UK TV review: Preacher, Episode 10 (Call and Response – Season 1 finale)
Chris Bryant | On 02, Aug 2016
Warning: This review contains spoilers.
“You know, one time I took a lot of Angel Dust, drank an eight-pack of Red Bull, and went to a Bieber concert. And this is honestly crazier than that.”
Preacher draws to a close in big, explosive style this week, as Jesse finally puts his faith to the test. Once again flanked by Tulip and Cassidy, AMC’s resident preacher has to face revenge, redemption, and religion.
After a season of remarks relating to Carlos and his betrayal of Tulip and Jesse, they are finally faced with their partner-turned-target. Jesse gives him a Christian chance, but very much sticks to doing things the Custer way. Leaving with a beating and a lesson, Carlos is an excellent display of Jesse learning to compromise – by arming his enemies fairly first.
Cooper, unsurprisingly, has an especially strong episode. While the show is as unpredictable and wild as they come, it is still stunning to see Custer contacting God with a packed church, considering the scared, aimless ex-con that reinhabited the buiding in Episode 1. Cooper’s subtle transition – complete with varying levels of fury – has been a highlight of the show’s moody, darkly comic style; Cooper’s consistence and realism has served as an anchor for the wackier moments.
The major centrepiece of the finale consists of a severed hand, a steampunk telephone, and a bearded white guy pretending to be God. The revelation that God is absent scares the town into an ironic anarchy, but gives the green-lit second season a huge scope for the badass trio to go deity hunting. It’s a masterstroke of writing, creating panic and destruction, while continuing to comment on mankind’s relationship with The Man Upstairs; Ennis’ wit and cynicism has been translated perfectly to the screen. Ending with Hell-on-Earth and the return of the Saint of Killers, the fact Preacher can focus on, contact, and then lose God, and that this doesn’t even cause the biggest panic of the episode, is truly an enviable bit of work by all involved.
Overall, the first season of AMC’s show is a roaring success. It is the gold-standard of non-superhero comics being transferred to the screen. It’s intelligent, witty, and bursting with brilliant ideas, as well as incredibly well-balanced characters. Preacher may be the only show around that has an equal chance of making you sick from shock and violence as it does of making you laugh. It’s a holy juggernaut that works tirelessly to make sense of the mess of existence, or make a mess out of sense. Hopefully, Season 2 will help us all decide.
And, just to be clear, everyone likes The Big Lebowski.
Preacher is available to watch online in the UK exclusively on Amazon Prime Video, as part of a £5.99 monthly subscription. Episodes arrive every Monday, within 24 hours of their US premiere.