Preacher Season 2 is in full swing, as Jesse, Tulip, and Cassidy go on the road on a mission to find God, who is MIA. Along the way we've met Tulip's gangster ex-husband, Cassidy's incomprehensible (unless you're French) vampire buddy, and who could forget Eugene's new pal, Hitler. But have we already met God?
Yes we have, according to the cast. At #SDCC2017, the Preacher actors sat down with TV Line, and they had some very illuminating revelations. Naturally, the Season 2 finale is set to be the most bombastic episode in the show yet, but more importantly, Dominic Cooper (the Preacher himself) hinted that we've already seen God in the show "without realizing."
Ruth Negga added that God was found in a bar while they were in New Orleans, and in the cast's cheerful hubbub it was also implied that God could be a woman. It's just like Preacher to casually include God among the extras and supporting cast, to make for a shocking twist later, so let's examine the possibilities. First up is the most obvious...
Ben, The Old Man In The Bar
Remember that old guy Jesse spoke to in Episode 3, "Damsels?" After a day of slogging around New Orleans, bouncing from bar to bar in a fruitless hunt, exhausted Jesse stumbles into a club that just happens to be playing the same offbeat, discordant jazz music that he was listening to in the car earlier. Sat enthusiastically enjoying the mournful strains was Ben, an old man who helped Jesse understand what jazz is really about.
"Can't you feel it? Yeah, now you're digging it. It's the end of the world."
With his white fluffy beard, genial nature, and cryptic words about the end of days, Ben is the perfect stereotype of God — albeit a version who loves jazz so much he's willing to abandon his lordship over Creation.
But would this choice be too obvious? No-one would be surprised if this George RR Martin lookalike really turned out to be God. In fact, Ben is so stereotypical that he may be a red herring, put there to distract us from the real God.
God = Dog
I mean, this would be classic irreverent Preacher, wouldn't it? In the very first bar Jesse, Tulip, and Cassidy wandered into, they were swept into the basement after asking where they could find God. There, they found a sex dungeon with three occupants: An old man who drew back the curtain to reveal a woman holding the chains of a human dressed as a dog.
Many fans picked up on the hints that, despite Jesse's scorn and repulsion, the dog was indeed God in disguise. For one thing, a close-up of the dog's face showed no eyes under the mask, implying that whatever was wearing the costume wasn't quite human. Then there's the fact that the dog and its human companion are now in the show's opening credits, which could stress their importance.
For a show that has already turned Hitler into a sympathetic supporting character, it would be very on-brand for this gimp dog to be the real God in disguise. Unless, of course, Ruth Negga's bar comment was a misdirect, and we met God much earlier...
The Girl In The Cage
Way back in Episode 1, "On The Road", the gang discovered Ashleigh, a cellphone-addicted teenager who was put in a cage for her own good. This was part of Preacher Mike's wildly successful re-education program, which he used to help people overcome their dependence on everything from alcohol to Instagram.
We never found out what happened to Ashleigh. She was presumably still caged up when the Saint of Killers paid Preacher Mike a visit, but he left before he could find her.
Revealing Ashleigh to be God would be a hilarious Dogma-esque twist, unexpected and offbeat, and could make for some very funny sequences. However, if the gang already found God in Season 2 Episode 1, then the jazz trail wouldn't make sense at all — unless Ashleigh used her godly powers to be in two places at once. Ultimately, as entertaining and subversive as this choice would be, it would undermine the season's plot to the point where it might be an unsatisfying conclusion. So let's return to New Orleans in our search.
One Of The Bartenders
So far, all of these choices are characters that have stood out from the crowd, however briefly. But what if God was just a face in the crowd, keeping an eye on Jesse and the others without blowing His cover?
During his search of New Orleans, Jesse encountered dozens of bartenders. One turned out to be working with Lara Featherstone in an elaborate ploy to determine whether Jesse really did possess Genesis. But there were plenty of others whom Jesse passed by, and who might have been God in disguise. After all, what better way to enjoy the jazz, meet all the colorful folk of New Orleans, and make a tidy profit than to become a bartender?
However, because the bartenders are so forgettable, revealing one to be God wouldn't make for much of a satisfying revelation. In fact, it would be something of an anticlimax — though this could, if played properly, still be a funny moment. Other face-in-the-crowd options include the guy who opened the curtain to the dog, the man who hit on Lara unsuccessfully, one of the strippers at She She's, and many, many more. But if I were to make a bet, the smart money seems to be on someone who stood out, if briefly. And let's face it, God's gotta be the sex dog, right?