Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s adaptation of Preacher, Garth Ennis’ turn-of-the-century hit for Vertigo Comics, announced itself with a bang in 2016, with a powerful force descending from the heavens and causing a man in Africa to explode — mid-sermon — all over his parishioners. Preacher‘s pedal has remained nailed to the floor ever since, right up to the Season 3 finale, The Light Above. With the fourth and final season Preacher due to launch Sunday night, this is the perfect time to refresh your memory on the state of play.
The Light Above starts with a young Jesse on his knees in prayer at the foot of his bed, a well-worn baseball bat just in front of him as God himself is looking on. Jesse has been steeling himself to go tell Gran’ma that he wants to take a night off from working at The Tombs to go see a girl, but Gran’ma ain’t havin’ it. Later that night, he finds the courage to take up his bat, but just as he’s ready to bring it down upon Gran’ma’s head, the clock strikes three, awaking her. Forced to look into her eyes, Jesse loses his courage, though he does manage to finally walk away from The Tombs and life under her evil, crazy thumb. As he walks down the dirt road away from her house, he passes his older self heading toward the house. “You shoudla killed her,” the elder Jesse growls, to which the younger replies, “Yeah, well, now’s your chance.”
Once back at the Tombs, Jesse uses Genesis to make TC shoot himself in the foot and then heads down to the basement to duke it out with Jody, a real knock-down, drag-out affair. The fight culminates in Jesse whacking his foe in the temple with a two-by-four with a couple of nails in it and then bashing his head repeatedly against the wall. Once Jody finally stays down, Jesse offers TC a chance to escape before he burns the place to the ground, but TC’s got no place else to go and so opts to go down with the ship. With those two numb nuts out of the way, Jesse is finally freed up to confront Gran’ma once and for all. With the aid of Genesis, he forces her to release him from her spells, but just as he’s about to kill her, she reveals that she’d made a new deal with the devil – that if Jesse were to kill her, the Devil would get Jesse’s soul instead of hers. This bit of news gives him only brief pause before he hooks her up to her own soul-sucking machine, rendering her a withered husk
Meanwhile, Tulip finds herself on a bus on its way to hell with the Saint of Killers, the Angel of Death, Arseface and Adolf Hitler. But Salvation, as it sometimes does, comes in the form of a band of overzealous neo-Nazis armed with a tank and several machine guns, demanding der führer’s release. You have to love their spunk, but these clowns are punching way above their weight class: Tulip and Arseface try to use the gunfight as cover for their escape, but before they can get away, the Angel of Death wraps her bullwhip around Tulip’s neck. Just then, Rick, the head Nazi, fires a shell from the tank which miraculously stops in midair, just a couple of feet from Tulip and the AoD – God himself has stepped in. “You see? I am a loving God,” He says. Having rescued Tulip, God then asks her to convince Jesse to stop looking for him. (God, you see, doesn’t want to be found.) But the Lord works in mysterious ways: He lets the Saint and the rest of them return to Hell.
Cassidy, in the meantime, finds himself crucified on a pool table in the lair of Les Enfants du Sang (Children of Blood, for those of you whose French is even worse than mine), with sunlight inching closer and closer. Eccarius, the foppish, Lestat-like vampire, tries to persuade Cassidy to change his mind and join Les Enfants, but what Eccarius doesn’t realize is that Cassidy had told the kids that Eccarius had actually been killing the vampires he had changed, rather than letting them enjoy immortality, and so they flip the script and make a meal of him.
And, back in Hell, the Saint of Killers returns Hitler and Arseface to Satan in exchange for his guns, and promptly shoots the Devil in the face, telling Arseface, “You’re right, you don’t belong here” and leaving. With the Saint gone and the Devil dead, Hitler calmly takes a seat at Satan’s desk – there’s fresh leadership at the top of the bottom, it seems.
As Jesse walks away from Angelville, Tulip pulls up and asks him if he’s OK, to which he replies, “Family’s overrated.” After taking a moment to consider this, she asks if he’s ready – for what, she doesn’t say, but Jesse gets it. “Ready,” he says, and they speed off, presumably to save Cassidy, who has since been taken captive by the Grail and cast down into a very deep pit. Starr has given up on his plan for Jesse to be the new Messiah, instead intending to torture and kill him and Cassidy on his road to world domination. “I’m tired of chess matches… it’s time to play some f!@#$%^ checkers.”
The final season of Preacher premieres with back-to-back episodes at 9pm ET Sunday on AMC; recent episodes will be available on-demand.