Throughout the wildly entertaining rookie season of the AMC hit, Preacher, religion and the hypocrisies therein are played for laughs - often in a profane way. The slam-bang finale is no different: Jesse follows through on his promise to bring 'The Big Man' down from heaven and have a little Q&A, and the results are goofy and hilarious. More on that in a bit. But first we need to deal with the 'hanging chad' from last week - what the hell happened between Tulip and her nemesis Carlos?
When we last saw Tulip she was in Albuquerque, looming over a bound and gagged Carlos, brandishing a meat tenderizer with bad intent. The next time we see her she crashes through a glass door at Donny's house, gun in hand, demanding to know where Jesse is.
Turns out that Jesse is hiding at Donny's house until the Super Sunday God-fest. And since Donny REALLY hates Jesse, I'm assuming that Jesse used the Genesis voice to get Donny and his wife to cooperate. Tulip takes Jesse outside to her car, and admits she came back because of the 'I still love you' message that Jesse left on Tulip's voicemail. Jesse tells Tulip that he'd do anything for her: so Tulip takes him up on it, opening her trunk to reveal....Carlos! She wants Jesse to kill Carlos - NOW!
We know that back in the day in Dallas, Carlos screwed over Jesse and Tulip during a bank heist gone sideways. The folks at Preacher were nice enough to flash back and show us what REALLY happened. Jesse and Tulip were flirting while they cleaned out the bank vault, and gave two bags of booty to Carlos to stash in the getaway car. Carlos had a look of jealousy, and on the way out he freed a bank guard before fleeing in the car.
This seriously freaks out Tulip, but the real problem is the guard. Unfortunately, Jesse has to deal with him harshly.
Now comes the shocker. As she watches Carlos peal away, Tulip doubles up in pain. She tells Jesse that it's THE BABY! Wow! Tulip was preggers with Jesse's baby! No wonder she's so pissed! Back to the present, where Jesse is definitely down with offing Carlos for his boo. But now it's Tulip who has a change of heart, urging Jesse not to kill Carlos after all. Seems that all she was looking for was Jesse's renewed commitment to her, and another murder wouldn't help anything. So they decide instead to give Carlos a tire tool and gun to defend himself. Did it help? Eh, not so much. Jesse and Tulip proceed to beat the holy hell out of Carlos, leaving him to limp away like a wounded dog. Mission accomplished!
G Dawg In The House!
OK, now to the main event: God-apalooza! Jesse makes his way to the church, with Tulip and Cassidy in tow. So just how is Jesse gonna bring the 'Big Man' down to us mere mortals? Well, with the special heaven-phone thingy that Cassidy lifted from DeBlanc and Fiore, that's how!
And now that they have an angel hand (dug up from one of the previous bodies of our angel buddies), they are good to go! The whole town is in the church, and the pews are bursting at the seams. Noted atheist Odin steps in front of the crowd and runs Jesse down, goading him into bringing God down to the assembled flock.
Jesse uses the heaven-phone, and the sky turns pitch black.
And then, BOOM! All hell (or more to the point, heaven) breaks loose!
God makes an entrance worthy of a WWE champion! Needless to say, the crowd is in total shock and awe. God wants to know who summoned him (shouldn't he already know? - all knowing being and everything - just sayin'), and Jesse comes forward, saying that they want some questions answered. God gets all, 'I am the alpha and omega', acting bossy and loud, but agrees to answer questions. This is where it gets weird.
The Q&A seems to be going well, but then Jesse asks God about saving Eugene. God seems to be at a loss for an answer, and then it went downhill - big-time. Check it out:
This hits home with the central message of the Preacher comic and the series: that religion is not a 'be all - end all', that we as thinking beings shouldn't take everything on faith. We must question everything. And I have to confess that when I was watching this, another famous scene flashed into my head: this one from the classic, The Wizard of Oz:
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain? Indeed! Jesse, in disgust, leaves the church (to the tune of 96 Tears, as played by Emily on the church organ) to go to a diner and have fries with Tulip and Cassidy.
The rest of the denizens of Annville react in various ways, considering they now know that God is MIA. The dueling school mascots hang themselves from the infamous Ratwater tree, schoolgirls castrate and kill their pedophile bus driver, Terri Loach smothers her comatose daughter Tracy with a pillow (while Tracy's little bro takes a selfie with the murder in the background - truly disturbing!), and Odin hugs a 'meat baby' he made by stuffing ground beef into the ski suit of his dead daughter. He does worship the God of Meat, after all!
The most important fallout of the God fiasco, however, centers on the maintenance man whose job it is to keep the reactor that powers the town from blowing up good. You've seen the display numerous times during season one:
We finally see what the heck it is that is powering the town: turns out that beneath the entire town of Annville is an ocean of cow sh*t, the refuse from the Odin cows. The cow crap releases methane, and the reactor uses the methane to power the town. But as the levels get dangerous, it's the job of the man to release the excess to keep the town safe.
His reaction to the lack of a God is to get a hooker and get what his frigid wife has denied him for years - the nasty. She must have been very good at her job, because he has a heart attack and dies (with a huge smile on his face, btw) in front of the pressure control panel. The gauge goes into red-line city, and the hilarious vision of the hooker (with garters, ball gag, the whole nine) trying valiantly to stop the coming apocalypse is truly priceless. Alas, her efforts are in vain, and the ENTIRE town of Annville is leveled by a REALLY big cow fart!
The Journey Begins
Jesse, Tulip, and Cassidy are oblivious to the carnage in Annville, because they are in a diner outside of town having fries and arguing about The Big Lebowski - AGAIN! Tulip wants to know what they will do if they indeed find the G-Man, and Jesse tells her that they will either help him or kick his ass! Outside the diner, Tulip is curious about the whole Genesis thingy, so Jesse commands her to kiss him.
And boy, does she ever! But then she looks Jesse dead in the eye, lands a major punch to his face, and hisses that he'd better not try Genesis on her again! With that, our heroes are on the road. Their mission: God or Bust!
The last scene reveals that the Cowboy took Fiore up on his offer, and is topside with the mission to kill Jesse.
But even a killer needs a little warm up, so he plugs the Seraphim who was pursuing DeBlanc and Fiore, making a huge hole in her stomach. The scary part is that she collapses and dies - no regeneration! This is important, because when the Cowboy killed DeBlanc in hell, he didn't return to earth with Fiore. So it appears that when the Cowboy kills you, you stay DEAD.
I thought this was a satisfying end to an interesting first season. Those who know the comics are well aware that the destruction of Annville and the road trip to God all take place in the first issue of the Preacher comic. So in essence season one is a preamble of sorts to the main story. Are all the Annville-ites dead? It would appear so. But as we've seen with The Walking Dead, The Flash, Arrow, and numerous other comic book adaptations, producers often remix or go completely away from the source material. I believe Eugene will still be a major player going forward, and I really hope Odin survived - his kind of batsh*t craziness is a joy to see.