It’s time to cross the River Styx, it’s time to face the music, it’s time for a new Preacher y’all! This is it, the season finale. Crank up that George Harrison, because here be spoilers for season two, episode thirteen, “The End of the Road.”
1. Angelville, where the magic of the south comes to life
There’s been a lot of buildup this season to Jesse reuniting with his terrifying family, and we got one last flashback before the end. Unlike the comics, where Jesse’s grandma is simply a horrible human being, the show is framing her as some kind of voodoo practitioner, fleecing tourists and taking their money. What do you do when you have something the American people want? You sell it to dumbest people you can find. That’s just science.
We also sort of meet TC & Jody, the goons who abused Jesse into being the man he is today. We never see their faces, but we do see Jody break Jesse’s hands. TC has a thing where he um, likes to have intimate relations with any creature with an orifice. Jody is a rugged and brutal survivalist, and in a way becomes Jesse’s new father. The two of them actually got a one shot issue in 1997 called “The Good Old Boys,” which was a sendup of toxic American masculinity as they humiliated all the beta males they could find. Good thing our country has totally changed and that commentary has been rendered unnecessary right? Either way, I can’t wait to find out who they cast as this terrifying duo.
2. Spoken like a true messiah
After Jesse refuses to wear an 11th century Flemish fencing cape, he makes a speech in front of a Catholic School class, only to be interrupted by Armenian terrorists, which was a weird choice, but the good kind of absurd. He tries to use the Voice to stop them, but it doesn’t work. The Voice is on the fritz! The Preacher doesn’t let that stop him, he rolls up his sleeves, grins, and kicks some ass the old fashioned way.
I’ve talked before about Jesse’s love of violence, and he’s clearly having a great time battering those Armenians with their own guns. We even get a “My Sweet Lord” needle drop. The fight itself is the best fight Preacher has given us in a long, long time. The fight choreography on this show is good! It was a reminder that we haven’t gotten a lot of Jesse punching and kicking since he took out Tulip’s husband’s operation.
Of course, the Armenians are hired by Starr, who knew that Jesse stopping some bad guys would totally trend on social media. “I didn’t sign up for this shit,” Jesse objects. “Spoken like a true messiah,” Starr retorts.
3. Good Papa
Over in the Cassidy side of things, we learn that our favorite vampire is really good at folding clothes. He also pokes around his son’s room, and finds out that Dennis is a totally evil, unhinged child of the night. Not a big surprise to us, but it seems to hit Cassidy for the first time. He also has a sex dream about Tulip, where she’s much judgier about smoking crack than real Tulip seems to be, and then he eats her, which totally freaks him out.
Cassidy finally confronts Dennis, and the tension is so thick you can cut it with a knife. Dennis asks if Cassidy can be a good papa, and his dad chucks him out the window onto the sunny street. It’s sudden, and even a bit surprising. I thought for sure that the Dennis story was… I don’t know, going somewhere? But it kind of ends as abruptly as Annville did last season. It seems to have affected Cassidy, but everything is too fast to sink in.
4. Hatch outta Hell
After a long, slow story about Arseface in Hell, Eugene finally makes his great escape, and the whole affair is existential in the most mind-blowing way. So Hitler just came back from the dead in a fresh new body? The Fuhrer died from a self inflicted bullet wound to the head, but if you cross the River Styx back to Earth, you just get a fresh new body at your prime? I have a lot of questions.Continued below
The end of the escape is mostly a series of absurd Preacher-style imagery. Charon the Ferryman looks a lot like The Grim Reaper, and is weirdly polite. Also Southern. Then the minions of Hell declare that with God missing, the rules have changed, and promptly kill him. Woah! So Hitler, who has become like a second father to Eugene, escapes with him, only to turn out to be sort of a jerk. What a twist! Hitler is not a very nice person! None of this had much of an impact on our main story, but Eugene is out of Hell, and Adolf Hitler walks the Earth! That sounds like a recipe for shenanigans.
5. The consequences of abusing power
All season, Jesse has grappled with his godlike powers, but the Word has fritzed out. No more power. We don’t get an explicit explanation as to why, but it seems like it has something to do with his missing soul, which Herr Starr has in a jar. Jesse has played fast a loose all season, and while bad things have happened, the consequences never seem to reach him. That changes in a big way.
Because Tulip gets dead! She confronts “Jenny” who shoots her and flees back to Starr. Cassidy calls Jesse in, and they have a fight about turning Tulip into a vampire. Things escalate fast. Too fast. I’ve loved this season of Preacher, but I found the ending to be completely out of left field. After marginalizing Tulip for most of a season, she gets sort-of-fridged. I know she’s coming back, but she didn’t die to serve her own story, she died to create drama for Jesse and Cassidy. Cassidy is really emotional and taking it out on Jesse. He hates Jesse, or so he says. Cassidy has been Jesse’s number one defender all season, and I get that he’s having a really bad day, but this seems like a sudden turnaround on his best mate.
So Jesse finally surrenders his power, and defers to the one person who’s always felt more powerful than him- his grandmother. The season ends with him driving Tulip’s dead body to Angelville. On the one hand, that’s going to spell a ton of heartache for him. On the other hand, that’s going to lead to an adaptation of the best arc of the comic, so I guess we win?
It’s been a blast y’all. Auf wiedersehen.