We’ve reached the penultimate episode of the first season of PREACHER, and despite some hiccups (some worse than others), it’s still exciting to see what’s going to happen each week.
Kicking off the episode, we see the Cowboy once again, making good on the perceived wrongs done to him by the people of Ratwater. After the death of his horse, his wife, and his daughter he comes back and single-handedly murders everyone in the local tavern, including the brave singer who continued his song through the carnage. We don’t have any more answers about who he is or what his significance is, but due largely to the law of conservation of characters we can rest assured that he’s going to have some significance. But more on that in a moment.
Back in modern-day Annville, Jesse is stuck in the back of Sheriff Root’s patrol car, discussing the ramifications of what he did to Eugene. All Jesse says is that he sent the boy to Hell, and Root naturally assumes that means that he killed Eugene. Strictly speaking, he’s not wrong. Jesse rolls from the car and makes his escape, and as far as we know he’s in the wind. But his problem might not be a problem for too much longer because our favorite angels are back as well and they’ve somehow managed to book passage to Hell. I don’t know how that works either, but apparently it does. If they succeed, and Jesse stays on the run for long enough, there’s a good chance that all his problems could be solved. Well, a chance anyway. It might not be a good one. And it’s not like they have much of a choice in the matter. Their direct line to God has been stolen (by Jesse) and they can’t very well stay in a hotel room with a dismembered seraphim any longer.
We also get an update on Cassidy’s condition. After trying to nurse him back to health on shelter dogs and guinea pigs, Cassidy still hasn’t healed from his unfortunate encounter with direct sunlight. Tulip has given up on him, and everything else in Annville, and left his care in the hands of Emily while she’s off to take care of some long overdue business. Unable to stomach Cassidy’s condition, Emily does something pretty drastic. She lures the mayor to Tulip’s house where Cassidy is being kept and tricks him into entering the room. If animal blood isn’t doing the trick, maybe what he needs is human blood. For a while, I thought Emily was going to get a little too curious and become Cassidy’s dinner, but I’m glad to see she’s more clever than that.
So with Cassidy back on his feet, Jesse on the run, and Tulip finished with her personal business in Albuquerque, the gang is all set for the final showdown with Quincannon. But first, they need to bury a body and acquire a pair of angel hands – which Cassidy, naturally, has readily available – in order to even use the Heaven-phone.
To top it all off, we get a supercut of all the Cowboy’s scenes, just to remind us who he is, before we see the angels slowly trudging through his carnage. It appears that what we’ve seen the last eight weeks is the Cowboy’s own personal Hell. And now, finally, we know what his purpose in the show is: to kill the preacher.
All in all, the pacing in this episode is significantly better than the last couple of episodes, very much on par with the first few. I had been hoping that it was just a mid-season slump, and thankfully it looks like it was. The acting in this episode was also superb, especially Joe Gilgun (Cassidy) and Lucy Griffiths (Emily), the latter of whom often gets sort of lost in her scenes with other, more expressive characters. She gets a lot of solo scenes, to just act and react to her surroundings, and it’s the sort of moment I’ve wanted to see from her character all season. I’d also like to applaud the effects in this episode – not just the carnage that the Cowboy spreads, which is top-notch, but also Cassidy’s slightly crispy state. It was spectacularly well done and reminded me a lot of the makeup done on Craig in the 2004 movie CREEP (which, for the record, is my favorite monster makeup ever).
Next week promises to be an explosive finale, what with Jesse trying to literally call God down from Heaven, and with the Cowboy officially in the game, I’m looking forward to it more than ever. For those that saw the teasers that came out of San Diego Comic-Con, you’ve got a bit of a taste of what’s coming, but there’s so much more in store.
You can watch the finale of PREACHER on AMC, next Sundays at 9/8c, followed immediately by TALKING PREACHER, and check out the official website for some great behind the scenes features.
Don't freak out.
Jesse is on the run, Cassidy is on the mend, and the angels are on their way to Hell. What could possibly go wrong?