WARNING: The following article contains massive spoilers for the Season 4, Episode 7 of Preacher, "Messiahs," which aired Sunday on AMC.
To put it mildly, Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s seminal Vertigo Comics series, Preacher, has some pretty unorthodox interpretations of Judeo-Christian theology. All the figures from religious texts are realized as flesh and blood characters with less-than-divine intentions. For instance, Angels are depicted as hedonistic creatures who don’t fit the image of guardians looking over mankind’s collective shoulder -- the title of Angel of Death is passed on to a frontiersman in a duster with a pair of revolvers. Not only that, but the last descendant of Christ is a chittering degenerate with developmental issues. The most extreme interpretation of any religious text revolves around the Almighty Himself, God, who somehow manages to be worse in AMC’s adaption.
The seventh episode of the final season of AMC’s Preacher, “Messiahs,” finally revealed God’s master plan, and boy it’s even worse than what we saw in the comics. In the source material, the Alpha and the Omega is something of a frightened rabbit. Shortly after the entity known as Genesis escaped from Heaven and possessed Jesse Custer, God abandoned his throne. This realization caused Jesse and his cadre to take a common spiritual adage literally, and actually set out to find God. However, our heroes had no intention in finding peace or opening their hearts to God’s love. No. They wanted answers. Real answers.
Both God’s vacant throne and Jesse’s motivation to pursue his quest remain largely unchanged from the comic to the show. However, the on-screen version of God, played brilliantly by Mark Harelik, is doing more than avoiding a power that may be stronger than his own. This version is far more idiosyncratic and malicious than he ever was in the source materiel. Instead of simply living in self-imposed exile, God is cooking up a plan to take his power back and eradicate human life as we know it. But wiping the cosmic ledger clean of humanity is just the start. Much like the dinosaurs before us, God plans to clear the playing field of humanity and replace us with something... different.
In "Messiahs" we catch a glimpse of what the Almighty has been working on in that weird little workshop of his, and it's not pretty. As Jesse comes to the realization humanity is not only going to be eradicated but replaced, the scene cuts to God working on his next project, which looks to be an over-sized Lovecraftian nightmare. While the reveal is nothing more than some nasty blood-splatter and a flash of a floppy tentacle, the implications are terrifying. An omnipotent being has planned to replace all of us with what looks like the engineered space monsters Ozymandias used as global subterfuge in the final act of Watchmen. It's a fate that just might be worse than a sudden die-off.
While this doesn't exactly make us like Jesse Custer, we are certainly invested in his quest now. Custer is still a terrible person who probably belonged in the spot he wound up in, but he's the only thing standing between God and all of humanity getting replaced with Shoggoth monsters. Now, to be fair, the idea of a dominant species getting replaced by something else isn't a far-fetched idea in the show. We are the squid-monsters to the dinosaurs to some degree. Regardless, it's still bizarre. Thankfully, as strange as God's Divine Plan is, at least it doesn't seem to have anything to do with the dog suit... for now.
Preacher was developed by Sam Catlin, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. It stars Dominic Cooper, Joseph Gilgun, Ruth Negga, Ian Colletti, Graham McTavish, Pip Torrens, Noah Taylor, Julie Ann Emery, Mark Harelik, and Tyson Ritter,. Preacher airs Sundays at 10:05 pm EST on AMC.