'Preacher' Season Finale Review: We Reach 'The End Of The Road' With A Bloody Bang

(Each week, we're going to kick off discussion of Preacher season 2 by examining the differences between the original comics and AMC's television adaptation.)

Here it is. The end of the road. We knew that things wouldn't end well for Jesse, Cassidy, and Tulip in the season 2 finale, but we probably didn't know how bad things would get.

Comic book readers had an idea, however, and are probably giddy at what this episode means for the season to come. A trip to Angelville is in order...

Young Custer

First, we start with faceless cameos from Jesse's kin. We see him as a young kid, where he's working a stand on the road for his grandma, who's a spirit medium of some sort. His uncles, T.C. and Jody, stop by to terrorize him and wordlessly demand money from him. They're not shown, but from the way they treat him, you can tell that this is an abused child.

Back in present day, Jesse is getting his messianic introduction to the world, through a speech written by Herr Starr. Jesse is giving it at a school full of nuns and children, which seems strange until a group of armed Armenians storm the place and try to shoot everyone. Jesse tries to use the Word but it's still on the fritz, and so he instead decides to grab one of their pistols. It's somehow loaded with blanks (Hmm, Herr Starr) so he instead gets to pistol whipping, while Starr continues to film.

They couldn't end Preacher without another ass-kicking action scene, right? Right. This one is set, hilariously, to George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord." It's perfect, and a great end to what's at least a half-dozen incredibly badass fights from this season alone, a season that's established Preacher as one of the most well-choreographed action shows around.

Jesse is understandably mad at being tricked by the fake terrorists, and slams Starr against the wall after it's over.

"I didn't sign up for this shit!" says Jesse.

"Spoken like a true messiah," retorts Starr.

The Children of the Blood

Cassidy's suspicions about his son Denis come to a head here. He's long known that Denis is a danger, taking to vampirism in a way that Cassidy has tried to avoid for all these years, and he comes across him checking out a website for Les Enfants Du Sang.

This is a great reference to the comic, in which Cassidy comes across a young vampire named Eccarius who has a harem of young kids who treat him as a God. This is the name of their group, and Cassidy thinks he's a wanker, but lets him go along with it – until he reveals that he occasionally tells one he's going to turn them into a vampire and drains them of their blood. Eccarius brags that he's killed hundreds, so Cassidy crucifies him to the roof of a Church. The remaining cult members later attempt to take revenge on him, but fail.

It will be interesting to see if this was little more than a passing reference here, but either way, Cassidy is going to be irrevocably changed by the experience.

Shopping Maul

Meanwhile, Tulp is shopping in a supermarket getting all the essentials (sunscreen, cheap vodka) for their trip. Before leaving she has to deal with a cashier who clearly doesn't know how she tolerates fools. He soon learns, of course, and Tulip robs his register after knocking him out, trying to give the money to a shoplifter with a kid who is scared away by her instead. So Tulip pockets the money for herself.

She returns to find Cassidy smoking crack. A vampire high on crack is a pretty bad sign, but she rolls with it and talks about their plans in Bimini.

"We're going to have sex again." she tells Cassidy, and they hook up again as he bares his fangs. He tears out her throat before realizing it's just a dream. In the real, non-crack addled world... well, Tulip isn't distressed about Cassidy's crack use at all here, either. These two are damaged, and made for each other right now.


Escape From Hell

Hitler and Arseface have managed to almost escape from Hell. Something is after them, though. Arseface makes his way to the edge of a lake where the mythological figure Charon awaits, a hooded figure who summons the boat that will get Arseface back to the mortal realm. He almost has it, before that demon from Hell comes and straight-up kills Charon, stating that God is gone and no rules apply anymore. Fortunately, Hitler is there to save the day! He knocks out the demon and they take off together across the water.

Again, I have to question the show that makes a hero out of Hitler. I get making him a joke, but a selfless hero? In this time, where our very own president is lifting up white supremacists? Bad timing, Preacher.

Of course, the duo doesn't last long. They take a bus and Arseface compliments him on his new hoodie, but when they debark, Hitler runs off into the distance, knocking down a man with crutches on the way. Good job, Arseface. Now Hitler is running around the world again, and probably going to find a tiki torch right quick.


Loose Ends

Cassidy confronts Denis about the ladies' underwear he found in his room, but soon realizes that he is uncontrollable, and just won't be able to stop killing. So Cassidy kicks his son outside into the sun. He holds the door shut tight as Denis screams and bursts into flame in the light. It's intense and horrifying.

Cass and Tulip are about to leave, but Tulip goes to say goodbye to "Jenny." Finally, she realizes that these were the people monitoring them, but it's too late. Featherstone shoots her right in the chest.

Jesse is about to take off on his tour around the world, as he's already amassing worshippers from his ass-kicking performance, but a call from Cassidy ends that pretty quickly.

He returns to find Tulip nearly dead and a panicked Cassidy not sure what to do. But he definitely knows one way to save her. He bares his teeth and goes to bite her, but Jesse knocks him off of her and all the pretense is dropped. They go at each other and fight with everything they have for the first time, getting out all the aggression that's been building up out of their system...while Tulip dies. Jesse grabs Cassidy and prevents him from turning her, saying that she needs to die. Here it's a good thing that Cassidy isn't superhumanely powerful like in the comics, because he could have broken out of Jesse's grip with no problem.


Off to Angelville

Our two remaining heroes drive off with the corpse in the back. Yes, Tulip is dead.

Cassidy takes a minute to explain just how much he hates Jesse, before Jesse tells him to just wait. It's going to get much worse when his Grandma gets involved.

The season ends in a dirty, beer can-filled motel room with the Dog suit hanging up. We glance around it before looking at the bathroom door as it opens, and God walks out and we are blinded by His splendor.

Hoo boy, is next season going to be something. This show has completely redeemed itself from its rocky first season, turning completely its own thing completely. Following this as a comic fan has been tricky, because it's very much its own show, but it's heartening to see it hitting all the major plot points. Finally, we have the show that's every bit the sadistic, irreverent, absurdist pulp story we always hoped it could be, and all we need now is a few more seasons to bring it back home. And season 3 starts shooting in a few months.