Preacher: “Damsels” Review

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By: Jaclyn Cascio (@jaclynator)

The third episode of Preacher’s sophomore season laid the mystery on thick while tugging on the heartstrings this week. The darkly humorous show looking for God in jazz joints has hit all the right notes. Read on for a review of this week’s episode! (Reader beware: Some minor spoilers to follow.)

This week’s episode of Preacher, “Damsels,” opened with Eugene, (Ian Coletti), before his face became his namesake, Arseface. Sweet and thoughtful, the character proved to be a voice of truth, wisdom, and innocence in the show’s first season. “Damsels” succeeded in reinforcing that idea, telling the backstory of Eugene. Tragically humorous, that story nonetheless portrayed the essence of Eugene’s innocence. A brilliant contrast to the other jaded and cynical characters of Preacher, Eugene serves as a counterweight to the sheer chaos employed elsewhere within the series. His presence in “Damsels” was no different, displaying the predicament a vulnerable and endearing character finds himself in, and will hopefully deal with. Eugene’s story in hell is just beginning to be told in this week’s episode, and I’m incredibly excited to see how his story is going to play out, and if he’s going to somehow manage to befriend Hitler!

“Damsels” served as a brilliant reminder that Preacher will never be predictable. Can you reliably expect blood and gore alongside laughter and nonchalance in situations that should not funny or simple? Absolutely. But where one episode finds its gore with an intestine dragging behind a car, this week’s episode finds its gore in a suicide gone awry and the heartfelt efforts of a survivor. Where one episode of the show finds a vampire steeped in violence, fighting his way off a doomed airplane, “Damsels” finds its poignancy in his surprising peacekeeping efforts. This week’s episode proved that while it is expected that the search for God will not go smoothly, it will take the trio to places that the audience won’t necessarily see coming. While we may understand the “feel” of the show, what keeps us coming back for more are the sheer surprises that such a “feel” may present to us. The details are where the fun lies, and “Damsels” reminded me that there is a deep store of surprises within the stories and the characters that is yet to be explored!

On that note, “Damsels” also set up more than its fair share of mystery. I was concerned that the secret of Tulip’s (Ruth Negga) past introduced last week might prove an unnecessary distraction from the search for God, but it integrated into the material of this week without a hitch. Meanwhile, Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) has an old pal, Dennis…well, it’s definitely a mystery, but with Cassidy, you can never tell how things are going to go. I still have about a million questions about Cassidy, so I’m hopeful that the introduction of Dennis will lead to more information about the roguish Irishman. Eugene is chilling in hell (see what I did there?) – which is bound to lead to some alarmingly funny capers, and Jesse (Dominic Cooper) is on the hunt for God, which is apparently of interest to… some people. Like I said, mysteries abound! “Damsels” set up a lot of interesting and fun directions for the remainder of the season to go, and even with reservations about creating a muddling mess of the plot, I’m properly sucked into the story.

New Orleans introduced as a setting in “Damsels” also added some spunk to the story. Placing the story in a city full of its own character adds some fun flair to season two of Preacher. New Orleans is a funky town, and that jazzy setting can only be a beautiful asset to the show. Throw in some white-suited would-be kidnappers and an impressively smooth fight sequence (to remind us that Jesse Custer is a badass, without or without Genesis), and “Damsels” sets a high standard for entertainment!

“Damsels” was a bit slower than its predecessors of season two as far as action goes, but it was no less exciting. Sharing new facets of the characters and throwing around mysteries like they’re going out of style, this week’s episode of Preacher was fun with a dash of heart coming from Eugene’s story. “Damsels” is another winner in season two!


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