[For Preacher “Finish the Song” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]
Call and Response. It is the day the entire town has been waiting for, as Jesse tries to follow through on his promise to get answers from Heaven.
First of all, I must say that I found Preacher on the whole this season to be highly entertaining. I think stylistically it brought something to the table that most shows don’t these days. I think it took some bold chances in the storytelling and really relied on a slow build to get people engaged in the universe they were building. The action sequences were amazing; with some of the best fight choreography and cinematography I’ve seen outside of say Daredevil on Netflix. And above all else, the chemistry and performances of the three principal characters was just fantastic. Dominic Cooper as Jesse, Joseph Gilgun as Cassidy and Ruth Negga as Tulip (oh Tulip!) were just so charismatic that it was hard to look away any time they were on screen together.
That said, from a storytelling perspective, the finale was kind of a waste. Don’t get me wrong, like the season on a whole, the episode itself had its moments, and it was entertaining enough for me to be engaged throughout, but the ending also had me questioning the point of the season altogether.
Jesse finally gets his moment at the church to fulfill his promise from episode 8 to call down GOD himself in front of his entire congregation (and the town of Annville). The whole scene was actually really funny and sort of encapsulated the absurdity of Preacher perfectly. My fiancé, who has never watched the show before, was sitting on the couch next to me during that scene and just had so many questions about what the hell was going on. At first the GOD character looked so fake that I wasn’t sure what was happening, but given how Preacher has operated for most of the season, I thought for a second that it’s entirely possible that in the Preacher universe GOD would have a fake white beard and seem a little off. But after some questions from the crowd we come to find (with the help of Genesis) that this was in fact an imposter and the GOD is in fact missing.
With the knowledge of GOD being missing, the townsfolk begin behaving as you’d expect a town of God-fearing people to behave. They went insane. But thankfully they only had to endure that for a short time as the Methane plant that fuels the town ended up building up too much pressure, setting off an explosion that destroyed the entire town, and killing all the characters that we were forced to endure in between scenes with Jesse/Tulip/Cassidy (poor Emily).
Thankfully the Big 3 were at a diner outside of town planning their next move while the poor townsfolk of Annville, Texas were meeting their smelly end. Jesse sets them off on a road trip across the US to “Find GOD”, and thus sets up season 2 quite nicely.
Now don’t get me wrong; as I’ve said before, the Big 3 are really what makes Preacher the show so great, so I’m excited at the idea of next season being basically a road trip with them hunting down the real G.O.D. I also think the “Carlos” storyline may show up again, but this time with Cassidy playing the role of Carlos. As we learned in the finale, Carlos was once Jesse and Tulip’s partner, and during a bank robbery he let one of the guards loose and fled, causing Jesse to kill the guard and Tulip to miscarry.
When they confronted Carlos about it, he said he did it because “you just looked so happy”. I thought they did a pretty sloppy job of really conveying that in the few scenes we saw, but I can totally understand the idea of feeling like a third wheel and feeling more and more resentment as your two best friends/accomplices are also in love with one another. Given that we know Cassidy has feelings for Tulip, and the look he gave the two of them as they kissed from the back of the car, I wouldn’t be surprised if this became a bigger issue in the future.
But back to the destruction of Annville, what was the point of us learning about Odin Quincannon, Emily, Eugene and the rest of the town over an entire season if you were just going to kill them all off anyway? The main things that ended up mattering in the end were:
- Jesse getting Genesis
- Jesse understanding Genesis and learning how to use it
- The Angels trying to get Genesis back
- Jesse finding out GOD is missing
- Jesse getting Tulip and Cassidy to come on a road trip with him to track down GOD
You could’ve accomplished 1-5 in the first five episodes and then spent the second half of the season on the road. Instead I got countless boring scenes with Donnie and Emily. It’s almost as if Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg needed to prove to AMC they could get a fan base first before AMC would be willing to invest more money into the production of the show (because obviously a show set on the road would be way more expensive then centering it in a single location).
Nevertheless I like the fact that the season ended basically how the comic begins, with the three central characters embarking on a road trip adventure. And I still felt like the finale, along with the season on a whole, was entertaining enough to engage me throughout and ignore some of the sloppy storytelling.
All in all, I’d give the season a B+, and I’m really looking forward to where they take this show in the next season.