Various elements of the episode will be discussed in this review, so beware spoilers. And watch the episode before you read on, lest you face the wrath of the almighty. Or Cassidy...
Preacher the comicbook is often a madcap chase as Jesse and the rest hunt for the negligent God. No show could quite be what the source material is, but based on the last few episodes (excepting one or two moments), Preacher the series seems to more want to be something along the lines of a supernatural Breaking Bad in terms of pace. But while the development of Walter White from low-key family man to criminal mastermind was always able to be slow burn, this show is focusing more on the "slow" than the "burn". Holes does nothing to address that, cranking the speed down again to focus on character moments that would have more weight if the series had used its other quiet beats to truly develop the characters themselves.
Though the main trio (except Cassidy, who at least got a brief flashback to Denis' birth) has been decently fleshed out, neither Jesse nor Tulip's story this week was all that compelling. Custer spent a frustrating time at a local tech store (would a shop really call its tech support office Dork Docs? We suppose it fits for the show) trying to see if they can work some CSI-style magic on the God audition. Turns out... they tried, but didn't really get anywhere. Which could sum up this whole detour.
Tulip, meanwhile, still deep in her post-Cowboy funk, goes fridge shopping and spots a hole in the wall that resulted from the Saint's shooting spree. Heading out to repair them all (likely hoping to repair the malaise in her own soul), she unknowingly stumbles upon the Grail's surveillance room. Julie Ann Emory's Featherstone has a fun moment convincing Tulip (who still seems wary) that she's just a woman newly arrived in the building escaping a dangerous ex, but there's still not much there. If it's setting up a big confrontation with the Grail and Herr Starr's arrival in time, that's fine, but it felt like two minutes' worth of plot in a 20-minute tale.
Cassidy – did anyone else feel frustrated that the flashback teased a potential look at more from complicated life, only to not deliver? – had more drama with Denis, and we even heard his first name (Proinsias), but this week still didn't move things on all that much. Yes, the show has 13 episodes this season to tell its story, but it remains unable to do all that much with the breathing room.
In Hell, there was at least the nice touch of various little elements showing just how bad this vision of the place can be, but did we need Amy Hill's Ms. Mannering explaining the system's power supply. That'll probably come up again if Hitler and Eugene are to escape, but the highlight of the episode was the horrific amped-up version of Eugene's original Hell with Tracey. Having her confess that she likes him back only for Jesse to show up and claim a handjob really does sound like a hellish idea. No one needs to see Dominic Cooper's sex face.
A definite slump after last week's Herr Starr intro. It's sad that the side stories outshine our heroes whenever the pace slackens, but it seems to be par for the course on the show.
Highlight: Eugene's fresh Hell.
Lowlight: Everything at the Dork Docs, even if they were trying to be funny about it going nowhere.
Kill of the week: Eugene takes his own life in the new Hell sequence, but does that even count?
MVP: Julie Ann Emory, as Featherstone threw together a new identity in a trice.
Random thought: Yes, Proinsias is Cassidy's first name in the comics. Now if we could only learn more about him...
Airing on AMC Monday nights in the US, Preacher is available weekly on Amazon Prime Tuesdays in the UK.