This is it, ya’ll. The season finale is here, and God is coming to Annville.
The episode begins with a montage of Annville as the sun comes up on Saturday morning. A giant time-stamp tells us there are 17 hours and 22 minutes “until God”. A radio broadcast plays over more shots of the town, telling us that God is coming to the church on Sunday, that “local freak” Eugene Root is still missing, and that Jesse is still on the run. Jesse runs through the frame, followed by police sirens.
Women are lined up at the local beauty salon, which is offering 50% off of bikini waxes because God is coming. There’s a wall next to the shop prominently displaying a ton of ads for missing pets. Mosie comes out of the salon to speak to Tulip, who asks what’s going on. Mose tells her that God is coming. Tulip asks if she really believes that, and Mose says she’s getting her highlights redone just in case. Tulip then asks where Jesse is. From Mose’s reaction, she guesses that “redneck son of a bitch” Sheriff Root has finally caught up with him. Mose tells her a bigger redneck has a hold of him, and Tulip deduces that it’s Donny Schenck.
We cut to Donny beating someone, but soon see it’s just him and Betsy roleplaying. Later he gives her a bag of frozen blueberries to sit on. She tells him she missed him, and he wiggles his eyebrows seductively. Tulip smashes the glass on their front door with a lawn flamingo and demands to know where Jesse is.
Tulip bangs Betsy’s face into the table when she informs her that Donny is hard of hearing. Jesse comes out of the back, having just stepped out of the shower, and asks Tulip what she’s doing there.
Cassidy is in jail again, fantasizing to his cellmate about Tulip. A police officer comes and tells the cellmate, a guy in redface called Larry, (you may remember him from the title sequence and pilot) that the guy in the prairie dog suit has dropped the charges against him. Cass advises him to “take a break” with Pedro and “leave it on Brokeback Mountain for now”. Um…
Anyway, the officer and Larry leave, but Sheriff Root is lurking in the corner. He asks Cass where Eugene is. Cass thinks he’s talking about Jesse, and explains again that after he was arrested at the Toadvine brothel, he doesn’t know what happened to him. Hugo says he knows where to find Jesse come Sunday, and the countdown tells us there’s 15 hours and 37 minutes until God. He asks what Jesse did with Eugene, and Cass says that he doesn’t want to know.
Hugo sits down with a thermos and begins going through a folder with Cass’s past arrests. The dates go all the way back to 1922. Between this and the way Cass dresses when he’s outside, he’s deduced that he’s a vampire. Hugo shoots Cass when he tries to attack him. He pours some blood out of the thermos into a paper cup, and tells Cass that it’s going to be a long night.
Donny tells Tulip that he’s gotten saved. He says that he could have killed Jesse that night in the church, but decided to be merciful and didn’t. He recalls the incident from episode 3, when Jesse could have ordered Donny to kill himself but didn’t, saying that he was being merciful too. He decided to let Jesse hide out at his house because he showed him that he’s not a murderer, and saved him. Tulip is skeptical, and implies that something more went down in that gas station men’s room. Betsy tells her to lose the attitude, because it takes a real man to let God into his heart.
Tulip and Jesse step outside. Tulip says that the whole town is going crazy over this God thing (countdown at 13 hours and 1 minute), and asks what’s going on. Jesse says he’ll bring her up to speed, but first he wants to talk about the fact that she came back for him. She says that, after his phone call, she couldn’t resist, but she makes fun of him for it. He apologizes, and she says he should be sorry. She asks if he’ll do something for her, and he says anything. She drags him to her car by the belt buckle and tells him to kill Carlos, who is stuffed in the trunk.
We flashback to Carlos, hitting on a female postal worker outside of a bank with some Male Feminism 101. He offers to take some letters inside for her, asks if she likes Chinese food. She says no and he calls her a bitch. We hear Jesse and Tulip laugh at him through his earpiece as he throws the letters in the trash.
Inside, Jesse and Tulip go through the lockboxes while talking about how good Chinese food sounds at the moment. Jesse finds a double-fisted dildo in one of the boxes and starts messing with Tulip.
Carlos comes in, and seems kind of upset as he watches them. He calls them immature and they mess with him about the girl again. He asks how long until they get into the vault, and they give him the bags with the other stuff to take out to their getaway car.
Carlos steps in a puddle as he’s putting the bags in the trunk. He comes back inside, and cuts the zip tie around a security guard’s wrist. It cuts to the security guard dead on the ground with a bullet hole in his head, as Tulip screams at Carlos, who is running off in the getaway car. She clutches her stomach and tells Jesse that there’s something wrong with the baby.
In the modern day, Jesse pulls off Carlos’s gag and asks why he did it. Carlos says that it was because they were happy. Jesse shuts the trunk.
The guy who was manning the pressure gauges in episode 8 speaks on the phone to his wife while he watches a room full of brown muck. He tries to talk his wife into sex that night, but she says no.
Cass pulls a bullet out his stomach and drinks some more blood. The cells walls are painted with blood splatters. Hugo tells him he’s tough, and Cass says he’s gotten used to the pain. Hugo asks where Eugene is again. Cass says that the good news is that he’s alive, or at least he thinks he is, but that may also be the bad news. He says what Jesse did was an accident, because he’d never hurt a kid on purpose. Hugo repeats his quote about the world being a monster swamp.
Cassidy agrees, but says that no one is perfect. He is a bad man, sure, but what about Hugo? He asks if there isn’t a part of him that is glad that Eugene is gone. Hugo empties the revolver on him. Cass says this proves his point. Hugo unlocks the cell and tells him he can go.
Jesse and Tulip argue about whether or not to kill Carlos. Betsy complains that all the yelling is going to wake up Chris, but Donny can’t hear it. After a round of shouting, in which Tulip accuses God of being a racist white guy, Jesse says that nothing they can do will bring the baby back. Tulip says she knows, and someone has to pay. Jesse goes into the kitchen and gets a trash bag and an oven mitt before grabbing Tulip’s gun. She asks what he’s doing, and he says he’s going to Hell anyway.
Jesse goes back out and puts the trash bag over Carlos’s head. Tulip comes out and asks what he’s doing. He points the gun (inside of the oven mitt) at Carlos’s head and asks what she thinks he’s doing. She hugs him and says that that’s the most beautiful thing anyone has ever done for her. He says she was right, but she says that he was. He goes to kill Carlos anyway, but Tulip stops him, because it’ll mess up her car. She says it’s the thought that counts. Jesse asks what they’ll do with him.
They release Carlos from his bonds. He apologizes for “losing his head” and tries to leave. Tulip hands him a tire iron. Jesse says that that’s not fair, because they have to give him a chance. Carlos tries to refuse the gun Jesse gives him, but accepts when Jesse points it at his head. They ask Carlos if he’s ready, and when he isn’t, Jesse says that’s tough shit.
We see redface Larry walking down the street with a bouquet of flowers. Carlos stumbles into frame and down the sidewalk, beaten half to death.
Betsy tells a police officer about Jesse being at her place, calling him and Tulip “animals”. She says that Preacher put a spell on Donny. Jesse climbs out of her trunk after the police pull off. Tulip marvels at the blown up bulldozer.
Tulip and Donny clean up the church, while Betsy helps Jesse figure out how to work the Heaven phone. The countdown tells us there’s 5 minutes until God.
Cars line the path leading up to the church. Tulip asks Jesse what he thinks will happen, and he says he honestly doesn’t know. As she straightens his collar, she says that, no matter what happens, they’re going to get French fries afterward. Tulip reunites with Cass in the main part of the church. He tells her that he managed to get off with a warning and a few bullet holes. She says she’s glad he’s there, and he says he wouldn’t miss it.
Emily tells her daughter Alice to go sit with her brothers. Alice asks if they should save a seat for Miles, but Emily says he’s not coming. She asks if he doesn’t want to meet god, and Emily says he’s meeting him somewhere else.
Jesse finally comes out from the back. The police officer that was talking to Betsy asks Hugo if he’s going to arrest him. Jesse tries to start, but Quidcannon jumps in to take the reins. He explains that Jesse is going to try to call God, but he believes that he’s a liar. He says again that the only real god is the God of Meat, but everyone just looks at him. He sits down and tells Jesse to show them God.
Jesse opens up the Heaven phone and puts the angel hand on it just like Betsy said to. The thing turns on, but he can’t seem to make it work. Odin gets up, but suddenly everything goes dark. A yellow light projects from the phone, and a man starts talking. He says he is God.
God asks why they’ve called him. Jesse says that they have questions. God yells at them for questioning him, but Tulip begins going off on him for making them suffer (and making a baby cry). God says that “I am” is the only question they need. Jesse says that’s not enough. Sin is winning and he’s losing, so if he’s really a father, he needs to act like one and answer their questions. God acquiesces, because Jesse has balls.
A girl gets up and asks why bad things happen to good people. God says that, when he created humanity, he wanted them to have everything, including pain. All those things are what make them people. Everyone begins scrambling to ask their questions. Cass says this is crazier than the time he took drugs and went to a Justin Bieber concert. Odin asks if his daughter Lucy went to Heaven, and God says yes.
God asks if Jesse has a question. Jesse says he has a lot, but the one he’ll ask if what the plan for him is. God says he’s meant to be a shepherd to his flock. Jesse says that he failed at that, then asks why he gave him Genesis if he can’t use it to save them. God says he hasn’t failed – he brought them to him, so they’re all saved. Jesse asks if that includes Eugene, and God says yes.
Tulip says this is amazing, but Jesse seems discontented. He tells God that he sent Eugene to Hell. God asks how he did that. Jesse says that he did it with Genesis, actually naming it. God dodges and answer and asks who else has a question. Clive asks if he can get his penis put back on.
But Jesse isn’t done. He asks if God is really God. God repeats that he is the alpha and the omega, but Jesse points out that he was picking his nose, and calls him an imposter. He asks where God is. God begins to blow up, but Jesse asks again with Genesis. “God” says he doesn’t know. Jesse uses Genesis to ask one more time. “God” ends up telling them that the real God is missing. People in white suits drag him away while he says that Jesse made him say what was going on. The church is left in silence as the lights come back.
Jesse tells Tulip and Cass that they’re going. Odin begins yelling at Jesse to denounce God. Cass asks where they’re going, and Jesse says that Tulip wanted French fries. The officer asks whether Hugo will do something, since Jesse broke the law, but he scoffs at the idea, in the face of what’s just happened. Everyone begins leaving, as Emily plays “96 Tears” by ? and the Mysterians on the organ. It cuts to Quidcannon and the Qrew fighting with churchgoers and wrecking the church before the commercial break.
Emily explains to her kids that nothing is going to change now that God is missing, and they didn’t need him anyway. Redface Larry hangs himself in despair. A gaggle of little girls leave school bus, having murdered Linus the pedophile bus driver. Mrs. Loach suffocates Tracy with a pillow, while he son takes a selfie. Hugo and his wife watch the broadcast of Tom Cruise’s ashes being flown into space. Donny can’t get into his wife’s Wizard of Oz cosplay. Odin cradles a meat mannequin of his daughter Lucy.
The alarms on the pressure gauges begin going off again. The man who takes care of it lies despondent on a bed as one of the Toadvine girls tries desperately to turn it off. We finally learn that the control panel is for the QM&P methane reactor, which powers all of Annville. Pipes like the one we saw in episode 3 start opening and letting off gas all over town. One opens and catches flame near the hanging corpses of Larry and the prairie dog. We see the church liquefy as the reactor melts down.
Fiore is returned to the bus stop, his face covered in soot. He’s alone. Cass continues his babbling about The Big Lebowski. Tulip tells him that he’s the only person in the world who doesn’t like that movie, and when he disagrees, asks who in the diner likes it. Nearly everyone answers that they do. She asks Jesse what the plan is now. He says that they’re gonna find God. Cass is only convinced once he realizes that they’ll be going on a road trip. Tulip asks what they’re gonna do if they find him. Jesse says that if he wants their help, they’ll help him, and if not, they’re gonna kick his ass. That wins her over.
They decide to head out. Jesse tells “Eugene”, who’s appeared as the cashier, that they’re gonna get him out of Hell. Not!Eugene thanks him, as a news report about the reactor meltdown plays on the TV behind him.
Outside, Tulip asks Jesse what Genesis is. He demonstrates by ordering her to kiss him. They make out epicly, with music and everything. When they separate, we can see Cass watching them from the car. Tulip punches Jesse in the face and tells him to never do that again. The squad all put on their sunglasses and set out, after posing for a moment (and Cass asks what they’re waiting for).
The episode ends with the Seraphim limping through the ruins of Annville. She’s shot through the chest, and doesn’t regenerate. The cowboy steps on her corpse, and utters the word, “Preacher”.
Goodness, this episode! I think it was a satisfying ending for the season, and it did a good job setting up the big plot points for season two. The biggest shocker, for me, was the realization of just how many plotlines were tied up before this episode aired. Emily wasn’t in this episode at all until we got to the church, for example. I think that reflects really well on the writers – they made it so that they could focus on the big points.
I’m not surprised that we had to wait as long as we did to see what went down with Carlos, but at the same time I wish we had seen it earlier. Seeing what happened really explained why Tulip was the way she was regarding Jesse. I was never a fan of the back and forth with them (and I was never quiet about it), but seeing this would have, at least, explained that.
One thing I’m not sure how I feel about is the reactor explosion. If you’ve read Wendy’s piece about the show, or know the comics, Annville (which I think is unnamed) was destroyed in the beginning, by the merging of Genesis with Jesse. I get why they changed it, but I’m left wondering how this version of Jesse would have reacted to it.
I still can’t believe we’re at the end of the season! And all the characters we’ve come to love are gone. I’m actually quite torn about that, because this episode made me like the Schencks. We won’t see Jesse, Cass, and Tulip again until next year, but I’m doing one final post about the show next week. See you then!
Images courtesy of AMC