It’s the moment of truth on the season finale of Preacher, “Call and Response.” Can Jesse really manage to call God down to Annville to have a little chat or will Odin Quincannon have his way and get the preacher to denounce Him? And what’s Tulip up to in this episode?
Tulip, as it turns out, comes back to Annville after she receives Jesse’s voicemail (the one we heard in “Finish the Song”) but Jesse Custer is still on the run from the law and rumor has it that Donnie’s got a hold of him. Tulip, fearing the worst, smashes her way into the Schenck household and demands to know where he is only to see him walk out of another room, shirtless and totally unharmed.
Donnie explains to Tulip that he was merciful to Jesse because he was merciful to him back when he had him cornered in the gas station bathroom. So, he and his wife are allowing the preacher to hide from the sheriff and the Annville police at their home. Tulip asks Jesse to step outside with her, clearly not impressed with Donnie’s act of mercy and needing to talk to him alone.
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Outside, Tulip tells Jesse she needs him to do something for her, only to turn around, pop open her trunk, and reveal Carlos inside, bound and gagged. “Kill him,” she says, much to Jesse’s shock. Apparently, Tulip didn’t return from Dallas alone, and didn’t finish Carlos off on her own either.
It’s the Thought That Counts
We finally get a flashback to what exactly happened in Dallas that made Tulip and Jesse want revenge on Carlos — and it’s big. Apparently, he was their partner in crime, quite literally, and helped them break into a large bank to rob it and get to the vault inside — only, after seeing the very happy and very much in love couple together goofing off with each other, Carlos has a total change of heart and decides to double-cross them. The motive seems to be jealousy, but I wonder if there was more to it than that.
So he frees a guard he had tied up, and walks out after throwing bags of money the couple handed him into his car — leaving Jesse and Tulip to shoot the guard and watch in horror as their accomplice speeds away in their getaway vehicle. Tulip, overcome with shock, suddenly bends over and seems to be in pain, drawing Jesse’s attention — and unfortunately, she appears to be losing the baby she’s pregnant with in this flashback. (If you remember back to when Emily and Tulip talked about having kids, this is probably what Tulip was referring to.)
Back in present-day Annville, Jesse looks at Carlos and asks, “Why?” before suddenly punching the dude in the face. All Carlos will say is that they were happy, but Jesse is done listening, and slams the lid of the trunk back down. Back inside, Tulip and Jesse argue about killing Carlos, with Tulip making the “eye for an eye” argument, and Jesse replying that killing him won’t change thing — it won’t bring their baby back.
Suddenly, Jesse grabs a trash bag and a pot holder glove, and makes his way back outside. He ties the bag around Carlos (to avoid a mess) and puts the gun in the glove. Just as he’s aiming to shoot, Tulip stops him. She explains that all along, it was the thought that counted. Jesse didn’t actually have to kill the other man, she just wanted him to be willing to do it for her.
So Jesse and Tulip let their old friend go, but not before beating the crap out of him. We know this because the last we see him, he’s hobbling down a sidewalk, bloody, bruised and all alone. Is that the last we’ll see of Carlos?
The Sheriff Learns Cassidy’s Secret
Elsewhere, Cassidy’s been caught, and he’s hanging out with one of the mascot guys in jail before the Sheriff comes along and tells the other guy he’s free to go. The sheriff then asks Cassidy where “he” is, and Cassidy assumes he means Jesse and he can’t tell the guy, because he claims they were hanging out together at the whorehouse when Cassidy was caught and he has no idea where his friend could be by now.
But Sheriff Root clarifies that he’s actually asking about Eugene, and Cassidy warns him that he doesn’t really want to know his son’s fate. The sheriff then pulls out a folder of files listing all of Cassidy’s past crimes — files that reveal that Cassidy has been around a long, long time.
Sheriff Root then implies that, based on things like Cassidy’s frequent use of sunglasses and weird hats, he’s figured out his secret. But just for good measure, he shoots Cassidy, then offers him a cup of blood to heal. (Anyone else curious where he might have gotten that? Just me?)
As he pulls a bullet from his body, Cassidy tells the sheriff that his son is still alive — well, he thinks he is, anyway. He then asks if there’s not a small part of the other man that is happy Eugene is gone, that he doesn’t have to deal with or look at his son every day. This enrages Sheriff Root (probably because it’s not totally false), and the man shoots Cassidy several more times before unlocking the cell and telling him he can go. I’m guessing it’ll probably take the vampire a little while to make his way out the door, though.
Later at the church, Donnie’s wife, Betsy, tells law enforcement officers who are hanging around outside that Jesse is back at her house, tricking them into leaving the scene. Donnie, Jesse and Tulip climb out of the trunk of the car (must be one big trunk!) and then the group starts to get the church cleaned up and ready for the very special service that day. Betsy even helps Jesse figure out the phone he plans to use to call down God.
Just before the service, Tulip and Jesse have a quiet moment in another room. Emily informs her daughter that Miles isn’t coming to church that day (since he’s meeting God somewhere else — get it?), and Cassidy makes his way to the front before the big event begins. He meets Tulip there, as she’s left Jesse in the back to prepare, and we see that the room is filled with the whole cast of characters we’ve come to know from Annville – mascots and comatose girls alike.
After Jesse greets the congregation, Odin stands up and says a piece about how the preacher is full of shit, but in any case, whoever is proven right gets the church. Jesse then goes to the pulpit, takes out the phone and angel hand, and proceeds to, well, call heaven, I guess.
After a lot of buzzing and grinding noises, and an awkward period where it seems like nothing is going to happen, suddenly the sun is just gone, and everything goes dark. Then a bright light bursts in the front of the room, and a man appears, saying “Look upon me.” It very much seems like Jesse Custer’s called down God after all.
God asks them why He’s been called, and Jesse explains that they all have questions. At first God is angry with him, with all of them, and Tulip, in her way, tries to put Him in his place, before Jesse makes her stop. God then says the cryptic answers He’s given should be enough, but Jesse isn’t having it. “Sin is winning,” Jesse says, and demands that God should act like the Father he claims to be.
God laughs, admiring Jesse’s boldness, then asks for their questions. One girl asks why bad things happen to good people, and God gives a pretty bland answer about people needing to feel “everything,” and before the girl can get Him to elaborate, the room erupts as more people want their questions answered as well.
Where is God?
Odin Quincannon manages to yell over everyone else, and asks God about his family – specifically about his daughter, Lucy. God tells him she’s there with him, and the man collapses back into his seat. Then God asks Jesse if he has a question — and despite having many, the preacher settles on one. “What is your plan for me?” he asks. God replies that he needs to be a shepherd to his flock, and when Jesse claims that he’s failed in his duty, God says that he has not — that by bringing the people of Annville to Him, Jesse has saved them all.
But then Jesse asks about Eugene, and God says that he’s saved too — which doesn’t make sense, since, as he explains, Jesse sent the young man to hell. And when God doesn’t seem to know about that, or about Genesis at all, Jesse quickly realizes the truth — the person talking to them isn’t God at all.
The preacher starts demanding to know where God is, and when the figure talking to them won’t admit that he isn’t God or where the real deal is, Jesse uses his power to command it of him. The figure, frightened, admits that “they” don’t know where God is — that He’s missing. He’s then dragged away by other unseen figures, and the image goes away and the sun comes back to Annville.
Despite Odin yelling after Jesse that he needs to denounce God, Jesse still won’t do it, and he, Tulip, and Cassidy leave to go get french fries, as Tulip suggested. In his wake, the people of Annville start to destroy his church — and their lives start to completely fall apart.
Emily sits her kids down at home and explains to them that nothing’s changed, that they never needed God to be good and that they need to be strong and continue to be good. But the rest of the town doesn’t seem so sure. There are several suicides, and a few schoolgirls appear to kill the creepy bus driver on his own bus. Mrs. Loach suffocates her daughter while her son snaps a selfie, and Odin Quincannon cradles a child-sized armful of meat — meant to symbolize his daughter, I imagine.
In a diner outside of town, Jesse, Tulip and Cassidy settle on what they plan to do next — and apparently the plan is to find God. When Tulip asks what they’ll do when they find Him, Jesse says they’ll help him if He wants help — and if He doesn’t, they’ll kick his ass. “All right, bitches,” Tulip states, “let’s go.”
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Back in Annville, it looks like the people don’t have to suffer through a world without God for very long, because that control room with all the alarms that looked so scary and foreboding? It apparently measures safe methane levels. A woman, dressed in dominatrix gear, is left to figure out the suddenly blaring alarms and controls while the guy in charge of them does nothing on a bed nearby. I’m not sure if he’s dead or just doesn’t care, but either way, the woman can do nothing to stop the disaster waiting to happen, and the methane gases reach a dangerous level before suddenly blasting out of pipes in various parts of the town. It mixes with something and suddenly we see an explosion rock the church, blasting it — and apparently the entire town of Annville — to bits.
Fiore returns from Hell, alone, and Jesse sees Eugene one last time in the face of the cashier at the diner — and he claims that he hasn’t forgotten the young man, and will continue do what he can to get him out of hell. So it looks like that storyline will continue into the next season of Preacher after all.
Out at the car, Tulip asks Jesse what Genesis is, and he agrees to show her — before commanding her to kiss him, which she has to comply with. She, rightfully, hits him for the act, and tells him to never do it again, before the three of them ride off into the country together, headed out to look for God.
But there’s still trouble back in Annville, where the seraphim that was after DeBlanc and Fiore wanders through the ghost town amidst the smoke and destruction. She’s suddenly shot by a figure standing a ways off behind her — and it’s revealed before the end of the episode that the shooter was none other than the murderous cowboy DeBlanc and Fiore went to retrieve from hell. And he’s on Earth for one reason — to find and kill the Jesse Custer.
It sounds like Preacher is going to have a second season, but it’ll be awhile before we see Jesse and the gang back on our TV screens. What did you enjoy about this season? Will you tune in when it returns?
(Image courtesy of AMC)