Back in old timey Ratwater: Back in the saloon, a man sings to the hoi polloi, accompanied by a piano player. All the whores and johns and cowboys and prospectors and settler families quiet themselves and listen. And then the Cowboy walks in, back from finding his wife and daughter dead in his house. That smarmy preacher - who shot the Cowboy's horse - welcomes him, speechifying somewhat, naming the Cowboy as the "Butcher of Gettysburg," who killed seventy-seven people with his own hands. The preacher asks if the Cowboy will love and accept Jesus into his heart. The Cowby replies that he loves his horse, he loves his wife and he loves his little girl - and as for Jesus, "He can join us all here in Hell." He tosses down the bundle he is carrying - heads roll out and a woman screams - and then he raises his pistols. He shoots the preacher first and then looks at the singer, growling, "I want you to finish the song." And as the singer sings, the Cowboy methodically guns down every single person in the place, women and children included. The singer gets to finish the song. And then the Cowboy cuts his head off with one stroke of a huge knife. Wow. The Cowboy steps over the bodies to stand at the bar. As the wind picks up outside and the building shakes and rattles, bottles falling off shelves to smash on the floor, he pours himself a drink. And that's how you open the penultimate episode of S1 of Preacher, even if those of us who don't read the comic don't know WTF is going on.
Now: The sheriff drives towards down, with Jesse in the back of the cruiser. He asks Jesse again what happened to Eugene and Jesse tells him, again, that he sent him to hell. Sheriff Root is not well-pleased with that answer, sure that the preacher has killed his boy. Jesse says that he's sorry, and that he'll see the sheriff on Sunday, and then he jimmies open the door (using a pen he took from Odin Quincannon) and dives out, disappearing into the night.
Deblanc and Fiore walk to a travel agency and announce that they want to take a trip: to Hell. The agent sullenly sells them the tickets and tells them that the shuttle will pick them up promptly at the time specified.
Tulip calls Emily over to her uncle's house, telling her not to freak out but that Cassidy is a vampire and is having trouble healing after being burned. She's got the house full of various animals (rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, chickens, a goat or two) that she's been feeding him - just opening the door a crack and tossing them in when she hears him moving around - but she needs Emily to take over because she's got to go to Albuquerque to kill a man. Emily protests that Jesse's in trouble but Tulip cuts her short, saying that she doesn't care about Jesse and he can be Emily's boyfriend now. Emily unconvincingly stutters that she has a boyfriend - Miles, "he's the mayor ... ginger goatee" - and Tulip's all, good on you. And then she takes off, leaving a nervous Emily staring around herself at all the doomed critters.
Sometime later, she is standing at the door, clutching a guinea pig. Miles calls, saying that he'll pick the kids up but he's planning on staying overnight and he'll bring a bottle of wine. She hardly listens to him and when she hangs up the phone, she opens the bedroom door enough to toss in the guinea pig. There are growls and guinea pig squeals and then sloshing noises. Emily steels herself to take a peek into the bedroom: an unrecognizable, feral, scarred Cassidy snarls at her, guinea pig blood covering his face. She slams the door closed.
Back at the motel, the angels are packing up all their gear ("I've left the radio on for her."). They're fretting about the trip to Hell, wondering if maybe they shouldn't just call Heaven and 'fess up, throwing themselves on Heaven's mercy. "We discussed that: they'd separate us forever. Except we wouldn't be going to Hell, so it's a tough one." They decide to flip a coin - and do it a couple of times until Heaven turns up. But the phone to Heaven is gone - Jesse stole it - and it looks like they'll be going to Hell after all.
Emily watches t.v. (Psycho is on, the scene where Marion and Norman talk about the traps they're in), absently stroking a rabbit. From the bedroom, Cassidy bellows, "Someone help me, please!" So she calls Miles: "Miles, help me! He got out, he's going to kill me!" Miles rushes to Tulip's uncle's house, slightly disconcerted by the goat in the kitchen. Calling Emily's name, he opens the locked door to Cassidy's bedroom and walks in horrified. When he turns back towards the door, Emily is there and she slams the door shut in his face, bolting it. Cassidy pounces on poor Miles and then the shot switches to Emily in the hall, leaning against the door. Miles shrieks and Cassidy snarls and then there's those sloshing sounds. And Emily stands there and listens to it all. DAMN.
Over at the motel, the clerk shows the sheriff the angels' room, saying that they paid up and left but this is what the maid found when she went in to turn the room over. The room is, of course, wrecked and splashed with blood, but that is nothing compared to what Root finds in the bathtub: the seraph, her arms and legs cut off (chainsaw) and cauterized so she'll stay alive. The sheriff yells for the clerk to call an ambulance and then kneels next to the tub, telling the "woman" that she'll be okay. She whispers for him to kill her, over and over, and he looks at her, seeing what remains, and then he puts his hands around her neck and chokes the life out of her. [That seems out of character, despite the tears streaming down his face.] He doesn't see the flash in the next room as the seraph revigorates. She stands in the doorway a moment, watching the sheriff, and then heads out, back on the hunt for the angels and/or Jesse.
Speaking of Deblanc and Fiore, when the shuttle arrives to take them to Hell, the driver tells them "sorry, no carry-ons," referring to their giant trunk. The tall angel (Deblanc? Fiore?) looks crushed, saying "But my comics ..." but the short one comforts him: "It's all right, my dear. Leave 'em behind." They get on the shuttle and drive off.
Jesse arrives at Tulip's uncle's house, looking for Tulip but finding Emily instead, out in the backyard setting all the little critters free. She says that she's off to get her kids but that Cassidy is inside. Jesse goes into Cassidy's room, takes in the blood and body. Cassidy: "You should go, preacher. It's not safe for you here." But Jesse doesn't go. He sits with his friend and apologizes for letting him burn. Cassidy shrugs, forgiving him: "Well, you put me out. That's what matters." They sit awkwardly for a moment and then Cassidy: "So what do we do now? You fancy a shag or just want to hold hands or somethin'?" Jesse laughs and says that they should first get rid of the body. Awww - friends again! While tidying up, Cassidy examines the Heaven phone but Jesse says it doesn't work: it needs angel hands or else it doesn't work. Cassidy: "That's no problem, padre. I can get you angel hands." Jesse's all, okay, but I got to make a call first. He calls Tulip, getting her voicemail and leaving her a long rambling message about how he's realized it now, "For me, it's just you. 'Til the end of the world."
Jesse gets Tulip's voicemail because she's busy with Carlos in Albuquerque. She's a little banged up and bloody but he's now tied to a chair and she's got a meat tenderizer.
Back to the Cowboy: We get the Cowboy's first scene again, the sick child, being sent for medicine, meeting the settler family, finding the preacher distasteful, getting the medicine, changing his mind halfway home and returning to Ratville to make sure the settlers are okay, getting beaten and his horse getting shot, walking home to find his wife and daughter dead and picked at by crows. And then we get the scene - or select bits of it - again, and again and again, and also the scene from the start of the episode, with the Cowboy killing everyone in the saloon, again and again. And I get it: the Cowboy is in Hell, doomed to relive this over and over for eternity. Until one time, after he has slaughtered the saloon and is taking his drink at the bar, Deblanc and Fiore walk in. They have a job for him: they want him to kill someone. Who, growls the Cowboy. A preacher, say the angels. He's in.
Back to now: Jesse and Cassidy are fixing to bury Miles and the bigger animal bodies. First they dig up Cassidy's trunk, with the dead iterations of the angels in it. He pulls out a hand and tosses it to Jesse, who thanks him. They put Miles in the reopened grave and start to fill it in. Cassidy: "God, eh? Comin' to Texas?" Jesse: "Yep. Sunday mornin'." Cassidy: "That'll be somethin'." Jesse: "Yep."
Previously on Preacher / next time on Preacher
45 minutes ago