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TV Review: Preacher (Season 3, Episode 10)

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“You still think like a Custer. That if you do just enough right and not too much wrong that there's still hope for you. It's because you're afraid of Hell…” 

In 'The Light Above', Jesse returns to Angelville and enacts justice before unleashing his vengeance too. Cassidy survives his potential burning and beats Eccarius, but old enemies catch up with him. Meanwhile Tulip is saved by “loving God” or a “dick” as she calls him. And Hell really goes to hell… 

The tension built up for the clash between Jesse and Marie is palpable. It takes time for us to finally get there and when we do, even longer for Jesse to finally kill her. In the episode we see that this Genesis-bestowed Jesse is truly different to who he was before.

Perhaps being so humbled this season made him start thinking like a Custer again. While God is revealed to be fickle, egotistical and evil this episode, Jesse administers justice fairly to those in Angelville, despite his power

He refuses to kill TC who was never bad to him in the way Marie and Jody were, and their goodbye is the only one that touches Jesse. He sees a man who like him is between Good and Bad, but due to long exposure to Angelville can’t escape it.

With Jody, he also judges fairly. Jesse and Jody always knew this fight would come, Jesse beating Jody, murderer of his father, then a horrible father figure to Jesse himself. We see a display of Genesis easily overpower Jody, but instead of ending his life in a second, Jesse fights the man sans powers in the tombs. He wins through his own strength and perseverance, and Jody, before he collapses dead, says, “Proud of you”. 

He uses his powers carefully. Makes his gran burn the compact and throw up the bit of Tulip’s soul she’d eaten. Out of desperation, Marie reveals that his soul will be damned if he kills her. Crushing all the souls from Japan, Jesse leaves angry though she has been beaten.

He returns again and finally kills her with her own soul extractor. It doesn’t feel like the “vengeance” that would make him a L’Angelle, but the kind his parents would have wanted. Marie and her cursed home burn in Earth and in Hell and if he, Jesse, must burn too, it’s worth it, as every action must have consequences. 

Elsewhere other characters get what is coming to them too. Eccarius is torn apart by his own “children” Then Hoover turns up to the children of blood, and is welcomed warmly, saying he’s left the Grail as the job didn’t have great benefits anyway. A gift from Hoover of an umbrella to Cassidy suddenly becomes all that stops our vampire protagonist from dying.

The Grail pulls away the house of Mrs. Rosen, exposing everyone in the basement to the sun, killing almost all of them. They take Cassidy away, Hoover revealing the benefits of the job are actually fantastic. While he, Herr Starr and Featherstone await Jesse’s arrival at the end, karma gets the vampire. Starr thought he was joking about the vampire nonsense and when he sees it's actually the truth, pulls off Hoover’s umbrella hat so he burns to a crisp. “We’re going to need a new…eh…Hoover” Starr says. 

The cinematography and soundtrack of the episode is flawless. Preacher’s visual style mimics the essence of the comic’s confrontational art perfectly. The scene involving the Grail Helicopter taking away the home both creates a hilarious sight gag with stray humperdoos and a violent, but well-shot massacre. Then there is the melding of the past Jesse in b&w with modern Jesse in colour. The emoji message dialogue between Jesse and Tulip is cute while our last shot of them to All Them Witches - When God Comes Back down to lyrics about souls, is fantastic. 

Finally, the episode sheds further light on what God is up to while proving “the rules” really have changed. It’s revealed in the flashback to Young Jesse leaving Angelville, and considering killing his gran’ma, that he literally has had an eye kept on him by both Satan and God since childhood.

His soul is truly the perfect mix of good and bad, without a Tom/Brady in sight. Though Jesse wants God to be accountable for his actions, he is at heart devout despite living in such an absurd world. 

As he mentioned early in the season though, God refuses to see him. This happens yet again as God saves Tulip from being shot then boasts that he is a merciful and loving god and promises to break her supposed O’Hare curse IF Jesse stops looking for him.

The first inkling of how this God really is comes through his reply to Tulip asking if he’s going to help Eugene/Arseface. A character who has spent half the season just repeating that God has a plan for him and there’s meaning to everything, is dismissed without a second thought.

The agreement that Marie and Satan had made, in which Jesse would be damned to hell if he killed her, seems to be void despite his actions…Why? Because of God’s past actions resulting in consequences. Although he might be untouchable, others aren’t. 

SOK, taunted by Sydney, finally acts, pulling her eyes out when she asks SOK if the crows pecked his daughter’s eyes out before or after death. Facing Satan in his office he demands to know who was responsible for the crows. Satan replies, the idea was God’s, “of course”.

In that moment SOK sees he’s been manipulated since before he died all so he would become an errand boy for the divine. So it is that SOK raises his gun that can kill anything and shoots Satan dead.

With no one else around, Hitler fills Satan’s chair and gets comfortable. Really. Leaving with Arseface to find Jesse, we get the feeling that next season SOK might recognize that it’s not Jesse Custer who is his true enemy. But God. The one who designed every aspect of his life and his death. A loving and Merciful God? No. Just a dick. 

'As Light Above' ends we can see the progression in the characters and marvel at a perfectly played game of chess by the Preacher writing team. However, as Herr Starr says at the end, season 4 will be a game-changer…No more chess. “It’s time to play some fucking checkers”. 

New episodes are available on Amazon Prime every Monday. 

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