Tensions rise within the Unholy Trinity as The Grail makes a major move against them in Preacher’s pulsating episode 9, “Puzzle Piece.”
It’s becoming clear how different Jesse is now that he’s given away part of his soul, particularly when he interacts with Cassidy. His frustration and impatience with the preoccupied vampire’s lack of interest in the mission is even more evident as he desperately turns to YouTube for clues.
Meanwhile, Tulip is still traumatically preparing for the return of the Saint of Killers as she comes home with a bruised chest and a fat wad of cash.
The sequence with The Grail ambush was excellent. The first person/night vision point-of-view put us on the wrong end of Jesse’s rage and the end result was both glorious and horrifying. The scares continued when Denis tackled and devoured the final solider mid-interrogation seamlessly incorporating Preacher’s horror element and revealing Denis’ changed nature.
Speaking of natures, Herr Starr’s art of command is almost on par with Jesse’s Word of God which makes their imminent meeting all the more exciting. If it’s even half as entertaining as the sensational Featherstone (Julie Ann Emery) and Tulip (Ruth Negga), we’re in for a massive treat.
Before terminating Featherstone and Hoover (Malcolm Barrett), Starr has a moment to ponder his next move thanks to a “jammed” gun that Featherstone eagerly jumps at the chance to serve. Emery projects Featherstone’s cool, calculated efficiency perfectly as she thrives on Starr’s underestimation which works out in her favor as she and Hoover are spared.
In my personal favorite scene, Tulip gets a hard look at herself when she gazes into the same mirror Jesse saw himself changed in. She also steps on the loose tile that hide the very weapons she needs to vanquish her nightmare (Jesse hid the Saint of Killer’s gun and sword in “Sokosha”) which makes for some truly awesome foreshadowing.
We learned last episode from the electronics store that The Grail made the God audition tape which could very well mean they’re Preacher’s missing “Puzzle Piece” to find out what happened to the real God. Herr Starr’s intrigue at the footage of Jesse’s importance of God speech leads me to believe he’s not only interested in Jesse’s devotion but that he may also know what happened to the Lord Almighty.
Another great character moment this episode is oddly heartwarming when Denis learns the consequences of sunlight and his father comforts and heals him by chugging a saucepan full of blood. Ruth Negga also gives an excellent display of her emotional range as she tearfully confronts Jesse about using Genesis on her against her will. She quickly snaps back by agreeing to help defend the house and asks for a gun.
Thanks to a mixup on Laura’s part (though, maybe not?), Starr got a different though deserving “no means yes” situation than he paid for. He did however find a missing “Puzzle Piece” of his own when he had his face pressed in Jesse’s file supplying a needed dose of Preacher’s essential dark comedy.
Back at the house, we get an even deeper look at Tulip’s paranoia and current emotional state when she shoots the unsuspecting (though suspecting for her and the audience thanks to some nifty directing tricks) cleaner while on guard for The Grail. As she ponders what she’s done while holding the gun, we see the B.R.A.D. detonate at it’s new coordinates (Harry Connick Jr.’s house) thanks to Starr and Featherstone’s quick decisions.
With Jesse and Herr Starr finally together, we’re one step closer to finding God! The puzzle pieces are all coming together and next Monday can’t come soon enough!
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