Preacher – The End of the Road
By: Kelly Kearney
Known for its nonstop twists and bloody turns, “Preacher” ended its second season with a BANG! Literally. After twelve episodes of holy scavenger hunts, murderous cowboys, volatile cults, moronic Messiahs and Hellish bromances, The End of the Road shocked fans with a deadly ending nobody saw coming.
Throughout this season there have been clues to Jesse’s (Dominic Cooper) abusive childhood that later fueled his life of crime and landed him in the pulpit fulfilling a promise to his father to lead a better existence. The episode delves further into the Preacher’s past when it opens with a flashback to a teen Jesse (Dominic Ruggieri) living in Angelville. Doing his best impersonation of Colonel Sanders, Jesse and his pet chicken collect admission fares to his family’s plantation and gator farm. Not only is his home a local tourist attraction, his grandmother is also the town witch. OK, maybe witch isn’t the right word as she’s not exactly flying around on a broomstick yet she is taking money for things like finding missing pets and casting spells, which makes her a target for the local police. Besides taking money for her services, Jesse also pick-pockets visitors under the family’s orders. After keeping one of the stolen wallets for himself, a family member catches him and almost breaks his arm as punishment for his disloyalty. Considering this is the same family that locked him in a chest and threw him in the local swamp, a twisted arm, and some threats really aren’t so bad. To say his mother’s side of the family is awful is an understatement, but with his father dead and nowhere else to go the teen feels trapped and takes his anger out on his pet chicken by stomping it to death. After seeing what he did, Jesse takes off running towards his grandmother’s estate and asks her if she can help his battered feathered friend. His grandmother agrees to help the boy and his bird but reminds him that everything has a price. Of course, young Jesse has no idea what that price could be so he agrees to it as long as she can fix his beloved pet.
PUBLIC RELATIONS WITH THE NEW MESSIAH…
Now that Jesse has agreed to become the new Messiah, Herr Starr (Pip Torrens) needs to sell the preacher as heaven’s next big thing. He sets up a series of coming out appearances, but Jesse isn’t really feeling this PR push nor his new title as Messiah. Herr Starr reminds him that he is new to this game and the Grail knows how to sell Jesse as a leader. He hands Custer a pre-written speech and a 11th-century cape with major “Elvis plays Vegas” feels. The new Messiah nixes the cape and the title but agrees to give the speech to the crowd Starr assembled, a crowd of Catholic elementary school kids who were promised a miracle. After what can only be described as a traumatizing speech penned by Starr, a group of Armenian terrorist types invade the classroom and hold the students and nuns hostage. Jesse tries using Genesis to order them gone but the power of the word falls on deaf ears and a kick ass fight ensues. Guns blazing and in between punches and kicks, Jesse discovers the guns are loaded with blanks. He manages to come out the hero as the Armenians flee, but when he questions Starr about the blanks he learns this was a planned attack to make him look good in the media. In fact, Herr Starr recorded and posted the fight on social media and within seconds Jesse is booked on The Jimmy Kimmel show. “I didn’t sign up for this shit,” Jesse says, but Starr knows the key to climbing the ladder of holy success is spreading the word that there’s a new Messiah in town.
DON’T FORGET TO DELETE THAT SEARCH HISTORY…
Back at the apartment, Featherstone (Julie Ann Emery) and Hoover (Malcolm Barrett) pack up their surveillance equipment while Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) and Tulip (Ruth Negga) are next door, prepping for their trip to Bimini. While folding laundry, Cassidy notices two things: Tulip’s thong underwear mixed in with his son’s blood stained shirts and a computer open to a vampire death cult site. Unlike Cassidy who struggles to keep the most horrid parts of vampirism under wraps, Denis (Ronald Guttman) seems to be immersing himself in the underbelly of this new life. Closing the computer Cassidy wonders if he made a mistake changing Denis into an immortal.
Also readying for their trip is Tulip, who’s buying out the local convenient store’s supply of sunscreen and vodka. The cashier gets cheeky with her and Tulip, not really being in the mood to be messed with, smashes the man’s face against the register’s glass patrician and scares the bejeezus out of the other shoppers. After the store altercation, Tulip heads home and finds a distraught Cassidy smoking crack or as he calls it “taking his medicine.” He asks Tulip to leave him and his coping devices alone, but she reminds him that their vacation will be all the relaxation they need. She also mentions their failed attempt at a romance and now that Jesse has chosen the Grail over his friends, it might be time to revisit their chemistry. With their love triangle now missing a third, Tulip and Cassidy begin to kiss and things get hot quickly. They’re rolling around on the bed when Tulip lets out a blood-curdling cry. Cassidy goes full vamp and rips her throat out like he’s taking a bite out of a rare ham sandwich! Of course, those videos of Denis’ didn’t help but, thankfully, Cassidy is just day dreaming. Tulip walks in for real and the shaken Cassidy can barely look at her. He might be the easy going, often high, sombrero wearing good time guy but Cassidy is suppressing some real violent urges that Denis seems to be bringing out in him.
ESCAPE FROM HELL…
With Mannering (Amy Hill) hot on their trail, Eugene (Ian Colletti) and Hitler (Noah Taylor) pull a Shawshank style escape when they exit Hell through its sewer system. Once free, Hitler takes Eugene to the river where Charon stands waiting on the shore line to guide other souls to Hell. Eugene must ask Charon for permission to cross over and if he agrees, a boat will be summoned along with some nifty clothes from the afterlife’s lost and found and a bus trip back home. Hitler bids the young man Auf Wiedersehen and Eugene convinces the hooded Charon to summon the boat and let him go home. As the boat approaches, Mannering catches up to him and she is quite peeved he broke her extrapolating machine. The woman demands Eugene be sent back to Hell, but Charon reminds her that this is his realm and what he says goes. That’s when Mannering kills Charon and admits that God is gone and the rules no longer apply. As she’s wrestling Eugene back to Hell, Hitler comes out of nowhere and clobbers Mannering unconscious. Eugene hops on the boat and offers his new friend Adolph a seat and a way back home. Of course, once they’re top side, Hitler shows his true colors and bails on Eugene the second he gets the chance. If kind hearted Eugene had any confusion about Hitler’s true self, that was settled the minute he plowed down a crippled man in his escape.
FATHER OF THE YEAR AWARD GOES TO…
With her bags packed, Tulip tells Cassidy she’s going out to the car but as she’s heading towards the door she spots the surveillance camera the Grail planted in the apartment. Cassidy is shocked and while they’re concerned for Jesse getting conned by Herr Starr, they’re even more concerned someone has them engaging in some “me time” in the apartment’s communal room. Telling Jesse about the bug or the apartments masturbatory extravaganzas won’t change the fact he chose being the Messiah over his friends and the two decide to drop it. Tulip heads to the car as Cassidy gathers Denis, but his son isn’t interested in drinks and catamarans. He wants Cassidy to admit his true self. Knowing that Denis won’t stop trying to tempt his father’s darker side, Cassidy does the only thing he can do. He tosses his son out the window, slams it shut and listens as his son bursts into flames and dies.
With Denis skipping out on their vacation, Tulip has a few minutes to say goodbye to her new best girlfriend, Jenny. Only, Jenny is actually Featherstone and Tulip figures this out when she sees the apartment packed and surveillance manuals loaded in boxes. The scene is tense between the two friends and when Hoover steps out in just a towel, their cover is completely blown. With a screwdriver behind her back that she grabbed from one of Featherstone’s boxes, Tulip asks her if she ever mentioned Dallas. Featherstone grins and says she never did and Tulip hurls the screwdriver at the woman. Unfortunately for Tulip, a screwdriver can’t beat a bullet and Featherstone takes her down with a shot to the chest. Cassidy finds his friend bleeding on the floor and calls Jesse who is just about to board a plane on route to the Kimmel show. Jesse leaves Herr Starr and races back to the apartment while Starr gets the news his operatives were the one who shot Tulip. He cancels the ambulance Cassidy called and vows to handle Featherstone later.
When Jesse arrives, he tries everything to help Tulip but with no ambulance in sight, the two friends start to panic. After chest compressions fail, Jesse asks Cassidy for any of his blood bags, maybe they can give her an IV while they get her to a hospital. Nothing seems to work and Tulip is gasping for air. Cassidy pleads with Jesse to use the power of Genesis, but it doesn’t work and they’re running out of time. Cassidy sees this as his last chance and orders Jesse aside as he’s going to give her the gift of eternal life. Jesse screams for Cassidy to stop and the two men wrestle across the floor with Cassidy screaming for Jesse to let him help. Over and over Jesse tells Cassidy to let her die and slowly the love of both of their lives dies on the kitchen floor, never knowing that the Grail was responsible for her death.
The episode ends when Cassidy and Jesse load Tulip’s body into the backseat and head for Angelville but, more specifically, Jesse’s grandmother’s house. Cassidy turns to his friend and tells him he hates him, but Jesse knows what Hell awaits them in Angelville and replies, “You hate me now? Just wait.” As the two men set off to pay some unknown price for Tulip’s resurrection, the scene cuts to Man-Dog’s (a/k/a God) trashed motel room. The deity that Jesse searched for all season, exits the bathroom and bathes the room in gloriously blinding light. It looks like God’s hung up his Dog suit, maybe for good. and with the world in chaos and humanity in need of a savior Season Three cannot get here soon enough!