WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for the Season 4, Episode 6 of Preacher, "The Lost Apostle," which aired Sunday on AMC.
AMC's Preacher isn't exactly a bastion of warm and fuzzy feelings. While there are strong bonds between some characters and genuine tender moments sprinkled throughout what might be one of the most depraved television shows on the air, the vast majority of what unfolds on screen doesn’t promote brotherly love.
This is precisely why a defining moment from the comic series between Jesse Custer and Cassidy felt far more tawdry than tender when it came to life in the sixth episode of Preacher’s final season, "The Lost Apostle."
About midway through Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon's legendary Vertigo series, Jesse nearly falls out of an airplane, hundreds of feet above the ground. The only thing saving the preacher from plummeting to his demise is his best friend, the Irish vampire, Cassidy.
Clutching on to his mate for dear life, Cassidy tries to pull Jesse back into the plane, but sadly daylight and exposed vampire flesh are a classically catastrophic combination. But even while being set ablaze, Cassidy refused to let Jesse go. He loves him too much.
But Cassidy's affection does not carry the same weight as "The Word." Jesse wielded his godly power to demand his friend to let him go. Naturally, Cassidy was compelled and obeyed he holy demand, letting the best friend he ever had fall to his death (presumably).
This was nothing short of turning point in the comics. It upset the status quo and set one of the most devastating plot threads in the comics in motion. With Jesse being presumed dead, Tulip and Cass march forward and find some sad version of solace in one another's arms, sharing their grief in a self-destructive whirlwind of sex and drugs and depression.
Once everyone gets back together, the melodrama is dialed up to eleven on the page and makes for some serious emotionally-charged scenes that will break your heart. Unfortunately, AMC's adaption of this moment is defanged of most of its merit due to the tumultuous relationship between the two male leads which came before.
We can all agree that neither Jesse nor Cassidy are good guys in either their comic or television incarnations. However, on the page, they are truly good friends. The bond they have blossomed from their outsider status and their unique views on faith and providence (oh, and the fact they have each other's backs in a bar fight).
The show tries really hard to sell the audience on the bond from the comics, but it's hard to buy it. The show never set the ground work in the first place. Sure, there are fleeting moments in which they sell a friendly demeanor, but this might just be due to Joseph Gilgun and Dominique Cooper's performances.
At the end of the day, the animosity from the love triangle the pair are tangled in is too obstructive to make the sudden "death" of Jesse have any real impact on the show. Sadly, this is nothing new for AMC's Preacher.
When the pair had previously reconnected this season, it was obvious neither one of them were "feeling it." Cassidy, being the self-flagellating Catholic boy he can't stop reverting to, seemed to be more keen on repenting through pain than to take his friend's hand to freedom. Of course, Jesse's behavior during the harrowing rescue sequence from the Grail stronghold didn't exactly curb any pre-existing animosity, either.
The airplane scene in Ennis and Dillon's comic is pretty much iconic for fans. It encapsulates what we love about Jesse and Cassidy. They would risk everything to save one another, which makes their eventual falling out even more devastating. The version we see on the small screen simply can't recapture that feeling.