Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Preacher, Season 3, Episode 10: The Light Above

With Jesse finally going back to Angelville it’s time for a flashback - back to when young Jesse first left. Back then he struggled with the idea of killing his grandma, with the struggle being overtly indicated with the presence of both god and satan pushing him in their own chosen direction

But ultimately Marie is right - Jesse is too much a Custer, too afraid of hell to actually take that step and kill her even though she outright brags about killing his parents. Instead he leaves

And Jesse, coming back, tells his younger self he should have killed her then. But he has a chance now.

Naturally this is something of a conquering hero moment for Jesse. TC argues for peace but gets Gensised into shooting his own foot - and yes Genesis has full on telekinesis now.

He could use this to kill Jody in an instant - but that’s not how Jesse wants to end his father’s killer. They go to the tombs and have a brutal knock down fight with boards with nails in, chains et al. Jody may have won but he reminded Jesse of how he killed his dad and this is Hero Rules. Hero always has to lose a fight before finally finding some extra mojo in him to really turn the tables. He finally, brutally, beats Jody to death. Well he has a moment to say how proud he is of Jesse before finally dying…

Jesse burns the body - and TC. He doesn’t know anywhere but Angelville and would rather die than leave it. So he does

And now Jesse goes to confront his grandmother, the ultimate evil. And within seconds he unleashes Genesis and orders her to release Tulip and say Jesse’s debt to her is paid - she does, freeing both from her magical control. And the next plan is to kill her… but she reveals a new deal she made with Satan. If Jesse kills her, he goes to hell. And the Custers are mighty afraid of hell.

He can turn and leave. He’s killed Jody and TC, he’s saved Tulip and rescued himself… he’s won. But that doesn’t sit well with Jesse - because Marie has also won. And she will live another 100 years thanks to the souls they got from Japan, enough to keep her alive: unlike his parents.

So he orders her to destroy the souls… using Genesis

Now it’s a victory. But despite that it still doesn’t feel like Victory… not with her still alive. And despite his huge fear of hell and the deal Marie made with Satan, he finally kills her… using her own soul sucking machine

And this feels like such a huge turn around for Jesse. And is a brilliant, epic conclusion to the Angelville storyline with Jesse finding all his power and finally unleashing the torment he always was going to. Oh it was past time for this to happen and it was utterly perfect - an absolutely awesome, epic finale.

Which… is perhaps the only part of this show that does?

Because moving on to Cassidy and Eccarius, Eccarius gives Cassidy another chance to convert rather than burn in the sunlight. He appeals to Cassidy hedonism, survival and many many years of them both together - and Cassidy pretends to agree. He is freed and they have a brief moment when Cassidy reflects on the healing he needs after being crucified and Eccarius offers him squirrel blood

But if Cassidy is going to convert to team evil he wants some actual blood. From a human. So time for a blood ceremony. And ol’ grandma Mrs Rosen volunteers. And Eccarius decides he wants to join in. Until he sees there’s a bite on her neck…

Cassidy has turned the whole lot of them. He was released by Mrs. Rosen after she tried to call all of Eccarius’s creations and realised they were all gone… all of them.

As a mob they all turn on Eccarius and kill him. And all is good - until the Grail shows up, nukes most of the vampires and takes Cassidy hostage.

And while the Angelville storyline was epic, the Eccarius storyline was brief, underdeveloped and could be so much more. We got to see very little of Eccarius and Cassidy together - one awesome episode and then straight to evil. No real exploration of the vampires, no attempt to take the time to develop their relationship or make this more. It just feels so… abbreviated.

Over to Tulip and the crashed bus that was attacked by nazis (one of them wearing a MAGA hat!). And a tank

There follows the best use of nazis on television. Being mocked (the guy calling himself an SS officer is wearing a Luftewaffe medal) and then being destroyed. By Tulip, by The Saint of Killers, by the Angel of Death

Lots and lots and lots of dead Nazis. Which is always an excellent thing. And Eugene fights Hitler

And the Angel of Death can’t stop making snide remarks about the Saint’s dead family - and he finally turns on her, ripping out her eyes like the crows ripped out the eyes of his daughter. This gives Tulip chance to escape

Well that and God. He arrives to play all benevolent, forgiving redeemer, willing to take away the O’Hare curse

And Tulip chews him out. She doesn’t need forgiveness, not from him. She has free will and she’s doing things her way. Honestly the whole speech was epic and kind of awesome and Tulip will always be the character who stood before god and exerted her full independence. Even when he tries to extort her with the safety of her friends, she rejects his “help” and his condescension

And yes, I applauded. And yes I cheered. And yes, as with Cassidy, I felt this storyline needed so much more. More contact between Tulip and god. More examination of Tulip’s defiance and battling self worth to make this moment so much sweeter than it was. More point to establish WHY the Saint of Killers can truly rip out the eyes of the Angel of Death

And why, when he gets his armaments back in Hell, he is able to shoot and kill Satan himself. God is gone. There are new rules - or no rules. It’s rather anti-climactic. He leaves, with Eugene (since Eugene’s simple faith has struck a chord with the Saint)... and leaving Hitler behind in Hell

To be the new Satan

Which , apparently, finishes season 3. Which actually shocked me to see. This season needed to be longer, needed to be much longer. We gave a decent amount of attention to the Angelville storyline - perhaps too much even as it definitely felt like it dragged on the first half of the season. It all felt very oddly focused. Like here we have Jesse and his family drama - but it was a narrative that pretty much excluded the other characters. While at the same time other storylines were dealt with casually or super quickly. The Grail and the Allfather, a far more epic storyline, was wrapped up far easier. Sabine and what she could have been was really casually covered. Eccarius feels utterly underused. Tulip only really developed a plot in the last 3 episodes despite an ongoing theme of her deep family and self-worth issues that never really came to fruition. I actually finished this episode thinking, “right now the real story begins”... because the whole season had a sense of being a… prologue.