Preacher’s penultimate episode begins with a return to 1881, and Ratwater. We see a child looking anxiously out of a window as a shadow appears over his face. A man is singing for everyone at the bar when the Cowboy shows up. The little boy (the son of the man who asked, “is this paradise?” in episode 2) tells him about the coming storm, and asks him to join them by the fire. The preacher commends him for this, and then gives a little speech about how Ratwater accepts all types, even “the butcher of Gettysburg”. He asks the Cowboy if he will accept the love of Jesus Christ.
The Cowboy answers, oh so eloquently, “I love my horse, I love my wife, and I love my little girl. And as for Jesus Christ… He can join us all in Hell.” He then empties a sack containing the heads of the children from the schoolhouse and draws his guns.
The preacher asks what he wants, and the Cowboy shoots him first. He tells the man who was singing to finish his song. He then proceeds to gun down everyone in the bar, ending with the pianist. He finishes his bloodbath by chopping off the singer’s head.
The walls begin to shake violently as the Cowboy sits down and pours himself a shot. Outside of town, beyond the hanging tree, we see the raging storm.
After the titles we come to the modern day, right where the last episode left off. Sheriff Root asks Jesse where Eugene is. Jesse tells him, again, that he sent Eugene to Hell. Hugo interprets this to mean that Jesse has killed him, and so begins telling him about how badly child killers do in the prison he will go to. There’s a particularly gruesome story about a killer who committed suicide by repeatedly throwing himself off of the top bunk of the bed until he broke his neck, and how the warden responded to this by removing the top bunks.
Hugo tells Jesse that he’s going to wish he was in Hell. Jesse apologizes, then tells him he’ll see him on Sunday, before jumping out of the car. When Hugo stops he can’t find him anywhere. He does, however, find a pen jammed in the door.
We cut to Fiore and DeBlanc walking through the rain. They arrive at a gorgeously lit travel agency, where Fiore tells the woman working, Lucinda, that they’d like to take a trip. She offers to get them to Nova Scotia, then Tasmania, before they finally tell her that they want to go to Hell. Shockingly, it turns out she can help. Hilarity ensues as she books their trips. They hand over both of their wallets as payment, but she claims it won’t be enough. She says she wants to have sex with Fiore, which he agrees to, but DeBlanc stops her. She threatens to report them, but DeBlanc threatens to report her right back. She gives in and prints out their receipts.
Emily shows up at Tulip’s uncle’s house. Tulip tells her that Cassidy isn’t healing, and when Emily asks how clarification, Tulip very bluntly tells her that he’s a vampire. Tulip asks if she’s okay with that, and Emily nods yes, but it’s clear that she’s freaking out internally.
Tulip explains that she’s been feeding Cass animals to help him heal, since he seems to need “alive” blood, as she calls it. Emily asks if Cass is dangerous, and Tulip says he isn’t… as long as she doesn’t actually go in the room. She gives her some cash to buy more animals if she needs to, which makes Emily finally realize that Tulip is leaving, and she’s on sitting duty.
Em asks if Tulip knows about what’s going on with Jesse and Quidcannon. Tulip says that she doesn’t care, because she’s done with Jesse. She says he can be Emily’s boyfriend now, but Em claims that she already has a boyfriend, Miles. She fails at making him sound cool. Tulip goes to leave, and Emily asks where she’s going. She says she’s going to kill a man in Albuquerque.
Jesse eats breakfast with a homeless couple beneath the highway. The man tells him that he and the woman, Jackie, have a bet going: she says Jesse’s “off his rocker”, but he says he’s only half off. He can’t believe Jesse’s claim that he’s going to bring God to the church on Sunday. He asks how he’s going to do that. Jesse just says that they’ll see. He compliments Jackie on her pancakes.
Emily stares at the door to the room Cassidy is holed up in. She gets a call from Miles, who tells her that he’ll pick up the kids, and that he plans to stay over that night, rather than leaving before morning. Emily is not paying much attention, because she’s listening to Cassidy banging around in the room. She hangs up, and puts the guinea pig she’s holding in the room. At first she listens to Cass eat it outside of the door, but then she decides to peek inside. We get a glimpse of a half-healed Cass, his mouth covered in blood. Emily shuts the door.
Fiore and DeBlanc are packing up for their trip to Hell. Their hotel room is still trashed from the fight with the Seraphim from episode 6. Fiore says that, while going to Hell may not be the best idea, at least they are doing something. DeBlanc suggests they go to Heaven instead and tell them what’s happened. Fiore reminds him that if they do that, they’ll get separated for ever. DeBlanc suggests a coin toss – heads they go to Heaven, and tails they go to Hell.
The coin lands on tails, and Fiore suggests another flip. They get heads this time, and DeBlanc tells Fiore to get the phone. DeBlanc says they’re lucky because Fiore has no idea what Hell is like. That’s…something. But it turns out their Heaven phone is missing, which means they have to go to Hell anyway. We then promptly cut to Jesse hiding from the police with the Heaven phone before a commercial break.
Emily is watching Psycho in Walter’s living room. The scene, where Marion and Norman discuss “personal traps”, seems to hit home with her. Cass yells that he’s hungry from the back room. Emily gets up, and puts down the bunny she was holding.
Quidcannon presides over a wrestling match between two of his employees in his office. It is any wonder that the Qrew have time to do their jobs with all these extracurricular activities they seem to get up to. But Miles is there, and gets a frantic call from Emily telling him to come to Walter’s place and help her. The phone hangs up before she can tell him where she’s hiding.
He shows up at the house and goes looking for her. He hears something in the back room and goes to investigate. Once he’s inside the room, Emily shows up and locks him inside. Cass proceeds to eat him as Emily listens from the other side.
Sheriff Root comes to investigate the angels’ room at the Sundowner after the maid found their mess. He follows the sound of the radio in the bathroom and finds the Seraphim in the tub with her arms and legs cut off. She tells Hugo to kill her. Hugo doesn’t understand, so he declines at first, but then chokes her to death. He doesn’t notice when she regenerates outside the room and leaves.
Fiore and DeBlanc wait on the side of the road. The shuttle to Hell arrives, and the driver tells them they can’t take any carry-ons. DeBlanc calls Fiore “my dear” and tells him to leave his comics behind, to his chagrin. Classic tall angel antics.
Emily is trying to free some guinea pigs when Jesse shows up asking for Tulip. She tells him that she’s gone to Albuquerque. Jesse asks what she’s doing there, and she says she’s just trying to free the animals. She realizes that she has to go get her kids and leaves, though not before telling Jesse that Cass is inside.
Jesse comes into the back room and sees the mess inside. Cass, who’s looking a little better, tells him to go away because it’s “not safe”. When Jesse points out that he’s killed the mayor, Cass threatens to kill him too. He doesn’t do that, though – instead, he says that Jesse has seen what he is, and that he can leave. Jesse repeats his old refrain that he’s not going anywhere. He says that Cass has seen him too, the worst part of him, and he apologizes for letting him burn. After a moment, Cass says that he put him out, and that’s what matters. Jesse offers to help him hide the bodies.
Quidcannon informs Donny that Jesse has escaped police custody. It seems that Donny’s hearing has returned, though Odin still has to yell to get his attention. Donny asks what he thinks Jesse will do. Odin seems sure that Jesse will fail at his endeavor and be forced to denounce God. He is very pleased about this.
Back at the house, Cass is trying to sate his curiosity about the Heaven phone, only to find that it doesn’t seem to work. Jesse remembers that you need angel hands to use it. Cassidy very nonchalantly tells him that he can get him some of those.
Jesse goes off and calls Tulip. He tells her about the pancakes he had, and how it reminds him of a time when they were on the road, and wanted M&M pancakes at a diner. The scene switches to Tulip as Jesse continues his story. He ends his message by finally admitting that he does still have feelings for her, repeating their special words, “’til the end of the world.” The message ends, and Tulip gets out of her chair, approaching Carlos with a meat tenderizer.
After the commercial break we go back to 1881, where the Cowboy’s daughter is sick in bed. We watch as his journey to and from and back to Ratwater plays all in one piece, though shortened slightly. It ends with the scene we saw at the start of the episode, where the Cowboy returns to Ratwater and massacres everyone. He sits down for his drink as the walls shake, and then…
The scene resets, to him standing in the doorway, watching his wife tend to his daughter. We watch the journey again, even more shortened, and then again, and again, and again, until the clips are only seconds long. It finally stops, after he kills the singer for the fourth time. The Cowboy sits down to his drink as the walls shake, but this time the shaking stops.
A door opens somewhere deep in the saloon. The people emerge and come down into the main room. The Cowboy draws his guns, and we see that it is DeBlanc and Fiore. A location tag tells us that this is Hell. DeBlanc asks the man if he wants his suffering to end, and tells him that they have a job. The Cowboy asks what it is. DeBlanc says that they’ll tell him if he comes with them, and the Cowboy shoots him in the head. He asks what the job is again. Fiore says that they want him to kill someone. The walls begin to shake again.
We see the storm raging beyond the hanging tree again, but the storm is different, unnatural. The scene transitions to the same location back to Earth, where Jesse and Cass dig a hole to bury the bodies, confirming my suspicions that Annville stands close to where Ratwater once did. The boys hit something solid, and Cass (who is looking even better) jumps in and opens the case where he hid the angels’ bodies after the fight in episode 2. He pulls throws Jesse one of the angels’ hands, to use for the phone. They then bury Miles and the bodies of the animals before filling the hole in again.
This was another great episode, and visually stunning too. This show’s cinematography has never been lacking, but this episode hit a lot of buttons with me, particularly those scenes at the travel agency.
I’m glad that this episode finally tied the Cowboy into the modern day story line, because you may remember that I was never sure how he would play into all of this. I’m also glad that Jesse and Cassidy were able to resolve their issues, while we finally got clarification about how Jesse really feels about Tulip. I’m surprised about the way Emily was brought into the fold, but considering Tulip it makes so much sense, and I’m glad she wasn’t left in the dark. I was also surprised at how relatively little screen time Jesse seemed to get in this episode, but I personally didn’t mind much, because of how much Emily got.
This episode does leave me with one question: what’s up with Fiore and DeBlanc. I’m starting to get some shippy vibes, but also the fact that DeBlanc seems to know what Hell is like. That, in particular, brings me back to episode 7, when DeBlanc told Jesse you couldn’t get someone out of Hell, but Fiore said you could. I don’t know how much they’re going to explain with one episode left, but I’m newly curious about these two and why they were assigned to watch over Genesis.
Only one more episode to go! The season finale is called Call and Response, which is apt considering Jesse’s aims. This is the hypest I’ve been for an episode, ya’ll. Hopefully you are too.
Images courtesy of AMC.