Preacher 301- Angelville
Preacher, arguably AMC’s most irreverent series returns for a third season with Angelville, an episode that takes everything that makes the show what it is and jacks the volume way past 10. In an attempt to save her life, Jesse and Cassidy bring Tulip to Angelville, Jesse’s family home. They say you can’t go home again and after taking stock of Jesse’s bloodline it’s a piece of advice he should probably have heeded.
A thoroughly creepy flashback scene to kick off the episode offers a look into Jesse’s completely bizarre family. It seems that Jesse’s grandmother is some piece of work and might be the most fearsome villain the series has seen so far. That being said Jesse needs her particular talents to help resurrect Tulip. When he arrives at Angelville, the place is deserted and the apparent hopelessness reignites the simmering tension that was a fixture between Cassidy and Jessie last season.
Jessie makes a deal with the devil…scratch that, his grandmother but the cost promises to be heavy. Meanwhile in Purgatory, Tulip sits next to her younger self and relives her past watching her parents make their mistakes all over again. With death beckoning her to her final resting place, Tulip struggles to choose which path she’ll take even with everything Jessie’s grandmother has done for her. Before she returns to this mortal coil she encounters God (which is dog backwards) who informs her that he has a special mission for her.
Conflict, particularly that of the internal kind is the theme of the day in Angelville. Everybody has a restless heart, or at least conscience to battle alongside the myriad of other challenges that they’re forced to face. Jessie has some unresolved issues, and there appear to be an infinite number where his family is concerned. He’s also got to deal with a burgeoning love triangle with himself, Cassidy and Tulip on the horizon and his friendship with Cassidy remains a challenge. Cassidy wants to do right by his friend but realizes that his feelings for Tulip may tear the trio apart. Speaking of Tulip, her reluctance to come back to life indicates that there are some deep regrets with how her life is operating at the moment. How God’s plan plays into those feelings will be interesting to explore.
All of this is on the table and there’s no sign of Herr Starr or the Grail to further complicate matters. There are several hints dropped throughout the episode that this season will be all about settling scores. Jessie will no doubt be quick to avenge the deaths of his father and mother even if his grandmother is the one standing in his way.
Angelville is a satisfying return to the world of Preacher. While not the most violent or zany of episodes the creepiness is off the charts particularly in the first act. Even when it settles down there’s enough menace there to keep things moving and hopefully the trend will continue throughout Season 3.