The Preacher series finale ending sees Jesse, Tulip, and Cassidy taking on God and his apocalypse and coming out on top after four seasons of searching. Preacher, based on the comic series of the same name, has been a wild romp. Starting in the small town of Annville with a priest who drinks, smokes, and gets into bar fights, the show has wandered through vampire hunters, massive religious organizations, cloned messiahs, Heaven, Hell, and so much more - and the finale, "End Of The World", brings it all together with epic fight scenes and a bit of a happily ever after.
The Preacher series finale begins with the apocalypse only minutes away - at the end of a bizarre variety show that the Grail has put on as a countdown to a massive nuclear strike. Humperdoo and his tap dancing will finish it up before the button is pushed, and God can't wait to see it. Tulip is trying to get to Humperdoo to kill him, Cass is trying to protect him, and Jesse is about to go head to head with the Saint of Killers, all while God watches.
It's a lot going on, but the Apocalypse-stopping doesn't actually take up too much time in the Preacher finale. It's dealt with in the first half, leaving time to explore where the trio goes from here, and even allow Jesse to get his final sit-down with God.
How The Preacher Trio Stops The Apocalypse
The opening scenes in Masada are some of the best in the Preacher finale - and they show off something that Preacher has always done brilliantly: high speed fight scenes with a perfect soundtrack. In "End of the World", fans are treated to the biggest and best fight scene of all, as there are actually multiple battles going on at once: Jesse is fighting the Saint, who is also taking on Genesis' angel and demon parents. Tulip, having left a miserable Featherstone behind, is fighting Cass over the fate of Humperdoo. And while all that is happening, Hitler and Jesus are fighting each other as well.
It's not only a visually stunning sequence but also a brilliant way to wrap up multiple storylines with an easy and fun fight scene, so that Preacher can get on with doing a little bit more. The first pair to finish are Herr Starr and Featherstone - with Starr shooting Featherstone in the head, and then running off to a submarine to survive the nukes. Then Jesse manages to kill the Saint, because he convinces the Saint to let him. Then Tulip and Cassidy manage to hit a stalemate of sorts, and with the Grail at the door shouting for Humperdoo so that they can start the apocalypse, it becomes clear that Cass can't protect him anymore, and Humperdoo is shot in the head to save the world. God, furious at the loss of his messiah, goes to Jesus to try and convince him to step up (which he wanted all along). However, having just killed Hitler, Jesus turns the offer down, leaving God to angrily zoom off on his motorbike.
This leaves only the Grail, waiting in the auditorium, and the people watching on TV - and it's Jesse's time to bust out Genesis and truly shine. He steps on stage (another beautifully shot moment, and one that hammers home the fact that he was given the chance to sit on the throne of Heaven and turned it down), and uses his power to silence the Grail and get viewers to turn off their TVs. Which includes those viewing the screen with their fingers on the button, about to fire the nukes when Humperdoo steps out. Jesse then commands the Grail to find God for him, and finally, walks off with Tulip and Cassidy. Their enemies are gone or dead, the apocalypse is over, the Saint is dead, and the Apocalypse has been averted.
Arseface Is Alive & His Second Chance At Life
For Euegene Root, what's next is a bait and switch. "Overture" saw Eugene hit by a bus, with fans not sure whether he was dead or alive. "End of the World" shows that he is alive, in a hospital, and with his face bandaged. It seems for a moment as though Eugene is going to have his "arseface" fixed, as the doctor talks about him being the surgeon's special project, that they have tried their best with his facial disfigurement. But when the bandages come off, we see Eugene's regular face.
In some ways, this is a disappointment, and after all he has been through, there could be a feeling that the kind-hearted Eugene truly deserves a second chance at life. However, Preacher does something far, far better - it makes the point that he doesn't need to look like everyone else to have his second chance, and that pity is the last thing that a good person deserves. Eugene's final scenes include one with the unseen doctor, who comes and essentially offers to help him kill himself, turning off the morphine warning and heart monitors, and telling Eugene what to do to "end his suffering".
However, Eugene rips into him, giving a speech about how his life has been hard, but that pitying people like the doctor are the worst part of it, and that he refuses to accept that he should die simply because his face is different. And his final moments see him back on the street, playing guitar - and playing a song that starts to get attention. It's a perfect end for Eugene - one that embraces who he is unapologetically, and that shows him refusing to give up and chasing his dream.
Preacher's Finale Flash-Forward (& God's Plan Revealed)
The Preacher finale moves from the apocalypse to two years in the future, and Tulip and Jesse are back to their old criminal life. They are dealing with a gang of horse thieves, and it's clear that Jesse does still have Genesis but isn't using it for every little thing. However, some things have changed - for one, they return to O'Hare's Auto Repair, so it seems that they have a legitimate business (with the bar owner from Masada) and they have a child. Everything has worked out for these two, and they have the relationship and family they always wanted, while Cass is off doing his own thing, checking in with them from time to time. Until, that is, Jesse gets a call from the Grail. They've found God, and he's at the Alamo.
What follows is a brilliant moment, as Jesse finally gets what he has wanted from the start: a true sit-down with God Almighty. God is, once more, in his shining white robe with a floozy by his side, and this time, he's willing to talk. But first, Jesse needs to prove that he is willing to use Genesis on God - and he does. Fans have been wondering for a long time if he even could, or if God would be immune (like the Saint), but it turns out the Genesis does work, and Jesse was just emotionally incapable of using it on him until now.
The two then sit down and have a heart to heart, covering some of the biggest questions (cancer, other faiths, aliens, etc). At the end, God reveals that his plan is, indeed, just to be loved, and that he can confirm that Jesse's father is in Heaven. God just wants Jesse to tell him that he loves him, but Jesse stands up and flat-out refuses. (It also continues to point out the Jesse/Messiah comparisons, as Jesus was the last person seen to be refusing God's loving plan.) He then defeats God using Genesis, and strolls away as God cries after him, telling him that he has an even better creation in the works. (Which appears to be strange, caged creatures that start to attack him for not loving them enough.) Jesse is done with God, done with his mission, done with the Grail, and it's time to head home to Tulip and their child.
The Real Meaning Of Preacher's Finale
"End of the World" finishes by wrapping up a few loose ends. First is Herr Starr, who is golfing and wanted by the authorities. He may have grown back his hair, but he hasn't lost his touch, and he kills the people coming to get him. Clearly, he's going to be just fine. God, however, is not. After his humiliation with Jesse, he goes back to Heaven - and there, he finds someone waiting for him. The Saint of Killers, who did not go to Hell because Jesse convinced him to accept death by offering him a deathbed confession, went to Heaven to wait for God. When God arrives, the Saint promptly kills him and then sits himself down on the Throne of Heaven. Finally, a last flash-forward takes the show 40 years into the future, where Tulip and Jesse's daughter stands at their grave sites. She's got a successful (civilian) career, and seems happy - and knows Cass. However, there's one last person to say goodbye to - as Cass, after revealing he never came back to see Jesse and Tulip in life, steps out into the sunlight without his umbrella, and finally burns to death.
All of this goes to show that Preacher chose not to follow the comic ending at all, and they found their own path that worked wonderfully. God's death at the hands of the Saint is deeply satisfying, given his ridiculous and capricious nature, and how he is increasingly humiliated throughout the show. Jesse's conversation with God is another incredibly satisfying moment - as his ability to remain calm, to get the answers he wants, and yet to refuse to give anything back shows just how far he's come from the alcoholic preacher that he started as. He, through Tulip, through Cass, through Hell, through all of it, has found himself and his own power. It's what Jesse and Tulip deserve. Almost everyone gets what they deserve, in fact. Herr Starr may get a little more than he deserves, but that proves that Preacher isn't simply moralizing, allowing the good guys to win and the bad guys to lose. And Cass may get less - but even he seems to find a level of self-awareness that lets him choose his own death, rather than have it chase him as it did in the start. The Preacher series finale, then, is a surprisingly powerful ending, and one that plays to the show's strengths, to close it out in a way that it deserves.