‘Preacher’ Recap: “Finish the Song”

As the Comic-Con sizzle reel promised, Preacher is going all in for the final two episodes of the first season of the show.  Last week showed Jesse starting to lose his arrogance and become one of the good guys once again.  The latest episode of Preacher confirms that he’s completely back on our side.  In addition to having some heart to hearts with both Tulip and Cassidy, Jesse starts making some bold choices that conflict with being a preacher.  We also get a whole lot of details for The Saint of Killers and finally understand the complete picture of everything that’s been happening to him this season in the town of “Ratwater.”

Let’s take a look at the episode “Finish the Song.”

So far the Saint of Killers story has consisted of him going for a trip from his home through the desert to the town of Ratwater so that he can get some medicine for his sick wife and child.  On his way to the town, he sees some settlers who think that going to the Old West is “paradise.”  Meanwhile, he sees Native Americans hanging from trees with their scalps removed.  When he makes it to the town to get the medicine, he has to wait at the local bar/whorehouse while the medicine is being made.  There he observes a corrupt preacher as well as all the depravity at the whorehouse, including people selling the scalps of Native Americans.  The corrupt preacher notices the Saint as someone who is probably equally as terrible.  After an argument, the town not only beats up the Saint but then the Preacher shoots the Saint’s horse.  This makes the trek to his wife and child impossible during the time he has to save them and as a result, they die.

The episode begins with some new information.  The Saint returns to the bar/whorehouse where he proceeds to murder pretty much everyone in the bar.  Devastated by the loss of his wife and child, no one is spared.  Even the poor piano players, as well as the piano singer, get brutally dispatched with.  After dispatching everyone at the saloon, he then proceeds to sit up at the bar and have a drink.  Meanwhile, the entire bar begins to shake, due to the upcoming storm.

Meanwhile in the present, Jesse is in deep trouble.  The standoff with Quinncannon ended up with Jesse heading to jail.  As he is in the back of the squad car with Sheriff Root, the sheriff is trying to find out what has happened to his son Eugene (who is still in Hell).  Jesse decided to tell the sheriff the truth that he sent poor Eugene to Hell.  Of course, the sheriff blows it off because that normally would sound ridiculous.  Sheriff Root begins to tell Jesse what will happen to him for murdering a child as most prisoners frown on that type of behavior.  Jesse doesn’t listen too much as he’s jimmied the back door of the police car and does a tuck and roll out as he says “I’ll see you on Sunday.”  Now Jesse’s on the run!

Elsewhere Emily gets fully immersed into the supernatural world of Preacher.  Tulip tells him the full details about Cassidy.  It’s amazing how quick she comes to accept that Cassidy is a vampire and that she’s now in charge of feeding him.  Tulip has been feeding Cassidy local animals, but it’s not healing him 100%.  Tulip also has to go on her own adventure and now leaves Emily in charge of feeding Cassidy.  Emily proceeds to give him a small animal where we get to see Cassidy in his true vampire form, feral and all.  It looks like if he doesn’t get his fair share of blood he’ll be just as nasty as the vampires of folklore and not the wise talking vampire we love from the show.  This is where Emily decided to Break Bad.  She calls the mayor Miles who she has a sorta-relationship with to come over and help her.  She fakes him out basically stating that she is in trouble.  Unfortunately for Miles, it’s all a setup and she lures him to Cassidy so that he can feed on poor Miles.  This is a win-win for Emily as she really didn’t like him (even though he’s done nothing but good for her) and she gets to help Cassidy get back on track, but that’s really messed up!

Elsewhere, our two favorite bumbling angels Fiore and DeBlanc are trying to get out of Texas as they can no longer retrieve Genesis.  They have two options: go to Heaven and finally fess up, or go to Hell for another reason.  The best way to resolve that dilemma is to flip a coin.  The first coin flip ends up for Hell.  Because they really don’t want to go to Hell, they do a double or nothing that lands on Heaven.  As they get ready to pack up and head to Heaven, they can’t find their phone!  Looks like its plan B as they get ready to head to Hell.  The two angels visit a traveling agency where they start making arrangements to go to the underworld.  First, when their payment isn’t enough the travel agent negotiates for sex with Fiore, which DeBlanc isn’t having any part of.  Might they be lovers as well as angelic partners?  After striking a deal with the travel agent they head to the pickup zone.  The pickup zone is actually the same place that the pickup zone in Breaking Bad in the perfect homage to the critically acclaimed show.  The two angels have to leave behind their belongings as they head to Hell.

Since they left their hotel, the hotel owner called Sherriff Root about the legless and armless angel they left in the bathroom.  Of course, the sheriff doesn’t know she’s an angel and promises to help her.  She just requests his help in killing her, which he reluctantly does with tears in his eyes.  So the Sherriff also has a dark side as he chokes the life out of her.  Of course, she instantly reappears but the sheriff doesn’t see her, so she’s back to chasing after the renegade angels.  

Jesse on the run finds his way to Cassidy where the two make amends.  Although the two have not been on each other’s good sides, their beef is resolved pretty quickly.  Jesse apologizes for allowing Cassidy to burn in the sun.  Cassidy takes the glass half full approach and thanks him for putting him out eventually.  Jesse realizes that there’s a dead mayor and helps Cassidy get rid of the body.  That will surely be a problem for the two of them later on as questions are sure to arise.  Jesse also calls Tulip where he finally leaves a long heartfelt voicemail expressing to her that he’s always been on her side and is sorry.  While we are led to believe that she is listening to the voicemail on an answering machine as Jesse is leaving it, she’s actually in Albuquerque in the middle of torturing someone, probably the same person who screwed her and Jesse over.

The episode ends going back to the Saint of Killers as we are thrown through a time loop.  Everything that he has been going through continues over and over.  He keeps seeing his family die, he keeps killing everyone in the saloon.  Turns out this is not the Old West, the Saint is actually in Hell.  Hell for him is having to relive his wife and child’s death and trying to get vengeance for it.  After numerous times of the scenario playing out, Fiore and DeBlanc show up and offer him an opportunity to escape hell.  All he has to do is kill a preacher…..

This is probably one of the best episodes of Preacher so far.  Unlike last week, this is a much more inclusive episode.  We get to spend time with each and every character as they all move forward in the storyline.  The only person missing is Eugene.  It could possibly be said that he is one of the faceless characters the Saint sees in Hell, possibly the young kid who waves at the Saint as that kid had the same amount of innocence that Eugene had.  

The revelation that the Saint was in Hell is also a welcome one.  We always think of Hell as fire and brimstone, but it’s an interesting idea that Hell is literally the worst thing for someone.  For the Saint, Hell would be to relive over and over his wife and child’s death with nothing he can do to stop it.  Speaking of The Saint, one really cool thing done throughout the show is that the barely show his face.  We get to see either his silhouette or his eyes.  In traditional Western fashion, he’s like “The Man With No Name” or even no face.  The direction done on his scenes is done very well.

Miles’s death makes you feel sorry for the poor guy.  All he wanted to do was please Emily and be with her.  Of course, we know she has a crush on Jesse, but that’s probably not going to happen either.  He betraying the guy who spends more time with her kids than she does seems heartless, and that’s not a vibe she has presented throughout this season of the show.  This about-face has her turning into the villain real quickly.  And why is she getting life advice from Normal Bates?!?

On the season finale next week Jesse will address the church promising to show the God.  What will happen during that service?  Does Jesse have the power to summon God, or does Genesis not have enough power for that?  Fans of the graphic novel have an idea what will happen, but for us newbies, this is exciting!