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    Five Thoughts on Preacher‘s “Call and Response”

    By | August 1st, 2016
    Posted in Television | % Comments

    The last two months have been a wild off-road trip for us Preacher fans and it all came to a (temporary) end last night. Check out our review to see who lived, who died, and who’s in for a reckoning. Since last night was the season finale, watch out for hella spoilers.

    1. You’re the Worst, Carlos

    There were a lot of surprises in this episode and none hit me quite as much as the surprising casting of You’re the Worst‘s Edgar AKA Desmin Borges as Carlos. As we saw last week, Tulip was able to find him even after he presumably ran off to live with his British writer friend and dole out bad relationship advice. That’s a You’re the Worst reference and if you’re looking for something to watch now that Preacher‘s over, it’s without hyperbole one of the funniest shows on TV and season three is around the corner.

    At first, I was sort of put off by the extended flashback that shows why Carlos betrayed Tulip and Jesse in that bank robbery in Dallas. Namely, Carlos was the third wheel to Jesse and Tulip’s Bonnie & Clyde, got jealous over how happy they were, and just bailed. That resulted in Tulip losing her unborn child in a fight with a security guard and the subsequent years of bitterness. It felt out of place with the rest of the finale considering we were all so ready to cut ahead to God showing up, but Cass’s pining glances at Tulip made it clear that Carlos is a parallel to our lovable vampire. Beating the tar out of Carlos brings Jesse and Tulip closer together and it’s hard to imagine that Cass, who’s more or less in love with Tulip, isn’t going to be jealous of that happiness. At least it’s not like they’re all going to be stuck on a road trip together sometime soon.

    (Also I’m not totally sure I understand why Donnie forgave Jesse I’m just kind of rolling with it.)

    2. The Sheriff

    There’s a whole lot to this episode and I know I can’t talk about all of it. God knows how sad it was to see Fiore return from Hell by himself, how awesome it was to see The Saint shoot the Seraphi, and how rich the relationship between the Gopher and Native American was. But if I have any sort of power over Seth Rogen, I want to petition for W. Earl Brown’s Sheriff Root to survive because wow that man is ruthless. Root has Cass locked up at the beginning of this episode, trying to figure out where Eugene is and when Cass refuses he just shoots him over and over, feeding him blood to regenerate. Root brings up Cass’s previous arrests and deduces his vampiric biology from how scattered the dates are (these arrests include a reference to an attempted murder in New York that should set off alarm in comic readers’ heads). When Cass says it might’ve been better to lose Eugene, Root empties his gun into him and leaves the door for him to leave.

    The creators behind Preacher have done so much to elevate Root from a dude spouting racial slurs who dies after shooting his dick off to one of the most complex characters on the show. It’s him and Odin Quincannon whose discussion with “God” broke my wee heart. And when he sculpted a baby made out of meat to take the place of his daughter. Uh, let’s move on.

    3. Word of Some Lord

    So God showed up. Kind of. After an intensely awkward beginning to the church meeting where Jesse tries to get the phone to work, Jesse contacts God who looks just like the Monty Python version of God. God gives some glad-handing answers to the folks of Annville which doesn’t ring true with Jesse. He uses the Word to get God to reveal that he’s not actually God and no one knows where the real one is. He gets dragged away by the other angels who dressed him up to fool Annville and Jesse just bails with Cass & Jess. This leaves the townspeople, now aware the God not only exists but has abandoned them, just fucking riot. Quincannon tears the cross off the church, some schoolgirls murder the pervert bus driver who was eyeing them earlier, and Emily, bless her heart, tries to tell her children that nothing’s changed. It’s not true, as the guy who’s been tending to the methane reactor that powers the town falls asleep after sleeping with his side chick. She, ball gag in mouth, tries in vain to fix the reactor but the town ends up completely destroyed. Like, news reports saying there’s no survivors destroyed. Whoops.

    Continued below

    Even though I expected the church scene to directly cause the town to explode, it was still a delight in of itself. If you ever need to know anything about Annville was like, “What did you do to the dinosaurs?” is the first thing a citizen screamed when God opened the floor for questions. And I can understand the dots that connect everyone’s disillusionment to the town getting destroyed, it feels very unfair to the other characters. They suffered their own catharses, especially the Native American cosplayer and the gopher who took their lives together, but it just seemed super out of place.

    4. Open Road

    Of course, with Annville destroyed, that leaves Jesse, Tulip, and Cass open to exploring the USA to find God and make get real answers from him. You may recognize this as the actual premise of the comics. With the open ending we leave the trio on, we’re open to the tons of possibilities from the comics for them to explore. Angelville? The serial killer in New York? Herr Starr?! All stuff we can dig into now that we’ve blown up Annville like a sacrificial lamb to give all the backstory we need to dive into the show’s high concept premise.

    The trio however isn’t exactly traveling alone. Jesse turns to a cashier at the diner they get fires at (Tulip wanted them) and for a hot minute I thought they were going to bring in Jesse’s imaginary John Wayne. Instead, we see a vision of Arseface working the diner which I guess makes a lot more sense. Jesse sort of needs the conscience the Pilgrim provided him and it makes sense for Arseface to take that position up for him. Arseface’s role in the comics is more or less totally irrelevant to the God search so streamlining this whole thing makes a lot of sense.

    5. Square One

    And so, with all of this: Anneville destroyed, God missing, and the gang on the open road, we’re basically reached the first issue of the comic series. When you put it in those terms, it can feel like this whole season was a waste but I couldn’t disagree more. It was always going to be tricky making a series where God is one of the main bad guys and starting the show right out of the gate with Jesse saying he’s going to track down and kick God’s ass may not have translated well to a lot of audiences. But taking the time to build up the mythology of the show did a whole lot to establish why this God isn’t meant to represent the actual God, deepen the dynamic between all three main characters (especially Tulip who’s benefitted the most from the additional insight) and gave a stronger reason for the team to find God. I know we harped on how little the townsfolk seemed to actually mattered, but they really brought this weird little insane community of Annville to life. They were all crazy but they deserved better than dying in an explosion of shit that came out of left field to say the least. I’m still sad to lose that gopher though, especially because I was waiting for him to take his mask off at the church and turn out to be God.

    That’s all for now. We’ll see you next year when Preacher starts again. Maybe we’ll see Herr Starr then. Maybe we’ll see Angelville. Maybe we’ll see Jody and TC. I really hope we see Jody and TC. Seth Rogen’s been doing this whole show just so he could get Danny McBridge to play TC.


    //TAGS | Preacher

    James Johnston

    James Johnston is a grizzled post-millenial. Follow him on Twitter to challenge him to a fight.

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