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[S1E4] A Higher Power

Aziraphale went to Gabriel about his concerns, but Gabriel just reminded him to bring his flaming sword to battle. Suspicious of Aziraphale, Michael brought Gabriel photos of him and Crowley speaking with each other. Michael, Uriel, and Sandalphon pressured Aziraphale to choose a side but were ultimately summoned to battle. Aziraphale tried to appeal to a higher power but got the Metatron instead. The Metatron reminded Aziraphale that his purpose was not to stop the war but to win it. After he left but while the circle was still active, Shadwell arrived to exorcise Aziraphale, thinking he was a demon. Aziraphale accidentally stepped into the circle and ascended.

[S1E4] A Higher Power

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Courtney Naquin: While the links to pollution may seem obvious, these regions often lack institutionalized research and monitoring to draw these conclusions. So to back up these local stories, we also spoke with New York State based power duo, Dr. Sandra Steingraber, an environmental scientist, and Dr. Larysa Dyrszka, a pediatrician and environmental health advocate. Together, along with several other health professionals, they helped produce a compendium, or a collection of extensive medical research proving how fracking and other associated infrastructure and activities is incredibly dangerous for public health.

Queen-Regent Míriel has a nightmare of Númenor being devastated by a sudden flood while the city falls into unrest and tension because news of Galadriel's arrival has spread among the general public. Taking advantage of the civil strife, Míriel's advisor Pharazôn implores the people to put their trust in him and swears that he will never allow Númenor to fall under elven influence. Galadriel warns Miriel of Sauron's return to power and offers to reforge the alliance between humanity and elves. She is soundly rebuffed by the Númenórean queen, who jails her when she threatens to make the same overture to Míriel's father.

Precious Paula Nicole (Facebook Instagram Linktree TikTok Twitter YouTube) showed she has nerves of steel by pulling out a silly impersonation in front of the superstar she was impersonating! Adding her powerful impersonation to the most dragged out drag of all the runways made her an obvious winner.

The ending of the episode sees Lucifer not allowing Morpheus to leave Hell, but realising he has more power there than they think. Vowing one day they will destroy Morpheus, he walks away with his Helm and his Raven, growing stronger and more powerful. With the helmet on, he can now see the precious ruby and takes himself to it. As he holds it in his hand, he realizes that someone has altered it, and it fights back at him.

Diana asks Marthe about the Covenant. She explains that it forbids interspecies relationships. There used to be more creatures and they wielded more power in the world. Philippe created the Covenant to help protect the balance of power between the species. No one has ever publicly broken it before.

His excitement resides in making money and growing his business. By learning that the elves can deliver what they do on Christmas any time of the year, he is pushing the limits of his power to go beyond what any Santa has done before.

Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun) tries to tell Jesse (Dominic Cooper) about Fiore (Tom Brooke) and DeBlanc (Anatol Yusef), though it falls on deaf ears as Jesse is distracted by the thought of rebooting All Saints Congregational, wanting more visitors. He later converts atheist Odin Quincannon (Jackie Earle Haley) to Christianity, using his power in front of the entire congregation to achieve that goal. Angry at the death of a woman, Tulip (Ruth Negga) carries out a form of vigilante justice, but the consequences are not expected as she mistakenly throws Cassidy out of a window, only to discover him to be an immortal vampire.[8][9][10]

In the Preacher Insider Podcast featurette published by AMC following the airing of the episode, "Monster Swamp" writer Sara Goodman spoke of the overall theme of the episode, and Jesse's decision to use his power, stating "Well I think this episode, in terms of moving forward, was really about [Jesse] embracing his new power and his intention to use it to achieve his goal of being the preacher in Annville."[18] "Monster Swamp" director, Craig Zisk agreed with Goodman's statement, believing "It felt like Jesse had a very clear mission in this episode, versus the conflict we've seen him have in the other episodes [...] And now it feels like he has a solid understanding of what it does and what it is; and now he's using it for good, in his mind, to bring more people into the church and to save the people of the town, so to speak." Zisk speaks of it as being the first moment in which Jesse takes ownership of this newly acquire ability.[19]

Goodman stated of the flashback sequence that "[...] what we decided to do in terms of using the flashbacks is try to solidify what his mission was - the promise he made to his dad, why he's here as a preacher, knowing that he's come from a much darker place and that he has this dark side in him and so why he's fighting to be good, why he's come back to this town, and what his mission is for the town. So even if he doesn't know exactly what the power is yet, I think that this episode is really about him embracing it and using it to achieve that goal, and by using Quincannon."[4] Zisk spoke of the "amazing pieces with [Quincannon] in this episode,[20] "[...] The scene when they're building the little Alamo was such a powerful scene in terms of Jesse deciding to use his power or not use his power. He knew he had it in his back pocket when he walked in the door. Of course, he knew he was going to get the result that he wanted but it was how he was going to get it. Could he do it the old fashioned way by just talking it through and hopefully convincing Quincannon or was he going to have to use the power [...] I think that was a real struggle for Jesse throughout the scene [...][20]

Of the Battle of Wills scene between Jesse and Quincannon, Zisk mentions that "I think there's a lot more power if you're not facing off with each other and that they had such strong opinions of where they stood in terms of whether their whole theories on religion, god and what that influences in their life and not to have this face to face where they're sitting next to each other just going after each other, it's a lot easier to be distracted by something and having that conversation and you can see they're both holing back. They're doing it with a little bit of a smile on their face, they're into their work but as much as their concentrating on [the Alamo] & that other stuff [...] their really not concentrating on that. They're trying to figure out ... they're sizing each other up. They're going to be the two powers in this town [...]"[4] Goodman notes that the choice of both men building the Alamo was very purposeful, "It's the definition of Texas lore, but it's also an unwinnable battle, and their recreating it. So for them to be in masters of their own universe, I mean that's what they are doing [...] In the writing and the breaking of the episode, we're very aware of the world we're putting them in."[20]

Shortly after the airing of "Monster Swamp", AMC released a featurette titled "Inside Preacher: Monster Swamp" which went into greater detail with the cast and creators to discuss Cassidy's dealings with DeBlanc and Fiore and why Jesse's so focused on converting Annville's biggest sinner, Odin Quincannon.[21] Showrunner Sam Catlin was interviewed for the segment, and stated "Cassidy's sort of figured out that DeBlanc and Fiore aren't vampire vigilantes. Now he realises what they want is Jesse's power." Catlin then acknowledges that Cassidy is rather curious of the two fellows, stating, "At first he just wants to know a little bit about more about what it is that they want and what are they after; and sort of over the course of that scene, he realises that they don't seem they have all the answers."[21]

Sam Catlin additionally spoke about the introduction of Young Jesse in the series, involving the flashback sequence with his father, with Catlin saying, "We start to learn a little bit about what it was like for Jesse as a young boy, son of John Custer. And we flashback to an encounter John had with Odin Quincannon when Jesse was just a kid. As Jesse's grown up and come back to this town, [Quincannon]'s been sort of the ultimate white whale of sin. He's a professed atheist; he's also the most powerful man in town, he basically runs Annville."[21] Catlin concluded his segment of the featurette by speaking of the present timeline with Jesse and Odin, with Catlin saying, "Jesse's trying to coax Odin to come to church, just this one Sunday. For Jesse, he's the ultimate challenge, 'If I can show the town that I can bring Odin Quincannon to God then everyone else will follow'." Catlin continues, "Jesse pros him and asks him 'what about Hell? aren't you worried about going to Hell?' But he turns the tables on Jesse, he's like 'I'm not the one that's worried about Hell, you're the one that's worried about Hell' And that's the turn of the scene."[21]

"Monster Swamp" editor Tyler Cook spoke of Zisk's direction of the episode, particularly praising his choice for his wide shots, to which continued by saying, "The Alamo is a stand-in for Annville and here are these two imposing figures who are literally standing over the town [...] Especially that high birds eye view at the very end where you just watch them go back to their work and it's like yeah they are planning the future of this town together and apart and how are those going to intersect? And it's a very power image for a lot of very different reasons, so I thought you chose your shots incredibly well."[4] With Sara Goodman finishing it off by making the remark of "I think [Zisk] did an incredible job in terms of visually [...] giving us the horror trope and at the same time letting us see the town and where the value system is or isn't."[20] 041b061a72

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