Puzzle Piece: Vampires and Prostitutes Gone Wild in ‘Preacher’ – Film School Rejects

Preacher unites its stars and celebrates father-son time.

Puzzle Piece, episode 9 of Preacher, is the story of how Jesse and Herr Starr finally come together. Or rather, its the story of how Jesse finally worms his way into Herr Starrs consciousness.

And Jesse has no idea that hes doing it.

Despite every attempt to be proactive, Jesse has come up with nothing, resorting to searching for God on YouTube in the middle of the night. Its only by a series of coincidences (an uncomfortable dinner date, a popup cat question, a misjudgment in prostitutes) that Herr Starr gives Jesse a second chance.

And its a good thing, too, because Jesse is at the end of his rope. Hes having no luck finding God and, whether hes aware of it or not, hes seriously falling out with his only two friends.

He finally seems to be taking notice of Tulips problems, which is good, because Im starting to get a little tired of aimless Tulip. When she went back to the Hurt Locker, it felt like she was starting to make progress. Not healthy progress, mind you, but she was doing something.

That was several weeks ago. Frankly, I miss the old Tulip, and watching this new Tulip stumble through life without the help she needs (and without an entirely clear reason for her distress) is wearing thin. Tulip is a wonderful character, and its a shame to see her stuck in the same rut for so long.

Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper), Tulip OHare (Ruth Negga)

Cassidys drifting away from Jesse, too, although his troubles are more interesting to watch. Denis introduction as a vampire is great, as are the hints that theres already trouble in paradise. A certain memorable character in the comics lives in New Orleans, and I have an inkling that some aspects of him are going to come out in Denis.

For the time being, though, their difficulties are more fun than ominous. The ear-splitting Je Ne Regrette Rien is a lovely little role reversalDenis the son playing loud music and Cassidy the invalid hobbling after him. Its a sweet, almost normal introduction to what is destined to be a very problematic relationship.

Whats less sweet is Cassidys relationship with Jesse. Cassidy clearly resents Jesse for not helping with Denis, especially when hes so quick to use Genesis on Tulip (and against her will, at that). And while Jesse insists he wouldnt have objected to Cassidy biting Denis, the two of them have a complicated history regarding the acceptability of vampires.

In the standoff between Jesse and Cassidy, its hard to see both sides.

Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun), Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper)

Which is odd, since Cassidy really seemed to be taking a darker turn for a while. He used Fiore and left him. He never learned to speak to his own son. He tried to break up Jesse and Tulip. He was on his way down an unlikeable path.

But recently, hes been almost unequivocally good. He nursed his dying son, then saved his life. He sacrificed his fingers, and then his whole body to rescue his friends. And now, with only half of his intestines, hes being asked by Jesse to sacrifice himself again, without so much as a thank you.

Hes old and lonely and being used and he knows it.

Cassidy is a wonderful characterits hard not to be charmed by him. But part of what makes him so good is that the charm is balanced by a selfishness, an innate badness. At the moment, however, hes not only charming but also extremely relatable and pitiable.

Im looking forward to seeing more of his darkness, but Im worried itll be a long fall.

Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun)

Meanwhile, the introduction of the Grail as real players in the story is very exciting. Their presence makes the show feel much more like the comics.

And it brings up storylines I honestly didnt think would make the jump to tv.

As soon as the rape fantasy prostitutes were mentioned, I knew what was coming, but I couldnt believe it was actually happening. Its not too shocking or too strange, butaccidental gay is a little stale as a punchline these days. Herr Starrs blas acceptance of having to wait out a vigorous pounding is, at least, a funny twist. But between this and last weeks handjob suicide, Im curious about what else Preacher is willing to show us.

At least we know its still willing to explode real people. The killing of Harry Connick Jr. is a fun jolt back to the real world, a lot like Tom Cruises first season explosion. I sincerely hope this is the start of a trend and another classically handsome middle aged star blows up next season.

F.J. Hoover (Malcolm Barrett), Lara Featherstone(Julie Ann Emery)

Puzzle Piece is a nice collision of three major parties whove been destined to meet for a while. It pairs the further deterioration of Jesses world with the first real break hes gotten all season.

I wouldnt count on Tulip or Cassidy making much progress next week, but Im excited to see Jesse finally get some answers.

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Puzzle Piece: Vampires and Prostitutes Gone Wild in ‘Preacher’ – Film School Rejects

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Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero
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