AMC‘s Preacher The Possibilities TV Show Review. Preacher, Season 1, Episode 3: ‘The Possibilities,’ seemed to make the current pace of the show somewhat official, as a clearer pattern (of crafting tension & mystery, as set-ups to a barely hinted at series mythology) began to emerge. While this may reassure some casual viewers that close attention need be paid, as the series progresses, it will also certainly make the show more polarizing. Never mind gripes about the Preacher (Dominic Cooper) being too bland, or Tulip (Ruth Negga) being too unlikable – if ‘The Possibilities’ did set a pace for the series (even if just for an arc or two) I can see a lot more source fans jumping ship.
Well, they’ll always have the book. For the rest of us, the show was only now getting into what the new fire in the Preacher’s belly meant for the people of his parish, as well as Jesse’s own circle.
In Donnie’s (Derek Wilson) case, it meant settling accounts with his son – likely leaving a number of viewers exhaling with relief, over the outcome. If his reaction to Chris’ (Thomas Barbusca) own signs of violent tendencies was any indication, there was little risk of him going soft, this ep. (something about about being affiliated with bunnies kept flicking his mean switch).
There was a noticeable hole in Linus’ (Ptolemy Slocum) head – and not the bandaged part – that tipped him off that maybe something troubling may have come out of his last home visitation.
Something had definitely come out of the last visitation to the Loach house, where Terri (Bonita Friedericy) was left convinced that a tiny miracle had taken place, involving her still comatose – but now wide eyed – daughter.
What they all had in common was the Preacher, of course; but I wouldn’t expect crowds of acolytes & assassins to form anytime soon (unless there be Scientologists among them) – the show is still in a slow build mode, and that’s still a good thing.
If you’re a source fan, then you know what you feel entitled to, but have not been getting; so I leave you to that. If you’re a casual viewer (or more open minded source fan), I submit that AMC’s Preacher is (currently) more about working tension, than delivering shocks to the senses/ sensibilities. What’s more, it seems to delight in letting us know what to expect, without always delivering, as a means of generating that tension.
Besides Donnie & son (and Donnie’s seething resentment), we got to see a State Trooper save his own life, by taking Tulip’s B.S. carrot; Odin Quincannon (Jackie Earle Haley) biding his time to work noise, that hinted horrible things about his character; and a glimpse of resurrected escalation playing to some Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) comeuppance, only to be handed off to a near-confrontation with Emily (Lucy Griffiths).
What? Nags can be scary. Emily getting to jump scare a centuries old vampire suggesting that Cassidy may be taking as much comic abuse as dishing out, for this series.
I suppose a dose of tension break, now & then, might help any fence straddlers better appreciate the pace (as the source purist instant-gratification-crowd likely may have given up, at this point).
I, for one, appreciated the look on Jesse’s face, as the Power of Command added a bit more abuse to the Cassidy role. Detractors may want to give Cooper a second look, once that fire in the belly wakes his character out of the initial sleep-walk. I also appreciated that said look suggested enough doubt, to Jesse’s professed conviction, so as to make the Last Temptation from Tulip another moment of tension.
Denying us a rematch, between Cassidy & the Men-in-(etc), was also something of a tension builder – but by way of some tension breakers (not sure how he snuck up on them, driving at terminal speed, though). There may be an equation to all this; but, eww – math, so I won’t overthink it. The builds & breaks do make for attention grabber moments, even in the absence of major payoffs; but if there are payoffs to be had, I’d rather they be earned within the broader narrative, than just tossed out at us, like so much chum.
In this case, the payoff came from the convergence of Donnie’s need to restore his honor, and how having to deal with him gave Jesse some additional perspective to his new mission. Maybe not the biggest of payoffs; but between that new perspective, Tulip’s disappointment, and Cassidy opting to broker with the side of the Angels, you got the feeling that a corner had been turned. How far down, past this bend, ‘till the good stuff? Just keep looking out the window, already – take in sights like Jesse tending to the recipient of his very first Command, with only Emily & a familiarly engraved tombstone in attendance.
It may not be source-grade crazy, just yet (if ever); but I’d settle for it being a suspense-thriller, if it manages to maintain its balanced ratio of questions to answers. That balance already puts it on track to outpace both Lost & the X-Files, and that ain’t a bad place for a TV series to start.
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