Picking up directly where we left off in the season two finale, season three sees Jesse return to Angelville, his childhood home post-Annville, along with Cassidy in a last-ditch attempt to save Tulip’s life. However, visiting Angelville doesn’t come without a cost, as Jesse is forced to come face-to-face with his maternal family once again: Miss Marie L’Angelle, aka “Gran’ma,” a spiritist and the cruel head of the household, who feeds on souls to keep herself alive and is willing to do anything to get what she wants…including committing terrible acts against her own family; Jody, one of Gran’ma’s entrusted hands, the muscle who both carried out her order to kill Jesse’s father and taught Jesse how to fight; and TC, Gran’ma’s other hand, who acts as her caretaker, is not exactly “book smart,” and has a strange fascination – and perversion – towards animals, bodies, and fixing things.
For Jesse, the season is about both facing his own internal demons and his own family. This quickly becomes complicated, as though Gran’ma agrees to save Tulip, Jesse must first indebt himself to her through a blood compact. Jesse makes the compact, meaning that cannot leave Angelville until the debt is paid off – in the form of souls. And, after a botched attempt to obtain his own soul from The Grail in order to regain control of Genesis and break free of Gran’ma’s clutches, Jesse has no choice but to bide his time at Angelville.
With Tulip not taking the threat of his family seriously and tensions at an all-time high with Cassidy in the aftermath of the season two finale, Jesse is unable to reign them in at first, as neither of the two fully understands that he’s trying to protect them from a threat that he knows all too well. Eventually, this leads to grave danger for both, and Jesse is forced to get them out of trouble – which leads to Cassidy’s eventual departure from the group (more on that later) and robbing Angelville’s competitor, the Boyd’s, of their bank of souls in order to keep Gran’ma (and Tulip) alive. However, when this effort proves to be too little for Gran’ma, Jesse makes the decision to form an alliance with Herr Starr in order to hopefully free himself from Gran’ma’s clutches once and for all…but that proves to be no easy task. As Jesse heads into The Grail’s New Orleans headquarters with Starr, he finds himself trapped in the clutches of the Allfather, the grotesquely overweight and bulimic head of The Grail, who is ready to use Jesse to make the finishing touches on his plan to transfer Genesis’ power…to Humperdoo. And with a shock treatment to jolt Genesis in and out of Jesse’s body, plenty of Humperdoo clones on board, and a scientist working on a genetic injection to replicate that of Jesse’s make-up (and thus Genesis’ make-up) of good and evil, it isn’t long until they come up with a successful serum. Yikes.
With some quick thinking, Jesse is able to come up with a solution that involves injecting an unsuccessful serum into the Allfather and using the shock treatment to send Genesis into him instead…abruptly causing the Allfather to blow up (barf). This also allows him to get back his soul, as the Allfather was holding it in his – ahem – rectum for safekeeping (double barf). Assessing Starr’s reaction to this and realizing that he is just as insane as the Allfather was, Jesse decides once and for all that he will not be the replacement Messiah…and instead of killing Humperdoo, he dresses him like all of the clones and frees all of them into the world, making it nearly impossible for Starr to locate the original for the time being – and thus greatly incurring Starr’s wrath. But from there, Jesse heads back to Angelville to deal with the immediate threat: Gran’ma, who he will hopefully face off with for the last time.
For Tulip, the season is about working towards a solution and learning to forgive herself. After a brief stint in purgatory reliving the memory of her broken family life as a child (her mother worked as a prostitute, and her father was in and out of prison), Tulip is pulled back from the brink of death by Gran’ma with a clear focus to re-align herself with Jesse. However, with God making regular appearances to her since her return to the land of the living, Tulip spends much of the season contemplating whether or not she is “cursed” by her family name to consistently screw things up.
For one thing, when Jesse makes his first attempt to get his soul from The Grail, it is Tulip who ends up sabotaging things because of a misunderstanding. Then, while attempting to fix things by finding a workaround, Tulip ends up attempting to kill Gran’ma in order to free Jesse utilizing the advice of Sabina Boyd, the head of the Boyd family’s business…and Jesse’s ex-girlfriend. Tulip succeeds…only to find out that her life is tied to Granma’s post-resurrection, causing her to die again as well. Fortunately, Jesse is able to revive both Gran’ma and Tulip – and Tulip is able to help him secure the souls from the Boyd’s by using her skills from their bank robbery days.
Under the alliance with Herr Starr, Tulip is forced to work with Featherstone and Jody by traveling to Osaka to steal souls from The Grail’s headquarters there – which proves to be trying for her, as Featherstone is the one who killed her at the end of season two. Luckily, Tulip is able to keep herself focused while they are in Japan, successfully tuning Featherstone out and assisting in the task at hand. However, Featherstone finally gets to Tulip as they are exiting the plane after their return flight…and it is then that Tulip unwittingly sends Featherstone into the clutches of the Angel of Death, who was actually there to take Tulip back to Hell with her on Gran’ma’s request to Satan (because of course Gran’ma is in cahoots with Satan). And Featherstone is still carrying the briefcase with the souls inside of it. Whoops. More on that in a bit.
For Cassidy, the season is about finding a place where he belongs. After Tulip’s death in the season two finale, Cassidy’s relationship with Jesse is seemingly broken beyond repair – and by the time they arrive at Angelville, Cassidy is extremely on edge and arguing with Jesse at almost every turn (which includes spitefully revealing to Jesse that he and Tulip slept together and threatening to kill Jesse if Gran’ma’s attempt to resurrect Tulip doesn’t work). The only thing keeping him in Angelville is Tulip – and once she is successfully brought back to life, he refuses to leave without her. Despite Jesse’s attempts to get him to leave for his own safety, Cassidy’s bitterness towards the whole situation has him convinced that Jesse is turning into a monster who is just trying to get rid of him…and that Tulip will soon see this and choose to leave with him. Of course, it quickly becomes abundantly clear that Tulip has no intentions of leaving Jesse, pushing Cassidy’s to fall under Gran’ma’s influence and have her make him a love potion to basically make Tulip leave with him. Facepalm.
Fortunately, this plan never comes to fruition, as Cassidy winds up accidentally outing himself as a vampire to Jody and TC that same evening. Unfortunately, since vampires are seen as monstrosities in Angelville, this means that Jesse has to find a way to save Cassidy from certain death…and the only solution he can come up with is to re-open The Tombs, Angelville’s fighting pits, and to have Cassidy fight those looking to regain their souls from Gran’ma (since it’s a better option than being burnt alive by the sun). Eventually seeing this – and realizing the danger of the situation at hand – Tulip helps Cassidy to escape, setting him free by confirming to him that she doesn’t love him. Though he is heartbroken, this gives Cassidy the clarity he needs to leave her with Jesse and make try to move on.
Now on his own, Cassidy ends up back in New Orleans, where he attempts to connect himself with a potential mate by using a dating app for vampires…only to find himself caught up in a group of vampire “wannabes,” Les Enfants du Sang (aka “Children of Blood”), who are led by actual vampire Eccarius and gather in the basement of the grandmother of one of the members (named Kevin). While he’s disturbed by the thought of people freely choosing to become vampires at first, Cassidy comes to accept that they are choosing the lifestyle and not being forced into it – and he begins to believe that turning “good” people isn’t really dangerous, as Eccarius claims to be sending his “children” all over the world in order to spread awareness, understanding, and protection for other vampires. As a result, Cassidy and Eccarius begin to bond, with the combination of Eccarius’ charm and surprising vampiric powers (i.e. the ability to fly, turning into animals, etc.) drawing Cassidy in. Thinking he has found a kindred spirit, Cassidy is eager to learn from Eccarius, and the friendship starts to bloom into a romance…that is, until they capture Hoover, who is trying to kidnap Cassidy to gain leverage over Jesse on Starr’s request. Instead of killing Hoover, Eccarius persuades Cassidy to turn him into a vampire. It is in the aftermath of this that Cassidy discovers Eccarius’ true motive behind Les Enfants du Sang: to turn his “children” into vampires and then kill them shortly thereafter, draining them of their powers to make himself stronger.
Feeling betrayed and having none of it, Cassidy’s intervention allows Hoover to escape, and he threatens to tell the remaining members of Les Enfants about Eccarius’ true nature – but Eccarius is easily able to overpower him. Eccarius pleads with Cassidy to join him, stating that they are close to being truly happy together…but Cassidy isn’t willing to change his true nature for Eccarius. And when he attempts to tell Les Enfants about what Eccarius has been up to, the group sides with Eccarius, who lies and says that Cassidy murdered Hoover. To use Cassidy as an example to the group, they crucify him by affixing him to the pool table and propping it up, opening up the curtains to allow the sun to trickle in and eventually burn him to death. However, as Kevin’s grandmother cleans up the basement, Cassidy sees a potential way out: he tells her to contact the members of Les Enfants who have “traveled across the world” to check in on them, knowing that she will not be able to get in touch with any of them because Eccarius killed them all (but even if that doesn’t work, something tells me that Cassidy’s bound to get out of this one way or another).
The Saint of Killers, Arseface, Hitler, and Coming Full Circle with Tulip
Having returned to Hell at the end of season two, the Saint is ready for a word with Satan – and that is exactly what he gets. After having him whipped to the bone by the Angel of Death as a form of punishment for leaving Hell without his permission, Satan agrees to let the Saint continue his hunt for Jesse and to give him his weapons back…if the Saint can bring Eugene and Hitler back to Hell alive. The Saint obliges and returns to Earth, where he tracks Eugene down to an adoption center and Hitler down to his new job at a sandwich shop (under the alias “David Hilter”). With Eugene convinced that God still has a plan for him and Hitler convinced that he still has a second chance to take over the world, the Saint successfully captures them and manages to take them to the bus stop to Hell…where the stories begin to come together as Featherstone and the Angel of Death arrive shortly thereafter, with the Angel of Death believing that Featherstone is Tulip.
Just as the bus pulls up and the crew begins to load onto it, Tulip and Jody arrive on the scene, with Tulip demanding the briefcase be returned. As she obtains it and begins to leave, trying to talk the Angel of Death out of dragging Featherstone to Hell, Eugene recognizes Tulip from the bus and calls out to her, revealing her true identity. Thus, Featherstone and Jody manage to escape, and Tulip ends up on the bus to Hell…but being savvy at breakouts, she, Eugene, and Hitler are able to devise a plan for escape. After a few failed attempts, she is able to anger the Saint into hitting her against the window, leaving it cracked. As she and Eugene discuss tactics, Hitler attempts to jump through the cracked window prematurely (being Hitler and, you know, only out for himself and all)…just as a nearby explosion causes the bus to flip, knocking out both the Saint and the Angel of Death. As Tulip surveys the scene, she notices men wearing Nazi arm badges looking in on them through the broken window…and a tank bearing a swastika rolling up to them. Never trust Hitler, kids.
Do you watch Preacher? Be on the lookout for my review of season three following the finale on Sunday, August 26. In the meantime, join the conversation on FoCC!