Review: Preacher 4×07, “Messiahs”

Aaron Neuwirth reviews season four, episode six of Preacher, "The Lost Apostle" in which Jesse and the Saint go for a walk, with Cassidy and Tulip right on their tail.

By default, every episode of Preacher is going to be eventful at this point. With only three episodes left, there are a lot of story threads needing to be tied up. “Messiahs” feels like an episode that needed to shift weight around. It’s not that “The Lost Apostle” was a conclusive episode, but Jesse’s current state of death means the audience must have a new setup for where things could be headed. As a result, we have an episode that keeps his journey in focus, even in the afterlife, while other continued plots remain in a bit of a standstill, and Cassidy and Tulip deal with their grief.

It is fortunate the Cassidy and Tulip portions of this episode turned out as strong as they did. After burying Jesse’s body, the two are angry. Given their buddy cop routine last week, showing just how malleable these two can be speaks to the better aspects of this show. Cassidy has a fantastic bit of tension between himself and the Australian man he randomly meets up with. Tulip causes havoc in an empty church, hoping to get God’s attention. These two are dangerous, and we see where that takes him by the end of the episode.

Meanwhile, Jesse is in “Heaven.” I’ll be honest, nothing about this seems right. We know who Jesse Custer is, and even if he had intentions leaning on the side of good, he’s done a lot of messed up stuff in his life that would only make me think there was some deception going on. As it turned out, I was right, but that doesn’t mean we don’t see some legitimate truths in the form of Fior’s proposition.

However the Hell machine works (recall this is the machine that delivers visions to what pains the victims most), Fior seems to have enough access to show Jesse the army of angels ready to accept him as the new savior, which will be necessary for the impending doom of humanity. It’… a lot of story to take in, and as I mentioned, there are not many episodes left to resolve all of this. So do these scenes work?

That’s the frustrating thing. Jesse wanting to find God, and bringing along Tulip and Cassidy, made for a compelling adventure narrative, with just enough irreverence to fuel this twisted story. However, Preacher has taken every opportunity to stall that plotline, leaving the audience with extended stays in New Orleans and Angelville. Now we’re in the final season, and the show has decided to kick off an even more specific plot involving the destruction of the human race, and another ultimate plan form God. That’s quite the switch, but we’re still kind of stuck.

From a character perspective, it is necessary to have Jesse understand what’s taking place; I only wish the show had him realize this much sooner. This rush towards the finish line is only going to go so far, and with only a handful of people that matter to me (along with a handful who certainly don’t), I’m trying my best to root for the things that work to remain the more significant focus.

Now that we know God plans to unleash a third “Creation” (dinosaurs and humans have both been a disappointment to this series’ very whiny, selfish version of God), what’s next? Well, Jesse needs to get out of Hell. What else? Well, Cassidy and Tulip eventually kidnap the real Humperdoo, with plans to make an example of him to God, so that should be something. Do other characters matter? No really, but I guess we need to keep track of them too.

As it stands, Featherstone killed “Hoover 2,” who was actually an undercover cop trying to take down the grail. Not sure what she’ll be up to next, but Tulip will probably fight her again. Starr is still being embarrassed and mutilated, with diminishing returns (a dingo runs away with his penis). Eugene is still in jail. The Saint is less than satisfied with the death of Jesse, so he’ll have to find a new way to kill God. And Hitler and Jesus are still hashing out the details of the apocalypse.

The stakes are all here, and there are plenty of characters to help push some resolution out of all of this. Preacher doesn’t seem like the kind of show where an entirely satisfying resolution is possible, but I can at least be pleased in it taking a lot of chances. I only wish those chances had featured a stronger sense of narrative control. That goes a long way in making even the most insane story decisions feel throughout. As it stands, I like seeing a lot of the pieces, and just want them to fit together.

Preachin’ To The Choir:

  • “Some girl fishing” – Fior was a welcome returning presence this week.
  • Tulip and Cassidy’s journey to take Humperdoo from an Orthodox Jewish community was a lot to take in, given what Humperdoo represents, but I can’t complain when Preacher and Fear the Walking Dead are doing the most to provide Jewish representation in genre TV shows, currently.
  • Hitler revealed to Jesus that Humperdoo clones are running rampant. 2019 can do a lot on TV these days.
  • Creation: Part 3 involves feathers, tubing, and blood…
  • Just what is The Saint’s current plan? I guess we’ll find out.

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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