Preacher: Season 1 Episode 10 Review – Call and Response
AMC’s Preacher closed out this week with a finale that delivered on its recent promises in more than one respect. Jesse managed to pull off the impossible and deliver contact with Heaven (albeit deceitful contact) and the final few scenes of the show gave us comic book fans some much needed steps towards more faithfully adapted content. Below you will find our spoiler-heavy review of Preacher‘s Season 1 finale.
To use some imagery from this episode, most of Season 1, for us, has been as dull and wet as Carlo’s soggy sandal. We wanted to love the show and we did love the show for the first three episodes. Then it took a sharper turn away from the comics and it became ever more apparent that Rogen and Goldberg had zero intent to adapt certain key comic book narratives. But we held hope in the back of our minds for one thing: that this season would just be a prequel season to the comic narrative, then Season 2 would kick off the road trip narrative that we love.
We’re very pleased to say that this episode closed out with that very implication. First, Annville is blown up, which is a huge a blessing for the show (and a grand recompense for the writers never having disintegrated the Church’s congregation at the start of the show), as it removes all of the dry, small-town narrative going forward and forces our trio on the quest.
Then our core trio sat down together and discussed how they intend to go on the road, to find the real God, and Jesse explains that if they cannot help him then they will “kick his ass.” This is exactly what we’ve longed for all along – a Jesse who is mad at God, seeking to hunt him down, with our core trio, while on the road. The show took a very long time to get around to this (and we’re sure that Season 2 will also hold some aggravating non-comic book content too) but now it appears as though the writers are fully game to begin a more faithful adaption of Ennis’ comic.
The final scene is then The Saint of Killers himself (who still annoyingly remains without that nefarious title) walking in the smokey ruins of Anville, killing the first person (angel) that he sees. The Saint walking out of billowing smoke is very faithful imagery from the comics and we loved this. His attitude to kill anyone that he comes across is also staple Saint methodology.
On Talking Preacher Seth Rogen straight out explained that the show is now at the point where they can begin “where the comics start.” When asked why it was important to tell the preamble to the comics, Rogen explained: “There’s so many crazy ideas in the show that in the comic kind of happen very fast. They’re kind of thrown at you… it’s very abstract stuff, so we thought it would be good to doll it out in a more digestible pace.”
Evan Goldberg also confirmed that everyone in Annville is indeed dead, after the blast and Rogen went on to explain that he wanted viewers to have an emotional attachment to these people before they killed them all. In their final moments the Anville residents began committing violence against one another and against themselves. We’re not sure that we liked this, because the absence of God shouldn’t give people free reign to begin acting in horrible ways; those people – as Rust Cohle in True Detective points out – are bad people anyway and it’s better to get as many of them out in the open as possible. We did feel like most of this town deserved what befell them, and we’re not sad to see any of them go (except perhaps Donnie, who was intriguing in his own way).
The show also attempted a version of God (played by Mark Harelik) in this episode, which was actually quite close to the way in which the real God presents himself in the comics – with a theatrical flare, to instil fear. We loved that Tulip challenged the person in front of them, and that Jesse then went on the call him out as being an impostor (not the real God at all). This felt natural to the world that the show has set up – we could easily see the angels within this show attempting to cover up God’s disappearance with such a theatrical deception, and Rogen joked on Talking Preacher that even the angels glued on a fake beard for him.
This season has aggravated us for the most part, whilst also managing to deliver some moments of excellence along the way. Now that we know that this was all a preamble to get to the starting point of the comics, we are more forgiving of Season 1’s failings. We just wish that we had been told this from the start, then we would have found this season easier to digest.
It was a risky move, given that Season 2 was no certain thing (the show has since been renewed) when they began making this show. Rogen stated on Talking Preacher that his favourite character is Herr Starr, so we’re going to assume that Season 2 will feature a great deal of Starr and The Grail, which will be exciting content for comic book fans. Sam Catlin describes Season 2 as a “quest” and confirmed: “Preacher, going forward, really begins.”
Image credits: AMC