'Preacher' Episode 9: In 'Overture', God manipulates key players in his quest for Genesis
God finally reveals his hand in the penultimate episode of Preacher's last season when he is unable to command Genesis to leave Jesse's body
One of the strong suits of a successful TV show adaptation, like 'Preacher', is the willingness of the creators to shape the characters by playing to the actors' strengths. We have seen both Joseph Gilgun's Cassidy and Ruth Negga's Tulip O'Hare get far more screen time than their comic book avatars ever warranted. By now, they are fully-fleshed out characters with well-defined beats.
But the revelation this season has been God played by Mark Harelik. In the past three seasons, he has been an elusive figure. When he did appear for a few brief moments, there were all those distracting elements, like the dog suit, the motorcycle and his string of women groupies. Preacher's last season finally allows Mark Harelik to do his thing. His machiavellian take on the Supreme Divine is what has been so enjoyable in the show's final season.
In the penultimate episode, he is pulling the strings even as the 'handsome' Herr Starr (Pip Torrens) is nominally in charge of mounting the grand Apocalypse 2020 Revue, headlining Humperdoo (Tyson Ritter) and his dance to end, well, everything.
When Tulip, Cassidy, and Jesse slip into the Masada with a little help from Genesis' parents, the Archangel (David Field) and his demon girlfriend (Sue-Ellen Shook), they think they are one step ahead. Sure, Jesse seems to be suffering from a spot of PTSD while Cassidy is feeling a bit blue from the abrupt end to his dalliance with Tulip and the prospect of killing Humperdoo. But they are still a team.
Then we see God masterfully manipulating every one of them, turn by turn, using the very weaknesses we have seen these characters display season after season. We know Cassidy, for all his bravado, is the little lost boy who needs to be validated. We know Tulip, despite her badassery, will screw up because of her emotions. We also know just how weak Jesse can be when he doesn't have his gang to back him up.
Cassidy is suddenly kidnapped by God. And when Tulip and Jesse abandon him, his resolve weakens. But he still says no when God offers to turn back the clock to when he was a man and not a vampire, with a mountain of heroin and Tulip by his side. He keeps saying no... till God takes him into his arms, offering kindness instead of rejection. Tulip is an easier mark and God simply spends a bit of time playing with her emotions by talking about her dead stillborn daughter before knocking her out. His final aim is to isolate Jesse, who is so traumatized by God chewing his eye out that he is unable to use his Genesis powers.
In their final showdown, God finally reveals his hand. While we always knew he was scared of Genesis, we don't realize how much. Turns out that all his machinations this season was centered around crippling Jesse emotionally and mentally so that he would willingly transfer Genesis to him.
Turns out, he can't command Genesis to get out of Jesse's body. Only Jesse can. When he fails to rattle Jesse enough to do as he bids, he has a surprise waiting. Turns out he has turned the Saint of Killers (Graham Mc Tavish) to his own side, who is now prepared to kill Jesse to reunite with his wife and child.
With that 'Preacher' is all set for the final episode next week and the show's denouement.
We will also probably see Featherstone (Julie Ann Emery) team up with Tulip in the next episode. Featherstone, after having sex with Herr Starr, has her Grail indoctrinated dream of "dying and going to Heaven" dashed to the ground by an extremely mean Starr. He tells her heaven isn't for the likes of her and there is only going to be a partial Apocalypse. A few bombs going off here and there to ensure that he is the only one standing with any real power. Shorn of her purpose and ascension plans, Featherstone switches sides by the end of the episode and sets Tulip free. God better watch out.
'Preacher' airs on Sundays at 10 pm ET/PT on AMC.