Monkeys Fighting Robots

A soul heist + a rivalry for the ages + a lot of people exploding = a whole lot of fun on the newest episode of Preacher, “The Tom/Brady”.

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.

“If you want your soul, you’re going to have to kill him.”

This is what Herr Starr tells Jesse as they head in front of All-Father.  All-Father intends to transfer Genesis (the supernatural being that resides in Jesse and at times gives him the power to control people’s minds with his words – not the band behind Invisible Touch) to Humperdoo, the cretinous scion of Christ.  Starr has other plans, but he can’t let his boss the All-Father know that, so he tries to have Jesse assassinate the All-Father.  Too bad for Jesse that it takes a lot of firepower to penetrate the chest of such a rotund man, and the attempted coup fails.  Jesse ends up strapped to a soul-transfer machine as the Grail tries to find a combination of DNA that will allow Genesis to inhabit Humperdoo without killing him.  After a series of attempts (and exploding clone Humperdoos), they seemed to have found one that works: a mixture of Thomas Jefferson and Wayne Brady.

Miss Marie is having nightmares about what will happen when she finally dies (after untold years of stealing people’s souls, it can’t be pretty) and summons Satan to renegotiate their deal.  She offers him Jesse, whom Satan has had his eye on for quite some time.  He dispatches The Angel of Death (Erinn Ruth) to bring Tulip to him, presumably as leverage to trap Jesse.

I don’t wanna die.  My mom’d be upset.”

Malcolm Barrett as Hoover, Nathaniel Woolsey as Kevin, Joseph Gilgun as Cassidy - Preacher _ Season 3, Episode 8 - Photo Credit: Alfonso Bresciani/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

Hapless Grail agent F.J. Hoover (Malcolm Barrett) tries to take on vampiric power couple Cassidy and Eccarius, but after failing once again, Hoover is left with the choice of dying (possibly by bee-mask) or becoming a vampire.  He picks the latter and Cassidy transforms him, but Eccarius has other plans.  Ecc is about to kill Hoover when Cassidy realizes that Ecc has been killing his vampires, not sending them into the world as undead ambassadors. Cass confronts the stronger Eccarius while Hoover makes good his escape.

Tulip, Featherstone, and Jody head to Japan to steal souls from the vault of Soul Happy Go Go (the Grail-owned soul trading company from season two).  Posing as HR representatives, they first give the company’s upper management a much-needed anti-harassment demonstration, then execute the heist.  They extract the souls from the vault, but upon landing back in New Orleans, they run into trouble in the form of the Angel of Death.  She’s looking for Tulip, but Tulip tricks her into abducting Featherstone instead.  Heading to Hell’s bus stop, they meet up with a few other familiar faces: Eugene, Hitler, and the Saint of Killers.

Best Frenemies Forever

Julie Ann Emery as Featherstone, Ruth Negga as Tulip O'Hare - Preacher _ Season 3, Episode 7 - Photo Credit: Alfonso Bresciani/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

The escalating rivalry between Tulip (Ruth Negga) and Featherstone (Julie Ann Emery) has become the highlight of the series recently.  The animosity started last season when Featherstone pretended to befriend Tulip, only to later shoot her (sadly, studies show 6 out of 10 friendships end this way).  It has delightfully spilled over into this season, in the form of barbs, a busted nose, and now a possible damnation.  The two actors play off each other so well on-screen and the writers (Mary Laws and Kevin Rosen are the credited writers for this ep.) have found fun ways to keep them at each other’s throats all season.  Part of what makes the antagonism between the two so great is the betrayal Tulip feels.  When you’re a no-nonsense bank robber like Tulip, friends are hard to come by, and finding out someone you’ve let into your life wasn’t what you thought they were hurts.  This take on betrayal is a different, but similar, angle to the relationship between Jesse and Cassidy from the comics.

Comic Connections and Easter Eggs

If you read the comics (specifically Preacher Special: Cassidy – Blood & Whiskey), you already knew that things between Cassidy and Eccarius weren’t going to turn out well (poor Cassidy has no luck in relationships.  Tulip was still in love with Jesse, Lisa ended up dead, and Eccarius well…he killed Lisa).  In the show, Eccarius is much stronger, so things might end up differently.

The title reference to a DNA combination of Thomas Jefferson and Wayne Brady led to a weak payoff, but the comedy bar for Wayne Brady references was set in 2004 at an unattainable height by Chappelle’s Show.

Cheese Monthly (the publication with the misfortune of having their office share an elevator with the Grail) is a magazine Starr finds in the cave of the carnivorous Chunt Brothers in the comics.



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.