AMC’s Preacher season three episode three left off with Cassidy about to fight for his life in the Tombs. We pick up that story in episode four, of course, but first we see The Cowboy (Graham McTavish) being escorted from his room and taken to meet with the Devil. The Devil doesn’t appreciate having souls escape his realm and he needs The Cowboy to make amends. He’s placed in chains and the Angel of Death (Erinn Ruth) goes about her job of delivering what should under normal circumstances be incredibly painful lashes across his back.
Meanwhile, Tulip (Ruth Negga) is still holding a gun to Madame Boyd’s head when they’re surrounded by her people. The only way out of the room is for Tulip to shoot holes in the floor, creating an opening for them to escape through.
A flashback shows a teenage Jesse welcoming visitors to fight night in the Tombs. The men cheer wildly and place their bets as he introduces two merciless monsters.
As the fighting continues, TC (Colin Cunningham) selects the next combatants who will be attempting to emerge from the fight victorious. The prize on the line for these fighters is the return of their souls.
Flash forward to current events and Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) is busy fighting off a chainsaw-wielding pedophile in the Tombs. Cassidy takes down his opponent and becomes the new champion, however he’s not done fighting. Jesse sends TC and Jody (Jeremy Childs) off to get Cassidy some blood so he’ll be ready to fight again.
Tulip, in typical Tulip style, is able to elude her pursuers by driving like a stunt woman. Madame Boyd assures Tulip she’s never going to help Jesse get out of his spell.
It turns out Madame Boyd – Sabina – used to be in love with Jesse. They were close as teenagers, but Jesse was still into Tulip from Texas even back in those days. Jesse recalls TC’s warning that if Gran’ma found out he was seeing Sabina, she’d send her to the Tombs. When Sabina tells Jesse she wants to outdo Madame L’Angell, Jesse acts like he’s suddenly disgusted with her. He snarls that she’s just a Boyd and calls her a piece of trash, leaving Sabina devastated. (Jesse will remain the worst person she’s ever loved.)
Jesse takes a ride with Jody to get a keg for the next fight, and they discuss Jesse’s relationship with Cassidy. Jesse calls Cassidy a “cheating, drug-addicted piece of shit Irish vampire.” Jody brags that’s he’s going to beat Cassidy in a fight, but Jesse reminds him they can do what they want to Cassidy and he’ll still be able to fight after drinking a little blood.
It turns out that Jesse is doing the best he can to save Cassidy. He chopped him up before they left and while Jody’s in the liquor store, Jesse packs up Cassidy and mails him to safety. Cassidy spends the whole time Jesse’s working on putting his body parts in a large box to suggest other options Jesse could have chosen to save him – like strapping him to the bottom of the truck.
They’re pissing each other off when Jesse finally finishes up preparing the Cassidy for shipping. Cassidy calls him an evil bastard and tells him he hates his face. Jesse slaps on a label to mail Cassidy back to New Orleans.
Tulip can’t believe that Madame Boyd’s harbored a grudge against Jesse for 20 years. Sabina explains Jesse actually broke her heart, twice. Sabina’s brother went to the Tombs to have it out with Jesse, and Jesse strangled him in front of the fight crowd.
Tulip refuses to believe that story and forces Madame Boyd from the car at gunpoint. Tulip continues the drive without Sabina in the passenger seat.
Back at the postal store, Cassidy’s put his body back together and has left the building.
Once more to the Tombs we go and Jesse’s plan has worked. He left behind one of Cassidy’s hands to make it appear Cassidy chewed his way out of the chains. Jody sends TC off to hunt him down while Jesse steps back out into the center of the cheering crowd. He tells those assembled that God has left Heaven and is now testing everyone. He then angers the crowd by announcing the Tombs are closed once again.
But wait..who’s that walking down the stairs? It’s Cassidy and he’s ready to fight. Jesse wants the first fight with the returning champion and tries to make Cassidy stay down. He won’t, of course.
As they’re fighting, Jesse spots Tulip entering the Tombs. She pushes her way past the crowd just as Jesse stabs Cassidy with a wooden stake. “Who needs God?! The Tombs are back in business!” yells Jesse.
Jesse gets in Tulip’s face and tells her if she doesn’t like it, she and Cassidy (who everyone assumes is now dead-dead) can leave.
The crowd makes their way from the Tombs after the fight’s over and Tulip waits outside in her car. A man stumbles up to her passenger side window, and it turns out it’s Cassidy wearing a “skin suit.” They take off, leaving Angelville in their dust.
Cassidy confesses he doesn’t think this is Jesse’s fault. It’s really all about how he was raised. Cassidy’s happy now they can just take off on a road trip to wherever their hearts desire, but Tulip pulls the car to a stop. She’s driven Cassidy to the bus stop so he can get to safety, but he refuses to leave without her. He says he loves her, but Tulip lets him know she doesn’t love him.
As they talk, Cassidy’s secretly holding onto the love potion. He considers what to do for a minute and decides against using it. Instead, he gets on the bus to head out of town.
Tulip returns to Angelville and confronts Jesse. She reveals that she figured out Jesse was just trying to protect Cassidy, just like he protected Madame Boyd all those years ago. Tulip, however, asserts that she doesn’t need protecting. “What I need is a god-damned boyfriend who levels with me,” says Tulip.
She asks what happened to Sabina’s brother, Kenny, and Jesse explains Kenny was choking him so he acted in self-defense.
Secrets aired, it appears Jesse and Tulip are back together and things seem to be good. However, Tulip wakes up with a start realizing she left Madame Boyd in the trunk of her car. Sabina’s not upset and she even called off her men. She advises Tulip that all she has to do to break the spell is get rid of Madame L’Angell. Tulip’s not buying it, but Sabina promises it’s the truth.
It turns out Madame Boyd hates Madame L’Angell more than she hates Jesse. With Madame L’Angell dead, Jesse will be free to leave.
The episode ends the way it began – with a trip to Hell. The Cowboy’s still receiving lashes from the Angel of Death. He never screamed and the Devil’s impressed. The Devil wants The Cowboy to retrieve two people but they must be brought back alive. If he does that, then the Devil will return his guns and allow him to go after all the preachers he wants.
More on Preacher:
- Recap of Preacher Season 3 Episode 1 “Angelville”
- Recap of Preacher Season 3 Episode 2 “Sonsabitches”
- Recap of Preacher Season 3 Episode 3 “Gonna Hurt”
- Interview with Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg on Preacher Season 3
- A Look Back at Preacher Season 2: Dominic Cooper, Ruth Negga and Joseph Gilgun Interview