“Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” James 1:3
For those who’ve been keeping score, Preacher (AMC) is on its last season. This I believe had less to do with the waning viewership, as its audience is fierce and fervent, but that was the crux. It wasn’t bringing up the numbers that The Walking Dead or than the infinitely better .. Call Saul was spiking at, it had a stalwart audience. Couple that with executive producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg making the move from Sony to Lionsgate and move on to new projects.
Mind you, in the mid-90s, when the Garth Ennis penned a love letter to ruffling feathers was ruffling feathers, even in 2006, HBO thought the subject matter was too hot to handle (and ultimately, too cold to hold).
Fast forward to 2016 when the soil in the cable market is chomping at the bit for the next titillation. On AMC, we were used to the Walking Deads of the time. What more could shock and make us think?
I personally don’t believe this wanted to exceed its reach. This is a show that arches for the Heavens, may nab an angel or two, is fine with dining on their corpses… and before AMC gets any other ideas, I hope to Christ that’s not the next permutation of the fucking Walking Dead series. In terms of creativity, those guys are in Limbo and the creativity and wit of Preacher don’t merely bury them in the ground. It sends them straight to Hell.
During this ride, we’ve seen things profane and humane. We’ve followed the ‘Yellow-stained’ Brick Road to perdition. We’ve encountered a world wherein, ne’er do wells, vampires, love interests, those reformed and looking to get sober from a life of crime, mystics, hillbillies, Ecumenical royalty, angels, Satan, inbred Sons of God and a dusty Son of a Preacher Man.
“I just whooped your ass.” Austin 3:16
Starting on the first episode of this final season (“Masada”), we find God finding little ye faith in the Genesis with which Jesse has to inhabit. All ensues a choppy but cute video as to why HE is the arbiter of what lives and what dies.
As an atheist, I found this charming. He plays around with scientific fact as though it were a playset and I think if even the mod hardcore of ‘Christians’ were to complain about that, you cannot say it ain’t part of his Goddamned plan!
We also see Cassidy and Tulip, figuring their fate that swapped tongues once is at their impending doom… for being guilty at their mutual best friend’s fealty. We also see that Cassidy is fucking flayed time and again, in a Fortress that Herr K. Starr‘s in with his surviving lackey, Lara Featherstone. For those of you not in the proverbial know, Lara is an agent of the outfit that is trying to get Genesis (which is a nigh GOD power, willing anyone to do its bidding- the perfect spawn twixt angel and demon, which is nigh flawless, making it more lethal) out of its perfect host, Jesse. A god wants what a god wants, I guess.
The heart, bleating or beating wants it wants as well, and both Cassidy, the coolest vampire ever and Tulip, the coolest gangster mol (but Jesse’s girl) since I don’t know when touch lips, all bets are off. They’ve been having some out and out rows as to how she belongs to. Tulip is a one-woman army, and will stop at little to besmirching her good name (due to self-hatred) of sticking up and going after the people that make her find happiness.. so she pursues Cass’s kiss, knowing impending doom.. but it doesn’t stop.
Months ago, Tulip would’ve been cheery waking up to a drained Jesse.. but that was months ago.
Cassidy is held captive, in a fortress. Don’t worry, he has an angel in the same torture about him… But then Cass is released.
Cass is released into an almost Medical Theatre as the subject of torture, the Main Stage!
Meanwhile, at the Holy Bar and Grail in Masada, a classic bar fight arises but is immediately blown clear by none other than Jesse and Tulip. In tandem, by the word of Genesis command this otherwise self-righteous, sententious and boorish group, or what’s left of them agree. Hey! Look! Jesse has a congregation!
Whilst being riddled with bullets, on a Catherine Wheel-like stake, Cassidy is flayed.. oh, I’m sorry, circumcised by none other than a mobster that knows his way around a straight edge and strop by none other than Frankie Tasconi!
As Jesse arrives at Masada, Herr K. Starr meets him with a bit of protection and sass, covering his and others ears with what would be the equivalent of hunting headphones. Oh, I’m sorry, they are earmuffs. Earmuffs on! They kill the will toward your master and bury every whim you’d ever had and ever known of fucking free will.
Hope you had them still on because if not, you’d have been enlisted into his sleeper cell army that will not kill your own kind but also aid in cock-teasing a thirsty vampire who has tortured his torturers on a shiny pristine plate. I thought you guys were supposed to be tight! Clearly, there is something seething outside of what Taylor Swift loves and a vampire hates- Bad Blood.
As Tulip tries to storm ‘surreptitiously’ the fort, she is found out and thus ensues a firefight and her only entre into the whole goddamn thing is done in, literally by a door.
Jesse, in command, by way of Genesis puts under his spell one of the upper echelon, and though she’d been helpful in the past, those non-pearly gates take a lot more to get through than a simple prayer. This person is literally crushed by the gates as they are closed and Tulip has just lost her way into Cassidy’s salvation.
As Jesse and Cassidy navigate their exit through their catacombs of seething, Tulip’s failure sounds the alarm. Now, she needs to find the switch and since her only agent on the inside is now literally on the inside… and outside, she needs to ascend the large side of the cliff that can open that behemoth of a door.
I say for what? Both of these guys put you through shit, you’d gone nothing but through shit and even if all goes well, your life would follow shit… For what?! Just my opinion though. Back to our regularly scheduled program…
As Jesse Custer and Cassidy wreck house, Tulip reaches the top of the mountain… Mt. Douche, where she encounters Lara Featherstone: the T-1000 Starr’s crew and the albatross around her neck. She’s been encountering her for the longest time and thought alone would like to see Lara dispatched, she still continues to thrive, even after being thrown off of the mountain.
As though fisticuffs are in play, Jesse and Cassidy engage firstly in verbal animosity and from a bromance goes into a bro-hate, as Tulip, a point of contention if brought up. If Shakespeare or any writer has taught us, there is no wrong Rose… Only those who are assholes, as both of them are. They tussle until the only properly smelling flower emerges… Tulip, actually opening the door to their freedom.
Cassidy chooses to remain to take care of some things, though Jesse wants him to take advantage of this chance… plus, dude can’t go out in the sun.
Back at the bar, Jesse and Tulip figure out their next mode of play. Jesse, within the fight with Cass, needs to clear some air, and this ain’t smoke up his ass. He straight-up asks if his beloved, the wonderful and down ass girl, Tulip, the one that we’ve seen him ride or die with until know… has slept with Cassidy. She latently lies. At this point, I don’t know if it’s self-preservation or self-immolation. She downright denies it.
Though Jesse claims not to be mad at either outcome, it’s a loaded question, like a revolver.
If you take one bullet out, it’s your lucky day, but play Russian Roullete, it’s going only one place.
That bullet finds its place in Jesse’s dreams, as he finds himself in an inception type dream/nightmare where the Apocalypse is abounding. Or the dispatching of Herr K. Starr is his goal… though he finds himself choking Tulip until Genesis forces him to stop. This guy should cleary just write a journal.
Instead, he pens a missive to Tulip for his departing and explaining why.
Cassidy naturally is caught for wanting to stay in the fortress. Tulip wakes up to see what invitation that may awaken… a blonde wig and a plan.
As a hitchhiking Jesse picks up a ride from a pedestrian chicken farmer, Herr K. Starr dismisses Lara, his most loyal of servants.
This is where we find that Starr and the Big Man Upstairs, none other than, are in cahoots…
“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of these robbers?” Luke 10:36
Now that the table is set, we settle in for part-Deux, (“Last Supper”) and it turns out those two aren’t the only ones working in tandem…
As Jesse ambles down the road with his newfound friend with a Newberry winning tale of how she got out of the porn business, they come across a boy and his ailing dog. Jesse, the concerned old Softee, asks his chauffeur to backtrack and in what is clearly an old fashioned run the jewels situation and naturally makes a fun joke a killing one. The dog didn’t have to die Jesse, the dog didn’t have to die. I sense a theme!
Cassidy and his moyle, Frankie nearly have a moment of understanding before the Art of Torture 101 commences. Frankie cuts, so to speak, to the core of Cass and, speaks something we’ve known of him for the longest time… he’s a glutton for punishment, as he feels he deserves it. It’s the way cooler and way less staunch version of mortification of the flesh or as we know, ritual flagellation. Its basic premise was to self cleanse for wrongdoings.
I mean, Goddamn- we either go to confession, take Step 8 in a program, or book a Cupping session. Ohh, how far we’ve come.
Tulip, through the fun instrument of a rocket launcher simply blows the hinges off the door to Masada and proceeds back into the Hellmouth or a base one could consider, an amalgamation of any big boss battle fortresses at any time.
Cass, truly pulling a stellar 127 Hours on his shackled foot only to ambush the guards that check on him. Mind you, all of this time, an angel, suspended and captive in that darkened well is observing his cunning. This angel I believe will be the Chekov’s gun to this season. Cass escapes.
Back at the Holy Bar & Grail, a sect of Herr K. Starr’s garrison sing the lives of their recently befallen, reminiscent of something that sounds unsettlingly Ivy League like. Meanwhile… the search for Tulip continues, and it stamps its muddy, bloody boots at the barkeep’s doorstep in the form of Lara.
Trekking, no bootless is Jesse, until he finds respite with a guy on a camel. Seeing as though they are in the desert, surely a guy that doesn’t have to the same belief system would take pity on him- right? He does, and it works for an ephemeral time until it doesn’t. Ya see, this good samaritan, just as Jesse was, views another on a camel. They put pedantry in play and what ultimately happens is Jesse has to mediate.
To put this videogame terms, do you remember when a Genesis cartridge would sometimes glitch? Ostensibly, through his brand of mediation of a ‘gift’, a Tarantino-esque math problem presents itself. What do you get when one guy (+1) tries to preach, sorry, a peace accord with two other guys (+2) and their camels (+2)? Pencils down. You get nothing but bloodshed and a dude hating being alive. In arithmetic, that equates to a 1. In all honesty, that is a minus. Good on ya, God. You inadvertently constructed two conflicting types, cut from the same cloth, who clash. I applaud you. Hipsters have been doing that shit for years.
As Starr is coronated the new All-Father, we also see that the Staples-Print-Copy Jesus‘ have been rounded up and given a lead bath until they find the real One. I mean shit, talk about a Where’s Waldo!
Through guile and fearing for his life (yes, Vampires aren’t precisely immortal), Cassidy is able to jack some boss raiments, complements of the ‘pharmacology’ department and make his one and very calculated move out of that Hell-Hole solid.
That door opens, and he gets to taste salvation- except it is day time.
Having a hankering for the goodies in Heaven-Base-Amaze-Balls, Cass uses his aversion to that flaming star as a legitimate excuse, retreating back to the pharma room, where he can jack all the heroine he can carry. It’s like Tony Montana on one of those ‘All You Can Fit It To Your Cart’ contests Toys ‘R Us used to have back in the day… except, there’s an actual checkout.
Coming back with his fluffy pillows, in an almost nod to Captain America in the elevator brawl (and who doesn’t love elevator fights), Cass has given up the white ghost, despite his attempts not to. Ya think he’s safe, being coked up by now, but though a scrappy young lad, the guy has his weakness.
Jesse, goddamned well intent on finding a very specific rock that can only be found in Australia, Tulip is turned on by Kamal to Agent Lara.
As Grail agents descend on the bar, a white-knuckled chase ensues, which the agents of the Grail pursuing what is basically a fucking rad muscle car on their little smart car looking things on wheels. Could you even call something that looks like that, even on four wheels a car anymore?
As the wheel wagon around Tulip, she kicks up dust like a horse that isn’t satisfied with its disposition.
Painting a veil of pure dirt and rock, Tulip creates what is probably her most florid work of art ever. She takes out each, and every one of the cars, dispatching them like a slasher film, with the aid of her four wheels, two brain hemispheres, and zero fucks. Until there is one left- and that is Lara. I mean, a cat plays to death with mice for fun and that’s what makes them the deadliest of animals next to the dolphin.
Starr, surprise surprise is given a Matchmaker, Matchmaker Make Me A Find, Catch Me A… Ohhh, yeah… about those circumcisions we were putting in bags? It wouldn’t for your health. His ear was severed but now I guess now he could be fucked by the word of God in Dolby.
As a last middle finger this series was firing on, it wasn’t Tulip driving at all, but rather in fact Kamal, who orchestrated a diversion with Tulip posing as one of the ‘victims’ in her blonde wig on board with a semi-unlucky fart of a car.
Concluding this two-part opener, en route to the Land Down Under, which could also be a smooth nod to Hell (and where Seth and Evan are now stationed production-wise), Jesse has a fever dream of Cassidy on the plane with him, hashing out their differences. This is money. However, we also see that God, the Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth (I’m still, as a Catholic for some 18 years and an atheist for the last 17 don’t understand why they never included Hell) is the overseer and an actual Woodwright and our world is something he creates and crafts. It’s not prepared and it certainly and his Goddamned plan.