Martin Carr reviews the seventh episode of Preacher…
Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. A more dysfunctional version of happy families you are never likely to see. Everyone one here is trying to pretend that everything is fine, nobody has crossed the line and this is just another average day in bible belt country. But there is something simmering, something festering, an elephant in the room both abhorrent and drenched in sin. And that personification made flesh is Jesse Custer.
Having consigned Eugene to hell moments before the end of ‘Sundowner’ we now find ourselves in a difficult position. Consumed as he is by the embodiment of light and dark Custer is experiencing a biblical level of indifference to everyone. He is so blinkered to the fact Annville is slowly turning into hell on earth, that people are metaphorically throwing themselves under the bus to open his eyes. ‘He Gone’ is peppered with awkward conversations, subtle character progression and a balance of tone which is near perfect.
Cooper is visibly eaten away from the inside, while Negga, Gilgun and Griffith tiptoe around this human landmine whilst exchanging pleasantries. A lack of Fiore and DeBlanc is barely noticed as the focus remains on this odd quartet of wannabe do-gooders. Intercut with these delicate silences between words are flashbacks which serve story without diminishing drama. Nathan Darrow from Gotham season two and House of Cards gives us glimpses into a puritan upbringing which feeds back into the present seamlessly.
Elsewhere Mr. Root’s continual reappearance underlines the unnatural act which has befallen his son and placed everyone at ground zero. Theological debate, which is never far from the surface keeps a polite distance from events this week. Only Cassidy, a character at such odds with himself as be almost beyond reproach, alludes to the deeper meanings at play during quieter moments. While Quincannon sits converted in his office having gunned down any opposition and listening to slaughterhouse soundtracks on repeat.
There is a darkness within Preacher which many have taken to their hearts. For reasons which are hard to pin down Cassidy, Tulip, Jesse and Emily have emerged fully formed, glorying in their imperfections and grounding themselves in a reality far removed from our own. A combination of solid source material, good casting and concise adaptation has made Preacher something Amazon have been waiting for; namely a hit show. I know there are other quality programmes on the streaming service, but few can claim to have bridged the gap so perfectly between graphic novel and mainstream television. Never have ungodly acts, potty mouths and members of the undead meshed so well to such devastating effect.