And with that, the first season of “Preacher” comes to a close. For all intents and purposes, AMC’s adaptation of the Garth Ennis comic series has been an entertaining one, so far.
While there may have been times throughout the first 10 episodes where die-hard fans have wrung their collective hands at the project, it must be said that Sunday’s (July 31) episode, titled “Call and Response,” really lived up to the promise that Sam Catlin gave us back in May — things really did get flat-out bonkers.
Yes, Jesse (Dominic Cooper) was on the run from the cops. And yes, he was still dead-set on bringing God to Annville, Texas. It’s a lofty goal, for sure … but with that God phone Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) stole from the Adelphi angels, anything is possible. At least, that’s the thought process here.
And while Sheriff Root (W. Earl Brown) loses his mind trying to find his boy — going so far as to interrogate the vampire with bullets and blood — Preacher Custer stayed true to his mission.
Then there’s the Carlos (Desmin Borges) backstory…
It did its job at filling in some blanks regarding Tulip (Ruth Negga) and Jesse’s past, but felt way more like a Tarantino knockoff from the ’90s. That may very well have been the goal — in look and feel — but bringing a miscarried baby into the mix suddenly gave some heaviness to the couple’s relationship that wasn’t there before.
To put it bluntly, it wasn’t until this moment that we felt there was a true emotional connection between the two. That emotional connection is definitely a necessary one moving forward.
This first season has acted as a prequel to the comic story in pretty much every sense. The groundwork has been laid and moving forward, it feels like the triangle between Jesse, Tulip and Cassidy will play out as it should. But what’s more intriguing, is the way God came to Annville.
The comic book opens up on a destroyed church and never really delves into the town and people of Annville, Texas. Odin Quincannon’s (Jackie Earle Haley) story plays out in a separate city, as does Arseface’s (Ian Colletti). But the conflict between God and Jesse is one of the driving factors that plays out through the entire comic series and introducing that through-line here was key.
What ended up playing out felt way more along the lines of “The Wizard of Oz” than anything else and once Jesse and his congregation discover the proverbial man behind the curtain, audiences finally got a glimpse of the real face of AMC’s “Preacher.” God isn’t dead, but he definitely is missing. A deadbeat dad, if you will … leaving the angels to do their best maintaining order in heaven.
This whole time, Jesse has been on a mission of redemption — for his father, for Tulip, for his past and for that lost baby. That final realization that this whole thing was a sham … well, that was the trigger needed to send him on his way. Because what really is “Preacher” than a road-trip story? We’ve gotten glimpses of Heir Starr, the Saint of Killers (Graham McTavish) and even those hunters out to get Cassidy. Way to whet our genre-loving appetites, AMC!
All it really took was the realization that God is gone and the town went crazy. Last week, we got a glimpse of the man who keeps the town alive by monitoring and controlling the methane levels under ground. Meat may have been the God Odin chose to serve, but his own perverse way of doing so — which probably was not deemed suitable for basic cable — led to everyone’s demise. One very stinky demise, at that!
Those sinkholes popping up around town? They were ultimately his doing, because where is all that cow excrement supposed to go, anyway? Talk about a ticking time bomb. It was merely a bunch of a hopeless souls that lit the fuse and leave it to a town built on meat to be taken down by the waste it left behind.
If ever there was a clean slate, this would be it. Annville, Texas is no more and the citizens there-in — as far as we know — are all dead. Eugene is still out there somewhere and — if the comics have any say — he’ll be returning in some sense.
Right now, though, all focus is on Jesse, Cassidy and Tulip as they search the country to punch God in the face. With the Saint of Killers on their tail, it’s a safe assessment that Season 2 will be kicking things up a notch.