By a show of hands, who is familiar with a concept called the Apocalypse? I mean, like a member of the Wu-Tang clan, it goes by myriad aliases- the Ragnarok, End of Days, the Rapture, Peace on Earth, the Reckoning, et al. For many, it marks a cleansing of sorts. Granted, when you have both Jesus Christ and Hitler overseeing the terms of this Ballet du Blight, the term “cleansing” couldn’t be more opposing. Welcome to episode 6, “The Lost Apostle.”
Jumping off on the somewhat disappointing heels of the previous piece in this series’ puzzle, we find God (Mark Harelik) replaying his greatest hits of faith and devotion on VHS. This particular one we have the pleasure to be a fly on the wall of is The Binding of Isaac. It’s a moment of pledging fealty most are aware of- God commands Abraham to prove his fealty to the Big Lug by tying his only begotten to an altar and killing him. Of course, we also know a Heavenly herald also stays his hand before the deed is done. The moment of Abraham’s embrace to God is something he just keeps looping like the ethereal egoist he is. Ah, whatever happened to the days of not questioning your Papa? This longing prompts God to ring up Herr K. Starr (Pip Torrens).
As the summit between Jesus (Tyson Ritter) and Adolf (Noah Taylor) ambles along, Herr finally receives clearance from On High to commence Phase 2 of the Apocalypse to put everybody’s feet to the fire. This, of course, means both J.C. and A.H. need to get their shit on somewhat of a level playing field in determining which souls are destined for Heaven or Hell, which are headed to Coachella… and which are headed to the literal Fyre Festival.
Before hanging up, as we the audience most likely assume by now, God infers about his favorite, Humperdoo as a test yet to be passed. A grimacing Starr lies once again to assuage the Big Man. Oh, Klausy-Klaus, don’t you know lying, though typically a Venial Sin can turn Mortal if its gravity is that much greater? Lying to the Dude’s face (who knows, maybe Jeff Bridges is God?) is an affront to his supreme intelligence? Tsk, tsk.
Back at the Deputy Prime Minister’s estate, a clandestine black SUV rolls up to stir up a little trouble. With the Australian coat of arms on its side, it drops off some cargo, but not before attempting to run a few of the guards over. But what’s in the box, what’s in the box?? The lovingly gifted parcel is none other than the Deputy Prime Minister himself, in all his gory glory. Hey, at least they were accommodating enough to include his sash for identification!
Back in his RV, God is laying his plans down. With the meeting ground of him and Custer at The Lost Apostle, a penis-shaped rock formation in the Outback (get it? in the Outback?), the Almighty has bigger plans afoot in the shape of a girthy Nuclear Bomb.
Back in Melbourne, Tulip (Ruth Negga) and Cass (Joe Gilgun) blaze through the streets in their cherry ’72 Chevy Chevelle, which if you’ll recall Tulip gush over in the last episode, has a 350 Cubic-inch V-8 heart… not unlike the wheels of another black leather-clad Aussie in the days of yore. The quick pans, tracking shots seem to evoke throughout the episode Tulip is truly Mad and taking it to the Max.
Stopping at the city’s police station and posing as two American coppers, they request to see the Commissioner. Through a funny miscommunication and dialed-in commentary on the language barrier of even English speaking countries with Americans being the ‘ugly’ ones, Cass and Tulip score a meeting with the Big Man In Charge. After relaying why their jurisdiction prevails when it comes to the most wanted man in the world, they’re informed it’s too little, too late. Even more valuable, they score an interview with Jesse’s “killer,” Eugene (Ian Colletti), who seems to let on little remorse. Not believing him for a second that Jesse is gone, Eugene spills the scoop.
Back to the lock and key scenario that is the Saint of Killer (Graham McTavish) and Jesse (Dominic Cooper). After painfully removing Eugene’s bullet and cauterizing the wound, Jesse passes out until daybreak. The Saint of Killers forces him on his feet and in one last-ditch effort to utilize his only weapon, Jesse in futility tries to use Genesis on his travel mate. Onward they both go to once and for all kill God.
Back at the negotiation table, where Hitler tries to grapple with the law of God in redemption being the only way to salvation. Even if someone as evil as Hitler can be saved, the Fuhrer wants nothing of the sort and wants his roster nice and tight. Jesus is unrelenting on his stance, but possibly runs the risk of giving homosexuals the chance at salvation. They seem to be at an impasse and are prompted by an increasingly worried Herr K. Starr to get the talks moving as Phase 2 is already set in motion.
As Jesse continues to follow the Saint of Killers, he begins to dig his literal and proverbial heels into the ground to the point of being impetuous and telling a Saint whose hammer can blow holes through planets to essentially fuck off while enjoying a cigarette. Preacher knows that so long as tar and oxygen course through his lungs, he’s an asset that cannot be killed unless Providence wills it so. We also find out that Custer feels for the Saint of Killers. His family was taken away, not once, but twice by God. The second time was with Tulip. He was to know and we were to find out, but I think it only gives the Saint only more impetus to show Jesse how meaningful he is in his quest by continuing into town, blasters out. Alas, Jesse has no other option but to ‘try’ and stop him to ‘the Judge.’ That’s what the Saint of Killers reminds me of! Goddamned Sweeney Todd!
Hot on Eugene’s tip, Cass and Tulip arrive into the outskirts of town a scene late and three lives short, as evidenced by the hanged family of three above their dinner. At this point with the amount of carnage left in the Saint of Killer’s wake, I now just feel bad about that dinner that was growing cold.
Booking it out of their just as quick as they’d gotten in, Tulip and Cass hit where the paved road ends and the unforgiving Outback begins.
Back at Australia’s Lost Apostle National Park, the guards see what seems to be approaching Kiwi’s. Getting out a brief lament, one of the guard’s gourd is drilled by a well-placed piece of lead, quite possibly from the vehicle barrelling down, harboring what one could consider the Big Baby, Fat Boy.. basically the mascot for not a New Year, but rather a New World.
As the Saint of Killers marches on, Jesse decides to finagle his plan of action into using the Saint’s firepower against him, but to no avail. Devout, those puppies only respond to their master and none other. At the end of his rope, Jesse vows to die before he lets the Saint of Killers commit Deicide.
As Tulip and Cass had found the Flavour Station diner in the unknown, they attempt to map out their next course of action. Seeing as though there are very few roads on the actual map, Cassidy coaxes Tulip into giving him Jesse’s letter, be there any clues to where he might be headed in it. A worried and anxious Tulip reads the face of Cassidy, she grows more and more wistful and pained. I for one give this particular scene of Ruth’s one for the ages. Her facial expressions are reminiscent to me of Paul Giamatti’s Miles in Sideways upon finding out his divorced wife has not only remarried but also had the child they never did. Such anguish, such maelstrom in the contortions of the face while trying to maintain a modicum of dignity. Ruth should totally have a stand-alone series. In any event, a very stressed Tulip grabs the missive and goes out for a smoke.
While outside, she hears the blaring of French Hot Jazz from a nearby RV. Outside of the olfactory, sometimes a sound could be the most memory jogging. As Tulip proceeds to and into the RV, Cass is going through his own shit. He begs for the check unless the waitress has proper drugs or something that can ejaculate his central nervous system. She does hint towards some Flame Retardant they “might” house in the back of the joint…
As Tulip examines the trailer, she is repulsed by what God is keeping caged, though we’re not privy to watch his hatchling is yet. Even more offsetting to her is God’s dog costume, which confirms where she is. It isn’t until the discovery of his little hobbyist playset that she puts the pieces together and alerts Cass to where Jesse is headed. God himself simply hides in a darkened corner, watching a character interrupt his playtime.
Approaching Cass who is whacked-out on Flame-Retardant, Tulip shows the sun-choked Vampire what getting sky-high truly feels like. Making a play for Jesse, they charter a private plane and set off.
As Jesus and Hitler enjoy the fresh spread amid their stalemate, an awaiting Herr K. Starr gets the call for Australia and INXS’ “New Sensation,” flares up. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve found a lot more instances in this final season of copyrighted music being deployed. I don’t find it distracting myself and if they can secure some really heavy hitters, more power to them. As an excited Starr briefs Hoover Two (Aleks Mikic) on his brief departure, we catch a glimpse of a disguised Featherstone (Julie Ann Emery) undercover as a Barista. Taking a page out of the Tulip playbook, are we?
As Jesse takes point wandering the dessert with the Saint of Killers, he fears not. The entire concatenation of shit got him this far and who is he to doubt providence… or getting high with a little help from his friends. Jesse books it ahead just as Tulip pilots down to scoop him up, leaving the Saint of Killers in a dust cloud of the flame retardant Cassidy didn’t taste test. On the plane, a grateful Jesse is met with the icy shoulder of Tulip. Breaking the tension, however, Cassidy demands Jesse find out the explanation of the Big Lebowski from God. For a brief moment, all is right with the world as a smirk cracks across Tulips pursed lips.
As God observes the final bows being tightened on Phase 2, Herr K. Starr inquires into his “handsome” reward more coveted than revenge. As they say, pride goeth before destruction and because Herr, given one last chance to come clean on Humperdoo cannot even humble himself, his just desert dessert is 1500 pounds of Dingo bite force Down Under. Welcome to Australia!
As Cass, Tulip, and Jesse approach the Lost Apostle rock, Jesse realizes that they are headed straight into a trap. God dons his best Old Testament vibe and detonates the nuke, sending the aircraft into dire straights. Jesse is jostled from the plane and though Cass attempts to save him are noble, Preacher uses Genesis on him to release a grip that is killing not only Cass but also the plane itself.
Jesse falls to his assumed death. Now he can meet God properly.
Remember that story from before, the Binding of Isaac? Theologians and scholars argue that contrary to popular belief, Abraham knew that Isaac wasn’t going to die in the first place. It may have been Isaac that was testing God’s morality- a sort of Biblical game of “chicken.” This would actually work in favor of Jesse’s entire narrative. Hey, if you can swear to him and swear at him, why can’t you question him?
I must say that this episode picked itself up from its bootstraps, on the heels of the last one. Now that we only have four episodes left, let’s hope that we’re full steam ahead. For now, let’s just say that my faith is restored. To paraphrase the Smiths, “If it’s not love, it’s the bomb that will bring it together.”