TV Review: AMC’s Preacher 1×09, “Finish The Song”


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:

  • We checked in with the Seraphim, who was found with no arms or legs in a bathtub by Root. Root provides a mercy kill and if the character was deeper this probably could have been more meaningful. Still, it now means Seraphim has a new body and is on the loose to go after Jesse. She just has to get in line.
  • Hope we find out what happened to Eugene next week.
  • Tulip is not going to give Carlos a good time.
  • DeBlanc and Fiore’s fake jobs of choice, in case anyone in hell asks about them: Serial killer and an architect.
  • Emily has been somewhat interesting to watch, but oh boy does our perspective on her change now. And all of that from her taking a wild understanding of Psycho.
  • The setup of Miles, followed by her intent to release the animals was funny.
  • How about that departure to hell location and the great Breaking Bad references this show was going for, dog crossing the street included.
  • Can’t wait to see how the angel hands help in all of this.
  • Last week I mentioned Preacher would have a panel at Comic-Con and the cast would be doing a live-read of the script. I was able to attend and this was a lot of fun. Kevin Smith, Danielle Panabaker (The Flash) and Jason Mantzoukas (The League) were on hand to voice the characters not present at the panel and we had to watch the last act, because it was just far too visual.


Aaron is a movie fanatic. He is from Orange County, California, but earned a degree or two at UC Santa Barbara. He describes himself as a film reviewer, writer, podcaster, video game player, comic book reader, disc golfer, and a lefty. There are too many films, TV shows, books, etc. for him to list as favorites, but he can assure that the amount of film knowledge within his noggin is ridiculous, though he is always open to learning more. You can follow Aaron on Twitter @AaronsPS4, see what else he is up to at, and check out his podcast, Out Now with Aaron and Abe, on iTunes.