The penultimate episode of Preacher’s first season is a strong one with a couple twists helping to show why this is a series I can’t wait to see another season of. One involves Graham McTavish’s Cowboy character and how this show is pulling him into the main story. The other features Lucy Griffiths’ Emily, who makes a decision we were all certainly not expecting. So far the series has been something of a meandering mess that somehow managed to work quite well anyway, but a few episodes in and the drive towards a particular destination really helped things out. With “Finish the Song,” it will be hard to have to wait for more, following next week’s finale.
Let’s start with Cassidy, as he’s slowly coming back into it, after having flamed out at the hands of Jesse (in a way). Tulip has been feeding Cassidy stolen blood bags and animals, but it’s not working. As Tulip’s only ‘friend’ in town is Emily, she tasks her with keeping watch, while Tulip heads to Albuquerque. While Emily was told the situation, it is here that she discovers what kinds of needs Cassidy has, leading to the shocking moment that ends the first half of this episode.
Ricky Mabe’s Mayor Miles is not a particularly great guy, but Preacher finally made due on having its vampire character sink his teeth into someone, as Miles is tricked by Emily (fresh off of watching Psycho and taking away her own twisted meaning from it) to walk into Cassidy’s room, with the door locking behind him. It seems to do the trick as far as Cassidy is concerned, but that is not a move I expected from the quiet and reserved organ player with a crush on the preacher. It easily bumps up the danger level of the character and makes me wonder what could be next for her.
Meanwhile, our Angels, Fiore and DeBlanc, need tickets to hell. As we all know, this means going to a travel agent on a rainy night and specifying tickets “much further south.” All of the work done in this portion of the episode works well thanks to how much time the show has invested in these characters. While there is plenty of mystery surrounding these two, their chemistry together, the way they speak to others and the general positioning of them has allowed us to tap into who they are, regardless of their otherworldly qualities. It is part of what makes their decent into hell all that more frightening.
Some may have figured it out earlier than others, but the episode’s first and final acts are devoted to the Cowboy. While the cold open featured a massacre, the end slowly reveals how the Cowboy exists in a literal hellish Groundhog’s Day scenario. The repetition of extreme tragedy and violence make for a powerful few minutes that plays well with the wild style of this series, as well as holding onto the heightened plane of existence that makes Preacher so different and well-tied to its source material.
How about that preacher by the way? He sure is crafty. Our first view of Jesse this week comes through the eyes of Sheriff Root, who is now convinced Jesse killed Eugene. Root can’t get through to Jesse though, as the man breaks out of the back of a moving police car and the next we see, Jesse is having breakfast under a bridge with some homeless folks. Jesse also manages to get his hands on the god phone, before the angels had a chance to use it again, but what matters more is his conversation with Cassidy.
Much like the angels, but on an even better level, we have seen the friendship between Jesse and Cassidy grow from episode one and it’s been delightful. They may be a man and a vampire, but seeing Jesse have a heart-to-heart with his buddy, apologizing to him, only to have it shrugged off by his best mate, means the show gets it and wants us to be back to hanging out with these guys. Sure, understanding Cassidy’s true nature is a bit of a wrinkle, but the two still end up digging up a grave together, just as any set of friends would.
Next week is the season finale and “Finish the Song” has done plenty to move around these characters into interesting positions. While Preacher banks a lot on predictability, having a main arc hopefully means the series of ridiculous actions will play well in how things turn out. We will be seeing Jesse call out god and that could lead to a lot of things, but the characters surrounding him are all tied together through him, which means lots of cause and effect is likely in store, no matter the cost. Let’s just hope the cowboy doesn’t do any more damage than he has to.
Preachin’ To The Choir: