In Vietnam, a couple are in their hut. The wife sees something outside and screams. When her husband runs over, he stares in shock.
Later, a man, Klaus Helmut Starr, steps out and an expectant boy approaches him. He stares at the boy and asks where it is. The boy takes him to the village and orders the gawping locals aside. Starr looks at the couple and their peg... which is hovering in the air. When he sees it, Starr curses.
On the streets of New Orleans, two workers pick up the dead and the passed out. hey toss them into their cart and drive off, while a doomsday preacher yells that time is running out.
At the last jazz club in New Orleans, Jesse comes out and Tulip, Denis, and Cassidy join him. Jesse wonders if searching for God in New Orleans was a bad idea, but Cassidy assures him that New Orleans is never a bad idea and there's more to it than jazz clubs. He suggests that they take a break and have some fun. Tulip says that she's up for whatever and Cassidy says that he knows just the place.
The group goes to the Hurt Locker, where men shoot each other. The target wears a bulletproof vest, and they but on how quickly the target can get up. Tulip comes in and says that her boyfriend can handle it. Jesse arrives and, per their plan, tells all the men to reconsider. He taunts Tulip into upping the stakes and she picks out the most powerful gun. because it pays one. The bartender brings out the gun and Cassidy sees it and curses. One man prepares to shoot Cassidy, and Tulip kisses him to sell the act. The man shoots her and Tulip and Jesse go over. Jesse says that Cassidy is dead, and yells at the shooters that they're all witnesses. They quickly leaves, and Cassidy gets up. Jesse collects the money the men left behind and as they drink, the TV plays a newscast about the floating pig in Vietnam. While Cassidy and Denis talk, Jesse points out to Tulip that she looked like she was having fun kissing Cassidy. Tulip snaps at him, saying that she doesn't want to sleep, and he figures that there's something that been wrong with her since the Cowboy. She asks if Jesse sent him back to Hell, and Jesse merely says that he's gone.
The couple head home, and Cassidy complains that the night is still young. He goes back to Denis and figures that he's happy. A French professor is drinking nearby, and says that Denis is saying that he's unhappy. Cassidy asks him to translate, and the professor says that Denis says that he's dying from congestive heart attack, and Cassidy has been an awful father. Denis keeps saying that Cassidy can make him live forever. Cassidy refuses, and Denis says that he will die hating Cassidy and walks off.
Ion Vietnam, Starr calls someone and says that people are praying to a pig. He tells his people to prep the invalid scientist and thirty extra operatives... then stares at his glass of water and says that he has the situation under control. Starr hangs up and points out that the shoeshine boy, and says that he missed a spot. However, he says that he was young and careless once.
Starr meets with the Grail recruiter, Saltonstall , who reviews his exploits as an antiterrorist fighter. Starr wants women, but Saltonstall figures that what Starr wants to really do is sweep the street clean of parasites and build a civilization based on order. The Grail wants to do the same thing, and Saltonstall assures Starr that they'll show him. He asks if Starr is Christian, and says that only the most deserving candidates will be considered. Starr assures him that he is very much a Christian if that's what it takes.
The dead carts pull up to the Hurt Locker and find Cassidy passed out in front. They figure that he's dead, load him into the cart, and take him way.
Tulip dreams of floating in the void as the Cowboy holds her by the throat. She wakes up gasping and goes out to make some tea and notices that the window is open. Tulip closes it and hears something moving in the hallway. She opens the door and goes out, and the lights flicker. The kettle whistles and Tulip goes back in, locks the door, and urns off the burner. Denis has dozed off in front of the TV, and Tulip goes past him and closes another open window. The kettle starts whistling again, and Tulip goes back and turns to see the Cowboy. He grabs her by the throat and tells her that time is up as he cocks his revolver... and Tulip wakes up from her dream.
Jesse is watching the video of God and getting dressed for the day. Tulip comes out and says that she dreamed of the Cowboy again and Cassidy's fingers being cut off. She points out that if it hadn't been for Cassidy, she'd be dead. Jesse says that she got back to stop the Cowboy, but Tulip insists that something isn't right. He says that he's going to talk to a man about the end of the world, and Tulip refuses to go with him. she asks where Cassidy is, and Jesse says that he doesn't know.
Cassidy wakes up in a morgue drawer and realizes that it's happened again.
Saltonstall meets with Starr and the other candidates, and says that they will compete in a series of trials designed to test their abilities. Starr asks if they validates. When he's told that they don't, he complains that he should have been told so he could have considered the Grail a failure and not come at all. Saltonstall tells his aides to validate Starr's parking and tells him that from now on, they do the testing.
The candidates go through the tests and those that fail are crossed off the list. Saltonstall has a fighter test them in hand-to-hand combat, and the failures are taken away. Starr is called out, and he says that he takes no pleasure in what is going to happen. The trainer puts him in a neck hold, and Starr masturbates and then beats him senseless. As Saltonstall talks about creating a distraction, Starr beats the fighter unconscious and walks off.
Next, Saltonstall tests the candidates in the art of seduction. Starr promises to kill her and her family if she doesn't hand over the test item. Later, the candidates have battery candidates attached to their testicles. Starr and one last candidate stay conscious, and Saltonstall tests their shooting ability. The first candidate hits the bullseye repeatedly. Starr shoots the first candidate, and Saltonstall welcomes him to the Grail. He explains that their organization has been at the heart of enduring power. Saltonstall tells Star that the true inspiration of their ability is Christ. He lives in a top secret location guarded by machine guns, and before he sacrificed himself he fathered a child. The Grail has protected the holy lineage for the end of the world, and the Grail will be ready. At the moment that hope is abandoned, their Savior will reveal himself. Starr will join the Samson unit, which is charged with weeding out the false prophets. The Grail's job is to rid the world of the competing narratives, and Starr will be Saltonstall's right-hand man. Starr thanks Saltonstall for the opportunity and shoves him off the balcony and then seats himself at Saltonstall's desk.
The Doomsday Preacher is talking about the end of the world when Jesse approaches him and asks if he's crazy or just a con man. He wonders about the end of the world, and the Preacher suggests that he buy him a beer and they can wonder together.
Once Cassidy gets out of the drawer, the morgue attendant apologizes for the confusion of mistaking him for a dead man. As the pass a room, Cassidy sees a couple identifying a corpse and weeping.
At the apartment, Tulip sees the bullet hole in the back of the refrigerator left by the Cowboy's slug. She goes back to the Hurt Locker and they offer their condolences about Cassidy's "death". She tells them that they robbed them blind and Cassidy wasn't dead, and they played the men for idiots. Tulip asks them which of them has the balls to earn their money back, puts on the bulletproof vest, and waits for them to shoot. As the first man shoots, Tulip imagines that he's the Cowboy. She then gets up before the countdown is over, and tells them to go again.
Jesse and the Preacher drink and the Preacher explains that people come to him to be scared so that they won't be scared by what really scares them: themselves. He's heard of the Japanese fractional soul selling, and Jesse claims that a parishioner came to him and said that he wanted to sell 1% of his soul. Jesse wonders if it was a sacrifice worth making, and the Preacher tells him men selling their souls is a sign of the Apocalypse.
In Vietnam, Starr looks at the dead pig and calls to say that the situation has been handled. He's told that his next target is Jesse Cutler in New Orleans. Starr walks away from the dead pig... and the dead villagers surrounding it
Jesse watches a newscast where a scientist claims that the toxic water killed the pig and the villagers, and it saturated the pig with hydrogen elements causing it to levitate like a meat balloon.
Written by Gadfly on Aug 2, 2017