'Preacher' season 4 episode 4 sees Cassidy and Tulip reunite as 2 big kahunas of Heaven and Hell arrive at Masada
This article contains spoilers for 'Preacher' season 4 episode 4
Sometimes the only way to keep the timelines right this year on 'Preacher' season 4 is to look at the condition of Herr Starr's (Pip Torrens) ear. Is it still covered with gauze or has the monstrous foreskin ear taken its place?
So, when he is plotting with God (Mark Harelik) about making Jesse (Dominic Cooper) suffer in the episode's cold open, we know it is sometime after Jesse and Tulip's (Ruth Negga) first rescue mission but before Jesse enters the DeSade's House of Entertainment. Something is deeply wrong structurally with how the final season of 'Preacher' has been put together.
Sometimes breaking up a timeline works, if you are following another logic besides chronology to splice the scenes together. But by episode 4, we get the feeling that this final season is made up of big set pieces, not all of them connected to the core plotline. It is like the writers just adapted whatever felt cool from the comics, added some gags and threw them all into the blender together.
When some of these pieces got too long, some bits were shaved off and placed randomly in previous episodes like teasers for what is to come later; like every episode is a trailer for the episodes to come. It works great in the first episode when we see Tulip and Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) kiss and Jesse fall out of the plane because it is the premiere and it gives us a taste of what storylines to expect. But by episode 4, we are just confused.
Cassidy picks his locks when he is being wheeled out of his Masada cell for transport to Bensonhurst. He then kills Frankie Toscani (Lachy Hulme) by jamming a rifle up his butt and firing it, leaving his dead body propped like a bad advertisement for anal play. He never goes to Bensonhurst.
So, what was that cold open at the beginning of episode 3 about? Frankie Toscani's fever dream about how much money he was going to make off Cassidy? For the sake of clarity, here is what broadly happens in this installment. Herr Starr and God plot how to make Jesse suffer but God's ineffable plan is still a big mystery though Humperdoo (Tyson Ritter) is "integral" to it all.
And God, unlike Starr who wants to carve a vagina on Jesse's head, wants to carve it in his soul. This might be a throwaway line of God wanting Jesse to lie down and take it. God's reward for Herr Starr's cooperation is the promise of restoring him to his original, non-mutilated self.
Starr, who has increasingly become obsessed about becoming a walking penis joke, is quietly thrilled. Jesse's plane hits turbulence while God laughs maniacally in a seat near him though Jesse can't see him. The plane crashes and Jesse and the pilot, Steve, clamber into a lifeboat filling with water.
Steve is understandably a bit whiny about being lost at sea, till Jesse uses his Genesis voice to command him "to be positive" and help him patch up the lifeboat. And so he is relentlessly positive even as his pantless legs start peeling in the sun.
The extended sequence is hilarious as Jesse constantly commands Steve into worsening states of misery. This includes Steve's hand being eaten by a shark that goes unnoticed because Jesse has told him to feel no pain and finally, death.
Jesse concludes God is not testing him - he is just an a**hole. And then suddenly, he has reached Australia, right after he has tossed the pilot's dead body into the sea and sees it eaten by sharks. In the meantime, Cassidy, after killing Toscani, finally sees Tulip when the elevator doors open.
But Featherstone (Julie Ann Emery) is on him quick, with a gun to his head, asking him where Tulip is, not knowing her quarry is standing only inches away. The elevator doors close again but not before Cassidy and Tulip make meaningful eyes at each other, each thrilled to see the other. Then, it's back to the cell with Featherstone lying in wait for Tulip.
Tulip is wandering the halls, after her near detection, when she is recruited by a new Hoover to valet for Heaven's emissary who is in town for The Apocalypse 2020 conference. Turns out the emissary is Jesus Christ. The Jesus Christ. Why God needs Humperdoo when Jesus is around is anyone's guess.
The same actor, Tyson Ritter, who plays Humperdoo plays Christ. Humperdoo is after all the 25th great-grandchild of Jesus. As Tulip finds out, not only is Jesus hot, he is also an all-round nice guy who saves her from being recognized by Herr Starr and then actively participates in her plan to rescue Cassidy.
Cassidy, in the meantime, moons about how Tulip came to save him in his cell. He then realizes Featherstone has probably laid a trap for Tulip. This won't do. So, he tears himself off the wall cuffs binding his wrists (you think the Masada soldiers would have realized the futility of cuffs for Cassidy by now), scales the wall, and eats the suspended angel.
In a repeat of a story gag that was first shown in season 1, the angel is instantly reborn, steps in through the cell door and mildly reprimands Cassidy before flying off with him through the dungeon's open skylight. After all, what is one dead spare body between friends?
Tulip and Jesus Christ in the meantime find out Cassidy has escaped and Tulip is so out of there. Jesus Christ wants to tag along, shirking his conference duties. Hitler, the conscientious fellow he is, is already in Masada as the emissary of Hell, scoping out the digs.
He bribes his way with a luger to see Humperdoo dance. Since this is not the original Humperdoo but a clone, this might pose problems for Herr Starr who has been keeping Humperdoo's disappearance a closely guarded secret, even from God.
In the Gulf of Mexico, the Saint shoots a bullet that punctures a hole right through the planet through which he and Eugene travel to get to Australia. His first act after stepping on to Australian soil is shooting an Australian. If this is what he does to random strangers, one wonders what he has planned for Jesse in the next episode.