Thursday, August 2, 2018

Preacher, Season 3, Episode 6: Les Enfants du Sang

Things are getting dramatic this episode - but we’re also splitting the cast a lot which is never my favourite thing

Firstly we have the return of Eugene, rescued from Hell to discover the whole town destroyed in his absence, Eugene has embraced hope and faith. After all, if he hadn’t been taken to hell he would have died in the town as well - he decides god has a plan for him.

His much more cynical room mate at the orphanage (how old is Eugene?) has little time for his “god has a plan” spiel - and even Eugene should have that shaken when he’s adopted. By the Saint of Killers who intends to return him to hell

It’s all hilariously zany (and I’m a terrible person who laughed at the “Lone Star Orphanage, inventory low, make us an offer). But even the Saint of Killers seems moved by Eugene’s dedication to faith and hope - which is saying something since he’s certainly intimidated tougher people than Eugene

But last week our most hilarious storyline was Cassidy - and I expected this to be a lot more… comic than it was. But it’s actually surprisingly moving

Cassidy has been captured by Les Enfants du Sang and it is AWFUL. They have light bulb candelabra, they have a man playing a harpsichord. They’re led by a man called Eccarius who has an owl and they meet in Kevin’s grandma’s basement. Cassidy is duly scathing of these poser vampire wannabes and curses out his own opinion of what being a vampire means: it means being hated, shunned, to watch everyone you love die and ultimately you end up drinking engine cleaner just to feel something different. It’s quite bleak

But before he leaves Eccarius eats his owl. Whole. That pretty much proves that while his flock of wannabes are posers, Eccharius himself is the real deal.

Of course, Cassidy is still scathing - he rejects they’re anything alike and mocks Eccarius as basically being a walking cliche. And how vampirism is awful - to which Eccarius suggests maybe Cassidy is doing vampirism wrong

And he shows him how to do it right - because Eccarius can fly and compel humans and shapeshift and move super fast and has all these awesome cool powers we’ve never seen Cassidy use. Eccarius has made vampirism fun and he promises to show Cassidy how at their ceremony

Where he bites one of his cultists. Eccarius’s power comes from drinking blood - something Cassidy only does for healing. Cass is furious (he’s exploiting “morons” so he can do magic tricks”) and attacks Eccarius - which fails epicly because Eccarius has blood but Eccarius tries to reason with him. Yes drinking blood and turning his son went badly for Cass - but Eccarius takes consenting adults who are good people. Cass is still clearly uncomfortable with it and still wants to leave… and Eccarius asks him to stay. Cass wonders why - with all his powers, his cult of followers, his aristocratic background, education et al, why would he want Cass around

Because, ultimately, even with all his power and followers, he’s just as lonely as Cass.

Cass goes and takes all the drugs and gets a call from Tulip who asks him to just hang in there until they’re finished and can join him. And Cass brings out the saddest of speeches - he’s 119 years old, 1000s of people like Jesse and Tulip have come and gone. As will thousands more. He doesn’t “hang in there”, he “moves on.”

Ouch, ouch and more ouch

He returns to Eccarius

Look, anyone reading my reviews knows I have so little time for the whole “pity my immortal vampire self” angst vampires. I forever curse Anne Rice for making this a thing. But Cassidy here may actually be the best depiction of the true impact of it I’ve ever seen. I think because he isn’t dripping in all the cool powers, that we have that not-especially-well-hidden deep self hatred lurking just beneath the surface. Seriously not in books nor on screen have I seen the Angst Vampire’s Loneliness depicted so well. I think it also showed not only a lonely self-hating side of Cass but also a surprisingly moral one - drinking blood for power is totally unacceptable to him even when, as we’ve seen, there have been multiple occasions when a powered up Cass could have been helpful: especially since a powered up Cass seems more powerful than anything Jesse or Tulip can muster

Speaking of - to the Angel plantation and Jesse makes a deal to stop TC and Jody from killing Tulip: he can get them Sabina Boyd’s soul collection. Something they’ve never managed - but Jesse says they can with Tulip

Because Tulip is awesome

We have a whole heist with Tulip doing all the standard casing experimenting, acting, researching and generally being awesome. While TC molests animals (less said the better) and Jody murders some more of Sabina’s people. Ah, the vault requires Sabina’s saliva to open which Jesse gets through a kiss and Tulip gives him a Look for.

It does work and soon Marie is back in the land of the living - though it’s suggested there aren’t as many souls as they’d like. Which puts Jesse and Tulip back at square 1 - captured. Jesse continues his defiance - insisting on paying his debt “his way” and even killing a soul drained Sabina so she couldn’t be used in the tombs

Really? This character deserved so much better - so very much better. She had so much potential, the rival family, the insight into magic, the complex history with Jesse, the respect between her and Tulip - so much could have been done with her.

I’m not a big fan of another reset and more miring in the swamp… but Jesse has a plan because he intends to call the Grail

And we catch up with the Grail. Namely Herr Starr continuing to despair because the Messiah is grossly unsuitable (insert brief ablist insult/depiction) and the Allfather is insisting that the time for the apocalypse and the messiah is really really soon. Oh and this is going to involve nuclear weapons.

Herr Starr didn’t think the apocalypse would literally involve the world being consumed by fire and is duly horrified by the whole thing. The Allfather is invested but other than that is basically evil and fat and… actually “fat” is just all he is. This is his character, a walking fat joke complete with eating an entire horse and crushing someone to death by sitting on them because they touched his hot pocket.

Also Herr Starr has a cut on his bald head which makes him look, as the Allfather points out, like a penis.

Who would have thought Herr Starr would be the better choice? Of course his rebellion is in doubt because the Allfather is VERY interested in Jesse custer