DISCLAIMER: This Preacher recap of “End of the World” contains more spoilers than the number of times our heroes have thwarted their enemies in combat. Who knew that a preacher, a vampire and a ruthless woman would make an unstoppable team? You’ve been warned. Proceed with caution.
Welcome back, Grail soldiers! Preacher went out with a bang last night. While Season 4 as a whole was weaker than its predecessors, the series finale tied all loose ends neatly in a bow. Looking back on it, I feel “End of the World” wrapped up in the only way a show like Preacher should – with our heroes living the remainder of their lives in peace and quiet. After everything they’ve been through, they deserve a respite from the chaos.
Alright, ready to delve into “End of the World?” Just be sure to buy your tickets to Eugene’s World Tour. They’re selling out fast!
We open in North Dakota, wherein an Air Force soldier is gaining access to a secret military base. She is handed documentation by another official present. Suddenly, she whips off her uniform to reveal her Grail regalia and shoots said official in the head. Her Grail comrades also reveal themselves. They take control in an effort to thwart the current apocalyptic orders that have been set in motion. Presumably, they’re there at the behest of Herr Starr.
Back in Masada, we see the clock is at 8 minutes until Humperdoo is supposed to make his debut as the Messiah. Humperdoo (Tyson Ritter) is sitting in his dressing room, and we see stage fright has overwhelmed him. Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) is encouraging Humperdoo to overcome his fears and take the stage with gusto. God (Mark Harelik) is also present, but he leaves Humperdoo’s dressing room to get a prime seat in the audience. Even The Almighty enjoys a good dance revue.
Meanwhile, Jesse (Dominic Cooper) is facing off against The Saint of Killers (Graham McTavish) one last time. The archangel and his demon beau arrive on the scene, and SoK is swayed in his mission to eliminate Jesse. Oh, and fun fact: the archangel and demon are the “parents” of Genesis. They’re hellbent on protecting Genesis from prying hands.
Next, we see Lara Featherstone (Julie Ann Emery) is getting a lot off her chest with Tulip (Ruth Negga) as her sounding board. Featherstone reveals when she first met Herr Starr and how she became enveloped in the Grail’s objective to bring the Messiah to the forefront. However, she now feels betrayed and misled by her faith. She attempts to commit suicide with Tulip present, but her gun jams on her. Tulip swipes the gun away from Featherstone, and reminds the latter that taking care of one’s self is not selfishness. It’s merely self-care. That Tulip O’Hare is a smart cookie.
Meanwhile, Jesus (Tyson Ritter) and Hitler (Noah Taylor) are enmeshed in a battle to the death. We also see Starr (Pip Torrens) is still attempting to fax the modified orders on the apocalypse and coming up short. Customer service, am I right?
Next, it’s time for Humperdoo’s Apocalypse Revue dance number. However, the Messiah has cold feet and refuses to budge from his room. He dives into a costume rack and Cassidy endeavors to retrieve him. Suddenly, the door to the dressing room swings open and we see Tulip. She’s taken aback by Cassidy swiftly switching sides.
Then, we see a montage of fight sequences – SoK vs. the archangel, demon and Jesse. Jesus vs. Hitler. Starr vs. the fax machine. Featherstone vs. her resolve to change her fate. Finally, we see the beginnings of a battle between Tulip and Cassidy. Everyone’s fighting!
Meanwhile, Eugene (Ian Colletti) is bedridden in a Melbourne hospital. He received extensive plastic surgery following his accident. We see the doctors removing his facial bandages. I was under the impression that Eugene would look like a brand new man; however, we see that he’s the same old Arseface we know and love. The doctors shriek in horror at the sight of his face.
Later, SoK takes down the archangel and demon amid their fight. Jesse believes that, as supernatural entities, they cannot perish. But the archangel reveals that SoK has the ability to kill anything and everything. It’s up to Jesse now to deliver the final blow on SoK.
Meanwhile, Tulip and Cassidy are arguing over the objective of their mission. Slaying Humperdoo means the world is no longer at stake. Allowing him to live means apocalyptic destruction beyond imagining. Tulip figuratively hits Cassidy where it hurts by reminding him that she loves Jesse heart and soul. She’s loved Jesse since they were children, and she always will. She endeavors to force Cass to move, but he refuses to let her harm Humperdoo. Tulip resorts to violence – she slaps him hard across the face. Cassidy takes the beating, but threatens to kill her should she continue to hit him. Tulip eggs him on and suddenly the two are embroiled in a physical altercation.
Next, Featherstone marches into Starr’s office with her gun brandished at the ready. Starr attempts to dissuade Featherstone from killing him by enticing her with salvation from the apocalypse. He vows to whisk her away to a paradise beneath the sea where they’ll pleasure each other for the rest of their lives. However, she doesn’t buy it. We hear a gun shot and assume that Featherstone killed Starr. In the next shot, we see Featherstone fall lifeless to the ground. Starr shot her in the head. RIP Flufferman.
Then, SoK kneels before Jesse. We see our preacher slice SoK in the throat, and the cowboy from Hell keels over. Two deaths down, who knows how many to go! Meanwhile, Tulip and Cassidy are throwing punches, kicks and tossing each other about. Not in the fun way, either. Tulip shoots Cassidy multiple times in the chest and even stabs him in the neck. This isn’t how friends behave! God, growing impatient with Humperdoo’s delay, sends soldiers to check in on the Messiah. Tulip and Cass hear the approaching footsteps, and our vampire knows what must be done. Cassidy shoots Humperdoo in the chest. Three down!
Now, Jesse finds the duo in Humperdoo’s dressing room, and the three amigos are reunited once again. God, still sitting outside with the roaring crowd, senses that something is amiss. Jesse, Tulip and Cassidy sit around Humperdoo and they mourn his passing. Especially Cass, who grew rather fond of the Messiah. Well, at least his death was not in vain. He saved the world!
Meanwhile, Jesus and Hitler are still at it. Finally, Jesus gets the upper hand and he slaughters the Fuhrer. Success! God arrives on the scene and urges his son to take up the Messiah mantle. However, Jesus turns down his father’s proposal. Jesus is more about love and compassion, not hate and destruction. Peace, love and rock ‘n roll.
Now, since Jesus declined to be the Messiah, God disappears. Starr also flees Masada. Jesse addresses the impatient audience and utilizes Genesis to order them to find God. He refuses to actively search for the Almighty any longer. However, that doesn’t mean he can’t have people working at his behest. The Grail members, under Genesis’ sway, file out in an orderly fashion and embark on their journey to hunt down the Lord.
Later, while Eugene is still bedridden in the hospital, a doctor attempts to provide him relief. He not-so-subtly urges Eugene to commit suicide. Finally, Eugene stands up for himself. He reminds the doctor that he doesn’t need pity. He’s going to live his life as he sees fit. We see Eugene standing outside after his release with a guitar in hand. He strums out “Closing Time,” but the passersby offer no reaction of any sort. Suddenly, Eugene bangs out an angry punk rock anthem. People start to throw change into his guitar case. A girl also stops and admires Eugene’s punk attitude. It would appear a rock star is born.
Next, our trio of heroes ponder their next move. Now what? Their journey has come to an end. Perhaps it’s time to settle down. Then, we flash forward two years. Jesse and Tulip are back in Texas, on the run from bandits. Back to their former petty crime ways. They return to a car repair shop run by the bar owner from Masada. He was watching their young daughter while the lovebirds were at work. Jesse comments on how their daughter looks so much like Tulip. It would appear the pair are as in love as ever. Till the end of the world.
Now, Tulips asks after Cassidy. They haven’t seen him since they saved the world. Apparently, Cass was currently in Mexico and drinking Woody Harrelson under the table. Cassidy calls every once in a while to check in with our duo.
Suddenly, Jesse receives a message regarding God. After two years, the Grail members find God camped outside the Alamo. Jesse arrives, and we see the Grail members are unkempt and dirty. Jesse uses Genesis to order them to go home. We see a few of them drop dead, presumably from being malnourished. Jesse didn’t give them time to eat and bathe! God is sitting in front of his camper, waiting for Jesse.
Next, the pair shoot the sh*t. Jesse asks God his most pressing questions, such as why kids die from cancer. Whether his father is in Heaven. Answer: yes, the elder Custer is indeed in paradise. It’s a lovely scene shared between Harelik and Cooper. It would appear bygones are bygones. That is, until God beseeches Jesse to admit his undying love to the Almighty. The tables turn swiftly at this juncture – Jesse realizes that God is a “needy piece of sh*t” and the world is better off without him. This scene really encapsulates the beating heart of the series, the thematic pulse that kept Preacher thriving. Humans are masters of their own universe. We cater to no one.
Now, Jesse uses Genesis on God, throwing him about. God threatens to incinerate Jesse. Jesse releases Genesis, and we see it travel unfettered through the skies. Jesse also verbally eviscerates God, and we see the latter beg Jesse to shower adoration upon him. He craves the validation. However, Jesse doesn’t give the Almighty what he wants. He leaves God alone. We see God lock himself in his trailer and proceed to kill off his newest creations. The creatures shower the Lord with undying affections and tell him they love him as he slaughters them. It’s a heartbreaking scene, and Harelik shines in it.
Later, we see Jesus is working at a paint store. Well, he was a carpenter not so long ago. He deals with cranky customers with aplomb. One of his customers sports a “Eugene World Tour” t-shirt. Our Arseface got a happy ending after all!
Meanwhile, Herr Starr is golfing with some buddies when the cop from Pensacola catches up with him. Starr flees the scene and almost evades capture when the detective tackles him. The detective’s partner takes note of Starr “pleasuring himself,” but really the latter was reaching for his own gun. When the policemen are distracted, Starr shoots them both. Not sure I like that Starr doesn’t receive his comeuppance. Starr continues his game of golf unimpeded.
Now, God returns to Heaven to find an unexpected visitor – The Saint of Killers. We see a flashback of SoK giving Jesse is final confession. SoK confesses to every sin he’s committed and repents. That’s how SoK ended up in Heaven after his passing. Jesse knew that God wouldn’t get away with his crimes as long as SoK was in Heaven. SoK shoots God in the head and the Creator keels over. Then, SoK sits atop the golden throne himself. Does that make him the new God? Would be an interesting twist.
Later, Jesse, Tulip and their daughter are watching a movie at the drive-in. All is well in their world. Everything is hunky dory, y’all.
Flash forward time! 40 years have passed since the events that transpired. We see Jesse and Tulip’s gravestones, and that they died around the same time. True love at its finest. We also see their grown daughter standing before their headstones. Cassidy is standing beside her. He regrets not visiting them when they were alive. Jesse and Tulip’s daughter reveals to Cass that her mother really loved him. Both of her parents did. They always regaled her with Cassidy’s adventures.
Next, Cassidy takes his leave. Daughter Custer asks him if she’ll see him again. “Jesus, I hope so,” he replies forlornly. While she’s still standing before her parent’s gravestones, Cassidy hangs up his umbrella and walks boldly into the sun. We see him burst into flames in the background, while the camera is focused on Daughter Custer’s face. He walks off screen, the fire consuming him whole.
Phew! That was a lot to pack in an hour, folks. This was certainly the best episode of the season. However, I wished Starr received his just deserts. He did not deserve to escape unscathed and to retain his physical beauty in the process. Cassidy walking off into the sun was bittersweet. Gilgun is the MVP of the series for me, with Negga not far behind him. Gilgun’s performance in this episode was so heartbreaking. Watching Cassidy’s guilt overtake him was a punch to the gut. I wanted a happy ending for him, but I suppose this one will have to do.
Preacher had it flaws, just like any TV series. Overall, it was a fun ride. Everything from the fight scenes paired with catchy tunes to the dark comedy and the gore hit the sweet spot for me. This road to Hell and back was paved with entertaining and severely imperfect characters.
Here’s to the end, Preacher fans.