away for decades. In another is Cassidy. Jesse dons a top hat, and takes on the role of host. Yes, this is just like a dog fight. Each fighter is granted a weapon – predator guy is given a chainsaw, while Cassidy reaches for a morning star. The fight commences. Fight Club has begun.
Preacher Season 3 is off to a rousing start. Negga is the MVP of this episode, while Buckley also continues to be a scene stealer. The resurgence of God was intriguing, along with Madame Boyd’s introduction. Of course, there’s the Grail’s disappearance, and more delving into the mechanics behind Marie’s mysterious practices. This show never ceases to surprise me with its twists and turns. I can always count on Preacher for a wild ride. This episode was one of its best: dark, edgy, macabre and certainly not for the easily offended. I, for one, love to be offended.
Do you think Cassidy will win his fight in the tombs? Will the love spell work? What is Madame Boyd’s plan for Tulip? Where did Herr Starr run off to? Join me next week as I recap Preacher, here on Geek Girl Authority.
Preacher airs Sundays at 10pm on your AMC affiliate.