Review: Preacher 3×03, “Gonna Hurt”

Aaron Neuwirth reviews Preacher, Season 3, Episode 3, "Gonna Hurt" in which Tulip tries to help Jesse, while Cassidy finds himself in a pickle in Angelville.


This week’s Preacher was a step up from last week, but I have to not right away that God in a dog costume isn’t working for me. Perhaps there’s a reveal coming that will have this all make more sense, but it’s an element that feels off in a show that’s already trying so hard to be oft-kilter from everything else we see. Regardless, “Gonna Hurt” finds the series ramping up the level of menace that should be felt in Angelville, which is a good way to establish some sort of plot in a season that’s taken a break from Jesse’s mission to find God, let alone get his Genesis powers back. And we got our first real look at The Tombs.

Before we get to the underground fighting, however, it’s time to focus on Tulip. Following what feels like a long time without the Tulip that was introduced to us in the first season (that’s a bit unfair, but she’s had some screwy plotting), “Gonna Hurt” opens with Tulip being a woman on a mission. The episode concludes that way as well. She has to suffer the horrible notion of looking at T.C.’s “dingle” to get some information out of him, but seeing Tulip in charge of herself, storming into rooms, and fighting those who get in her way, is the kind of thing this show needs more of.

With The Saint of Killers currently out of the picture, there’s no time to focus on Tulip’s PTSD. Instead, she has to deal with visions of a condescending God that wants to screw around on Earth. Again, I’m not a big fan of the dog costume thing, but here’s hoping Tulip is having visions that are being tampered with in some way. Regardless, her conviction to help Jesse get out of his blood compact, let alone be able to stand up to the supposed God with a plan means we should be excited for at least one of these characters not to be so passive about the dangers of Angelville.

This becomes the issue for Cassidy. I never much thought of what Madame Marie would think of a vampire in her midst, but it’s now evident none of these people knew, and Jesse wanted it to stay that way. Of course, this wouldn’t be a show if Cassidy didn’t get found out, so that’s what happens. At least Jesse and Cassidy were finally able to make up to some degree. Given that the two are best friends, it’s nice to know they won’t be squabbling forever. It’s just a shame that Cassidy is still nursing his crush for Tulip (in the worst way, given his request for a love potion) and must now go up against Madame Marie’s basement zombies in The Tombs.

Jesse has a bit more to do this week that doesn’t make him look like an idiot. With part of his soul still in possession of the now missing unit of The Grail that was in New Orleans, Jesse must perform some of his duties for his grandmother, with the help of Jody. This provides a glimpse of what’s required of the sharp-tongued Jesse. He’s hustling addicts. It’s a bit easy in its portrayal, but the idea that Jesse can visit a church and rustle up the kind of susceptible people that would want to be a part of the evil ways of Angelville is a good reason to understand why Jesse wanted to get out of that place.

It’s only the third episode and Preacher has established itself as a show that knows how to draw out certain plotlines. This means I should be more or less okay with how Angelville is only slowly becoming more of a threat to Jesse, Cassidy, and Tulip. At the same time, I feel like the danger should be more apparent. “Gonna Hurt” does enough to make things feel like they are turning around as far as recognizing that danger, but it still feels like a couple of crazy folks acting strange, with an old lady who can use voodoo magic at her will. Given the flashbacks and a better understanding of the blood compact, there’s a scariness to be found with all of this but here’s hoping more can be done to emphasize some of the potential atrocities. In the meantime, “Gonna Hurt” works as a standard episode of Preacher. It’s darkly funny, offbeat in all the right ways, and more focused than in the past.

Preachin’ To The Choir:

  • “By Design” – Dog God is a jerk.
  • Well, it’s too bad Angelville is not a safe place for vampires, because I liked the T.C./Cassidy pairing.
  • That said, T.C. storylines involving his “dingle” have to go.
  • I guess it’s supposed to somewhat humorous, but I wish the flashbacks had a more frightening impact.
  • Still no sign of Eugene or Hitler.
  • Next week we take bets on Tomb fights!

Written by
Aaron Neuwirth is a movie fanatic and Rotten Tomatometer-approved film critic from Orange County, California. He’s a member of the Hollywood Critics Association, the Online Film Critics Society, and the Black Film Critics Circle. As an outgoing person who is always thrilled to discuss movies, he’s also a podcaster who has put far too many hours into published audio content associated with film and television. His work has been published at We Live Entertainment, Why So Blu, The Young Folks, Screen Rant, and Hi-Def Ninja.

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