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Review: ‘Preacher’ Builds Its Mysteries In a Low-Key Episode (By Comparison)

After two weeks of insanity, Episode 3, "The Possibilities," offers a lot of teases and not much else.

Dominic Cooper and Joseph Gilgun in "Preacher."

Dominic Cooper and Joseph Gilgun in “Preacher.”

Lewis Jacobs/Sony/AMC

LAST WEEK’S REVIEW: ‘Preacher’ May Baffle, But Continues to Be Great Fun

In The Beginning

This week’s cold open is a tad more scrutable than last week’s, since it takes place in the present day and doesn’t involve mysterious cowboys. Tulip trades her mysterious map to her contact in order to receive the whereabouts of Carlos, the guy who betrayed Jesse and Tulip during a score years ago. Tulip’s contact then hands off the map (which says “Property of Grail Industries”) to a mysterious bald man in a white suit. Who’s that man? What exactly happened with Carlos, Jesse and Tulip? Those are stories for future and more exciting episodes, apparently.

Tulip Does Cool Stuff

This week, Tulip talks her way out of a speeding ticket by spinning a yarn about needing to save an old army buddy from his personal demons. No points for figuring out that she’s really talking about Jesse, but as usual, Ruth Negga slays all the material she’s given.

Now that Tulip’s got the means of finding Carlos, she once again tries to convince Jesse to join her. Jesse protests as always, saying he made a promise to his father. “That promise was a little boy’s promise, made a long time ago. Your daddy’s dead and this town’s long past saving. Jesse come on. Let’s go kill Carlos.” Jesse finally relents, since whatever he did to them is bad enough that Jesse’s interested in revenge. A couple of brief flashbacks indicate that he abandoned them at a crucial moment, but there’s got to be more to the story. With Carlos, Grail Industries and whatever happened with Jesse’s dad all converging into one plotline, it feels like too many teases and not enough happening in the moment. Mysteries are all well and good, but you also have to make what’s happening right now satisfying as well, and this episode falls a bit short.

Dominic Cooper in "Preacher."

Dominic Cooper in “Preacher.”

Lewis Jacobs/Sony

Say The Word

At least Jesse finally realizes he has magic powers, and he starts seeing what he can do with them. We learn that the Loach girl did open her eyes at Jesse’s command, but she’s still in a coma. Jesse tells Cassidy about his new powers, and they do some experiments. Jesse can make Cassidy admit he secretly likes Justin Bieber but can’t get him to tell him who the governor of Texas is, since Cassidy doesn’t know. Cassidy asks what it feels like, and Jesse admits it’s like a blender in his guts, a feeling like “all of God’s creation inside of me.” Cassidy thinks that now Jesse has these powers, the sky’s the limit, but Jesse, as usual, is conflicted.

READ MORE: ‘Preacher’ Pilot Director’s Commentary: Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg Take Fans Behind The Scenes Of The Crazy Show

If you were hoping we’d get yet another episode where Jesse gets pushed to the breaking point and reverts to his old ways, you’re in luck! This week’s antagonist is once again Donnie, who’s fed up with the constant humiliation he’s suffered since Jesse beat him down in the pilot (turns out Annville is the sort of town where even mean schoolchildren know the result of a bar fight). Donnie pulls a gun on Jesse in a bathroom just as Jesse and Tulip are on their way to see Carlos, which gives Jesse the perfect opportunity to actively use his powers. He has Donnie put the gun in his own mouth and cock the hammer, but changes his mind at the last minute. Not just about Donnie, but revenge on Carlos, as well. You can imagine how thrilled Tulip is when he tells her they should leave Carlos to God. Annville seemed hopeless before, but now Jesse’s got the power to make his own changes.

Most Bonkers Moment

It’s a pretty low-key episode, in “Preacher” terms, which for this show means the angels are merely killed by being run over by a van instead of being dismembered in a full-on chainsaw fight. The angels getting killed is turning into a pretty great running gag. Of course they reappear in new bodies right away, and finally admit to Cassidy that they work for heaven and that they’re after whatever’s inside Jesse. Cassidy convinces them that Jesse’s dangerous and that Cassidy can be their go-between, proving that even members of the heavenly host can be pretty gullible.

For Those For Those Who Have Read The Comic (Skip If You Haven’t)

While the season seems determined to stay in Annville as long as possible, they’re still sowing the seeds for major stories from the comic, with the Saint of Killers last episode and The Grail (and possibly Herr Starr himself) in this one. It’s a frustrating tease in a duller episode like this, but it’s at least an assurance that the stuff comics readers are familiar with are definitely coming.

Grade: B-

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