Monkeys Fighting Robots

Preacher hurtles headlong towards a bloody season 3 climax in the grimly comic, action-packed “Schwanzkopf”.

Preacher Feature is a weekly look into the AMC show Preacher based on the comic book of the same name by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon. In this column, Josh Versalle gives a breakdown of the events from the show (including how they relate to the comics), and speculates as to what’s going on and what might be coming up. That means SPOILERS are bound to follow, so if you haven’t watched the episode yet, turn back now.

Looking to get caught up on last week’s action?  Look no further.

With only one more episode coming this season, it’s no surprise this episode was filled with excitement, blood, and outrageous action.  “Schwanzkopf” is definitely not for the squeamish, as director Kevin Hooks leans fully into the often hilarious violence that is such a staple of Preacher.

The Long Bus Ride to Hell

Ian Colletti as Eugene, Graham McTavish as The Saint of Killers, Noah Taylor as David Hilter, Julie Ann Emery as Featherstone, Erinn Ruth as Angel of Death - Preacher _ Season 3, Episode 9 - Photo Credit: Alfonso Bresciani/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

Tulip confronts Sydney (the Angel of Death) to get back the briefcase full of souls she worked so hard to steal from Japan.  Tulip may be a hard-hearted sonofabitch, but she’s not completely without mercy.  Instead of letting Featherstone be dragged to to Hell in her place, Tulip says that Featherstone isn’t the one Satan is seeking.  This act of kindness costs her, though, as blissfully naive Eugene calls out to Tulip by name and she gets dragged onto the bus while Jody grabs the souls for Marie.
After a couple of failed escape attempts (accompanied by some delightful diagrams), Tulip goads the Saint of Killers into lashing out at her.  His punch sends her flying headfirst into a window, but that window cracks, allowing the possibility of escape.  Hitler kicks out the window, but at that very moment his buddy Hal rides in to rescue him, upending the bus with a Nazi tank.  Tulip ends up barely conscious on the floor, with Hell’s minions on one side and a pack of Nazis on the other.

“An example must be made”

Joseph Gilgun as Cassidy, Adam Croasdell as Eccarius - Preacher _ Season 3, Episode 9 - Photo Credit: Alfonso Bresciani/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

When Cassidy told Eccarius he would reveal his terrible secret (that Eccarius was killing the people he turned into vampires in order to increase his unholy power), he expected Ecc to kill him.  Instead, Eccarius allowed Cass to tell the rest of Les Enfants du Sang, knowing they wouldn’t believe him.  Eccarius has them so devoted to him that they are convinced Cassidy is the evil one.  Taking a page out of the James Bond villain playbook, Eccarius stakes Cass to a pool table and leaves him to be killed when the sun’s rays reach him.

With Les Enfants gone and his doom nearly upon him, Cassidy uses his charm and guile to convince Mrs. Rosen (in whose basement this is all taking place) to reach out to Lisa and let her know Cassidy is sorry.  We’ll have to wait until next week’s season finale to see if this ploy to expose Eccarius will result in Mrs. Rosen helping Cass to escape, but I’d say there’s a strong chance of it.

“On your knees, Man of God”

Facing the prospect of having Genesis be transferred into the imbecilic Christ-child Humperdoo, Jesse manages to get the better of All-Father and instead sends Genesis into the obese head of the Grail.   The power of Genesis is so great that, like Tom Cruise before him, All-Father is obliterated in a shower of gore and the supernatural being is returned to Jesse.  If you remember from way back in season two, a part of Jesse’s soul is still missing.  As Starr returns, the 1% of Jesse’s previously-extracted soul slips out of the disembodied anus of All-Father and falls to the ground.  A comically disgusting race ensues (think Double Dare, but with entrails in place of slime) and Jesse once again prevails.  With the last bit of his soul back in place, Jesse has the full power of Genesis and the Word of God at his disposal.  Everything’s looking up, right?  Of course not.  In classic villain style, Starr reveals to Jesse the Grail’s 3-part plan:

  1. Reveal Humperdoo, their tap-dancing Christ, to the world.
  2. Allow the world’s population to either accept him as their savior or not.
  3. Nuke the Earth, allowing the faithful to follow Humperdoo into paradise on Earth, while the non-believers are cursed to the fiery pits of Hell.

Tyson Ritter as Humperdoo - Preacher _ Season 3, Episode 9 - Photo Credit: Alfonso Bresciani/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

Starr threatens that if Jesse won’t play the role of Messiah, the Grail will use Humperdoo instead.  Jesse responds with his own threat, saying he’ll kill Humperdoo.  What Starr already knows is that Jesse isn’t “that kind of murderer” – he won’t kill an innocent like Humperdoo, even if to leave him alive risks Armageddon.  But Jesse comes up with a plan even Starr hadn’t considered – he mixes Humperdoo in with all his clones, then sends them out into the world, so that the Grail won’t know which of these cretins is the genuine article.

Jesse, once again in possession of Genesis, heads into the season finale walking towards Angelville, looking every bit the cowboy heading off to a showdown with evil.

Connections and Easter Eggs

For those of you whose German is a little rusty, “schwanzkopf” is slang for dickhead (technically tail-head, but I think we can safely assume).

Just like the hats from a few weeks ago, the wigs Starr is forced to wear to cover his phallus-shaped head is based on a great visual gag from the comics:

Starr wigs Preacher comic Steve Dillon

There has been no official word yet from AMC about the status of a fourth season of Preacher.  Fans may have to wait until after next week’s season finale before they find out if we’ll get to see Jesse finish his quest to find God.



Josh is a writer and a lover of The Simpsons, Monty Python, The State, Breaking Bad, Arrested Development, and Preacher. He spends probably too much time reading and has lately been attempting to eat the occasional vegetable, with limited success.