We ended final night time with Jesse within the path of the Saint; and tonight, we decide up just about precisely the place we left off. It’s night time, we’re outdoors a motel, and Jesse’s squinting into the darkness as Demise strides in direction of him. Jesse tries utilizing the Phrase, and it has no impact. The Saint, doing what he was pulled out of Hell to do, takes purpose and fires.
The bullet hits the motive force of a van; the now driverless van swerves and crushes the Saint right into a streetlight, and Jesse is (briefly at the very least) saved.
As cliffhanger resolutions go, it’s superb. There’s an opportunity that the sudden, hilariously handy (at the very least for Jesse) arrival of Alsono’s Axle Grease van may need deeper ramifications—I’ll get into it within the Stray Observations to keep away from spoiling something—however as is, it’s humorous however not far more than that. The present’s writers are good at absurdity, they’re creating robust character beats, and when every little thing comes collectively, because it does a number of occasions in “Mumbai Sky Tower,” it’s one thing particular. However I’m not satisfied that the writers know how you can handle suspense tropes all that effectively. They’ve the fundamentals (hero in peril = <bits nails>), however discovering intelligent, satisfying methods out of battle is lots more durable than creating that battle.
Fortunately many of the episode focuses on the present’s strengths, tying up an previous unfastened finish, offering Jesse with a brand new path for his quest, and reminding us that Tulip has her personal historical past, and her personal issues. The Saint’s arrival on the motel, which simply occurs to coincide with a Gun Aficionados convention, results in an explosion of violence without delay hilarious and, if not precisely terrifying, then at the very least a bit on the creepy facet. The Saint butchers, mutilates, maims, and destroys with out pause, and Jesse, Tulip, and Cassidy haven’t any solution to cease him. Jesse’s one try (utilizing the Phrase to order a bunch of gun nuts to open hearth) is what kicks the chaos into gear, making him greater than slightly accountable for the carnage. However he does attempt to get everybody to run as soon as it turns into clear the Saint is unstoppable, which is sweet.
Whereas the world is exploding round them, Tulip lastly activates a TV on the proper time and learns about Annville. It’s a powerful piece of tone balancing, as a result of whereas the context is humorous sufficient—Tulip after which Jesse sitting down on the motel mattress, frozen on the information, whereas gunshots and explosions fly round them—the precise response is performed straight. One of many extra irritating elements of the present’s first season finale is the best way it appeared to cut back many of the characters and conflicts we’d spent weeks attending to know to a nasty joke. Ha ha, you gave a shit about Annville, everybody simply died in fart explosion.
Having Jesse and Tulip act like an precise tragedy occurred helps to mitigate the sneer. It doesn’t imply we have to return and mourn all these lifeless folks—by and enormous this can be a present with loads of corpses, most of which we aren’t going to care about that a lot, which is completely superb. Nevertheless it helps make the time spent appear much less like a waste, and provides our heroes slightly extra depth with out slowing the motion or blocking their progress. Tulip realizes that shedding Walter means she doesn’t have any household left, which conjures up Jesse to suggest. Jesse additionally will get reminder that Eugene continues to be caught in Hell. It’s sufficient acknowledgement to make it really feel just like the previous isn’t being erased, and that’s all we have to go ahead.
I discussed unfastened ends: the one different survivor (that we find out about) left over after the primary season who we haven’t checked in with is Fiore, one half of the angel duo who tried (and failed) to get Genesis out of Jesse. Fiore’s companion, deBlanc, is lifeless, shot and killed by the Saint when the 2 went to Hell to rent the Saint to do away with Jesse. The loss of life left Fiore at a little bit of a loss, and, in a flashback that’s one of many episode’s greatest sequences, we see him attempting to drown his sorrows on the titular on line casino and resort, playing and ingesting and whoring and killing himself over and time and again. It’s a nifty montage that makes use of one of many first season’s greatest gags (the angels’ computerized reincarnations), and it does a swell job endearing Fiore to the viewers once more.
That’s vital as a result of aside from Jesse and Tulip’s near-wedding, Fiore does many of the emotional heavy lifting in “Mumbai Sky Tower.” Not each episode wants a tragedy, however this type of darkish comedy works greatest when it’s bolstered by empathy, and the perpetually suiciding angel is without delay humorous and oddly candy. When Cassidy guarantees Jesse he could make Fiore change his thoughts, there’s a quick risk of violence which then provides solution to one other nifty montage: this time of Cassidy and Fiore galavanting by Fiore’s palatial resort suite, drugged out of the minds. It’s, once more, humorous and candy on the similar time, in a manner that wouldn’t be practically as entertaining if Fiore wasn’t such a lovable dope. This in flip helps to make Cassidy extra endearing, which goes to be helpful going ahead—he’s sure to fire up extra shit down the highway, and the extra we like him despite himself, the extra highly effective it’ll be if (and when) he crosses the road.
Whereas Cassidy and Fiore are debating Archie comics, Jesse and Tulip are getting intimate. Having Tulip run into an previous frenemy whereas ready in line on the wedding ceremony chapel just isn’t probably the most natural solution to transfer the story ahead, however Gary has a adequate purpose to be there (he checks casinos for Victor, the boss man). The truth that Jesse decides their subsequent vacation spot, New Orleans, will just about take Tulip proper into the attention of the storm can be a pleasant contact, and the battle between her and Gary within the resort room is effectively carried out. I’m not an enormous fan of characters holding secrets and techniques from one another, however it occurs typically, and I doubt that is going to remain secret lengthy.
Actually, my largest concern with the episode is what occurs with the Saint. The reveal that he’s monitoring Jesse’s use of the Phrase is good, and it really works a lot better as a deterrent than Tulip’s ethical qualms. However when Fiore has an opportunity to name the Saint off, he doesn’t; and whereas his causes make sense, the truth that the Saint now is aware of that Jesse is headed to New Orleans means the writers are going to have to seek out one other solution to cope with him, or else have him lose all efficiency as a risk. Unstoppable killing machines make nice fictional enemies, however in addition they include an inherent threat. If the Saint retains plodding behind our heroes for too lengthy, he’s going to show right into a joke, however he must be defeated or stalled in a manner that isn’t overly handy or a cheat. To date at the very least, I don’t have an enormous quantity of confidence that the writers can pull that off.
We’ll see, although. “Mumbai Sky Tower” is one other signal that the present’s second season is heading in the right direction, and the best way it barely expands it’s world with out shedding the main focus that made the primary episode again so promising has me optimistic. I’m unhappy to see Fiore depart so shortly, however his exit is completely becoming, if slightly predictable. Jesse, nonetheless pondering he can use the Phrase for good, tells the angel to “Discover peace.” Which Fiore does on the different finish of the Saint’s gun. When Fiore decides to inform the Saint the place to go subsequent as a result of he doesn’t belief the preacher, it’s one thing of a betrayal. However you must admit he has a degree.
- Hypothesis time: If God, or no matter, was a part of what killed Tammy final week, perhaps that very same drive is defending Jesse for some purpose. Which, now that I kind it out, appears fairly ridiculous, however that van is simply such a gory deus ex machina that I can’t assist however surprise.
- The comics had a pair novel options for coping with the Saint; there’s a mid-run storyline known as “Conflict In The Solar” which continues to be the high-point of the sequence for me, and I’m hoping the present will discover some solution to tackle the fabric, though we’re nonetheless lacking a key aspect.
- Within the comics, the Phrase really labored on the Saint. The primary time they met, Jesse caught him off guard, however he stayed a hazard down the highway as a result of as soon as he knew what was coming, he may simply draw quicker than Jesse may speak.
- “I actually don’t give a shit.” -Fiore