SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for the season 2 finale of Preacher, "The End of the Road," which as of publication has not yet aired on the west coast.
The title "The End of the Road" is a neat callback to the season two premiere, "On the Road." From that alone we could've guessed that at least one journey was coming to an end this week, but whose (or what's) remained in question.
The cold open this week gives us a surprisingly benign look into Jesse's upbringing after his arrival in Louisiana. Last we saw Young Jesse, he'd just been tortured into accepting a new family name by his maternal grandmother and her henchmen. We've seen references to the L'Angell family throughout the season on signage for haunted swamp tours and Jesse name-dropping them to a voodoo shop owner. This week, we finally got a glimpse of just what kind of stuff the L'Angell family gets into.
A young Jesse sits in a Colonel Sanders suit and waves tourists onto the L'Angell property. He takes their money, points them down the road and boosts a few wallets from dopes who are way too excited about the campy display of Southern mysticism they're about to eat up with a spoon. Interestingly, it's here we see Jesse develop his more criminal tendencies and abandoning his father's edict to be good. He out-cons an undercover cop hoping to catch the family in some of the less seemly tourist attractions they're almost certainly engaging in, hides money from his family when they come to grab the morning's take, and kills a chicken in frustration when they don't fall for it.
The Messiah job might not be in his future for much longer, though. This week, Starr and Jesse begin preparations in earnest for his introduction to the world. Starr plans on using Jesse's power to make the make the superpowered preacher go viral and then use the cult of celebrity to launch the Second Coming. To wit, he sets Jesse up to demonstrate his powers during a presentation at a Catholic elementary school. Unfortunately, Genesis is now fully out of commission, so when the Armenians (?) stage an elementary school hostile takeover, Jesse can't talk them out of it. He does, however, employ his considerable badassery to take them out. Herr Starr captures everything on video and despite no Genesis, it still goes viral, resulting in an invitation to Jimmy Kimmel. Hooray!
Back at the ranch, things are as morose as they've been all season. Tulip's still moping over Jesse's divergent path, Cassidy's still in love with her and Denis is still freaking everyone out. After Cassidy has a fantasy about Tulip abandoning her feelings for Jesse and making out with him, he has an exchange with Denis that reminds him how far the apple did fall from the tree. Not only is Denis embracing his new lease on life, he's embracing his position as an apex predator, and those are the very urges Cassidy (probably) uses alcohol, drugs and women to curb. He finally accepts that Denis will always present some kind of danger to either him or humanity, and he throws his son into the sun.
Meanwhile, in Hell, Hitler and Eugene finally escape, and wind up at what looks to be an approximation of the River Styx, complete with Charon-like ferry captain. Eugene explains his situation in the hopes that he'll be granted passage back to the land of the living. NotCharon looks like a more intimidating version of death, but turns out to be a pretty matter-of-fact Jeff-type guy who's totes cool helping out Eugene. Even when the Warden catches up with them explaining that since God's missing, she doesn't have to respect the ferry captain's authority, he doesn't blink. Nor does he when Hitler knocks her out and tags along. It looks like Hitler's kind and remorseful disposition wasn't total bullshit.
Psych! When they surface planetside, he immediately abandons Eugene and runs off presumably to start the 4th Reich, leaving Eugene with "Shiiiiiiiit" written all over his face. Noah Taylor, everyone.
Finally, the episode ends back in NoLa. Tulip visits "Jenny" to say goodbye. It's very sweet until Hoover (remember he posed as Jenny's abusive husband) walks out of the shower daintily noting they're out of moisturizer. Tulip and Featherstone, each with a weapon behind their back size each other up as only two women of their ilk can. Unfortunately, when one of you is holding a screwdriver and the other one has a gun, it doesn't matter who's quicker on the draw. Tulip is shot and left to die in the hallway outside Jenny's apartment.
When Jesse gets the call, he's about to board a private jet, but he immediately abandoning his plans and rushes to Tulip's side. Herr Starr is obviously displeased and chooses this moment to reveal to Jesse that it's The Grail who holds his soul now, not the Saint of Killers. Turns out Hoover taught himself soul extraction when he was waiting for the Saint to accept The Grail's offer.
That fact doesn't stop Jesse from leaving, but it does stop him from being able to command Tulip to breathe. As she's about to expire, Cassidy attempts to turn her, only to be stopped by Jesse, who lets her die instead. He's got a different plan. Remember when he killed that chicken out of frustration? Filled with regret, Young Jesse rushes to his grandmother and begs her to undo his transgression. She agrees, but morbidly points out that this kind of thing comes at a steep price (duh). So, when we see Jesse pile Cassidy and Tulip's body into her car and speed out of the city, we know just why he's going. When Cassidy leans over and whispers, "I hate you," and Jesse tells the vampire he's not seen anything yet, we can guess what he means. And when they turn down the L'Angell driveway and a familiar looking chicken crosses their path, we know just what's about to happen...
If this show gets renewed. Let's hope it does, because next season's about to have more Herr Starr, Hitler on the loose and some undead chickens.