Preacher: Viktor Review
AMC‘s Preacher, Season 2, Episode 4: ‘Viktor,’ sort of made it official that the season has settled into the Big Easy. I mean, nothing says settled like Holy Matrimony; so a whole lot of Holy Hell had to pay, of the Hell hath no Fury variety.
First things first, though: Hell of the regular variety.
Given the business-as-usual quality, to what we’ve seen of Heaven, it was only fair that Hell be of the Familiarity breeds Contempt kind. Anyone expecting togas, sandals, and biblical era implements should bear in mind that those were contemporary to the concept. It, therefore, stands to reason that the concept would keep itself relevant, accordingly.
The Hell that Eugene (Ian Colletti) had been inadvertently sent to was a Supermax prison. It came complete with custom VR projectors to each cell – making each cell a personal Hell of a low-point loop. Maybe it had something to do with the circumstance of Eugen’s arrival, or maybe it’s just a similar level of dysfunction to the other place, but Eugene’s block has been breaking down – allowing us to get a look at his neighbors, and a feel for this hellish environment.
All-in-all, not a very distinct bunch. The resident bully always stands out for acting the part, sure; but aside from a Caveman, the only recognizably ‘character’ from the group had to be the lowest hanging fruit from the Tree of Scum & Villainy.
Adolf Hitler (Noah Taylor) remains, of course, something of a standard for where the term ‘evil’ is applied to mere mortals. Heck, by some accounts, the guy should fit right in – Anti-Christ perks, and all that. No, he was still Human; and Humans remain complicated enough to each suffer a personal Hell. His seemed benign, for what little we saw of it; but I suspect it gets complicated.
The larger issue, for many, would be the big no-no of trying to humanize Hitler. Well, ignoring the fact that he was Human would be an oversight, for a show with blasphemy in its very veins. More importantly, the prison setting tends to come with a baddest-dude-in-the-yard dynamic; and you don’t get a more easily recognizable arch-villain than Hitler.
That said, our introduction to the icon of infamy merely served to give Eugene a point of reference, when the yard bad-ass pecking order needed to be addresses, and it was time for him to choose sides. You can call Sympathy for the Devil shenanigans; but if you keep your focus on Eugene, you’ll feel better for it.
Say, speaking of dysfunctional Heaven (a ways back), we got to see more of God Guise Guy! We also got to see how he got to the Great Gig in the Sky (poor guy). No small parts, they say. Except for Frankie Muniz‘s – his was tiny.
As for the Hell Hath no Fury subplot, closer to home: that was Tulip (Ruth Negga) opting to confront the past she had been brought back to within reach of. That past came with the customary collection of heavy henchmen, and a lot of broken honor shunning, thrown Tulip’s way; but it was the reunion with little girl, Allie (Stella Allen), that gave the biggest clue as to what Tulip was on the hook for.
Meanwhile, Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) was left in the role of hot-potato-go-between, again (when he wasn’t using a Casting Agent’s last name like a cuss word) – trying to keep her predicament from Jesse (Dominic Cooper), while agonizing over what he imagined to be an increasingly serious predicament. He didn’t hold out too long.
For an episode that was pretty much all set-up, up to this point, Jesse’s rescue was a real shot in the arm. The script even found a handicap for his universal passwords – forcing him to fallback on his hands-on skills. Considering that this handicap came courtesy of merrily Sado-Masochistic interrogator, Pet (Sean Boyd), I’d even describe the scene as a Boss Fight. To the happy harm-bringer’s credit, he made Jesse work for that Tulip reunion (to music, even).
Unfortunately, that reunion came with a not all that ridiculous reveal, about the nature of Tulip’s scorn. Plot timing would have you recall a change-of-heart confrontation, back at the Mumbai Sky; so here was your why. This might take a while.
Boss fight aside, I am still wary of the God Squad squatting at one location, for a spell. The nature of Tulip’s ties to the place (and Jesse’s Jazz Club checklist) didn’t help. If the God Squad is going to be stationary (again), then the only real fix would be a whole lot of crazy either to be discovered, locally, or coming to meet them – Jesse’s abuse of Power actually helping, with the latter scenario.
There was a bright spot, in the form of a darkly grey gunslinger, on its way. I have no idea how The Saint of Killers’ (Graham McTavish) Scorched Earth approach will play, in a setting as congested (and real) as New Orleans; but I’m looking forward to an answer.
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