I started this Preacher yarn wall this morning over on Uproxx, but in the hours since, I’ve had to buy a whole new ball of yarn to keep it going. I didn’t want to write a second Preacher theory post in the same day over there because it would have surely been met with, “Oh look. The crazy person is talking again.”
But listen: I re-watched all six episodes of Preacher last night, and I figured out how the season is going to end. There will be speculative spoilers here based on clues that have been laid for us, but trust me: This is going to happen.
It begins with Sam Catlin, the showrunner for Preacher, who was once a writer on Breaking Bad and who was likely instrumental in the introduction of the pink teddy bear, a recurring motif on the series that always portended something bad. I got it in my doddering little head that Catlin was replicating a similar motif on Preacher in the form of the Prairie Dog Mascot.
If you’ve been paying close attention, the Prairie Dog mascot was introduced within minutes of the series, and has recurred six (6) times so far in the first season. You may remember him from the split second shot in the brothel:
Or from the blink-and-you’ll miss it shot through the car windshield of Jesse’s car in the fifth episode (it was not until the fourth rewatch that I finally caught it):
Now, prairie dogs are burrowing rodents, and they have been known to cause sinkholes like, for instance, the one that Lacy the prostitute fell into and died in the fourth episode.
(Note, also, that right before Lacy fell into a sinkhole and died, the Prairie Dog mascot was seen walking sadly through the streets of Annville).
Those sinkholes are on Odin Quincannanon’s property, and it’s presented him with something of a Chinatown problem, which I know because the brothel owner said to Tulip after Odin dismissed Lacey’s death, “What do you think this is, Chinatown”?
That’s a strange movie reference given the circumstances, until you remember that Chinatown was about how the investigation of a murder led to a conspiracy to sabotage the city water supply.
There’s a similar conspiracy afoot here, and it involves prairie dogs, sinkholes, Odin Quincannon’s methods for processing his meat, and pressure building up in the city’s pipes (which also may be responsible for the sinkholes), and the Green Acre Group, an organization involved in soil sustainability that Mayor Miles Person tried to convince Odin Quincannon to partner with (Odin rejected the arrangement with a shotgun. Four times.).
How do we know? Because in a scene in last week’s episode that is unrelated and out-of-context to the rest of the series, this man …
… fretted over the water pressure in the pipes as demonstrated on this gauge:
Before the pressure reaches the critical area on the gauge, something happens that relieves it. Eagle-eyed observers may have also noticed this pipe opening outside of Jesse’s church opening up and releasing pressure in several scenes throughout the series:
It took me a while to figure out why the series kept showing us that release valve until I noticed in the gauge in the picture above that it is was measuring P.P.R., or pipe pressure.
What does this have to do with the end of Preacher? Well, fans of the source material (possible spoilers here) know that Preacher begins when Jesse Custer’s church explodes. After that, he ends up going out on a road trip with Tulip and Cassidy. Dominic Cooper, who plays Jesse Custer in the series, has specifically noted that the first season ends where the comics begin.
In other words, the first season ends with an explosion.
What causes that explosion? Odin Quincannon — who attempted to blow up Salvation, Texas in the comics but was thwarted — and a combination of prairie dogs and high water pressure. Perhaps that explosion will be triggered by the prairie dogs causing the sinkholes on Quincannon’s property.
So, don’t worry comics fans: You’re going to get your explosion. The only question is: Will it take out all of Annville or just Jesse’s church, and will the citizens of Annville — Sheriff Root, Eugene, Emily, Donnie and his wife, etc., — also fall prey to the explosion, allowing Jesse, Tulip, and Cassidy to strike out on their own — free from attachments to Annville — in the second season.