Preacher: ‘Puzzle Piece’ Review

This week’s Preacher was an improvement on last week’s episode, and the lack of Eugene sure did help.  I mean his story’s just boring.

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‘Puzzle Piece’ moved forward the plot threads that were the focus of the last two episodes.  Tulip’s PTSD was an interesting direction to take the character, and now the other two main characters are getting involved.  The scene where Jesse used his powers to put her to sleep was sweet and tender, something their relationship has lacked in previous episodes.  Jesse’s arc took some interesting turns this episode.  We were given a flashback to the day Jesse’s father died, and his influence on Jesse are clearly affecting his actions.  Jesse’s speech to Cassidy implies that there’s a deeply personal reason the search for God is important to him.  If I’m reading into all of this the right way, I think the writers are working to wards having a very different Jesse in season three.  The flashback also teases a well-known arc from the comics, though that will most likely play out in the show’s third season.

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Cassidy and Denis weren’t given too much screen time this episode, but when they were on screen it was a mix of familial bonding and looming doom.   While Cassidy seems to making up for his past mistakes as a father, which is nice, Denis’ actions imply coming tragedy.   Between when he played the music despite being told not to and how he lost control when drinking from the bowl of blood, it seems that Denis has impulse control.  Combine that with his newly acquired vampire abilities, I fear Cassidy may end up having to make a tough choice in the next few episodes.

The Grail are finally taking action after what seemed like ten episodes worth of recon work, and it was great.  That initial battle sequence in the dark was invigorating, and the choice of using the show’s protagonists as the attackers was unexpected.  Jesse and company are vicious and effective fighters, and to the enemy that would seem very scary, so the horror film POV filming style was a good directing decision.  Jesse has now become a target of the Samson Unit, but it didn’t last long.  After the failed attack with grail troops, Starr launched a drone strike to kill Jesse, the overkill of this plan being a great source of humor, as was the reveal.  However, it seems once Starr learned more about Jesse he realized how he could be manipulated to aiding the Grail’s agenda, though it’s most likely Starr’s agenda.  Considering Jesse’s search for purpose and waning faith, it seems a deal with the devil may be in the future.

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Speaking of Starr, he quickly proves himself a worth addition to the cast of characters. His brutal yet calm nature makes him a very unique character in the series, and makes his interaction with other character very enjoyable.  Starr’s straight to the point speech pattern play well off of Featherstone’s zealot like loyalty to the Grail.  Featherstone may in some ways be scary than Starr in how much she wants to prove herself and fight for the Grail’s mission.  Her undercover skills and ability to befriend to enemy also show her to be a deadly threat to our heroes, possibly greater than even Herr Starr.  Frankly it’s a shame that it took the second season this long to position them as antagonists.

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Now I’ve heaped quite a bit of praise, so it’s time for some criticisms.  Jesse still uses his power to put people in a dangerous position for his own gain… and this bothers me.  It’s hard to root for a character who puts relatively innocent people in danger for his own selfish needs.  Those cops could have died fighting the Grail, and would have died in that airstrike.  The consequences of Jesse’s actions are rarely explored and it’s a problem this season’s had from the beginning.  Herr Starr is a great character, but the show focuses on his sexual proclivities for what can only be shock value.  Much like his dialogue in pigs, part of Starr’s character is absurd for the sake of being absurd.  The rape scene never really had any role to play in the story, and it just seemed like the writers took a scene from the comic and placed it there “just because”.

Score: 8.2/10

What did you think of this week’s episode of Preacher?  Leave your thought and general concerns about life in the comments.

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