This Preacher review contains spoilers.
Preacher Season 4 Episode 10
Preacher has taken some serious diversions from the comic series over the run of the program, but one thing that hasn’t been abandoned by Sam Catlin and company is the anarchic spirit that powered the original Garth Ennis/Steve Dillon series.
Preacher hasn’t been a straight adaptation of the comic book ever, and at certain points changes were made that didn’t work as intended, but for the most part, Preacher never stopped feeling like Preacher, and while that attitude has carried the show far, the comic makes a few sneaky returns in the finale episode.
It’s strange that in a show with a clear-cut villain, said villain escapes the bulk of judgment by the end of the series. That villain, of course, is Starr. Eventually, Herr Starr took a back seat to a greater villain, but even then, he was interfering in things and generally making himself a nuisance with his plan to launch a “limited’ apocalypse, presumably behind God’s back. Not that you can actually pull a fast one on God, since he knows everything. As He said in His discussion with Cas about the end of the world, it’d be cheating to just snap His fingers and lay waste to the world. Presumably, using humanity to accomplish divine ends is more satisfying for all parties involved.
After all, humans need a sense of purpose. The Grail provides that for a lot of people, Featherstone especially. Jesse has it in his quest for God. Tulip has it in her quest for Jesse. Cassidy doesn’t have it, but he seems to find it along the way as he carries on through the series and finds himself redeemed by the strength lent to him by Tulip after a particularly vicious fight scene.
Some solid work from all the actors involved in the scene, with Joseph Gilgun managing to give Cas some menace during the fight, without losing the character’s core goofy charm. (Cas has been a tightrope to walk in that regard, and Gilgun has done surprisingly well with it.) Ruth Negga and Dominic Cooper both do well in their big scenes, as well, with Cooper having a pretty good conversation with Mark Harelik’s God in front of the Alamo that brings some satisfying closure to that storyline. Ian Coletti also does a great job during one outraged Eugene monologue.
Fittingly, Sam Catlin’s script allows all of these characters seem to find closure and happiness, barring a few who don’t survive until the end. Even they seem to get some sort of happy ending. Featherstone gets her cause, Starr discovers a love of golf and glad-handing, Jesse and Tulip have the family they always wanted, Arseface becomes a rock star (in my favorite nod to the comic), and the world doesn’t end even after God breaks his deal with Jesse and tries to resume a seat on the throne. The final moments of that particular story are another series of images directly lifted from the comic book that look great.
After some busy episodes, that seemed to have a lot of scrambling around to accomplish everything, the finale is no less busy, but most of what is accomplished in this episode is brutal fighting. Tulip and Cas, Hitler and Jesus, The Saint and Jesse, The Saint and Genesis’s parents… it’s just a whole lot of people getting smashed into things and bloodshed and comedy violence.
Sam Catlin certainly has a knack for directing it, and while the fights can be a little same-y at times, there’s nothing quite like b-boy Jesus strangling Hitler to get a few laughs. That’s one of the funny visuals, but the opening shot of a car driving across the prairie of North Dakota is stunning (and it leans nicely into the opening credits), and the final shot of Tulip and Jesse’s daughter looking at her parents’ graves while Cassidy walks into the sunlight behind her is unexpectedly poignant and beautiful.
As an ending to the series, Preacher is fully satisfying. The end of the world is stopped, Jesse gets his confrontation with God, and Cassidy seems to find peace within himself. Everyone who deserves it, and even a few who don’t, get satisfying conclusions, or at least interesting codas. (The Eugene shirt on the girl at the paint store whose father is confronting Jesus is a nice touch.)
Sure, people died, but people always die. Everyone seemed to have a good time along the way, which is what matters. And while Preacher didn’t get a straight adaptation from the comic book, Sam Catlin, Seth Rogen, and Evan Goldberg got the spirit of the thing right, and enough of the good stuff along the way. That matters, too.