Clearly there are multiple SPOILERS ahead concerning the exploits of Jesse Custer, Cassidy, Quincannon, Tulip and Arseface. Episode 9 Recap and Review can be found here.
Jesse is still on the run, Eugene is still missing and the town is expecting a visit from God himself come Sunday. With the feature-length season finale, Preacher closes out it’s initial run and finally looks forward to what the whole comic was about in the first place.
It’s been quite the ride with Jesse, Tulip, Cassidy and the residents of Annville, but also quite a muted one at times considering the subject matter and story. Longstanding fans of the comic will have doubtless been left somewhat frustrated by the slow pace and the refusal to leave the town, but you can see the thinking. It’s such an ‘out-there’ tale, with demons, God, Arseface and some very strange people indeed, that having the entire first season devoted to setting up the story proper has given us a soft-landing into the world dreamt up by Sam Catlin and Garth Ennis.
Despite a 50% longer running time for this season 1 final episode, which does allow for a less frenetic squabble at times, you can’t help but feel that you’ve missed an episode. Jesse is still on the run but Cassidy is in jail, collared by Sheriff Root at the whorehouse. The Sheriff would like to know where on Earth (little does he know) his son Eugene is and the most basic of police work has led him to realise Cassidy is a lot older than he seems. He’s also deduced that he’s a vampire on the basis he’s always wearing shades and hats – which is one hell of a leap, even for an Annville resident – which allows him to interrogate Cassidy in a unique way; ask where Eugene is, don’t get a reply, shoot Cassidy in the gut, give him some blood to recover. Simples.
Across town, Jesse has found sanctuary with Donnie and Betsy Schenk. Donnie was last seen holding a gun to Jesse in the church, but Jesse showed him mercy without having to use Genesis and Donnie has, for some reason, returned the favour. Just like Sheriff Root’s vampire deduction, this rings somewhat false, as though the screenwriter is trying to bend and shoehorn people and plot to get to the destination regardless of logic.
Tulip tracks the preacher down and we get the satisfying flashback of exactly why she and Jesse both hate the mysterious Carlos so much. Once a triumvirate of bank robbers, Carlos double-crossed them – causing Tulip to have a miscarriage – because he hated the (once) couples happiness so much. Tulip has captured and brought Carlos to Jesse for him to kill, something he’s all too keen to do on the basis that he’s “going to hell anyway“.
Just as he’s about to shoot him, Tulip stops Jesse; merely the fact he was prepared to is good enough for her. Instead, the pair beat the living crap out of their grateful one-time friend. They have more important things to attend to, namely getting to church and preparing to summon God for Annville’s excited townsfolk come Sunday.
Betsy sneaks them all into the church and they clean-up after Quincannon’s attempted land-grab from last week. As the time draws close, the pews are filled to bursting and Jesse makes his appearance. Using the angel hand and with the telephone set to ‘Video Conferencing’ mode, God is indeed called and makes an appearance, to the shock of almost everyone. Only Cassidy seems nonplussed, but then again a centuries-old vampire has probably seen a lot (although he does remark that it’s more exciting than that time he downed several energy drinks and went to a Justin Bieber concert, so maybe not).
After answering the multitude of questions put to him with all the grace and style of a fortune cookie platitude, God is rumbled as a fake by Jesse for not knowing about Genesis. The revelation that God is missing from heaven and has been for some time sends the town into meltdown. The church is trashed, people commit suicide and kill their loved ones, and the source of the town’s power – revealed as the giant, underground installation that was constantly in danger of going critical – does just that after being left unattended. The excess methane the town ran on (the by-product of QM&P’s meat business) is vented, ignites and Annville is consumed in a giant fireball. As are its residents.
Luckily, Jesse, Tulip and Cassidy are far away by this time, already embarking on their road trip to find God, who looks like he’s hiding right here on Earth. “Finally!” scream the comic book fans, for this is what Preacher is really all about. All of the stuff in Annville has just been a precursor to the search for the missing big guy with a white beard. And hot on Jesse’s trail? The Gunslinger, the Cowboy, the as yet-to-be-named Saint of Sinners, who has arrived in the post-apocalyptic Annville having been summoned by Fiore and DeBlanc, keen to track down another reacher and dispense justice.
So what did you all think? Has Preacher lived up to it’s potential from the comics or are you completely new to this world and utterly hooked? It’s a strange one is this show; at once unique, different and batshit crazy enough to gain a devoted following, it has also been a little tame in it’s first season. Season 2 – with a longer, 13 episode run – has already been confirmed and we’ll get that next year. But for such a groundbreaking attempt, and one that has garnered acres of column inches (including in some very serious broadsheets), questions are being asked as to why it’s not getting the same viewership and ‘watercooler’ moments as some of its brethren that also were developed from a lauded comic book run.
Preacher has been trying a bit too hard if we’re honest, and it has really sufferred at times from the protracted stay in Annville. Now we’re out and off, with all the potential a road trip has to offer as well as all the comic book stories proper – and with the Gunslinger in tow – we can expect a much bigger, even more batshit season 2. Follow it all here at XO.TV.