“Gonna Hurt” is full of painful moments (particularly for Cassidy), but it’s also the funniest episode yet of Preacher. Whether you’re looking for action, drama, or a baby crocodile to the genitals, you’ll find it here.
Preacher Feature is a weekly look into the AMC show Preacher based on the comic book of the same name by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon. In this column, Josh Versalle gives a breakdown of the events from the show, including how they relate to the comics, and speculates as to what’s going on and what might be coming up. So take heed, as SPOILERS follow.
Need to catch up on last week’s action? Look no further.
God is…kind of a dick
Tulip goes looking for the Grail, but finds out they’ve relocated. On the road back to Angelville (what is it about that road?) she once again encounters God. This time He’s in full mid-life crisis mode: motorcycle, ear ring, much younger woman (though, to be fair to God, I guess all women are younger than Him). He tells Tulip she’s helping with His plan and doing so by screwing up (the O’Hare curse). Tulip doesn’t take that kind of shit, even off God, and tells Him off. He sends her flying against her car and disappears.
“If you stay, it’s gonna hurt”
TC uses his surgical skills and his homemade anesthetic to remove the bullet Cassidy took in the chest last episode. The anesthesia “lowers the inhibitions” and makes Cass even chattier than normal, telling TC about the various times he’s been shot, stabbed, and mutilated. TC notices that for all Cassidy’s war stories, there isn’t a single scar on his well-inked body and gets suspicious, but Cass sends him off for some swamp consommé.
Jesse tells Cassidy what Jody and TC’ll do to him if they find out he’s a vampire and tries to get Cass to leave, but Cass refuses to go anywhere without Tulip. Furious and out of ideas, Jesse stabs Cass to reopen his wound. Jody is sharper than a gator-skinning knife, though, and can tell something shady is going on. He takes Jesse to local churches to look for addicts who may want to trade their souls to Marie for sobriety, but the only part of Angelville that seems to interest them is The Tombs.
“Every curse can be broken.”
Tulip goes looking for a way to help free Jesse from Angelville and Marie’s grasp. She’ll do anything to help him including picking locks, appraising TC’s dingle, and infiltrating the Boyds. It’s this last item that gets her in the most trouble and last we see of her, she’s in a stand-off with Madame Boyd.
Cassidy, unable to get Tulip out of his head, goes to Marie and asks her for the love spell she had told him about, though I guess he wasn’t paying attention to the part about murdering the man she used it on (presumably Jesse’s grandfather, and the man whose portrait she’s staring at when Cass walks in).
After obtaining the love potion, Cassidy decides to have a celebratory drink of blood from one of TC’s chickens. Unfortunately for him, TC has a certain fondness for chickens and catches Cass in the act. He calls Jody and they have him strung up and waiting for the sunrise. Jesse only has one way to get them out of this predicament and so we find out what the mysterious Tombs really are: an underground arena that features a liberal glue-huffing policy and fights to the death. As the episode closes, Cassidy is squaring off against Hal, the pervy schoolteacher from last episode.
The show is at its best when the characters are going back and forth with outlandish stories and conspiracy theories, which is exactly what Gary Tieche and the rest of the writing crew deliver in “Gonna Hurt”.
Director John Grillo (who has done cinematography for Westworld and The Leftovers) mixes things up visually throughout the episode. The drawing of the burning vampire come to life and Cassidy’s wound closing, shot from the inside, both stand out. The 50’s horror movie-inspired flashback mixes horror and camp perfectly.
Ruth Negga shines in the episode: delivering quips, manipulating TC, daydreaming about beating up God. So, too, does Joseph Gilgun as Cassidy, who delivers the episode’s funniest line: “I’m a bloody vampire in Voodoo Disneyland, I SHOULD be their main attraction.”
From Panels to Screen:
In the comics, God also tells Tulip “I am a loving God, but DON’T PUSH IT.”, but it’s in reference to Jesse wanting to track him down. Now that He’s got Tulip looking to kick His ass, too, He’d better watch his dog-suited back.
The fights in the Tombs are reminiscent of The Good Old Boys, a one-shot Preacher comic focusing on Jody and TC. In it, the two henchmen make money by having Jody fight all challengers (including a gorilla) to the death in a pit.
Three episodes in and we still haven’t seen what Eugene and Hitler are up to. I know I can’t be the only one eagerly awaiting their return.
What will become of Cassidy? I don’t doubt that he’s tougher than a soulless high school teacher, but what happens when the fight is over? Can Jesse help him escape Jody’s wrath? And how much did Marie tell Jesse about her conversation about with Cass? Does Jesse even want to see him escape?