Preacher "S1E10 Call and Response" - Review: Judgement Day!

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Preacher "S1E10 Call and Response" - Review: Judgement Day!

“If God had a name, what would it be? And would you call it to his face, if you were faced with Him in all His glory? What would you ask if you had just one question?” well, much to their surprise that’s exactly where the humble folk of Anniville Texas find themselves this week. They finally get to see get to see behind the holy curtain and look upon their very creator himself. Will it be divine inspiration or will it be like meeting your celebrity heroes? In reality, they never live up to your expectations.

Call and Respond – While Jessie is still on the run from the law, the whole waits in anticipation over his promise to summon God at their Sunday congregation. What takes place will change their world forever...

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“In other news, God is coming to Annville”. This episode has a lot of good things going for it but the best by a mile is the tone of the first half in particular. The casual mixture of curiosity and lunacy as most of the population go their own shade of crazy in the buil- up to the church service over the idea of maybe meeting their maker. You have to  love the train of thought that connects meeting God to getting a discounted bikini wax. It all manifests in brilliant oddball humour across the episode with just the right amount of strangeness anchored some surprisingly deep emotional notes among key characters. While Sheriff Root has by no means seemed like a Rosco P. Coltrane over the season, neither has he been shown in a vast state of competency. Yet here we see his best scene of the entire season in his jail exchange with Cassidy and at the heart, it's his intelligence and his resourcefulness as a detective. He’s officially the first person in Annivile to figure out Cassidy is a vampire without being shown or told in a fashion that gifts us a new and surprising respect for the town’s finest. This is married with the classic drives of a father doing anything for his son (reminiscent of Hugh Jackman in Prisoners) and the occasional perfectly timed laugh from Cassidy to break up the tension. In particular, his Jack Sparrow-like reactions to hearing back his prior offenses are brilliant.

Then we have Jessie and Tulip, and the conclusion of subplot over their double crossing ex-partner Carlos, which also impresses by many different themes in juggles from the simple idea of a vengeance story expanded into a whole new light thanks to some shock revelations. While Jessie’s holy/anti-vengeance killing argument feels completely in character, it’s Tulip who kills it here, joining the Sheriff in producing a season’s best. All season, we’ve been lead to believe that Tulip’s motives were very shallow, getting payback for the double cross and luring Jessie back to his old ways. Yet suddenly here, everything becomes infinitely more personal and in mere moments of humanity we didn’t know existed within Tulip we understand, with great visual aids in the flashbacks. This was not a just job gone bad but a life-destroying moment for a happy couple having their future ripped away from them. Like everything else that works on Preacher, it’s all wrapped in great humour, and the character investment is so good you can’t help but feel satisfied by the results. The episode leaves Jessie and Tulip in an interesting place going forward of “not not being together” which could have a lot of fun play out over season 2 as they test where their boundaries are.

Then of course, we have the game-changing final act. The whole Sunday setup works well but the OTT almost Buddy Christ nature of our Skyping God makes one development more obvious than we’d like. In fact, for all the lights and showmanship, it’s subsequent final few minutes of the various towns folk reacting to the encounter that makes for a major season highlight. It’s a wonderful statement about the nature of religion as we witness loss of faith leading to an abandonment of morality (what would we do without fear of judgement). The montage sees several terrific call backs to prior episodes but none better than the surprise secret romantic relationship of the town’s two rivalling mascots.

All season, Preacher’s pace has been slow but it still arrives at a worthwhile conclusion (talk about ending with a bang). A clear chapter ending that launches the main trio into a bold new direction for Season 2 and shows that it’s not afraid to play the long game by holding back on a few payoffs. If you haven’t checked out the show, you owe it to yourself to give it a chance.