Editor’s note: This post contains spoilers for the latest episode of Preacher! Proceed with caution. For reals, if you haven’t yet watched “Finish the Song,” we highly suggest you do so before proceeding. Okay? We good? Then let’s go.
They say things happen in threes. And this week’s episode of Preacher goes a long way towards making me believe it. Almost everyone in this show has long held some sort of stain on his or her conscience, but “Finish the Song” puts visible blood on the hands of three characters we haven’t seen kill onscreen before.
The first: the Saint of Killers has been poised to explode ever since his daughter paid the ultimate price for his compassion and humanity’s cruelty. So it’s no surprise when we watch him finally take out his wrath on the town that screwed him over, especially its local holy man, who knows of his dark past. Few shows on TV have teaser scenes as good as Preacher, and “Finish the Song” gives us another gem, with the Saint shooting down a barroom full of people while instructing one saloon singer to croon a tune… before he, too, gets offed, albeit with a sword that slices through his neck like it was made of warm cheese.
The second of tonight’s killers is the show’s most innocent character, Emily. She’s tasked with feeding a still recovering Cassidy, and ultimately takes advantage of the situation to rid herself of an unwanted boyfriend. There’s some great black comedy in this horror movie subplot, which pays homage to its inspiration when she watches Psycho on TV. Even the episode’s soundtrack gets into the act, featuring strings straight out of Bernard Hermann’s score for the Alfred Hitchcock masterpiece. Like Norman Bates, she too plays caregiver to a deadly invalid. Granted, hers isn’t imaginary.
On a side note, it’s good to see Cass back, even if he looks like crap since Jesse let him fry outside his church. While he didn’t let him fry too long, and as the vampire carefully explains to Preacher Custer, that’s enough for him. Ah, would that we all had such forgiving friends…
As for the third of tonight’s onscreen blood baptisms, it’s one that’s no less creepy for being a mercy killing. We finally learn what angels Jesse and Cassidy did to stop the deadly seraphim who was targeting Genesis several episode ago: They disarmed her… literally. They also cut off her legs so she couldn’t run after them. Sheriff Root finds their handiwork lying in their hotel room’s bathroom, and strangles her to death, prompting her to regenerate in the adjoining room.
Despite the gruesomeness of their holy war, “Finish the Song” takes several steps towards further humanizing the angels. They’re most likely gay, they squabble over little things like a comic book collection, and when they want to go somewhere they call a travel agent. But the episode yanks the rug out from under us when it ends their story by dovetailing it with that of the Saint of Killers, whom they pull out of his personal Hell to assassinate an unsuspecting Jesse. Will their latest plan to extract Genesis succeed? We have one episode left to find out this season!
Preaching to the Choir
— “I love my horse, I love my wife, and I love my little girl. And as for Jesus, he can join us all in hell.”
— “Occupation?” “Serial killer.” “Architect.”
— Now just what was that travel agent going to do to “the big one” in the back for 20 minutes?
— Emily is so desperate to convince Tulip she’s not in love with Jesse that she comes clean on her relationship with the mayor! Of course, she may have been planning to feed him to Cassidy before the words left her mouth.
— “No problem, Padre. I can get you angels’ hands.” Good ol’ Cass is basically a kinder, gentler version of The Big Lebowski‘s Walter Sobchak.
— Will Jesse’s declaration of love for Tulip be enough to stop her from killing Carlos? Let’s start placing those bets!
What did you think of this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter (@JMaCabre).