Four seasons in, I guess it’s a good time to point out how little I care to structure these write-ups as a “recap.” If you need someone to tell you what happened in this week’s Preacher, other sites can knock out that desire. I mention this because it is sometimes easier to start at the end when looking for a way to write about what happened on this wild show. I find that particularly important with “The Lost Apostle,” as I have to wonder if the showrunners look at this episode as a significant event.
The conclusion of this episode is exciting from a visceral perspective. We have the gang back together, finally, only to be attacked by God, who has tricked Jesse into going to Australia. A bomb goes off, and Jesse sacrifices himself to save Cassidy and Tulip. This sounds like a pretty big deal, and yet, there are still four episodes left in the show that is called Preacher.
I understand that sometimes you need to play into seeing what the characters see to really get the emotional impact. However, there are times when the execution simply fails to connect on that level for various reasons (it’s why I prefer Avengers: Endgame to Infinity War). With Preacher, here’s an episode that actually does a good enough job establishing an endgame, and what comes with it.
We’ve already known there was something involving an atomic bomb designed to bring out some form of apocalypse. Now, thanks to this episode, we know it had to do with the Grail and God masterminding a plan that involves pitting Australia and New Zealand against each other, providing a justification for a bomb going off. Meanwhile, Jesus and Hitler have been in a conference determining who gets which souls. It’s all apart of an elaborate plan, which also includes God punishing Starr for losing Humperdoo.
Mark Harelik’s performance as God has been a real wild card. I don’t talk about the comics much, as it’s been a while and I try to review this show as its own thing. However, I do recall that God is not much of a presence in the Preacher graphic novels. Having him (and Jesus, among others) serve as major characters this season has been a mixed bag for me. And yet, I do like the energy Harelik brings to his role.
Based on how the show has chosen to portray God and other abstract ideas as characters, you get a good sense of what kind of strange rhythm this series can play with, to recreate that same kind of energy found in the comics. This week, we get a lot of good Harelik work, from his opening moments that find him replaying a VHS tape of the time he almost made Abraham sacrifice his son, to the touches he puts on his miniatures. It’s a lot of stuff that just fits into the universe of this series
Also fitting into this universe, Cassidy, and Tulip arriving in Australia and posing as a buddy cop team ripped out of an action-comedy. They do the bare minimum to speak with the police commissioner, which is a fun way to establish they are on the scene and looking for Jesse. It leads to an interrogation of a captured Eugene, which only makes me wish I could have seen how Eugene got arrested in the first place. He seems genuinely remorseful, and after the stunning conclusion of last week’s episode, I wish this was fleshed out more.
Meanwhile, Jesse is hitting the dusty road with the Saint, who we learn only wants Jesse as a means to kill God. We also learn Jesse has no desire to see that happen, which is a good setup for things to come in the weeks ahead. Regardless, these two have the antithesis of chemistry, just the way the Saint like it. However, it gives us another scene that would have more interesting to see play out in full.
Maybe one of my issues with this very watchable, and consistently well-acted show, is all the odd choices in structuring these seasons. The audience had to stay in Texas, New Orleans, and few other areas forever in the previous seasons, but Preacher is currently happing jetting all over the place, skipping past seemingly major sequences, in a rush to wrap everything up. I’m not sure if that comes as a result of the show being on its final season quicker than expected, but having spent so much time with these characters, it would be nice to get some moments that linger a bit longer.
As a result, Jesse is forced to go with the Saint (until he’s rescued), because of some off-screen terror that occurs, only to be discovered by Cassidy and Tulip later. I didn’t need to see a family get butchered, but it does bring me back to the show having less of an emotional impact than it could.
With all of this in mind, “The Lost Apostle” has a lot of great stuff in it. It’s wonderfully made, capitalizing on the dark sense of humor and required visuals to show off the tone the series has continuously gone after. There are also some excellent character moments, like watching Cassidy read the letter given to Tulip from Jesse, only to tell her it won’t help. That speaks to both characters, with some real implications for what’s going on with Cassidy that will have an interesting payoff by the end of the season.
This write-up may have been a bit denser, but it has to do with being at the mid-point and being very excited about how a show like this is going to end while dealing with the various frustrations that have come with it. I still have plenty of fun watching it, at the moment, but for every striking piece of imagery or neat character moments, plot structure aspects are knocking it down a peg. Regardless, Jesse’s dead until next week or so. So, let’s see where that takes us.
Preachin’ To The Choir:
- The choice of accents for Abraham and Isaac was an especially nice touch to the VHS recap.
- “We’re the Americans.” – Truly hilarious establishing set up to that.
- Jesse trying to fool the Saint was fun enough, though the Saint has him measured up at this point.
- “I’m not gonna let you kill ‘em. I’ll die before I do.” – Given Jesse’s struggles, it’s fascinating to see how his head is still positioned this way.
- So that was Featherstone posing as a Grail coffee shop server, right?
- Starr has now been maimed by a dingo. There really hasn’t been much for him to do this season.
- Barely getting the trio back together, before ripping them apart again, was just cruel.
- I couldn’t help but think of the end of Crank as we caught up to the “Jesse falls from the sky” thing.