Review: Preacher 3×05, “The Coffin”

Aaron Neuwirth reviews Preacher, season 3, episode 5, "The Coffin" in which Jesse and Tulip finds themselves taking on the gang at Angelville.

Things have been on the rise for Preacher. Last week’s episode was a good improvement over where things have been, and now we have” The Coffin,” which is a fine mix of plot, character, and the bizarre sort of extra bits that make this show so wild. So, in addition to getting an increased threat from Gran’ma Marie, we also go to see Humperdoo perform a soft shoe. While Jesse and Tulip had to work to get out of their predicaments, Cassidy scrolled through vampire Tinder. Some of it is silly, sure, but it worked to fill out the world and keep this show plenty entertaining while making it all feel like it matters.

Kicking off with a fight scene scored with “Werewolves of London,” this episode hit the ground running. The idea is clear: Tulip wants to break the blood compact that holds Jesse to Angelville. The initial plan to kill Marie doesn’t work out, and the rest of the episode has us tracking their attempts to escape capture. Whether or not the setup was handled well enough previously, the twist is in not knowing Jesse’s reason for not just killing his grandma.

This whole section of the episode works for all the actors. Ruth Negga gets to play the best aspect of Tulip, which is her cunning. Even when chained to a radiator, and being monitored by the hulking Jody, there’s no way to keep her held back from commenting and scheming. Dominic Cooper spends much of the episode underwater but also has a sort of vision imagining himself as a cowboy with a John Wayne-like figure. Developing a kind of rationale that he can clean up the bad guys is a neat way to project what he’s trying to accomplish.

Even the Angelville crew gets to work on their evil natures. T.C. proves he can be a viable combatant when it comes time to sneak up on Tulip and Jesse. Jody is more of an imposing threat than we’ve previously seen. Marie gets to play up just how awful a woman she is in her handling of both characters, and the reveal that her life is tied to Tulip’s. For a season that’s dragged out some of these elements, it’s good to see it all forming into a rightfully complex dynamic at this point.

Meanwhile, Cassidy only has so much to do, but it’s entertaining. The vampire date has an interesting look in terms of how it’s visually setup. The fact that he’s a real vampire meeting up with a wannabe has a sort of charm to it, with hints at deeper drama for Cassidy. Turning things around later on by countering The Grail’s interest in him with a second kidnapping involving a whole cult of wannabe vampires should lead to some more exciting places for Cass.

Speaking of The Grail, Herr Starr is back and trying to make the most of Humperdoo. It’s not working. Training the next messiah is no easy feat when he’s such a …lost cause. That said, in addition to getting to see Starr’s many hats, we also see him interact with the Allfather for the first time. As far as comic book comparison goes, the Allfather is a spot-on recreation of the grotesque, fat man found in the original graphic novels. There’s not much to do with this character for now, but he’s been introduced, and he enjoyed Humperdoo’s dance routine.

With so little faith in Humperdoo, Starr’s willingness to let Featherstone attempt to go after Jesse’s friends is a good one as far as keeping everyone involved. It’s also a nice touch to have the Allfather question whether or not Jesse is a factor to keep track of. For as large as The Grail is, finding ways to keep all of these characters hanging together is smart enough when considering how separated they could all get. I just hope it also means having Jesse go after getting his soul back so we can start moving that aspect of the story along as well.

Working with some well-executed fight scenes, scenes of tension, comedic moments, and more, “The Coffin” was a great hour of Preacher. It hits all the necessary things this show should be going for and keeps you excited for more. I am curious how Jesse and Tulip resolve the current situation they are in, given how closely connected they are to Marie. I also want to know what Cassidy is going to be dealing with next. Things are never easy, but at least Starr has plenty of hats for the different occasions.

Preachin’ To The Choir:

  • “You up for a fist fight?” – The smile Tulip provided was a sign of a good episode.
  • The Allfather is a great representation of the obvious sort of symbolism that comes with all he and The Grail stand for. Curious how much more involvement this show gets out of him.
  • Humperdoo’s dance and Hoover’s work on the piano were wonderful.
  • I’ve not been the biggest fan of Cooper on this series, but I enjoyed what he was bringing this week.
  • The Civil War play between Marie and T.C. is another thing I never want to see again.

Written by
Aaron Neuwirth is a movie fanatic and Rotten Tomatometer-approved film critic from Orange County, California. He’s a member of the African American Film Critics Association, 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 Variety, We Live Entertainment, Why So Blu, The Young Folks,, Screen Rant, and Hi-Def Ninja.

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