Season 4, Episode 10: “End of the World”
Directed & Written
by Sam Catlin
* For a recap & review of the penultimate episode, “Overture” – click here
GOODBYE to one of the greatest comic adaptations of all-time!
Soundtrack: “Bulbo” by Feathered Sun opens the episode
North Dakota. Plans are delivered to the military. Grail operatives take sneaky control of all their systems. The Apocalypse Revue is well underway. Less than ten minutes until Apocalypse 2020. Cassidy’s taking care of Humperdoo until he goes on to do his “Gene Kelly” routine. God’s excited for his big “free will” experiment to play out in utter madness. The Lord Almighty is a voyeur. A real sick puppy.
Jesse gets a hand from the Archangel and his Beloved. After all, he’s carrying their child. Lara Featherstone is caught up lamenting what Allfather Starr has done to her. She’s angry at all “non–believers,” such as Tulip. She tries to shoot herself and there are no bullets left. She gets some parting advice from her enemy. (Note: She refers to herself by her comic book name here: Sarah.)
Starr tries his best to prevent a full apocalypse. Onstage the Messiah is being called to his spotlight. Humperdoo doesn’t want to go. Cass tries to force him, interrupted by Tulip. They have an awkward conversation about why the vamp would “blow up the whole world” because of their weird love triangle. Gets terribly nasty between the two.
EVERYBODY’S FIGHTING! Amazing.
The Saint of Killers fights the angel and demon. Jesus Christ fights the “fascist pig” Adolf Hitler. Only seconds left before Apocalypse 2020 goes into effect. The Saint dispatches the angel, hacking the demon into bloody bits. Jesse ends up at the feet of the undead cowboy. Will he die this way?
Lara’s got Starr at gunpoint. She doesn’t like that he’s a non-believer like so many others. He talks about pleasuring her (“… with my anus“). She falls for it a moment and gets a bullet to the brain. The Saint has decided it’s time to die for good, allowing Jesse to slay him with a sword rather than kill the preacher. This lets Jesse, and Genesis, go free.
Apocalypse 2020 is ready. The crowd chants “Kill us all!” over and over.
The vampire and his best friend / lover continue to kick the shit out of each other. Before he can choke her to death she puts a couple bullets in him. He grabs the gun and they share a laugh. The Grail are trying to break in to find the Messiah, too.
So Cassidy— very regretfully— chooses to shoot Humperdoo.
While the Christ child dies, the preacher arrives. God can sense what’s happened.
This hasn’t stopped Christ and Hitler from trying to kill each other, exchanging wild physical and verbal jabs. God walks in on them. He’s decided to use his first son to be the Messiah, now that he’s the only child left. Christ doesn’t want that. This prompts God, like a true asshole dad, to call his son out in anger. Jesus preaches “faith, hope, and love” which is not what dad wants. The Lord takes off once again on his bike.
Custer goes onstage at the same moment. He uses Genesis to quiet everybody. He explains the world will not end just yet. He uses the power of Genesis to shut everything down, right back to the Grail operatives who’d taken control of the military’s weaponry. Looks like the world is saved.
“So much for second chances”
We see glimpses of Eugene waking up in hospital. He’s offered assisted suicide by an Australian doctor. Eugene says “screw your angels” and would rather live than succumb to the will of people who’d judge him by how he looks. He goes back out to the street again trying to busk. He doesn’t get any attention with cutesy songs. He does a rendition of “Stars and Stripes” by the Circle Jerks, THEN people start listening.
Maybe he can use his anus face as musical angst. Maybe he’ll find peace.
Onstage, Jesse explains to the “fascist assholes” he won’t rest until God’s found.
He uses the Grail as an army, sending them off to find the Almighty. Jesse, Tulip, and Cass stand together in the wake of everything, briefly debating “Frodo Baggins” being fictional. Then, it’s time to think of what’s next.
Jump ahead two years.
(Soundtrack: “Black Thoughts” by the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion plays here)
Jesse and Tulip are running from the Rodriguez Brothers, just like the old days. Neither of them have changed, except for the fact the preacher can make use of Genesis should they need the extra help. We also see there’s a child now, a baby girl. Cass isn’t around— he’s off travelling, meeting celebrities, doing drugs, and enjoying life.
That night, Jesse gets a call. The Grail’s found God. Where? Of all places, the Alamo.
The preacher sends the Grail away. He makes the Lord dance via Genesis before they get down to it. Jesse asks the many questions people would like to ask God, such as about “kids with cancer” and more, getting the typical bullshit you’d expect. He also wants to know if his father’s in Heaven. God says yes. He also reveals his greatest desire is “to be loved.” The preacher thinks the Lord is a “needy little bitch” and uses Genesis to throw him around. He wants humans to be left alone.
And he tells Genesis: “Be free.” He relinquishes the power. God’s been thwarted. His inability to squeeze love out of Jesse, and so many others, plagues him. He’s left alone, unloved. Except for his weird creations in the RV. He kills them as they screen “I love you, daddy.” Easily one of the creepiest things in the whole run of Preacher.
Jesus is working in a home hardware store. He uses his loving nature to hawk paint, putting on a happy face like any other retail employee. Starr still has a great head of hair. Although he’s finding the law has caught up to him on the golf course. He makes a run for it, getting handcuffed by a detective. Doesn’t stop him. He nabs a gun and kills the cops so he can get back to his game.
When God goes back to Heaven the Saint’s there waiting, after making a final confession to the preacher before dying. The Almighty talks a good game, hoping it’ll get him out of dying by giving over his throne to the Saint and offering “an eternity of love.” He underestimates the cowboy’s hatred. They both fire at one another at the same time. God’s the one who gets a hole in the head.
And the Saint of Killers sits upon the throne in all his anger.
A big jump to 40 years later.
Tulip and Jesse are dead. Their daughter, who looks exactly like her mother, is at their graveside. Cassidy’s there, too. She’s heard quite the stories about him from her mother and father— each had great things to say about their close friend. Cass never got back to see them after so many years apart. “She loved you,” the daughter says. He reminisces on a life of wild adventures.
Then he walks off into the sunlight and catches fire.
Perfect moment for “Sweet Thing” by Van Morrison to be playing.
What a beautiful, melancholy, sweet ending. Father Gore’s loved this series. It has managed to be so strange, disturbing, heartfelt, funny, and DEEP all at the same time. There aren’t many, if any, other shows that can do that— and so well. We say goodbye. The comics are amazing, so if you haven’t read them go and do yourself a favour.
Live in this world a little bit longer.