Preacher Season III – Ep 10 Finale: “The Light Above”: A Review

Posted: 08/30/2018 in Uncategorized

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Perfection is not a word that is often used in any case, let alone in television finales. This folks…. will be the exception. Every mark was hit. Plot lines were cleaned up. Characters that might have lingered too long were prevented from doing so and the delivery of this season’s end game was stratospheric. I could not be happier with this end run. I could not be more primed for what has to be a no brainer regarding next year’s renewal.My review follows below.

While there were three arcs, this was purely the Jesse Custer (Domininc Purcell) show. Custer returns to L’Angellville with one purpose – retribution. The ep is nicely framed by a flashback encounter with Granma (Betty Buckley) and young Jesse (Will Kindrachuk). We see how deeply she controlled him, how deserving she truly is of his vengeance and the pure simplicity of the fact that he is just a boy and one who still is in the court of angels. The visitation sequence featuring silent cameos by God (Mark Harelik) and Satan (Jason Douglas) were again..perfect –  illustrating the duality of his nature with good holding a slight edge over evil within Custer. Granma mocks him telling him openly he has too much of his father’s line and morality to give her the reward she deserves.

The crossing of the young Jesse and current Jesse was beautifully actioned with due black and white versus colour juxtaposition. Jesse is not who he was. He has been described by some as the worst person they knew. He is also intensely loyal to his lover Tulip and in a looser way to his friend Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun). The reckoning has been teased throughout the entire season and as such, could easily have failed from promise to presentation. It does not. From inception via his meeting T.C. (Colin Cunninham) who states plainly ‘It’s time” to the searing denouement, there is no filler. Colin Cunningham must be applauded for giving a terrific performance as a deeply damaged, pathetic yet not unsympathetic character. His asking Jesse “you don’t hate me that much, do you?” when the Preacher unleashes Genesis upon him is met by his admission that he actually does not. A later moment in which T.C. chooses his fate is genuinely sad. So much heart encapsulates this deeply subversive, bizarre yet engaging show.

The showdown between Jesse and Jody (Jeremy Childs) is exceedingly violent, wrathful and again something the viewer cannot look away from. Dialogue is terse with each man letting their inner core of violence speak for him. Jesse’s cause might be righteous with all the L’Angells have cost him, but the battle is certainly not one sided. Jesse’s decision to face his adversary without using his ultimate weapon by times leads the viewer to question his sanity but until the very end…this was one for the ages.

No less so was Jesse’s encounter with Granma. Buckley  delivers a wondrously disturbing performance. Absolutely hateful, grotesque and vengeful, there is nonetheless a flailing spark of genuine love for Jesse which makes her every behaviour all the more galling. Her masterstroke pushes Jesse’s own counteraction- which stands to bring about his own ruin – but both have come so far at this point. The arc plays out as it should with both viewer and protagonist earning satisfaction.

Here Jesse’s arc ties into Tulip’s (Ruth Negga) in that she too is in the sight line of both God and the devil. Currently captured by the Angel of Death/Sydney (Erinn Ruth) and The Saint of All Killers (Graham MacTavish) her story takes a not unsurprising even more bizarre turn as Hitler (Noah Taylor’s) ‘new army’ actually comes to his rescue in a tank. Madness, sheer madness abounds; including the two immortals standing their ground against the poseurs before them.With Eugene (Ian Colletti) in her corner, the odds do not appear to be in Tulip’s favor. Divine intercession leads to an offer we know Tulip will not take. Her nose to nose with the Almighty is not empty bluster. She has come very far on her own and is unwilling to compromise even with an offer of ‘blessing’. Her path to Jesse is duly set.

The Tulip arc however extrapolates to incredible lengths as through her inadvertently, a new order is set in motion. The Saint and the Angel have the encounter that she had been pushing for. It ends pretty epically with an eventual meeting with the Lord of Lies fulfilling his bargain to the Saint. What follows to its denouement is literally ‘batshit’ crazy. So much gets done with this arc including two new partnership dynamics that will be something to see.

Cassidy’s arc ends with due cleverness lightly intimated with his final word with Mrs. Rosen (Theresa O’Shea) the week before. Cassidy might not have Eccarius’ (Adam Croasdell) power or knowledge but he is one clever ‘shite’ as he would say. His end game plays out slickly and opens the door to an even grander game with the return of Hoover (Malcolm Barrett). Cassidy’s arc links up ultimately with Jesse’s and Tulip’s as she heads to help him seemingly to no point. Cassidy’s fate leads to an intriguing question via his fellow ‘guest’ in the final sequence.

The season ends as it began with the reestablishment of Herr Starr (Pip Torrens), who is used exactly enough in this run, as Jesse’s nemesis and the perfect capper of a line “It’s time to play @$%%ing checkers…”. Preacher delivered a dazzlingly outstanding season, easily remaining simply outstanding and well worth your time.

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