Review: Preacher 3×10, “The Light Above”

Aaron Neuwirth reviews the season 3 finale of Preacher, as Jesse deals with family, Cassidy deals with vampires, and Tulip deals with Nazis.

After weeks of buildup, Preacher delivers a finale well worth the wait. While this season had its ups and down when it came time to make us care about the hell-on-earth that Angelville was supposed to be, I’m more than happy with seeing how it all ends up in “The Light Above.” Between the amount of action, the closing of various character arcs, and the bizarre nature of the series lending itself to some neat twists, this was some quality comic book entertainment brought to life and revved me up for season four.

The great setup from last week made the stakes clear from the start. Jesse is on a mission to kill his Gran’ma, now having Genesis back in his possession. Cassidy has to deal with Eccarius once and for all. Tulip has to recover from an ambush by Nazis and their tank. Okay, so that last one is a bit off and not exactly as pivotal as the other plots, but it all comes together quite well.

Let’s start with Tulip, as she’s the only one who feels a bit on her own. While less thematically resonant as the other main character storylines, it was fun to watch. I may not be into the thread that involves her interactions with Dog God, but there was entertainment to be had in seeing all these characters throw down. Even Eugene got to be involved in the action, as he took on Hitler in a close-quarters bus set, where Tulip also got to show off her fighting skills. I’m not exactly sure how the Saint’s powers work against Sydney (aka the Angel of Death) or why neither she or Satan couldn’t anticipate his violent actions, but I’m willing to go along with it.

By the end of all this, Tulip supposedly needs to tell Jesse to back off from his hunt. I doubt that will be something to worry about, but we are also left with more enemies for Jesse. The Saint is after him again, Hitler is now the ruler of Hell and may have more to bring in the future, and even Eugene seems to want some reckoning for being left down in hell.

Cassidy’s story has been great throughout this second half of the season, as he’s been interacting with Eccarius and the Children of Blood. Luckily for us, it all reaches a fine conclusion. The setup happened last week and seeing all the Lil’ vampires go against Eccarius made for a satisfying end to an entertaining villain. Of course, this was short-lived as Vampire Hoover pulled the first good move ever and destroyed almost all the vampires, finally managing to capture Cassidy in the process. Tulip was too late to rescue him, so now Cass is trapped in Masada, looking up at some sort of winged creature. You can’t say that’s not at least interesting.

Jesse’s adventure this week almost plays out like a video game, as he deals with two sub-bosses, before the final showdown. It’s also the segment with some of the most interesting visuals. The whole cold open is pretty great, as we get a split screen of young and old Jesse crossing paths and interacting with each other. Later, we get some great shots that emphasize the power that Angelville has over Jesse. Sure, we also have to deal with The Tombs again, which never seemed very threatening of terrible (a dirty basement where fighting happens), but it feels cathartic in knowing this is the last time we really have to deal with this location.

As far as seeing the comeuppance delivered, this all worked well too. Jesse takes out a small level of anger with T.C., before moving on to Jody and providing a whoopin’ that finally sticks. It may boil down to these guys and their dicks, but even knowing Jesse is in control thanks to Genesis, something is satisfying in knowing that Jesse could finally beat down the big man that was Jody. Burring down The Tombs even reached a level of poignancy thanks to the final exchange between Jesse and a T.C. who claims to know that Angelville is terrible but also has nowhere else to go.

Taking on Gran’Ma is another story. Thanks to some convoluted deal, she tries to pull one over on Jesse, and it almost works. He gets some satisfaction by making her burn all the souls she desired, but it’s not enough. A quick pep-talk with his younger self and we get a Jesse not concerned with the deal with Satan that’s been arranged for the sake of seeing Marie have her soul sucked out by her own machine. It’s now goodbye to Angelville, as Jesse rolls out with Tulip, presumably on the search for Cassidy.

And that’s not all. Herr Starr is now bent on killing Custer as well. No more attempts to convince him to be the new messiah. It’s all about unleashing the Grail army on the man Starr deems powerful enough to have to be dealt with. It’s just a shame Hoover will not be around to see it, having been burnt in daylight.

This extended episode packed in a lot and it all worked quite well. Some parts may have been a bit extraneous, such as the neo-Nazis that Tulip had to fight, but that feels like it comes with the absurd territory that is Preacher. Angelville may have been stretched pretty thin as far as delivering on how monstrous the place was supposed to be, but I can still take joy in seeing this final set of episodes, and this finale in particular, as a great close to a critical chapter for the life of Jesse Custer. Now we just have to wait and see what happens when Jesse and Tulip go international to get back Cassidy.

Preachin’ To The Choir:

  • “Shoulda killed her.” “Yeah, well now’s your chance.” – That was a great cold open/smash to opening credits moment.
  • Hitler has evolved, as he now has a soul patch.
  • “Which one’s he?” = Dog God’s regard for Eugene.
  • “Proud of you boy.” – RIP Jody.
  • I enjoyed the attitude this show gave Satan, but I’m not mad that he won’t be around more. Still, seriously bad judge of the moment as far as giving the Saint his guns back.
  • That umbrella scene was great to watch.
  • Nice to see some Humperdoo clones wandering around.
  • And that does it for my coverage of this season of Preacher. Thanks to all who kept up. Here’s hoping the show embraces more of its road trip-like antics next season.

Written by
Aaron is a movie fanatic and loves talking about such things…a lot. 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. His mind is full of film knowledge and random trivia, but he is always open to learning more, whether it’s through box office stats, reviewing Blu-rays from The Criterion Collection or simply hearing first hand from filmmakers and others about various productions and behind-the-scenes tidbits.

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