And the landing my friends, it has been stuck.
In what’s probably the episode to match the absolute whacked out mad cap humor of Garth Ennis nearly 1:1, Call and Response serves as a fantastic finale to what many could and should deem “Preacher Begins”.
So it all leads to this: God’s coming by way of Jesse Custer—who is still very much on the run.
We establish it’s been a few days; we’re only 15 hours or so off from mass. Cassidy was picked up by Root at a whorehouse, Jesse is in hiding, and Tulip just got back from visiting Carlos. She stops at the local beauty parlor where a line of ladies are getting primped and waxed for the arrival of the Lord.
God HATES pubes, folks. Laser those buggers off and know his love!
Anyway, the show.
Tulip goes looking for Jesse and decides to visit Redneck Donnie and his creepy BDSM wife. Great use of lawn flamingo follows, but it’s all for nothing; Jesse’s their houseguest. There’s a creepy vibe here, though. Are they helping Jesse of their own accord? Possibly, Donnie half-deaf now.
Cassidy, though, well he’s in a spot. Root’s figured out what he is and has decided to fill Cass with bullets and blood until he finds out where Eugene is. Man, can I say what a fantastic job W. Earl Brown has done with this role? On the comic page, Sheriff Root was an odious redneck piece of garbage. TV’s root is a wonderfully realized, non-stereotypical southern lawman. He’s a standout to me throughout the season.
Root and Cass have a conversation in between the shootings and Root decides to let him go once he’s had his fill of what-the-fuck for a lifetime.
Back at the Redneck BDSM household, Tulip reveals to Jesse that she has a gift for him: Carlos in the trunk. We finally see the entire story behind that foiled bank robbery and find out Tulip miscarried because of the entire mess. She wants an eye for an eye and Jesse gives in, deciding to put a bullet in Carlos for screwing them over out of jealousy for what they had.
After some back and forth, though, Tulip decides against murder and the pair opt for a good old fashioned ass whooping in a scene that could have been lifted straight off the page. Loved the shot of Jesse and Tulip shoulder to shoulder.
After all that wackiness, it’s game day. Quincannon cuts Jesse off—the dick—still firm in his belief in the God of Meat, but I think he’s going to have a hard revelation or three. The rest of the town shows up to church as well to watch Jesse have a little trouble figuring out how to work an angel phone, but once he gets it going, BOOM: well, hello God.
And what a completely asinine, by the book God we get. Old white dude on a throne and all. At first he’s resistant to being summoned and questioned, but Jesse’s “balls” earns the town the right to question him. Quincannon seems to get closure on his loss and Jesse gets to ask about God’s plan. God plays it mysterious and vague—as God would do—but something about God’s hand-waving of Genesis and Eugene strike Jesse as off.
And he realizes something. This isn’t God.
Using Genesis, Jesse demands an explanation and gets one. God’s gone. The guy on the phone is an angel in a costume and nobody knows where He is. With that revealed to the town, well, things go a little sour.
The church gets torn up, that pedo bus driver gets speared, the town mascots commit suicide together, Odin cradles his meat baby (holy fuck, that was disturbing), and the man managing Quincannon Power & Meat’s Methane Power Plant dies of a heart attack while having some leather fun with a random lady. The poor girl tries to sort out the issues –with a ball gag in her mouth—but it’s no use. All the methane begins to vent and the Annville Savage’s final cigarette sets it all in motion.
That’s right, folks, Annville gets exploded in methane. The entire town is killed in an elaborate fart joke.
Bless you, Based Showrunners.
In the meantime, Jesse, Tulip, and Cass finish some promised French fries and get on the road. The goddamn whiners finally get the REAL beginning to this saga.
Back at Annville there’s a survivor! Our mini-assassin wanders out of the wreckage with a limp. She hears the sound that tell-tale sound of a hammer cocking and she’s immediately given a new hole in her chest. Behind her, the Cowboy, fresh from hell and with a single word on his lips.
Season 2 starts next week, right? RIGHT?
What did I love?
- Everything. This was about as pitch perfect a finale I could have asked for. The humor, violence, and plot were wonderfully bizarre and the tone was nearly perfect. Kudos to the cast and crew. They really did a great job here.
- Eugene is officially our replacement for John Wayne. It works. Jesse needs a conscience, not an avatar of ancient masculinity.
- Tulip’s reaction to the word. It made up for the bleh pregnancy thing enough to make me forgive it.
- Great callbacks to almost all the little jokes on the show. Pay attention to the missing pet signs on the diner!
My biggest gripes?
- I don’t have a date for when season 2 begins.
Well, it was a great ride. Thanks for reading my ramblings and feel free to ping me about your thoughts via Twitter @GoshDarnMyLife or right here in the comments. I’ve got ideas of where this is all headed and what changes may come. All I know is I’m absolutely thrilled we finally got a spiritually faithful rendition of a very beloved comic.