‘Preacher’ Season 1 Finale RECAP & REVIEW

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Photo Credit: Lewis Jacobs/Sony Pictures Television/AMC
Photo Credit: Lewis Jacobs/Sony Pictures Television/AMC

“God’s coming.” The town of Annville is all the talk as God, supposedly, is to visit upon the Texan town on the coming Sunday. Tulip, returning into town after her visit to Carlos, is confused to find Jesse Custer seeking refuge at the home of Donnie and Betsy Schenck. You’d be right to call this peculiar, especially since Jesse’s run in with Donnie in the show’s first episode began the course of wacky adventures for the preacher. But nevertheless, Donnie looks to have had an epiphany. Believing Jesse showed him mercy in the gas station bathroom episodes ago, the two seemingly have let bygones be bygones, just in time for the season finale. How convenient.

Meanwhile, arrested by Sheriff Root, Cassidy sits begrudgingly in a prison cell. Hoping to gain information about the disappearance of Eugene, Cassidy remains quiet on the details. Bad luck for Cassidy, however, since Root recalls Cassidy’s criminal history dating back to 1922. Exposed, Cassidy attempts to make an attack, only to be shot. In a refreshing change of pace for the series, the side plot takes a near My Dinner with Andre approach with Cassidy and Sheriff Root. Here, Cassidy questions Root for the minuscule semblance within him that wanted him gone. Taunting the sheriff with further insults towards his arse-faced son, Root loads several rounds from his pistol onto Cassidy, only for him to then leave the prison cell open for Cassidy to leave.

Having confronted Jesse about his situation, Tulip traps the preacher into further disarray, revealing Carlos’ tied up body in the boot of her car. In a further expanded flashback sequence, we are revealed more about Carlos’ backstabbing motives as he leaves his fellow accomplices, Jesse and Tulip, in the dark. Content in remaining quiet, Tulip (in an exceptional performance showcasing Ruth Negga) upsettingly reminds Custer of what Carlos did: leaving them and their child out for dead. Convinced by her emotional state, Custer prepares to kill Carlos, oven mitts and garbage bags at the go. Tulip, moved by Jesse’s actions, embraces him. They truly are the world’s oddest couple. Realising that killing Carlos isn’t going to change anything, they decide to let him go. Only after beating him to a pulp, of course…

Photo Credit: Sony Pictures Television/AMC
Photo Credit: Sony Pictures Television/AMC

Sunday is now here for Annville. With the assistance of the Schencks, Jesse and Tulip sneak their way into the church, preparing for the big sermon ahead. The church, the most crowded it’s ever been this season, is filled with all the season’s crazy slew of characters, from comatose Tracy Loach to Odin Quincannon himself. The moment of truth arrives and before a slight turbulence, the church goes to black. In moments, a bright shining light appears before everyone. It’s God. Bedazzled, shocked and bewildered, the churchgoers are confronted by the one and only God, white robed and aged wisely. The season has culminated into this captivating and truly unexpected moment, and the episode wastes no time, keeping momentum moving and developing at a great pace.

Angered by the actions of God, an enraged Jesse questions him for what’s been happening in Annville. The world, riddled with hatred and greed; why hasn’t God been answering him or anyone else? Filled with laughter, God responds by answering the questions the churchgoers are dying to ask. Everything’s said, from why does good happen to the bad, to Jesse’s penultimate question: what is God’s plan for him, after appointing him the powers of Genesis? And what is his role on Earth? Blessed by Custer’s capacity in gathering the people of God, God bellows that all the people of Annville are now saved. Custer, questioning the fate of Eugene, gives a half-assed exclamation that he too is saved. But no, Custer isn’t buying it. It’s a ruse, all of it. This “God” isn’t the God. Exposed, Jesse uses Genesis to force this imposter to answer.

“Where is God?!”

“I don’t know.”

In fact, he’s missing. God is gone.

Photo Credit: Lewis Jacobs/Sony Pictures Television/AMC
Photo Credit: Lewis Jacobs/Sony Pictures Television/AMC

Suddenly, the church is lit again to its original state. The churchgoers, bewildered by their unconventional Sunday sermon, recuperate from whatever the hell just occurred. Jesse, looking among his Sunday crowd, leaves his church for the last time. With all faith in their religion lost, the church is turned into disarray and violence. People begin killing themselves, becoming morbid. Tracy Loach is eventually euthanised, Sheriff Root remains grim at the return of his son, Quincannon remains scarred by the trauma of his past. The times of believing are diminished for Annville, just as a gigantic storm of wind sweeps away the Custer church from its foundation.

And of course, the season finale would not be complete without another jab at The Big Lebowski. They just go back to bowling like that?!

Now, finally, the adaptation has seemingly course-corrected into alignment with the very first issue of Preacher. As a whole, the season has essentially acted as a prequel series to the events of the graphic novel. Was it all worth it? Hell yes. A sprawling debut season, the show’s initial ten episodes showcased unique and unpredictable storytelling, and this finale encompasses the crazy nature of the comics whilst setting path for the further crazy to follow.

Exploring ways to shock and entertain audiences in the most unusual and profound manners, Preacher has taken an extremely unconventional look at religion in the most batshit crazy of ways. Raging commentary and sadistic supernatural comedy came together for profoundly entertainingly results. Season two cannot come soon enough.

THE REEL SCORE: 9/10

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