DISCLAIMER: This Preacher recap contains more spoilers than the number of times Jesse breaks into bouts of fisticuffs with any given person. Our preacher sure loves a good fight. You’ve been warned. Say your prayers, and enter at your own peril.
Welcome back, Sinful Sunday lovers! Preacher gave us a solid Season 3 premiere this week. Jesse was up to his usual godly shenanigans as he tried to revive his dearly departed Tulip. Cassidy was still irritated with Jesse for not allowing him to turn Tulip into a vampire. Meanwhile, we delved into the past of Jesse’s formidable Grandma Marie L’Angel, and her voodoo practices. Oh, and it’s pretty obvious Marie slaughtered her own daughter, Jesse’s mother. Tulip spent her time prior to returning to Earth in Purgatory, and spoke to Dog (erm, God) Himself.
Alright, ready to delve into “Angelville?” Just be sure to blast some Joni Mitchell and wolf down a bowl of Boo Berry cereal in honor of Tulip O’Hare. She’ll be more inclined to return to the Land of the Living.
We open with a flashback to Jesse’s Grandmother’s (Betty Buckley) mansion. She runs her voodoo practices inside her home. We see her extraordinary abilities at work – one man is cured of his alcoholism simply by consuming an elixir. One woman named Christina (Liz McGeever) works tirelessly as Marie’s assistant. Christina retires to her room under the guise of a headache. However, we see her later trying to escape via bus. Marie’s cronies Jody (Jeremy Childs) and TC (Colin Cunningham) track down Christina. They return her to Marie kicking and screaming.
Now, Marie believes Christina is keeping secrets. Christina swallows an unidentifiable object in defiance. Marie orders Jody and TC to extricate said object out of her. It’s here we learn that Christina is Marie’s daughter – Jesse’s mother. Jody and TC proceed to cut Christina open. Marie procures a blood soaked photo of young Jesse. She then demands Jody and TC put Christina in “the chair.” Uh oh. That doesn’t sound pleasant.
Later, we flash forward to the present. Jesse (Dominic Cooper) and Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) carry a lifeless Tulip (Ruth Negga) into Marie’s seemingly desolate mansion. Jesse calls out for his grandmother, desperate for her help.
Then, Cassidy, still irate with Jesse for refusing to allow him to turn Tulip, admits a secret. He admits to shagging Tulip, which spurs Jesse into action. The two former mates duke it out. Suddenly, TC makes his entrance and knocks Cassidy unconscious. Marie wheels herself in, confined to a wheelchair in her later years. Gran’ma has arrived!
Next, Jesse beseeches Marie for her help in reviving Tulip. They only have so long until Tulip inevitably crosses over Death’s threshold. For now, she resides in Purgatory. Marie reluctantly agrees to help – on one condition. Jesse, knowing full well what she desires, slices his hand open and allows his blood to collect itself on the tablecloth below. Marie clutches said cloth as if it were a treasure chest of precious jewels. Someone loves blood a little too much.
Meanwhile, we finally get a glimpse of Tulip in Purgatory. She’s in a replica of her childhood living room, which is situated like a sitcom TV set. Tulip is sitting next to a younger version of herself. Suddenly, her father returns from prison, and we see him interact with young Tulip. Every event that transpires during this scene triggers applause or audible reactions from an invisible studio audience. Father O’Hare cleans himself up and tries to get a job. Meanwhile, Tulip’s mother is shagging various men that aren’t her husband behind closed doors.
Later, Tulip’s father returns home and his treatment of young Tulip vastly shifts. He’s more cold, aloof. He’s also on the hunt by police. He snags a rifle, as does young Tulip and present Tulip. The O’Hare trio stands at the ready by the window, guns brandished at the police outside. I can see where Tulip’s tenacity comes from.
Then, Marie gives Jesse a list of ingredients to round up. Firstly, he must gather a number of items that are near and dear to Tulip. She needs things that will ground her spirit to this world. Secondly, Jesse must snag a vial of transpoil, and he is directed to Jody for help in obtaining that. Jody is the man who killed his father. Awkward.
Next, Jesse orders Cassidy to pick up the ingredients necessary in Angelville proper. Jesse decides to approach Jody regarding the transpoil. Initially, it appears that Jody is going to attack Jesse, but he pulls our preacher into a hug. Plot twist!
Later, Jody and Jesse take the former’s truck into town to meet with a gang associated with another voodoo practitioner. Jesse stays in the getaway vehicle while Jody punches his way to the transpoil. Well, violence is one method of getting what you want.
Meanwhile, Cassidy and Marie are sitting with Tulip, watching the seconds go by, hoping that Jesse returns with the transpoil soon. Cassidy managed to collect all of Tulip’s favorite items. Marie ingests a spicy pepper, citing that spirits tend to flock to whomever is in pain. She urges Cassidy to do the same. Of course, since he’s a vampire, the pepper ingestion is almost unbearable. Marie then launches into a story of how she used magic to woo a man who loved another. She offers to help Cassidy with his unrequited love for Tulip. Betty Buckley is dazzling in this role – intriguing, and utterly terrifying.
Finally, Jesse and Jody arrive at the mansion with the coveted transpoil. However, Jody’s beef with Jesse takes over and the duo duke it out. Jody believes that Jesse is incapable of beating him. Male testosterone at its finest, folks. But, just before Jody heaves his truck (yes, he lifted a whole truck) on top of Jesse, Marie trudges outside and snuffs out the fight. Tulip takes precedence, boys.
Later, we see Tulip and young Tulip sitting together in the living room, sans their father. Child Services swarms them from outside, knocking incessantly on the door and ordering their parents to relinquish Tulip. We hear sirens and see a spotlight from a helicopter overhead. This is obviously a disguise for Death, ushering Tulip to take the plunge to the Land Beyond.
Next, young Tulip begins munching on a bowl of Boo Berry cereal. Present Tulip joins her. We see that Tulip’s favorite items are situated beside her lifeless body in the real world. Jesse launches into a monologue about how much he needs Tulip to wake up, to come back to him. It’s simple, yet beautifully poignant.
Meanwhile, Tulip begins seeing other parts of her life on Earth infiltrating Purgatory. She overhears Jesse’s monologue on the receiver of a phone. Cassidy blasts Joni Mitchell on Earth, and we see the singer appear on the TV set inside the Purgatory living room. Tulip finds a stray battery and places it inside the cat clock on the wall, which causes said clock to properly tick once more. This action acts like a portal, which launches Tulip out of Purgatory. Success!
Then, Tulip is standing outside Marie’s home in Angelville. God appears before her, clad in the Man-Dog suit. He declares that he has a plan that involves Tulip. He needs her to enact it. Just before God is able to divulge his grand plan, Tulip vanishes. Cliffhangers, you know what I mean?
Suddenly, Tulip wakes up with a jolt. Jesse embraces her. Cassidy gives her a toothy grin, delighted to see Tulip alive again. Our family is back together!
Later, Jesse finds Tulip and Cassidy sleeping soundly in bed, so he ventures to the kitchen for a late-night drinking and thinking session. Marie joins her grandson. She reminds him of who he is, and who she is. She also delivers a thinly veiled threat. Marie has him hook, line and sinker. Jesse is home, and now the real work can begin. Our preacher’s worst nightmare has come to pass – he’s reunited with his family.
Preacher delivered a strong season premiere in my eyes. The Purgatory scenes were so well done in terms of creativity. One thing I’ve enjoyed about this series is the intricate mythology – how Hell worked last season to how Purgatory operates this season. Not to mention, Buckley is a true MVP. Her Marie will be a formidable adversary for Jesse.
Do you think Jesse will stay with his grandmother for long? What did God want from Tulip? Will Cassidy try to woo Jesse with Marie’s help? Join me next week as I continue to recap Preacher, here on Geek Girl Authority.
Preacher airs Sundays at 10pm on your AMC affiliate.