SPOILER ALERT: If you haven't yet watched this week's episode of Preacher, then turn back now! This contains spoilers and key plot points.
After Jesse's big showdown with Quincannon last week, we return to both Annville and Ratwater for the second last episode of the season — and finally get to find out what they have to do with each other! Jesse ended last week in handcuffs, Eugene is still in Hell (despite a brief hopeful moment that he may have returned), and pretty much the only happy person in Annville is the intensely creepy Odin Quincannon.
We know that things are about to change, however. "Finish The Song" answers some big questions, brings a favorite character back, sets up what looks to be an incredible season finale and includes one of the most shocking moments from the show so far.
Flashback: Meanwhile, Back In Ratwater
The story of Ratwater has been a slow burn throughout this season — we've followed our Cowboy as he attempts to get medicine for his sick daughter, as he meets a preacher who hates him, as that preacher kills his horse, and as the resulting time it takes to get back home on foot ends up meaning the death of his wife and child. Last time we saw him, the Cowboy was headed back to Ratwater — and this time, he is bringing an arsenal.
This week, we learned a little more about this character. As he walks into the Ratwater tavern (where the town has gathered to wait out a storm), the preacher stands up to reveal his sins to the crowd. The Cowboy is actually the Butcher of Gettysburg — a man made infamous for his slaughter of 77 men on the battlefield — and on the wrong side of the battle. Still, the preacher asks him to accept Jesus, saying that there is no sin so great that it bars the way to Heaven. However, it seems that the Butcher believes otherwise. He loved his horse, his wife, and his daughter, and that's it. All three were killed (directly or indirectly), by the hypocritical man standing before him. So he slaughters everyone in the tavern, and then pours himself a drink.
Present Day: Jesse On The Run
Back in the present day, Jesse is being driven to the jail by Sheriff Root. He's clearly gone against the law with his epic one-man defense of the church (even Preacher isn't allowed to shoot someone's dick off!), but it's more than that. Jesse has confessed that he sent Eugene to Hell, and the only way that Sheriff Root can understand that is by believing that Jesse has just confessed to murder (Of course, he basically has, given that we don't know what happened to Eugene, and it's reasonable to assume he's not coming back).
After a particularly disturbing conversation about what happens to child-killers in prison, Jesse manages to leap from the moving car to freedom (clearly, his criminal past came in handy here) — but not before telling the Sheriff that he'll see him on Sunday. He's got a plan, and everybody knows about it, as we find out from a couple of homeless people that Jesse meets up with for a little breakfast (and help getting out of his handcuffs).
Fiore And DeBlanc Take A Trip
Last week we thought that the angels might be on the run as well, but it looks like their trip to a "travel agent" was for a very different reason. This week, the two book tickets to go as far South as it's possible to go — straight to Hell. Not something that you would usually find a travel agent for, but it seems that the bubbly Lucinda isn't quite human herself, and she's more than capable of sending the two where they need to go.
They do debate their decision to go to Hell, as it's not exactly a place for angels, but it's clearly "the other option" that they discussed. However, after a coin flip to decide, Fiore and DeBlanc change their mind. They decide to call Heaven, 'fess up to losing Genesis and coming to Earth without permission, and taking the consequences. There's only one flaw in the plan (two, if you could the likelihood that they'll be separated for their crimes). Their direct line to Heaven happens to be missing.
With no other option, the two wait for a shuttle bus to Hell (fitting transport), clearly filled with trepidation. They're also clearly becoming more human the longer they stay on Earth — each week they appear more and more emotional, until this week they seem downright normal. It's hard not to feel for Fiore when they are told that they have to leave their trunk behind, and he looks up at DeBlanc like a small child, upset that he can't take his comics with him.
Walter's House: Cassidy's Recovery
Cassidy is still locked in Walter's bathroom, with Tulip taking care of him and feeding him small pets to help him heal. He's alive, though — and his secret is pretty much out. This week, Emily learns about Cass-the-vampire, as Tulip invites her over to take care of him for a little while. The two women seem to have struck up a kind of unlikely friendship, and Emily proves her mettle by accepting the existence of vampires (and the need to feed them guinea pigs) without much fuss. They talk briefly about Jesse, and Tulip claims that she wants nothing to do with him anymore, even offering him to Emily. Emily tells Tulip that she has someone. She confesses to her relationship with Miles, and although she pastes a smile on her face, it's obvious that she isn't happy. She's trying to make the best of things, to convince herself that Miles makes her happy.
Tulip, meanwhile, is heading out to Albuquerque to kill a man — Carlos.
Emily starts off feeding Cass the critters Tulip has bought, but when she sees him burnt and bloodied, she knows that they won't be enough. It's a terrifying shot of Cassidy. Not the charming reprobate we have come to love, but a blood-soaked monster snarling at her from the floor. It's a stark reminder that he is far from human, and it has a powerful effect on Emily.
Emily Makes A Choice She Can't Take Back
She calls Miles again (having previously asked him to pick up the kids from school), sounding absolutely panicked. Cassidy has escaped, and she's hiding in Walter's house. Miles, like the good boyfriend and mayor he is, leaves the Quincannon Fight Club he's watching and rushes to the rescue — straight to the bathroom where Cass is waiting. And just in time for Emily to rush up behind him and lock Miles in.
Emily — good girl extraordinaire, devoted church worker, hardworking single mom, doormat to Jesse — just lured her boyfriend to a brutal death in order to save a drug-addicted vampire. Then she listens to his screams as he dies, releases the now-unnecessary caged pets in the backyard, and leaves to go pick up her kids from school. Stone. Cold.
The Angel's Bloodbath Is Discovered
Sheriff Root is busy looking for Jesse when another call gets his attention. The angels have checked out of the Sundowner Motel (to go to Hell), which means that the maid discovered the horrifying mess left in their room. Fiore and DeBlanc didn't bother trying to cover their tracks at all, which means that the entire room is covered in blood, with holes in the wall, broken furniture, and a little something in the bathtub: a dismembered angel.
Sheriff Root, believing the angel to be a tortured woman, is obviously appalled — and when she begs for death, he squares his shoulders and chokes her to death in an act of mercy. Of course, we know that he isn't putting her out of her misery, but allowing her to regenerate, whole, and go after Fiore and DeBlanc again.
Jesse And Cassidy, Back Together
Jesse shows up at Walter's, obviously looking for Tulip. Instead, he finds Emily setting an unenthusiastic guinea pig free in the back yard, Cassidy alive (but still horrifically burned), and a dead Mayor. We've been wondering what really happened the day that Cass walked into the sun in front of Jesse, and today we finally found out.
As Jesse and Cassidy talk, they go from anger to reconciliation. Jesse tells Cass that he was right, that Jesse was doing wrong and that Cass saw that and still wanted to help him. Cass, meanwhile, reveals that Jesse did put him out when he was on fire. Not as fast as he could have, but he did it. It's an absolutely heartwarming scene (despite all the gore) as the two friends reunite. Having made up, they decide what to do next, starting with the mark of true friendship — working together to bury a body. Specifically that of Miles, the man formerly known as Mayor.
The Beginning Of The End
The end of the episode wraps us up nicely for next week. Jesse and Cassidy are burying the dead mayor together along with the first set of angel bodies. Turns out that Jesse wants one of their hands, although we don't know why just yet. We also discover that Jesse took the Angel-phone, which may well come in handy for his plan to call God into church on Sunday. Speaking of which, Odin Quincannon is on the edge of his seat, thrilled to hear Jesse denounce God and give him the church land, and even Donnie (whose hearing appears to have returned) seems to be standing just a little taller. Tulip, meanwhile, has Carlos tied to a chair and a meat mallet in her hand — and we wouldn't like to be the one who got on her bad side.
Flashback: What Really Happened In Ratwater
Finally, Ratwater starts to make a little sense. As many fans guessed, the town is shown to be the earlier version of Annville — meaning that the Cowboy's massacre is part of the town history. More importantly, however, we aren't seeing that history. We are seeing something happening right now.
The Cowboy's story is played out again, with all the little flashbacks brought together. Then it plays again, just the highlights. Then again. And again. So many times, over and over, always ending with a massacre in the bar, and the Cowboy pouring himself a drink as a storm rolls in. Except that this time, a door opens, and two angels in cowboy hats step into the bar.
Surprise! It's actually Hell, where the Cowboy has been reliving the worst moments of his life since the 1800s over and over again. The angels offer to get him out — if he'll do a job for them, that is. When they try and get him to come without asking more questions, the Cowboy shoots DeBlanc in the face, so a terrified Fiore answers. They want him to kill Jesse Custer, the Preacher.
Questions We Want Answered
- What is Jesse actually under arrest for? This isn't hugely important, because we all know that Jesse isn't about to go to jail anyway. But we still want to know — is it for shooting people? Killing Eugene? Generally not behaving in a preacher-ly manner?
- What did Carlos do? We've been wondering this since we first heard his name, but now that we've actually seen Carlos, it looks like we might finally find out.
- What's Jesse's plan? We know that Jesse intends to make God answer to him in church, but how? He's got the angel-phone, which will probably come into play — could he call Heaven and use Genesis to command that God come to him? But why would he need an angel's hand?
- Could Eugene still be saved? We've seen that Hell is re-living the worst of your life (at least, that's one Hell), so is Eugene trapped somewhere shooting Tracy Loach over and over again? And if he is, are the angels going to keep their word and try to bring him home?
- What's the other angel going to do now? After days (possibly more) of lying limbless in a bathtub, angry-angel is back on her feet (or should that be her feet are back on her?) and she is bound to be pissed off.
- Can an angel be killed in Hell? On Earth, killing an angel simply brings him back again (leaving a body), but what about in Hell? Could DeBlanc really be dead? And if not, why was Fiore so frightened of the Cowboy's gun?
Next Week: The Finale - 'Call And Response'
Next week is the final week of Preacher's first season, and everything is going to come together before Season 2. The trailer is packed with possibilities, all leading to Preacher standing up in church, trying to call God down.
Some of the other things we're going to see include Sheriff Root's continued search for Eugene, Cassidy in jail (for what, we don't know), Tulip and Jesse back together (did she kill Carlos before coming back?), Jesse looking incredibly confident again, Donnie and his wife having some fun, Donnie's wife talking to Jesse about the angel phone, Jesse using the angel hand to dial, a woman in a ball gag next to the wall of dials that we still don't know anything about, and a shot of Tracy Loach. In short, we are going to pick up all the threads of the previous nine episodes, and things are going to go crazy.
Tune in to AMC on Sunday, August 31st for the finale of 'Preacher.'