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Preacher - The Coffin & Les Enfants du Sang - Double Review: "The Allfather"

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Preacher 3.05 "The Coffin" - Review:
Directed by Millicent Shelton & Written by Mary Laws

As we reach the halfway point in the third season of Preacher, it's safe to say that this season is a contender for the strongest one yet. It isn't bogged down by pacing issues that plagued the first two seasons, and the change in pace in its structure of antagonists and divisions between the central cast of characters has kept things fresh, exciting and unpredictable. The Coffin was another excellent episode of this show, which really kept me on the edge of my seat.

I've made no secret of my love of the show's music-backed fight sequences and The Coffin was no different, making the most out of Warren Zevon's Werewolves of London (which was also featured in the Season 2 finale of The 100 if you recall), in an appropriate way that feels very Preacher. Without question, this show has to have one of the best soundtracks on television, and this was another great showcase of just how good the music choices are. It's always good to see the criminally underrated Warren Zevon get more love, and it's hard *not* to like an episode that has Werewolves of London.

The balance in action, pace and comedy is pretty much a perfect blend of what the show needs to succeed. It's quietly establishing itself as one of the most underrated series on television at the moment and although it's too probably weird to achieve mainstream success, that shouldn't stop it from being noticed a bit more than it has been. One of the most comedic factors of The Coffin came in the form of Jonny Coyne's Allfather, who calls Starr to find out on Humperdoo's progress. The Allfather is so obese that we later learn he killed a man purely by sitting on him, and this is where Preacher's humour comes to the forefront. He feels like a more comedic villain than say The Saint of Killers or Gran'ma, but that doesn't mean that he hasn't lost any of his intimidating edge as Starr isn't the most optimistic about the fact that Humperdoo, the descendant of Jesus, only has mastered the art of the soft shoe tap-dance. It's not entirely sure how mastering the art of the soft shoe will come into play in the post-apocalyptic nightmare envisioned by The Grail that will lead to establishing Humperdoo as mankind's savior, but it's good enough for the Allfather who likes it so much that rather than scolding Starr as feared, he's that impressed that he tells him to speed up progress.

Unbeknown to the Allfather however, Starr is planning a coup that relies on Jesse's involvement. But Jesse is still hanging around his Gran'ma's home, so he needs to sort out a quick fix to get him back on board and who better to bring on than Cassidy, the vampire who was cast out put on a one-way ticket to New Orleans? It seems Cassidy is not having the best of luck on the vampire equivalent of Tinder, and it doesn't take much for the Grail to find him and have him leave a video message for Jesse. But it is never as easy at seems, and Cassidy's gone, finding himself in the hands of yet another new group that represents a whole different threat, Les Enfants du Sang, who we'll get into more in the context of the next episode when they're the main focus point. I love how the more we learn about The Grail though, the more incompetent they appear to be - they're not quite the well-oiled machine that we thought they might have been at the start, and as cracks start to show in their organization, Starr may find his coup harder to execute than he planned.

Jesse and Tulip don't have the best of luck against TC and Jody in the Werewolves of London-backed fight and in the standoff between Tulip and TC at least, we get to see them improvise with various means of bathroom items in a fight. But the fight doesn't work out as planned for both of them, and Tulip is chained to a radiator whilst Jesse gets a trip down memory lane, being put in the coffin at the bottom of the lake. It's here that he finds himself reliving an old western fantasy that he escaped into during his previous times in the coffin, and is once again, another nod from the show to its Western influences. Here he takes up the role of Marshall Custer, explaining that he became a good guy because there's way too many of the bad, and based on the amount of antagonists that he's up against in the present, he looks as though he may well be right. But real heroes don't wait, and it's time for Jesse to get a move on.

Of course, Tulip doesn't take it lying down and is quickly formulating an escape plan of her own. T.C. and Gran'ma want to get back at her for letting Cassidy escape, and whilst Gran'ma wants Tulip's soul, T.C. believes that this would mean Jesse would never forgive her. They eventually decide to go and collect Tulip, but Jody is found chained to the radiator, and she heads to confront Gran'ma following Boyd's advice. All she has to do is kill her. I love how the humour of this episode is brought to the forefront throughout, the earlier fight between Tulip and TC was one of the more humorous fight sequences of the season, and it really helps make this show a lively and exciting experience to watch.

Tulip's plan to defeat Gran'ma is never as straightforward as it first appeared and due to the fact that both of them are linked, she finds herself in jeopardy just as Jesse arrives, a bit too late to the party. He tries to revive Tulip but is quickly told that Tulip isn't the one he should be reviving, as her fate and Gran'mas are linked. It's a battle against the odds to revive them. And it looks like their plans to leave Angelville may have to be put on hold for just a little while longer.

Preacher3.06 "Les Enfants du Sang" - Review:
Directed by Laura Belsey & Written by Rachel Wagner

The second episode of the two that I'm reviewing here introduced us more to Les Enfants du Sang, who are yet another factor added to the game. They're more traditional than Cassidy, and they make an excellent foil for his character. The humour of them meeting in a basement of an innocent mother to ward off potential interlopers is a perfectly timed moment, and Cassidy is clearly skeptical. He doesn't want to befriend these wannabes who want nothing more to be turned into a vampire, a creature of the everlasting night, and having had enough of the life, he quickly warns them that the life isn't all it appears to be.

But their leader Eccarius is having none of it, and he's determined to show Cassidy the joys of becoming a vampire and what happens to those who embrace their true potential. Adam Croasdell's character represents the more supernatural side of things and it's great to see more of other vampires and their worldview, when previously the show has kept things limited to Cassidy. Eccarius is calmer and collective, and whilst he's living up all the theatrics, he is by all accounts, the real deal. It's interesting to note the congregation of vampires (or rather, a vampire and wannabe vampires) in New Orleans too - we saw The Originals make the most out of its New Orleans setting and it's good to see that Preacher has returned to the city, exploring it in its own way. The clear difference between Eccarius and Cassidy is something that feels alarming - Cassidy should by all rights, be the one coming out on top in fights, but he's always being beaten down time and time again.

It's easy to see why someone with Eccarius' powers, especially to make humans overcome with desire for him at will, would appeal to Cassidy, but it's clear he's having none of it. He's incompetent and that's part of his character, much to Eccarius' dismay, who wanted a friend in a fellow member of his species. It begs the question just how many more vampires are there out there in Preacher's world? We've seen Cassidy and Eccarius so far as well as the brief experiment with Cassidy's son, but it seems like a fascinating concept to introduce that the show has barely touched.

On the other hand, the Steven Soderbergh feel of this episode was exemplified in the whole crime sequence which was reminiscent of Logan Lucky and Ocean's 8. In order to steal the souls needed for Gran'ma so Tulip's soul won't be next, they staged a fake burial for Gran'ma and Tulip so Boyd would believe that they were dead. This burial was of course witnessed by a spotter for Boyd, who contacts her and she goes to meet Jesse in a bar, where he's causing trouble. Due to the nature of the heist needing the victim's saliva, Jesse tries to lure Boyd into spitting on him, but it doesn't go to plan so he ends up kissing her instead. Tulip isn't happy, but they have the spit needed to commence the heist.

TC's fame escapes him and it seems that him going naked to a petting zoo is enough for the police to prioritize it over a bank robbery. I would love to know the history there as to why they need to stop TC over Jesse and Tulip, but the robbery is successful, with Jody using the chaos to go over and single-handedly take care of Boyd' men in a gruesome fashion that he's known for. With the souls gained they head back to Gran'mas, only to find out that they need one more soul.

And that soul is Sabina's. As someone who was expecting her to play a bigger role in the episode, it makes sense that she should be cut off now at the same time more storylines like Les Enfants du Sang and the Grail coup are coming to fruition. There's only so much that Preacher can juggle at the best of times. Jesse killing Boyd to spare her from The Tombs was an interesting moment too, and it looks like he's in charge of the situation when he tells Gran'ma that although he'll repay her debt, he'll do it his way. It's time to call The Grail!

If only The Grail were as organized as Jesse would like them to be. The Allfather has arrived to oversee things personally and it's pretty clear he's looking to elevate things to a nuclear level which even Starr is worried by. Again, the humour here with his character is spot on the show delights in its Monty Python-esque absurdity when it comes to its take on Religion.

We also got to spend time with Eugene in this episode after his escape from hell, as if this episode needed another storyline. He was brought back and he returns to Annville only to find it wiped from the face of the Earth, and he is promptly carted off to an orphanage where he's easy prey for the Saint of Killers. It's a shame he never got to spend more time away from The Saint, but it's clear that he at least believes he's been brought back for a purpose by God. The good news is for Eugene is that he's not going back to hell just yet, as he needs to find one other person who has escaped first. And that person is of course, Hitler, who looks set to be the focus of the next episode given that he shares its title, and after ignoring the elephant in the room for so long, it looks like the show is set to delve back into one of its more controversial subject matters.

What Did You think of The Coffin & Les Enfants du Sang? Let me know in the comments below and stay tuned for the next episode of Preacher, airing tomorrow on AMC.

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