Preacher: Finish the Song

Homeless guy: Whole town's talkin' about it. You gonna bring down God Almighty his-self to church on Sunday?
Jesse: If the sheriff don't catch me first.

We are close to the end and things are getting explosive.

Coming off the heels of last episode, Jesse easily escapes Sheriff Root's custody and goes on the run. Meanwhile, Tulip is still trying to nurse the vampire Cassidy back to health with a steady diet of adorable pets. Let's get to it.

Still planning on bringing God to his church, Jesse steals Fiore and DeBlanc's angel phone to make this plan come to fruition. At the same time, he seeks shelter with the people he knows. A homeless couple help him break free of his cuffs, and then he seeks out Tulip.

Tulip is having a difficult time dealing with Cass, who has been reduced to a monstrous, feral state after he got burned in the sun a couple episodes ago. When Emily stops by, Tulip quickly passes this burden onto her so she can head to Albuquerque to finally settle the score with her nemesis, Carlos. I can't blame her really. I wouldn't want to have to be the one to feed those poor animals to a bloodsucking Irishman either.

This episode shows us a very different side of Emily. After giving Cassidy a little hamster, she makes a very calculated decision to trick Mayor Miles into coming to the O'Hare house. She lets Miles walk into the room they're keeping Cassidy in and locks him inside, where he is violently drained and killed.

Though it seems like Emily did this so she simply wouldn't have to keep sacrificing cute little guinea pigs and bunnies, I think her reasons go a bit deeper. She made her decision to get rid of Miles while watching a scene from Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. In this scene, Norman Bates and Marion Crane talk about the existential traps that people find themselves in. Maybe she felt as if she would be resigning herself to living in a trap by letting Miles become the man in her life, because we all know the guy wasn't going away. Maybe she realized, like Norman Bates, that some people willingly walk into traps and knew Miles would be that sort of person. This is another sketchy, uncertain mystery they've got here, since her motive could have been either of those things or it could be that she just wanted to kill two birds with one stone, ridding herself of Miles while saving Cassidy and the rest of those animals.

Jesse discovering Cassidy and reconciling their friendship was a good scene, since their odd friendship is one of the things I like most about this story. Jesse does a 180, admitting how wrong he was for his egotistical, self-righteous behavior. I'm glad to know that Jesse did put Cassidy out when he was on fire. And I loved that they bonded by getting rid of corpses. I'm glad they can be best-mates forever again.

Jesse also tries to make amends with Tulip, leaving her a cute little message on her phone. Tulip is busy, since she's already captured Carlos. Apparently, she's going to torture him to death. I'm assuming Carlos had something to do with the falling out between Jesse and Tulip, something that goes beyond leaving them behind in a getaway car. In a previous episode, Tulip called him a child-killer. Maybe Carlos is responsible for taking away Tulip's kid.

While everyone else is stumbling around acting crazy, the angels Fiore and DeBlanc embark on a little journey. After Jesse steals their angel phone, removing the option of asking Heaven for help, the two go to their only other option: Hell. With the help of another angel who is working on Earth illegally as a travel agent, Fiore and DeBlanc are able to catch a bus ride to Hell. It isn't explained how all of this works, but the fact that the way of getting there is such a mundane process was certainly amusing. Their trip also highlights Fiore and DeBlanc's relationship. We find out that they are pretty inseparable. They might even be gay. Can angels be gay? Is there a rule against that sort of thing? Would it even count, since they're not human anyway?

Anyway, the bigger question is what are Fiore and DeBlanc looking for in Hell?

The answer lies in the Saint of Killers' subplot, which we've seen take place sporadically over the course of the season and has finally reached its end. The Saint returns to the town of Ratwater, after his last visit there left him unable to get home in time to save his wife and daughter. With nothing left, the Saint brings his guns and sword to town and inflicts his wrath upon everyone there. This is displayed in a brutal yet mesmerizing scene in which the Saint guns down every single person in the Ratwater saloon, massacring them all with his two six-shooters in a little over a minute. He shows no mercy, killing unarmed women and helpless children along with the gunfighters. Once they're all dead, the Saint sits at the bar and has a drink as a violent storm rolls in and presumably destroys the town.

In the same episode that the Saint's story comes full circle we also find out that he is literally in Hell, trapped in a loop and doomed to repeat the final tragic days of his life over and over again. Seeing the cruel nature of man repeatedly, failing to save his wife and child repeatedly, slaughtering all those people repeatedly, and finally dying alone in a storm only to start the loop all over again.

Seeing the storm pause only for Fiore and DeBlanc to enter the scene and negotiate with the Saint was a great moment. It turns out that the dreaded "other option" the angels kept referring to was the Saint of Killers the entire time. They've decided to end his own personal hell by offering him a job. The job: kill the preacher, Jesse Custer. Due to his deeply personal quarrel with the corrupt preacher of Ratwater, the Saint doesn't need much more provocation than that. He leaves Hell.

So God isn't the only one coming to Texas. The Saint is coming for the preacher. Jesse and his friends have proven themselves to be pretty badass, but after this episode I'm not sure any of them can stand a chance against the Saint, who we now know was once known as the "Butcher of Gettysburg" and killed 77 men singlehandedly; the saloon massacre definitely confirms this. It's a showdown I'm dying to see, even more than the coming of the lord.

Bits and Pieces:

* Another haunting scene from this episode is when Sheriff Hugo Root discovers Fiore and DeBlanc's bloodsoaked motel room and the dismembered but still living Seraphim angel they left in the bathtub. After much begging from the angel, Root breaks down and strangles the poor creature. It seems like Root did this partially out of mercy and partially out of pent-up rage over how messed up his life is. The worst part, the angel just leaves after coming back in a new body, without Root ever knowing. So we've got an angelic assassin on the loose, and the sheriff has just slipped even further into madness.

* I feel sorry for whoever has to clean up the angels' motel room; they at least were kind enough to get rid of the mound of identical corpses they made.

* For some reason, Quincannon is having his Meat Men brawl each other in his office while he and the others spectate.

* Some people felt that Emily's indirect murder of Miles came out of nowhere, feeling that he didn't quite deserve such a death. It made sense to me, though. The way I see it, despite trying to be a nice guy, Miles turned out to be pretty pathetic. He crossed the line when he helped Quincannon cover up the murders of four innocent people and completely sold out the upstanding principles he had been living by, becoming a mere yes-man to a tyrant. And despite his milquetoast personality, he constantly ignored Emily's lack of affection for him and decided for himself that he was going to be the man in her life, regardless of how she felt. Preacher doesn't offer the most glowing impression of humanity, so maybe the fact that Miles's last name is "Person" is meant to be symbolic of the average person's potential for weakness and corruption.

* The shot of Emily with her hands on the door when she traps Miles is straight out of The Shining. It's reversed, however, since we are seeing the woman on the outside and not the man who is locked in.

* The Saint of Killers's story is bookended with a song. Interestingly, neither of the songs were in English.

* They used a location from Breaking Bad. Fiore and DeBlanc wait for a ride at the same place Jesse Pinkman and Walter White waited in the final season.

Quotes:

Preacher of Ratwater: Now we all here have opened up our hearts to Jesus. Will you accept him in your heart? And will you proclaim your love for our lord and savior, Jesus Christ? Right here, right here in front of us all?
Saint of Killers: I love my horse. I love my wife. I love my little girl. And as for Jesus? He can join us all in hell.
Saint of Killers: (unfurls American flag full of the heads of children, and draws his pistols)
Everyone: (freaks out)
Preacher of Ratwater: (freaking out) Alright, alright, hey, hey! Now... W-what the hell do you w-
Saint of Killers: (kills Preacher of Ratwater) I want you to finish the song.

Travel Angel: Names?
Fiore: DeBlanc and Fiore.
Travel Angel: Occupation? You're going to Hell, someone may ask.
DeBlanc: Serial killer.
Fiore: Architect.

Tulip: Here's some cash if you need more critters. But don't go to Pet Express, 'cause they're on to me.

Cassidy: You need angel hands? I can get you angel hands.

DeBlanc: We have a job for you.
Saint of Killers: What job?
DeBlanc: Come with us, maybe we tell you.
Saint of Killers: (shoots DeBlanc in the head) What job?
Fiore: (freaking out) We want you to kill someone.
Saint of Killers: Who?
Fiore: A preacher.

Cassidy: See? Angel hands! How many do you need? Three? Four?
Jesse: Just one should do. Thanks, Cass.

Cassidy: God, eh?
Jesse: Yep.
Cassidy: Comin' to Texas?
Jesse: This Sunday.
Cassidy: Well, how 'bout that?
Jesse: Yep.

I thought Finish the Song was fantastic, one of the best episodes so far. It contained many powerful, beautifully filmed scenes. Four out of four bloodless critters.

1 comment:

Nonei said...

This was my first episode of Preacher (although I knew a little of the storylines from reading a couple reviews here), and I really enjoyed it; I knew as soon as the Mayor got the phone call that she was faking, and thought that was an interesting and somewhat extreme way of getting rid of someone that seemed so blah... I enjoyed the make-up scene between the Jesse and Cass.
And - not sure if it was intentional or not - but, when Cassidy handed the angel hand to Jesse and he said 'Thanks, Cass' it sounded just like Dean saying it to Castiel on Supernatural and made me laugh. Because, you know, angel hands. And it was like 1am so I was easily amused LOL.