Preacher Q&A — Sam Catlin (Executive Producer, Showrunner, Director)

Executive producer Sam Catlin, showrunner of AMC's Preacher and director of the Season Finale, discusses separating the core trio this season, why Jesse is even more hell-bent on finding God now, and what is up next for a potential Season 4.

Q: How cathartic was it for Jesse to finally put Angelville behind him? 

A: He’s been able to defeat the people he could never defeat. It’s a huge weight off of him to break the curse of Angelville. It frees him up to really continue his mission with even more certainty and strength than he had before. He slayed the demon of his past. It’s something he never thought he could do, and now he has. He’s ready to take on a bigger adversary in God.

Q: What does it mean that he was willing to sacrifice his eternal salvation to rid himself of Gran'ma?

A: He defeated Gran’ma, he’s got his power and is ready to go back on his journey. The only thing he doesn’t [initally] get is blood and violence and revenge. He can’t let this woman breathe another breath – this woman who killed his mother and his father. The fact that Jesse’s going to kill her and put his own soul at risk speaks to that side of him that is not completely at peace. That darker side.

Q: Now that Jesse has his soul and Genesis back, do you think he's learned anything about using his power more carefully?

A: We’ll have to wait and see, but his desire to hold God accountable is even stronger than ever before. He’s starting to understand that the fate of the universe is at stake and I don’t think he’s going to leave any stone unturned. He’s going to use Genesis in any way he can to bring God to his knees.

Q: The show has always flourished with the core trio together. How difficult was it to separate Cassidy this year? What does he learn during his dealing with Eccarius?

A: In the comic, the trio branch off and come back together. We feel like we’re being true to the source material in terms of separating these characters so they can tell their own stories. I’m sure we’ll continue to do that as long as our characters keep coming back together. In terms of Cassidy specifically, in a lot of ways his journey is similar to Jesse and Tulip’s. Cassidy’s got issues about being a vampire and being an outcast. Those issues are in stark relief when he thinks he gets exiled out of Angelville. He finds likeminded people in the form of Eccarius. What we reveal through Eccarius’s treachery, through Cassidy’s eyes, is that Eccarius hates himself even more than Cassidy does. Perhaps Eccarius gives self-hating a bad name. By the end, I think Cassidy’s a little more at peace than he was before.

Q: Assuming the trio reunites, can things go ever back to normal between them?

A: I think there’s definitely much to be resolved between the three of them. Jesse and Cassidy, in particular, have a lot to put together for them to be best mates again. The strain of this triangle of people will continue to be under some duress just like it was in the comic. These three coming to terms with who they are to each other is something that will take the whole series to come to terms with.

Q: Tulip seems more upset with God than ever. Is it safe to assume she won't heed his warning to leave him be? Has she gotten past the “O’Hare curse”?

A: I think the more Tulip learns, or thinks she learns, about God, the more determined she is to kick his ass. Part of her journey is realizing that she’s made some mistakes, but she’s just a person. She realizes she doesn’t need to apologize for herself. I think she’s more at peace with herself as an O’Hare.

Q: You directed the finale this year. Were there any challenges when it came to the sequence involving the Saint of Killers and Hitler’s army?

A:   The finale is a huge episode. There are three huge fights. We had to plan and make sure we could get it all in there and do service to these characters. That’s why we have this amazing crew. It was a lot of fun and I think people are going to love it.

Q: What can you say about Starr's plans for Jesse now?

A: The days of trying to seduce Jesse Custer and bring him by his side are over. Now, Starr is bent on vengeance and destroying Jesse and everyone he loves. It’s pretty simple. If chess was about bringing him to be his messiah, then checkers is just about f—cking killing him and everyone he loves. [Laughs] He’s pretty clear.  I think that’ll be his guiding principle for the rest of the series.

Q: What does it mean for Jesse now that Eugene seems to share the Saint of Killers's mission of vengeance against Jesse? 

A: Eugene’s gone through a lot. He learns that God is missing and that there are no more rules and that this man that he trusted – Jesse Custer, who he thought passed away along with everyone else in Annville -- is out and alive and never came to rescue him. Eugene has been looking all along for some sort of plan and purpose ever since he got out of Hell. I think revenge on Jesse Custer is what he’s landed on. One of the fun things about Preacher is taking crazy characters and pairing them up as unlikely alliances. I’m sure sometime in the near future, Eugene and the Saint will be working together.

Q: How concerned should we be that Hitler is now the new Satan?

A: I think I would be concerned to have Hitler running Hell with an unlimited supply of plum cakes. I would be very concerned about what he might get up to.

Q: We see the Grail headquarters Masada in the closing shot. What other parts of the comic are you thinking of exploring in a potential Season 4?

A: I think Masada is first up in terms of the Grail’s citadel and how we get Cassidy out of there. I think we’ll probably learn a little more about the origins of Genesis. There’s a lot more we want to delve into. Maybe there’s a New York City story, there’s San Francisco, other parts of the Grail we haven’t gotten to. There’s lots more. It is a show that spans the globe. As of now, our plan is to hit the road one way or the other.

Read a Q&A with Julie Ann Emery, who plays Lara Featherstone.

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