With “Above,” AMC’s Preacher completes its most consistent and best season, so far, wrapping up the season-long “Angelville” storyline and teasing what’s to come in season four (AMC has not yet made a decision on season four, and while ratings are down for the series, it’s still the fourth most popular show on the network in the advertiser-friendly demo, so I expect it will return next summer).
In the season finale, Jesse Custer — finally reunited with Genesis and the Word of God — returns to Angelville to finish some business he should have taken care of as a teenager, namely kill off Gran’ma L’Angelle. First, however, he has to dispatch with his yokel cousins T.C. and Jody, who have been the highlights of season three. Jesse uses the word of God on T.C. and has him shoot himself in the foot, but Jesse decides to take care of Jody the old-fashioned way: With an ass-whooping. It’s a brilliant, hilarious, and painfully violent fight sequence that sees Jody pull a two-by-four with nails out of his face before Jesse eventually wraps a chain around Jody’s neck and slams his head against a concrete wall until it is flattened. Jody, however, delivers one final message to Jesse before collapsing to his supposed death, “I’m proud of ya, boy.” Jesse sets Jody and T.C. on fire and does what he came to do: Kill Gran’ma. (Note: We do not see the corpses of T.C. and Jody, so we shouldn’t necessarily assume anything).
There is, however, a hiccup in killing Gran’ma. We learn that she signed a new deal with Satan stating that if Jesse kills her, Jesse will go to hell after his death. However, Jesse has a workaround that may or may not work. After using the word of God to break the spell that Gran’ma has over Tulip and discharge the debt he owes her, Jesse sucks out all of Gran’ma’s souls. In effect, she dies of old age because Jesse doesn’t kill her so much as he removes the very souls that have been artificially keeping her alive.
Bing, bang, boom: The Angelville arc — the most popular storyline of Gareth Ennis’ source material — is done.
Tulip, meanwhile, has her own battle with which to contend. Hitler’s Nazi followers use a tank to knock over the bus The Saint of Killers is using to return Hitler, Tulip, and Arseface back to hell. The Saint of Killers has little problem removing the pissant Nazis. However, with the help of God himself, Tulip manages to escape and return to Angelville to pick up Jesse. When the Saint of Killers returns to Hell, however, he kills the Prince of Darkness and Hitler takes his seat at the table. The Saint of Killers, meanwhile, returns to Earth (with Arseface in tow) with two tasks in mind: Kill Jesse Custer and God, because God is the one who made the decision to have crows peck out the eyes of the Saint of Killer’s daughter before she’d died. Arseface, meanwhile, still has an ax to grind with Jesse for sending him to hell.
Elsewhere, Cassidy takes care of Eccarius by turning everyone else into the room into vampires and ordering them to consume Eccarius. However, Hoover — one of the Grail’s operatives — returns and sheds some sunlight onto the entire coven, killing them all except for Cassidy, who Hoover takes back to Herr Starr. Hoover, however, gets nothing for his loyalty: Herr Starr removes his umbrella hat and Hoover is reduced to dust.
So, where does that leave Preacher headed into season four?
Cassidy has been locked up in Masada by Herr Starr, who has called in his chief torturer, Frankie Toscani, a former member of the Russian mafia (in the comics, Toscani has had his penis removed). Jesse and Tulip will have to figure out how to free Cassidy from Masada, which is surrounded by Herr Starr’s army, and Herr Starr no longer wants to make Jesse his Messiah, he only wants to torture and kill him. So, the fourth season — if renewed — will be something of a cat-and-mouse game, with the Saint of Killer chasing Jesse and God, while Jesse and Tulip chase down God and rescue Cassidy from Herr Starr, who just wants to “play some f**king checkers” and end Jesse’s life once and for all.
It should be a great season, if AMC picks it up.