He’s baaaack.

It’s a time for comebacks on this week’s episode of Preacher, “Finish the Song.” Not only do we see the return of our beloved Irish bloodsucker, Cassidy, but we also see more of that murderous cowboy from earlier in the season. (Remember the one who went out seeking medicine for his daughter and wound up slaughtering a bunch of people before getting back home too late?)

“Finish the Song” kicks off with yet another flashback (something that’s slowly becoming both Preacher’s trademark and an annoyance). This time, we’re in the good ole’ Wild West. To the tune of children reciting their multiplication tables (math is always disturbing), we see one little boy staring out the window. His face is overshadowed by a large, black form and his expression rapidly shifts from bored out of his mind to scared in 0 seconds flat.

Cut to a bar where an Asian cowboy spits out a hock of blood (or tobacco. Probably tobacco) before starting to sing along to the piano being played off screen. Patrons gaze on in subdued admiration, but their merriment is cut short by the doors opening and a very unwelcome face stepping into the bar.

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The Cowboy of Ratwater is back, looking pretty unimpressed with the night’s entertainment. Something strange happens in the immediate aftermath of his arrival. A sharp hum fills the air, rattles the bottles on the shelves behind the counter. A boy welcomes the cowboy, tells him that a storm is coming. But we all know this cowboy ain’t afraid of a little rain. And the town’s preacher — who instigated the problems with the cowboy the first time he was around and even shot his horse — doesn’t seem keen on seeking shelter with the likes of the cowboy. He commends the child on his “good Christian charity”, then proceeds to be passive aggressive and welcome the cowboy in while declaring the town accepts “all kinds.” The hateful, the weary, the broken, the lost, even the Butcher of Gettysburg.

Wait. That sounds oddly specific. The bar is plunged into uneasy murmurs, but the preacher just keeps going. He reveals the cowboy’s bloody past before asking him if he’ll accept Jesus into his life. The Cowboy is a simple man who doesn’t let go of a grudge easily. He doesn’t have time for religion or bullshit, so he just replies, “I love my horse, I love my wife, and I love my little girl. And as for Jesus, he can join us all in Hell.” Then he whips out TWO revolvers, kills the preacher and tells the cowboy who was singing earlier to “finish the song” while he murders everyone to the tune of the man’s petrified singing.

Way to start an episode with a bang. Pun intended.

Where’s Eugene?

Back in present day, the Sheriff questions Jesse on the whereabouts of his son. The Preacher only replies that he sent him to hell. This prompts the Sheriff to delve into a story about his friend who works at the penitentiary that the Preacher will most likely wind up in and how “child killers aren’t particularly welcome.”

He recounts the suicide of another child killer who jumped off his bunk bed repeatedly until he snapped his own neck. He finishes by telling Jesse he’ll wish that he was in Hell, too. But Jesse’s got things to do, and they don’t involve rotting away in jail, so he apologizes to the Sheriff and tells him he’ll see him Sunday before  jumping out of the moving cruiser and disappearing into the night like Batman.

Two Tickets to Hell, Please

DeBlanc and Fiore find themselves at a travel agency called Distant Vistas and discuss their vacation options with the lone agent. They want to go down south, so she recommends Tazmania. DeBlanc says that’s not far enough, and they need to go “much further south.” Finally, DeBlanc just spits out that they want to go to Hell.

Tom Brooke as Fiore, Anatol Yusef as DeBlanc - Preacher _ Season 1, Episode 8 - Photo Credit: Lewis Jacobs/Sony Pictures Television/AMC

No one’s booked a package there in a long time, so the travel agent is understandably perplexed. She asks why the angels think she could help them go to such a place, and they pull the classic “maybe you can’t help us” negotiating tactic that always works on sales people.

As it turns out, this travel agent really is one of the best in the business because, after shielding her bird’s eyes from the horrors to come, she asks the angels if they’re registered. You have to register to enter Hell? That seems odd. Are the papers given to you upon arrival? What would you need them for anyway? You can never leave. And this is Hell. People should never get what they need. The best thing to do would be to make them wait forever in line, DMV-style.

After an amusing registration that involves DeBlanc and Fiore passing as a serial killer and architect respectively, the two are told they’ll find a shuttle at the designated location. And instead of cold hard cash, the travel agent wants 20 minutes in the back with Fiore. Okay then. DeBlanc refuses to let his partner do such a thing and they head back to the hotel to prepare for their trip. There are some last-minute jitters about plunging into the fiery pits of Hell, so they consider calling back home and begging for forgiveness.

It turns out that’s not possible since Jesse’s big plan on getting God to come to church on Sunday is to steal the angels’ phone and call Him himself. After the two leave, the Sheriff is called to investigate the bloody mess of a motel room they left behind. It’s there that he finds the same seraphim that killed Deblanc and Fiore a million times without limbs, sitting in the tub.

She begs to be killed. The Sheriff obliges, thinking he’s putting her out of her misery. He has no idea what he’s just unleashed.

An Unspeedy Recovery

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Tulip drops the bomb on Emily that Cassidy is a vampire. She’s been giving him all sorts of animal blood, illustrated by the array of caged animals on the table, but nothing’s working. Tulip has hitman business to attend to, but she can’t leave him alone, so she calls Emily to babysit. Just before she leaves, she tells her that she doesn’t give a shit about Jesse, his problems or anything in between. Good on you, Tulip. You deserve better.

Unfortunately, Emily reveals that she’s now seeing that weird mayor Miles who gave her kids spoiled milk in the last episode. This doesn’t seem like something she’s particularly happy about, and she proves this later in the episode when she lures him to the house and feeds him to Cassidy. I had a feeling she would do this while the moment was building up, but it didn’t come off as predictable because Emily’s character has been portrayed so well this season. I genuinely believed that she was a good person, one who was too shy and afraid to do anything drastic. She was too scared to let Jesse know she had a crush on him, so I would never have pinned her capable of murder.

We’re all filled with surprises. I never liked Miles, and it’s nice to see Emily taking matters into her own hands. Let’s just hope the future involves less homicide.

Bury a Body and Make Up

Jesse arrives at the O’Hare house and finds Emily in the backyard. She’s releasing the little animals whose lives were spared thanks to her sacrificing the mayor. She heads off to pick up her kids from school and tells Jesse his friend is inside.

Here, we witness Cassidy at his most vulnerable. Not only is he enraged, he’s also weak and hurt. The man he thought was his friend left him to burn in the sun. Now he’s here to shame him for killing the mayor, but he really had no other choice. He’s a slave to the beast inside him, just like Jesse. Just like all of us.

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This was a turning point in their relationship. Cassidy knew what was inside Jesse, but he never condemned him for it. Jesse, on the other hand, rejected Cassidy for his curse and as a result, his friend almost lost his life. Jesse realizes that now apologizes, assuring his friend that he’s not going anywhere and is sorry for what he let happen.  He’s going to help Cassidy clean up the mess he created — starting with the mayor’s corpse.

It’s a sentiment I can appreciate but don’t accept.  Jesse only feels bad now because he sees the repercussions of his rejection. He’s going to have to work a lot harder if he wants to be redeemed in my eyes.  I’m just not as forgiving as a 119-year-old vampire.

Till the End of the World

Jesse calls Tulip and tells her that she’s the only one for him. She listens to the voice mail as she sits across from their enemy, Carlos, whom she has finally caught up to in Albuquerque. Her eyes give nothing away as his message ends and she stands, meat cleaver in hand, to deliver the justice she’s sought out for so long.

Then we’re transported back in time to watch the Cowboy of Ratwater’s history. Again. I distinctly remembered this from a previous episode and was rightfully confused until it started over again. And again. And again. The cowboy’s wife tells him he has to go. She tells him to come back soon.

He’s always too late.

After the last massacre, two pairs of boots walk over the bodies strewn across the floor. The Cowboy sits at the counter, drinking before his life will restart. DeBlanc and Fiore stand before him, unphased when he points his guns at their faces.

This is Hell. And they’ve got a job for the cowboy.

The pay? His suffering ends.

All he has to do is kill the Preacher.

Preacher Season 1 Episode 9 Review
The travel agency to hell and coin toss made the angels the comedic spotlight this episode.Seeing Cassidy alive and well was great, because he's definitely an essential part of the show.
The pacing felt slow, the setup of the scenes almost redundant in relation to prior episodes. Cassidy forgiving Jesse like he simply stepped on his toe rather than let him fry in the sun was unbelievable and irritating.
75%Overall Score
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