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AMC's Preacher: How the Biggest Reunion from the Comics Was Changed

WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Season 4, Episode 8 of Preacher, "Fear the Lord," which aired Sunday on AMC.

AMC's adaption of the Vertigo Comics series Preacher has taken some huge liberties with the source material, for better and for ill. When these changes work, they condense issues' worth of flashbacks into shorter scenes or just information gleaned through dialogue, allowing the show to move a fast clip.

Some of the changes from the comic the show has made are also there for simple modern updates (Jesse's comic book haircut, anyone? Woof). When these changes don't work, they can be detrimental to what made the comic great in the first place. Preacher's final season has a classic comic moment which plays out well because of the mess the show has made.

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In its eighth episode, "Fear the Lord," the fourth and final season of Preacher finally has the gang all back together again. Jesse Custer's sabbatical has come to an end and he is welcomed into the loving arms of his beloved Tulip after facing God Himself. All of that certainly happened in the comic. And while Jesse's misadventure in the show never took him to the small town of Salvation where he discovered his mother was still alive and even had a small fling with a member of local law enforcement, it did eventually lead him back to Tulip and, by proxy, Cassidy. Therein lies the biggest divergence.

Without Jesse in the trio, Tulip and Cassidy formed something of a romantic bond on the page. However, that bond was the epitome of toxic relationships. It was filled with drug abuse, depression, and a heavy dose of Stockholm Syndrome. The romance, such as it was, ended with Cassidy being shot out of a hotel window in broad daylight, making it one of  the most blunt breakups in comic book history. When Jesse and Tulip do reunite in the comics, Cassidy is still licking his wounds as the lovers rekindle their relationship. Cass eventually comes into the fold and tries to explain how poorly he handled his best friend's absence, but to no avail.

The show takes a much softer approach to the source material, which is a bit surprising. AMC's Preacher isn't afraid to double-down the crass weirdness of comic, but the one thing they do tend to shy away from is the deeper emotional plot points. In the comics, when Cass and Jesse come face to face, it ends with the vampire taking a swing on his long-lost amigo. Jesse catches that swing, proving he isn't afraid of Cassidy... while shattering every bone in his hand in the process. (Iron will doesn't offer much to combat pure vampiric strength at the end of the day.)

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The show forgoes all the hang-breaking, punching and shooting (for now) and treats the reunion between Jesse and the two people who mean the world to him with a touch of melancholy. You see, moments before Jesse came stumbling into Tulip's bungalow, tired, beaten, and missing an eye, she had just been intimate with his best friend. The act wasn't conducted out of pity or to make someone jealous. In this version of Preacher there is something electric between Cassidy and Tulip. There is a real connection, and their infatuation with one another has grown beyond its confines into what can only be described as love.

Preacher TV Series

This massive change is a strange one for fans of the comic who are rooting for Jesse to turn over a new leaf and not be such a raging lunatic. The version of Jesse Custer on screen is a far cry from the man we've learned to respect over the course of sixty-plus issues of comics. But despite this, we still feel bad for him. However, most viewers will probably feel even worse for poor, love-lorn Cassidy, who looks to be on the precipice of losing the only emotional support he has.

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.

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