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TV Review: Preacher (Season 3 Episode 3)

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The beginning and end of 'Gonna Hurt' are book-ended by a contrast, worthy of God’s dalmatian suit. While “chosen” Tulip is surrounded by white throughout, Jesse is growing darker to the point his is swallowed in shadow. Whether this signifies they will come to loggerheads is unclear currently. 

Pre-title credits, Tulip goes to confront the Grail at the headquarter’s address so helpfully given on a business card. Too bad they’ve vanished. She returns to Angelville, in a sequence that features a series of horror aesthetic tropes, like a dolly zoom (the effect used in Jaws that both zooms and pulls out) on the entry sign. A place the group are slowly recognizing for what it is. 

On her way back she is stopped by God in his gimp suit astride a Harley motorbike he shares with a woman. Tulip is allowed to see God’s face and is surprised to see that he looks almost exactly like the fake God actor killed to cover up God’s disappearance.

We get to know the type of personality this God has quickly through the brief back and forth he and Tulip have. He claims that he has given his “children” free will that people use over and over the same way, either for good, or for bad like her family, the no-good O’Hare.

Despite this claim of free will, he says everything Tulip brings up is “by design”. He has planned everything and controls it. He might be “a loving god” as he says, but he is a stuck up, manipulative and egotistical one too.

Tulip wasn’t “chosen” because she is special, but a failure, he reveals. The mistakes she made last week were “by design” and something he was “counting on” as failure is in her nature.

Tulip refuses to believe God’s statement that everything occurring around them is part of a test for humanity’s future. “I call bullshit,” she tells him. His Harley, dog suit, female companion are just signs of a guy who wants to screw around.

When Tulip starts treating him like the guy having a mid-life crisis that he is, he isn’t happy. “I’m God Almighty!” God reminds her, but she retorts “You’re an all-mighty dickhead”. God repeats that he is loving while shouting about being the Alpha and Omega and tells her not to push it while throwing her backwards, by the end in full stereotypical God appearance not in his dog suit.

This pompous and egotistical God seems to have lost Tulip after what she did for him last week, and she swears at him as he leaves.  

Cassidy is being treated by TC for his gun wound from last week and compliments the latter on the pain relief provided that TC calls Numb-er-er, saying, “Hemlock. It’s been a bloody age! Like I love a bit of hemlock man!”.

His new friend notes how quick Cassidy heals and the latter tells him of all the injuries he has endured throughout his life, often tied to annoying jealous husbands and wives by shagging their partners, never dying despite it all. Once he’s alone, however, he drinks down a blood bag to heal his wound up which we see in a cool shot from the inside as it closes up. 

Jesse is envious of the fact Tulip got to see God when he’s the one searching for Him. This might be because God knows Jesse, as a preacher, already cares for him, or as Tulip suggests by the fact God wants Jesse to stop looking for him, God is scared of Genesis.

Despite her fantasy in which she kicks God in his “dick ass” in white to what sounds like the soundtrack to a WWE match , her comments to Jesse that she’ll get rid of his gran’s “hanky” to free him from what is “just an old lady” make Jesse react.

Tulip, who did just die, believes she is more invincible than she is, and Jesse who had her on top of him in bed pulls himself round to sit over her. No, he tells her. She can’t do anything as Madame Marie is “dangerous”. 

All three go their separate ways, Tulip to investigate the room of Madame Marie and get information regarding how to break Jesse free; Jesse to help Jody find new customers, and Cassidy to sit acting ill and not like a vampire. 

Jesse reveals to Cassidy that the latter was right about him playing God at people’s expense and tells the Irish vampire, “You’re my best friend”, something he’s never said.

Right after this moment though, his request that Cassidy “trust” him and go, dampens the moment as Cassidy assumes it's about Tulip. Refusing to go, Jesse takes his blood bags leaving him without sustenance.

The southern gothic horror slowly developing over the last episodes comes back in Jesse’s warning to Cassidy that he's seen the pictures and what they do in Angelville.

We see the burning lynched man etching from last episode animated in a creepy, but visually interesting effect here. While they might be in “Voodoo Disneyland” as Cassidy asserts, his nature will get him killed. For his grandmother and her men, “magic is one thing, but monsters is something else”. Cassidy is in danger. 

Tulip finds multiple bloody hankies while searching Marie’s room and follows up the disturbing offer of TC to see “his dingle” in order to get information from him. She discovers that you need to pay off your debt to end the “blood compact” and if you don’t then the power over you remains.

This prompts a hilariously kitschy horror flashback as TC tells her what happens if you don’t pay the debt.

In B&W we see Frankensteinsque thunder and lightning strike as a couple arrive to bargain for the wife’s hanky.  Managing to get it from Madame Marie he insults her while ripping the cloth apart to dramatic music.

The compact wasn’t finished however and by ripping it he has ripped in half his wife who dies. Although TC tries to tell her she can’t do anything to help Jesse she hurts him in the balls saying “There’s never nothing you can do”.

Following this, Tulip goes to Madame Boyd’s to try and discover whether there is a way to get out of the compact. Boyd who is a proper voodoo practioner, as her office decorations show, and Tulip pays for an appointment with cash instead of “apple pay” which shows the contrast of new and old between her and Marie.

Buisness is booming and the magic commercialized  while Angelville decays and is tied to blood. Though she hides Jesse and her own name their real ones are said back to her. The glasses-wearing woman who seemed to be the receptionist is revealed to be the young-looking Madame Boyd. Jesse’s connection to Madame Marie’s long dark history, and her underestimation of the danger surrounding Angelville, get her stuck in a tricky situation as we close on our scenes with her. 

Jesse’s scenes with Jody find him unable to get a pathetic man who snorts his son’s craft glue interested in getting help from Madame Marie. If he wants help he’ll “go to Madame Boyd like everyone else,” he sniffs.

Cassidy meanwhile gets what is assumed to be a love potion from Marie.  After Jesse’s failure to get customers his grandmother demands he opens the tomb, slapping the once all-powerful man.

His plans mean “a rat’s galette” to Madame Marie who will get everything she is owed by him. He won’t be allowed to run like his mother again. He needs to give in and join her. Cassidy’s vampirism is discovered after he is found eating a chicken and he is hanged upside down by TC and Jody who want to torture him until the sun comes up.

While Jesse quickly pretends he didn't know Cassidy's nature, he starts formulating a plan. He won’t let Angelville destroy his best friend. The plan however means going against his own desire. Instead of dying by burning in the sun, Jesse agrees to open the tombs to save Cassidy, who instead will fight to death against the pedophile teacher from previously. 

The horror aesthetics besides the one's mentioned, include a ghostly green lighting to Angelville’s surrondings as Cassidy is caught then a car’s bright headlights in mist and the green light as he’s hanging.

As we open upon the scene in the tombs with the location’s font on screen seeming even bigger than usual, we see Jesse lit with yellow lighting as the crowd around him are in green.

He takes a top hat from TC and Jody and puts on a performance for the people which is so comfortably done it seems that he must have undertaken this role often as a teenager.

As we close however, unlike the brightly and white lit Tulip, Jesse’s face is gradually obscured in shadow and darkness to the point at one moment that we can’t see him. 

'Gonna Hurt', proves to be just that. As Cassidy and Tulip release the predicament they are in, Jesse finally gives himself fully to his grandmother’s cause, embracing the darkness, to save his friends. It might hurt, but it’s necessary. 

New episodes of Preacher are available on Amazon Prime every Monday.

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