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Preacher - Fear of the Lord - Review

22 Sept 2019

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Not many shows can feature a man being tricked into eating his own leg, and have Hitler make Jesus breakdance in an attempt to launch him as a new messiah, and that all happen in a single episode, but Fear of the Lord very much achieved that. It was an exciting hour of television that ramped up the stakes, put Jesse through hell – and set the final pieces on the board for the apocalypse of what’s to come.

Tulip and Cassidy are on their own looking after Humperdoo, but Tulip isn’t ready to pull the trigger just yet. She wants God to witness the death of the only thing that he cares about, which means waiting no matter how many months for him to show up. But the more time that they spend with Humperdoo the closer Cassidy grows to him, with the trio spending time in the wilderness as a sort of family. Yet it won’t last forever and when the Grail come for Humperdoo, Tulip is forced to take Cassidy out of the equation so she can kill Humperdoo before the Grail get there, only she finds that she can’t bring herself to do so.

Humperdoo’s absence is creating a continued problem back at the Grail and particularly in regards to the lack of a messiah. Hitler has won Jesus reluctantly over to his side, and in a move that would feel so bizarre on just about any other show let alone this one – the unlikely duo try to convince Starr that Jesus is a better dancer than Humperdoo, and therefore more inclined to save the apocalypse. Yet Starr’s not the one they have to convince – it’s God, and God will never listen to Jesus.

From the most feared antagonist of the series, Starr has been on a downward trajectory since the start of the season and has become a sympathetic, almost pitiful villain. By the time he limps into the meeting with Hitler and Jesus he’s been tricked into eating his own leg by a group of cannibals, and that flashback helped further the point about just how much his appearance matters to him. But he’s not as intimidating as he once was, and although the series reminds us that he’s still a deadly villain, at this stage in proceedings, there are bigger fish to fry in the form of God. The story is doing a very good job at giving everyone a sufficient enough motivation to loath God, and ironically perhaps, the one person who doesn’t want to kill him is Jesse Custer, who despite everything that’s been thrown at him so far believes that this is all God’s test for humanity’s future, and if he resists the lure of the throne, humanity will be saved. Jesse is being tested by God, but it’s a test that God is setting up Jesse to fail.

And he does so, with God accusing Jesse, saying that he was tempted into taking the throne. It’s a harsh sentence and you can see Jesse’s belief in God crumbling before his eyes, outright blaming him for not only kids with cancer but also the existence of the Kardashians in one of the most powerful scenes of the episode. The series has been building towards Jesse coming face to face with God from the very beginning and now that the moment is finally here, it’s every bit as rewarding as I could have hoped it would have been. God’s decision to brutally eat Jesse’s eye as a reminder that he failed is – along with the scene with Starr and the cannibals, one of the more gruesome moments of this week’s Preacher that show it’s not afraid to hide back from showing the gore when it wants to.

But now the trio are reunited again, for the end. Unknown to Jesse however, Tulip and Cassidy have hooked up in his absence, and Cassidy is visibly discomforted by Jesse’s return, creating potential tension between the three that should go off like a firecracker. Eugene himself too, is still around and not done just yet, temporarily behind bars, and what’s perhaps most refreshing about the show is that I have no idea how it’s going to end. So little shows remain this unpredictable at this stage in their final season, and so few shows could literally get away with doing just about anything at this late stage like Preacher. The bar is raised from writer Wes Brown and director Iain B. MacDonald, the quality is there – can writers Carolyn Townsend and showrunner Sam Catlin wrap things in the final episode up on the high note that has been promised?

Either way, Preacher is going to be one strange little show that’s going to be sorely missed so it’s safe to stick around and enjoy the ride while it’s here.