And we're back with a new season of Preacher! Which will also be the last season, if you haven't read the news. And... it's a lot like season 3. In that the gang--Jesse, Tulip, and Cassidy--are split up. They're barely back together, in a couple of pairs--Jesse and Tulip, Jesse and Cassidy, Cassidy and Tulip in a brief opening sequence--but they spend most of their time apart in "Masada" and the entirety of "Last Supper" other than a couple of hallucinations separated.
Which is a shame, because one of the strengths of the show is the chemistry between Dominic Cooper, Ruth Negga, and Joseph Gilgun. And to a lesser degree Pip Torrens and Julie Ann Emery. They've kept Graham McTavish and Ian Colletti mostly separated from the rest of the cast, and Noah Taylor is credited but nowhere to be seen. Tyson Ritter as Humperdoo appears briefly, or at least a clone of him does. Mark Harelik as God does pop up a few times and appears to be taking a more direct hand in things.
And Tyson Ritter and Mark Harelik are now credited up front as series regulars. The Angelville crew from last year, and Malcolm Barrett, are gone from the credits and the show, although they could show up for guest appearances because Preacher is that kind of show. Toss in the odd resurrection or hallucination, and pretty much anyone could show up.
So what does bring them all together but keep them mostly apart? "Masada" has three cold openings. God destroys the dinosaurs when one of them eats its own excrement and belches in his face. Tulip and Cassidy link up in a hotel room. And Jesse falls out of the sky to his death.
Then we're on to "A Couple of Months Earlier". Jesse and Tulip break in to Masada to rescue Cassidy. But not before Jesse uses Genesis to convince a dozen Grail operatives to follow Tulip's orders. He then strides into Masada, gets captured and taken to Starr, and has some of "his" people open fire on the others.
Cassidy is being tortured by torturer Frankie Toscani (Lachy Hulme) for the benefit of Grail operative education. This involves gunshot wounds and then repeated circumcision on the regenerating vampire. Jesse finds Cassidy and frees him, and they fight their way to the gates while arguing with each other. A lot.
Tulip has had more of "her" operatives take her in, claiming to be a prisoner. She fails to get in through the gates, and in one sequence the most talkative of "her" Grail operatives gets caught halfway in the closing doors and continues to hold a cheery conversation with Tulip. The gate switch is up on top of Masada, and Tulip climbs up there to throw it. Lara is guarding it, and the two of them have a long fight. Tulip eventually tosses Lara over the side, but Lara... glides to safety. Maybe it's out of the comics, but it looks very strange.
Disclaimer: I've only briefly thumbed through some of the comics.
Cassidy opts to stay behind in Masada for unstated reasons. Jesse gets out and meets with Tulip, and breaks the news to her about Cassidy. She's none too happy, and denies sleeping with Cassidy when Jesse asks.
That night, Jesse has a vision of the world blowing up, his stopping Tulip's heart, and his father talking to him. So he leaves a note for Tulip and walks away. At the end, we see God meeting with Starr and saying Jesse escaping is all part of His plan to make Jesse suffer.
"Last Supper" further divides the narrative. Tulip tries to get back into Masada to rescue Cassidy. It's kind of confusing, because apparently she's working with the local bar owner, Kamal (Miritana Hughes). Tulip fires a rocket at the gates of Masada, but apparently decides that's not enough to get in. So she goes back to the bar to work on the car. Kamal apparently betrays her and the Grail operatives arrive. Tulip drives off, then drives her car in circles to raise a cloud of dust and rams all of their cars. The Grail EMTs take the bodies back to Masada... and a disguised Tulip is among them.
Cassidy regenerates by feasting on his own blood, impressing his cellmate (David Field), who is an angel. I remember that much from the comics and we see his wings briefly in "Masada". Cassidy takes out an Operative doctor, avoids sampling the Grail's huge supply of medicine, almost gets out, but then decides to go back in to get the drugs. On the way out, Frankie spots Cassidy and beats him unconscious. He takes Cassidy back to be tortured, figures Cassidy came back due to guilt and because he thinks he deserves to be there, and on they go.
Jesse is walking to the airport to go on a quest to find a mountain from his vision. He hitches a ride with an ex-porn star, then spots a boy on the side of the road and insists on going to help. The boy has faked the death of his dog to rob anyone, and Jesse easily disarms him. The dog ends up shot and dead, and Jesse gives the boy everything he wanted out of guilt.
Jesse continues walking and gets picked up by a camel rider because they're in the Middle East. They come to another camel rider, and the two camel riders argue. Jesse tries to stop them with Genesis, but the other rider doesn't speak English and the two riders end up dead.
Jesse gets to the airport and a helpful pilot (Ditch Davey) identifies the rock drawing as the Lost Apostle in Australia. Before Jesse can head there, he realizes he left his lighter in the truck and has the pilot take him to the truck's origin: The House of Entertainment, belonging to Jesus De Sade. Jesse gets his lighter but the pilot sees the young boy from earlier at the House's window, and the two of them go in to rescue him.
At the end, Jesse is on a plane to Australia. He hallucinates Cassidy being there. And we see God is sitting at a table drinking RC and contemplating the various pieces of His game. Including the jet Jesse is on.
The whole thing is a mishmash, with the three cold opens not helping. At some point down the road, Jesse will die, and Tulip and Cassidy will link up. Got it.
The attack on Masada is probably the best part. There are several hyperkinetic fight scenes: Jesse fighting the Grail operatives guarding Cassidy, Jesse and Cassidy fighting the Grail operatives. The bit with Tulip trying to get in past the gate while the brainwashed Guild operative cheerfully says Tulip has to do it for the sake of the mission, is entertaining. Jesse and Tulip casually walking into the bar and Jesse Voicing the operatives has Cooper and Negga working well together. And the arguing between Jesse and Cassidy as they escape is good.
The rest of it, with the three principals on their own, isn't so good. We spent almost all of Season 3 with Cassidy on his own. So now we get more of... Cassidy on his own. He has an entertaining conversation with Frankie about when Cassidy was in NYC in the 30s. But basically he walks around and talks to himself a lot. Gilgun is good, but he's a lot better when he's bouncing off of someone else.
A lot of the Tulip stuff in "Last Supper" is her driving in circles while two female Grail operatives look on as best they can through the dust and admire her.
Jesse's solo adventure is probably the most entertaining. He gets suckered by the boy, fails to use his powers to stop a religious argument and gets the participants killed, and then has an adventure of sorts going into the House. But then the end with Jesse on the plane is presumably a flash forward?
Other bits: Starr survives, loses his right ear, and has Cassidy's foreskin stapled to his head. He has had himself declared the Allfather now that the previous Allfather is dead. Lara spends a lot of time being tough. We only see Eugene and the Saint briefly as the Saint hunts for Jesse and finds the remains of Angelville. A Humperdoo clone gets shot down and tossed on a pile of other clones.
The big news is the production moved to Australia. Both literally and figuratively: the Australian desert stands in for the Middle East here, and Jesse is going to Australia so presumably he'll actually get there. The desert provides a different "feel" to Preacher then we've had the last two seasons. Although it's reminiscent of the barren Texas landscapes of Season 1.
I have no idea where they're going with the new, and last, season of Preacher. It's easy to see how the pieces fall into place from the flash-forwards at the beginning of "Masada". Jesse gets tossed out of a plane at some point, Tulip rescues Cassidy and they end up together. I'm not sure how interesting all of that playing out will be. But then, that's how it's been in previous seasons. You never know where Preacher is going. Even those I've talked to who have read the comic books say it's varied enough from the comics that knowing the story there doesn't tell you the story on the show.
When Cooper, Negga, and Gilgun get to interact, Preacher is great. When they're not, it relies on the strength of its writing and the black humor. Starr has foreskin for an ear! Jesse gets suckered by a kid! Two Grail operatives admire Tulip! Cassidy does drugs! Lara can fly! I like that kind of black humor, which is why I keep watching Preacher. But it never seems to add up to much. Maybe it's not supposed to.
But that's just my opinion, that's why I get paid the big bucks to write it down. What do you think?
Written by Gislef on Aug 5, 2019