Review: Preacher 4×05, Bleak City

Aaron Neuwirth reviews the season four premiere of Preacher, which featured episodes "Masada" and "Last Supper" back-to-back.

I had a lot of good things to say about last week’s Preacher, and this week’s episode, “Bleak City,” continues to find the show on a good path towards its conclusion. It is still trying to accomplish way too much, given the faults there are, but this is a fun episode. We get two of our main characters back together again, some showcase moments for all the actors, a good dose of visual humor and excitement, and more. I’m not sure if I’m more forgiving than most when it comes to this show, but I do know when it feels like it’s entertaining me, and “Bleak City” did a lot to work as a fun, isolated example of what kinds of goods this twisted series can deliver.

Last week, Jesse had a lot of reflection to do, given all the soul searching he had done in the previous episodes. It was a lot of time spent on watching God test Jesse to the extreme. This week finds Jesse in a more comic book type of situation. Following his misadventures in renting a car, he finally realizes the Saint Killers is still after him, thanks to a chance encounter with Eugene.

I didn’t need a major reunion between these characters, but there was something about seeing Jesse and Eugene together again, allowing some good interplay. Jesse banished Eugene back in season one and has seemingly spent no time thinking about that since. So beyond the antics involving Jesse’s attempts to get the Saint of his tail (via wrecking ball), hearing Jesse deliver an apologetic monologue to Eugene was interesting.

It mattered little, of course, as Eugene’s one wish ended up meaning nothing. As a result, Jesse gets a bullet in his back, and the episode closes with one of the more exciting shots this season has seen. Where does it go from here, well, there’s a lot of fun to be had in learning just what kind of power Jesse wields in his most dire of situations. At least Tulip and Cassidy are on their way to Australia.

Speaking of whom, we finally get to see Cassidy and Tulip together again, talking about stuff. That seems so meaningless, but Preacher has had a difficult time of satisfying the audience by simply letting the characters hang out with one another. As it stands, the two catch up, sharing stories about Cass’ vampire cult from last season, and Tulip’s current situation that has led to Jesus hanging out with them. There’s also the angel who helped Cassidy escape.

I’m not sure how much payoff folks were expecting with this character, but I got a kick out of seeing him reunite with his demon lover. Having it lead to a crazy fight, where both keep reappearing after getting killed, speaks to the themes of the episode and what Cassidy and Tulip are going through. It’s also a neat visual bringing to mind “Sundowner” from season one.

Concerning what that all spoke to, we have Cassidy who is ready to help Jesse. He rejected help before out of pride, which only led to more torture. Now he has to do what he needs to so he can help a friend. Tulip can’t quit Jesse. As much as she may have her issues with him, she needs to do what’s in her nature here. This section gets a boost from her brief travel with Jesus.

The show’s take here is an interesting one, even if it doesn’t quite know how far to take it. Nevermind how we are at a point when a network show can put together it’s jerk version of God, a “simple” take on a  Jesus relative, Hitler, and “chill Jesus,” all in one episode, here we have to take in the idea that Tulip and Jesus were ready to head out to Las Vegas, before a change of heart took over. It’s a bit superfluous (a gripe with this episode is how it could have come earlier and make motivations a bit clearer), but it also allows Tulip something to do.

This also means giving us more of a chance to see where things are headed with the Grail. I guess I’m going to have to settle for Starr being inconsequential at this point, but the show does have a lot of spinning plates to deal with. Plus, he does get to push around Hitler a bit, which I can’t argue against. In this story, we end on Hitler and Jesus sitting down to debate how the planned apocalypse should play out. Clearly, this will factor into the end of the series, and it also means we have something to help drive us forward.

So yes, a lot of this episode works for the better. We have our characters either with each other, which is fun or stuck in precarious situations, which is exciting. The filmmaking is excellent, as per usual, but seeing supernatural-based action is always quite enjoyable. There’s also solid work across the board from the actors. Even Ian Colletti’s Eugene gets some time to shine, which is nice, because this poor actor has to wear such a horrible face makeup appliance every week, yet there’s rarely much to say about him. Here’s hoping next wee, Eugene gets more time to shine, as we deal with Jesse’s latest pickle.

Preachin’ To The Choir:

  • Jesus enjoys playing Asteroids.
  • Featherstone wished to be punished for Cassidy’s escape but was not willing to be executed by anyone other than Starr, so she escaped by jumping out the window, using her wingsuit to getaway. I don’t know what to expect from this character, aside from getting punched in the face again by Tulip.
  • I liked the filmmaking work on the construction site Jesse used against the Saint.
  • “Nobody movie or the guts will be painted on the wall.” – Jesus should not rob banks.
  • The angel pulling the sword out of his mouth was a fun visual.
  • I really want to know what the Saint has planned for Jesse.

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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