DISCLAIMER: This Preacher recap contains more spoilers than the number of miles God wracked up on his motorcycle. The Omniscient One sure loves traveling the open road. You’ve been warned. Proceed with caution.
Welcome back, obedient followers of Genesis! Preacher is nearing the end of its twisted and bloody journey. The events of the previous episode reverberated throughout “Messiahs.” Admittedly, I wasn’t sure how a series could continue after effectively killing off its lead, but Preacher is a show of endless possibilities. It’s quite simple to bend the rules on a genre show, especially given said show’s established relationship with supernatural forces. Jesse was reunited with an old angelic friend who offered him a cushy new position – Ruler of Heaven. Yes, our preacher would assume the role of God. Meanwhile, Tulip and Cassidy tore Earth asunder in their search for vengeance. Naturally, this included kidnapping the Messiah. One needs a bargaining chip when waging war against God, you know.
Alright, ready to delve into “Messiahs?” Just be sure to keep the car windows rolled down for Humperdoo. He needs fresh air, after all.
We open with a burial – Tulip (Ruth Negga) and Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) are burying Jesse (Dominic Cooper) deep in the Outback while the Saint of Killers (Graham McTavish) looks on. Naturally, this throws a wrench in SoK’s plan for Jesse. Now what is a cowboy from Hell to do? Perhaps revisit the Melbourne Tourism Center for a proper tour of the Australian city?
Meanwhile, we see Jesse is teaching a young girl how to fish in what appears to be a paradise of sorts. Maybe he’s in Heaven? Suddenly, a familiar face comes into view: Fiore (Tom Brooke) approaches the pair. It’s Cassidy’s favorite partying buddy! Fiore whisks Jesse away to a discreet location, through a woodsy environment and a snowy terrain. Jesse asks if he’s in Heaven, but Fiore doesn’t really give a clear answer.
Finally, they reach a massive golden door affixed in the middle of nowhere, sans a proper structure surrounding it. Fiore leads Jesse inside to a room housing angelic soldiers. Said soldiers are guarding a golden throne. The ceiling is the universe itself, with shooting stars and swirling galaxies. Fiore explains that, while God sat on the throne, the perpetual war between Heaven and Hell never had a true victor. But when God left, the stakes skyrocketed. Fiore gives Jesse a proposition – become the new God. Take his place on the golden throne, lording over the supernatural forces with a human fist. Talk about the promotion to end all promotions!
Later, we see Tulip and Cassidy riding through the countryside in her vehicle in utter silence. Both are, presumably, grieving the loss of their friend. Tulip’s lover, Cassidy’s mate. They pull into the parking area of a lone church. Tulip finally reads Jesse’s letter, and we see tears streaming her cheeks. She abruptly exits her car and makes a break for the church.
Next, Cassidy pops in to an elderly man’s home for car assistance. Well, the man assumes that Cass has run out of gas. He invites our vampire in…to his detriment. We know that Cass is recovering from massive burns to his arm, courtesy of his efforts to save Jesse. He is in dire need of sustenance. After discovering that said stranger is a widow, we see that Cassidy feels a mite better about sucking him dry.
Meanwhile, Tulip is wrecking havoc inside the church – namely, knocking over pews. She lights a cigarette and sits in solitude among the wreckage, staring up at a painting of God cradling the lifeless body of Jesus. She asks him if that’s all he’s got. Tulip is ready for a challenge. She’s on the warpath. Negga gives a wonderfully subtle performance in this scene, and her dramatic chops are deservedly showcased.
Then, the pair return to Tulip’s car, Cassidy’s hunger sated and Tulip’s mental state reinvigorated. As they drive off, we see the church is engulfed in flames. Tulip is trying to get God’s attention, to lure him out of hiding.
Next, we see Hoover Two (Aleks Mikic) is buying coffee for Hitler and Jesus. The barista is none other than Lara Featherstone (Julie Ann Emery) in disguise. A quite convincing one to the untrained eye, in fact. Back in the Outback, Herr Starr (Pip Torrens) is slowly crawling after the wild dog absconding with his, um, family jewels. If you’ll recall, in the previous episode God had said wild dog attack Starr for his betrayal. A swarm of unfamiliar shadows loom above Starr as the latter is bleeding out. Funny that a man obsessed with physical beauty is becoming more mutilated by the day.
Meanwhile, on a news program in America, one jaded journalist resolutely refuses to comment on “fluff pieces” any longer, startling the pair of anchors sitting next to him. Said journalist warns the world at large that the dark political landscape will inevitably swallow them whole if nothing is done to alleviate it. Hear hear!
Then, we see Jesse and Fiore standing before God’s throne. Jesse merely traces it with his fingers and he’s rocked with visions of himself perched on it. However, Jesse refuses to take God’s place. He cites it as blasphemous to do so. Fiore’s soldiers prepare themselves for another skirmish, but their leader urges them to stand down. Fiore anticipated Jesse’s reticence, and is prepared to deliver a persuasive argument.
Later, Tulip and Cassidy arrive in Brooklyn on an undisclosed mission. They meet with a woman who works in a synagogue named Dany (Julie Dretzin). Dany will fulfill her end of the bargain with Tulip, but first the latter must do something for her. It would appear the ladies are old acquaintances.
Next, Cass and Tulip are mulling over Dany’s request in a diner. Cassidy offers to shoulder the burden, as it’s apparent that Tulip is conflicted. However, Tulip stands up, procures her gun and fires twice on the man sitting behind them. He falls over dead. She exits the diner with Cassidy in tow. Well, that escalated quickly.
Meanwhile, Jesus (Tyson Ritter) is embracing the Humperdoo clone (also Ritter). Hitler (Noah Taylor) plunks out Humperdoo’s favorite dancing show tune, but the clone merely sways to the beat. Hitler shoots him. Jesus is taken aback, vehemently questioning Hitler as to why he shot the clone. Hitler reveals that said clone isn’t the real Humperdoo, and that the Grail lost the true Messiah. That’s when Hitler proposes that Jesus take Humperdoo’s place as the catalyst for the Apocalypse 2020. This whole scene – Jesus paired with Hitler – is making me question my sanity in the best way possible.
Later, Tulip is back in Dany’s office. Dany just learned of her husband’s death. Apparently, she had been tirelessly trying to convince Tulip for a decade to do the deed – to kill her husband. Now, Tulip and Cassidy insist on Dany upholding her end of the deal. However, Dany refuses. She reveals she made a promise to Jesse. Tulip leaps over Dany’s desk and administers her trademark O’Hare beat down. She won’t be deterred by anyone or anything in her objective to knock God off his pedestal.
Next, we see Jesse and Fiore are sitting alone in the throne room. Jesse questions why he ended up in Heaven to begin with. He wasn’t a particularly devout Christian – he swore, he drank, he enacted violence upon others, he cheated. Based on that, he should be in Hell. Fiore revealed that God knew Jesse was remorseful. However, Jesse knows something is out of place. Tulip and Cassidy are brought into the conversation, and how Jesse still hasn’t forgiven them. That’s when he realizes that he’s really in Hell. We see the simulation vanish, and he’s trapped inside the same room that housed Eugene in Season 2. Uh oh.
Then, Tulip and Cass are sitting in front of a synagogue with a battered Dany as their captive of sorts. They enter to find men in worship, and they wend their way to a back room inside the synagogue. We see that the original Humperdoo is within. The real deal. Dany reveals that Jesse deposited the real Humperdoo at the synagogue and instructed Dany to protect him at all costs. Dany plays the same show tune Hitler plunked out earlier, and Humperdoo tap dances his heart out. Yep, he’s authentic.
Next, Tulip and Cass are seen marching toward the exit with Humperdoo towing behind them. Dany attempts to stop them. She orders the congregation to step in, and they try to tear Humperdoo away from our pair. However, Humperdoo subdues the crowd, cooing them into submission as they all fall prostrate before him. After the crowd is sated, he gleefully rejoins Tulip and Cassidy. Cass regales the congregation with a story from his past in Ireland, how a devout woman lost everything and yet she still held fast to her faith in God. Now, they plan to bring God down by utilizing his Messiah as a bargaining chip. Gilgun is the perfect Cassidy, and you cannot convince me otherwise. Not to mention, his Irish brogue is spot-on.
Meanwhile, a police captain in Pensacola receives an unexpected phone call from none other than Hoover Two. Apparently, Starr’s best assistant has been hard at work…as an undercover detective. He tells his captain that he’s closing in on the Grail’s seedy operations, revealing the tense debates between Jesus and Hitler as they prepare for the Apocalypse. However, before he can reveal more incriminating information, he’s shot in the head. We see that Featherstone is the perpetrator. She casts his body aside and sits in his chair, finally back on top. This is one of those “I told you so” scenarios, folks. Featherstone harbored reservations in regards to Hoover Two from the get-go.
Then, we see Humperdoo is sitting in the backseat of Tulip’s car, half of his body out the window to catch the breeze. He’s easily amused, that one. We see that Tulip and Cassidy are well on their way to accomplishing their mission – dangling God’s favorite as bait to draw out the Creator. Let’s see if it works!
Next, Jesse’s hallucination continues on a constant loop. Fiore reveals that, while the surroundings are fake, his proposition is all too real. He urges Jesse to watch a flashback from 2015. We see that God (Mark Harelik) is perched in his throne, listening to prayers from below. He rejects fulfilling each one in turn. Fiore enters, clad head to toe in white. He reveals to the Almighty that Genesis has escaped. Of course, we know that Genesis found a new home in Jesse Custer of Annville, Texas. God is clearly disturbed by this news. He urges Fiore to leave him to his thoughts while he conjures a sound plan. However, while Fiore’s back is turned, God leaves. Just leaves. He flies through the ceiling to, presumably, never return to Heaven.
Later, we see that God is on Earth. He travels the open road via motorcycle with pretty women. He roams the streets of New Orleans where he spots the infamous dog latex suit. At face value, it would appear that God has succumbed to a midlife crisis. Fiore reveals that God has been working on something new for months now. He created the dinosaurs, and that backfired. He created humans, but they’re turning against him, especially with Genesis living inside one of them. So what’s next? What does God have up his sleeve? Jesse realizes that God is planning to rid the Earth of humans for good, which is why the impending Apocalypse is meant to happen. We see that God is sitting in his trailer, hard at work creating a new species. Something to replace humanity in perpetuity. Which is why Fiore urges Jesse to take up the throne.
Now, Preacher is so close to the end, folks. This season has felt different, especially given the major twist of last week’s episode. While the tone has changed, presumably to shift the story to end territory, there’s still elements of Preacher still present: its dark humor, the gory violence and its exploration of religious themes. Negga is my MVP for this week, with Gilgun right behind her. These two never fail to deliver fleshed-out, visceral performances week-to-week.
Do you think Jesse will accept Fiore’s proposal? Will he play God against God? Can Tulip and Cassidy enact their revenge against the Almighty while using Humperdoo as their chess piece? How will the Grail fare in all this? Join me next week as I continue to recap Preacher, here on Geek Girl Authority.
Preacher airs Sundays at 10pm on your AMC affiliate.