Preacher season 1 ended on a literally explosive note, so let’s break down the season and the shocking finale. Preacher is based on the acclaimed graphic novel series by Garth Ennis. The sprawling tale follows Jesse Custer, a disillusioned preacher who is infected by a being called Genesis, the spawn of an angel and a demon. Genesis gives Jesse the power of persuasion, with anybody who hears his voice having to do what he commands. Once Jesse learns God has abandoned heaven, he sets out on a road trip with ex-girlfriend Tulip and Irish vampire Cassidy to find him.
Preacher is a graphic novel that’s hilarious, violent and emotional, and prior to Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg adapting it for TV, filmmakers such as Sam Mendes (Skyfall) and Mark Steven Johnson (Daredevil) tried to mount live-action versions. While Preacher season 1 is a faithful adaptation of the source material, it chooses to spend more time in Annville first, giving focus to the residents while Jesse comes to grips with his powers.
Preacher season 1 acts as an extended setup for the epic road trip that forms the basis of the graphic novel, with the finale setting Jesse, Tulip, and Cassidy on the road. In a way, it was a wise choice to ground the first season in Annville, ensuring viewers had time to get to know the characters and lore first. Preacher season 1 reveals Jesse used to be a thief before becoming a preacher, with ex-partner and lover Tulip coming back into his life while seeking revenge on a character named Carlos. It turns out Carlos abandoned them during a robbery, which caused Tulip to miscarry her and Jesse’s baby. She eventually catches Carlos, but she and Jesse decide not to kill him – but they do beat him to a bloody pulp.
Cassidy the vampire arrives in Annville after a bloody run-in with some vampire hunters, and he and Jesse become fast friends, though he and Tulip sleep together before Cassidy knows their history. Preacher season 1 finds Jesse energized to use Genesis for good in the town, but his intentions often backfire. He accidentally sends the sheriff’s son Eugene to hell in a moment of anger and makes an enemy of local businessman Odin Quincannon, who wants the land Jesse’s church sits on.
Two angels called Fiore and Deblanc also try to extract Genesis from Jesse, but when that fails, they head to Hell to recruit a demonic gunslinger known as The Cowboy to take Jesse down. The Cowboy kills Deblanc before Fiore convinces him to take the assignment. The finale of Preacher season 1 “Call And Response” has Jesse gather the town together, including Quincannon, as he calls God on a device stolen from the two angels. The town is shocked when "God" appears to show up, but Jesse quickly realizes the figure is an imposter and forces him to confess in front of the town that God has abandoned Heaven and gone missing.
Preacher season 1 ends with Jesse, Tulip, and Cassidy heading off on their road trip, while Annville – already reeling from the revelation about God’s absence – is blown off the map following a methane reactor accident. This kills Quincannon, Sheriff Root and pretty much every other character introduced in Preacher season 1, wiping the slate clean for the next season. The gang are also unaware The Cowboy is now on their tail, and will stop at nothing to find Jesse.