After managing to make their way into the warden’s office, Eugene and Hitler descend into the Hole as it’s where the backdoor out of Hell resides. Eugene is worried that he won’t be able to take another serving of the upgraded torture that the Hole dishes out compared to the standard cells, but Hitler reassures him to resist what is shown to him. Eugene blunders quite a few times as the simulation makes it harder and harder for him to resist each time, but he finally manages to take care of all his demons, allowing Hitler to fully opening the backdoor out of Hell for them to escape.
A flashback to the Saint of Killers being dropped into the swamp is shown and it’s revealed that a week later, he’s still stuck within and relentless to escape. A further flashback to the Saint’s life with his wife and child begins, showing that he tried to cast away his sinful lifestyle previously in order to be happy with his wife. He is baptized by a preacher and proceeds to have a nice picnic with his family, a very different man from the one that the Saint is today. In the present, the Grail have located the Saint and pull his van out of the swamp, replacing it with a exact replica. This explains why the one Jesse and Tulip found was empty despite there being no way for the Saint to escape.
The truck containing the Saint is brought to an abandoned warehouse where Hoover attempts to sway the Saint over to the cause of the Grail. He explains that Heaven is still very much off the table, just as Jesse had explained, but they can offer the next best thing: revenge on Jesse Custer. The Saint resists for another week, but has begun to grow weak due to being trapped for 2 weeks now. Hoover offers the deal to him once more, stating that it’s really a win-win scenario and the Saint really doesn’t have much else to lose. This finally persuades him, which causes Hoover to set him free, stating that it’s time for the Saint to “do what you do”.
The Saint’s first stop is to head to the bar that he visited in a previous episode, getting a drink before he begins the hunt for Jesse. At Denis’ apartment, Tulip and Cassidy talk about Jesse, switching between worrying about him and feigning that they should just move on without him. Right on cue, Jesse walks into the apartment and surprisingly doesn’t want to immediately talk about God anymore, rather opting for a drink instead. While Jesse and Cassidy head to the back to drink, Tulip takes one of Cassidy’s finger that were left behind when the Saint cut them off and heads to put it in the trash down the hall. On her return, she encounters the Saint in the hallway and is knocked out after trying to attack him.
The Saint makes his way into Denis’ apartment, first taking out Denis and then selecting a weapon, while Jesse and Cassidy talk about Cassidy’s theory that Fight Club doesn’t have a twist and Tyler Durden was real the entire time. When Cassidy yells for Tulip to bring beers and she doesn’t answer, Cassidy goes to investigate and is beaten down by the Saint as well. Jesse states that he was merciful last time, but it won’t be the case here. Using Genesis doesn’t have an affect on the Saint, however, either from a Grail upgrade or the Saint utilizing Denis’ music speaker that he took from his room. This leads to a fight between Jesse and the Saint, with Cassidy and Tulip both coming in to assist when Jesse is being beaten down. Sadly, none of them can stand up to the strength of the Saint.
After successfully bringing Jesse down to his knees this time, the Saint knocks him out and ties him to a chair. He explains a story a man once told him about how no matter how many times he scalped his enemies, the sound of the process never left his mind. The Saint is curious to what this sound is, so he decides to try out the technique on Jesse. Right as he begins, the Saint is stopped by the Warden of Hell, who apparently has arrived due to Herr Starr and wants the Saint back in Hell. The Saint initially refuses to leave before dealing with Jesse, but the Warden threatens his family’s safety in Heaven, so the Saint has no choice. Seems Starr had manipulated these events in order to show Jesse that he has his back, hopefully persuading him to join the Messiah plan.
Back in Hell, the Saint is sentenced back to one of the cells to relive the death of his wife and child again. Before the Warden departs though, the Saint demands to have an audience with Satan, to which the Warden reveals Satan wants the same. Above all this, Eugene and Hitler continue through the ducts trying to escape. They get to hear some of the worst moments of their fellow inmates while moving over the cell rooms, but Hitler tells Eugene to remain concentrated as they’re almost home free.
In the aftermath of the Saint’s attack on Denis’ apartment, Tulip and Cassidy are taken by an ambulance to get their injuries sorted out, while Jesse stays behind and treats Denis with some leftover blood packs. Unknown to the trio, the ambulance is actually a Grail vehicle, so Tulip and Cassidy are taken to the headquarters instead. They are introduced to Herr Starr and he informs them of his plan with Jesse to make him the new Messiah. Both Tulip and Cassidy poke fun at Starr’s expense and how Jesse would never do such a thing, but Starr begins to get to them when he questions what their roles in Jesse’s life really are and if he’d need them when he becomes the Messiah.
Jesse takes a break from helping Denis and watches some tv, which shows the Pope making a public announcement about God’s disappearance and that the new Messiah will come soon. This reinforces in Jesse’s mind that the Messiah can’t end up becoming Humperdoo, so he decides to finally take Herr Starr’s offer into serious consideration. At the same time, Tulip and Cassidy return and decide they need to have a talk with Jesse, so the trio head to a nearby diner. Things seem alright at first glance, with Cassidy recounting a story of seeing a real unicorn and everyone joking about it, but things then get serious when they bring up the elephant in the room. Jesse reminds them that he made a promise to his father to try and be one of the good guys and that he truly believes becoming the Messiah would accomplish that, but Cassidy argues that the person Jesse is could never give away his vices. The conversation is left in a bad spot, especially after Tulip asks what Jesse really needs them for now and he can’t give a convincing answer.
With his friends beginning to turn against him just as Herr Starr wanted, Jesse continues right into the trap laid out for him. His next stop after the diner is to the Grail headquarters, where he finally tells Starr that he wants to become the Messiah. Starr replies to this by bowing to his new master and placing Jesse’s hand onto his head.
“On Your Knees” set the stage for a season finale where several things could happen. I don’t see a world in which Jesse actually ends up becoming the Messiah, so I wonder what the catalyst for him going against the Grail will end up being. I’m sure the fact that we see one of the Grail’s spy cameras falling to the floor of Denis’ apartment will come into play with Tulip and Cassidy realizing the Grail isn’t what they seem, so that’ll be interesting to see play out as well. Also, Eugene and Hitler are finally almost out of Hell, makes we wonder what’ll happen next for the duo and if things aren’t really what they seem.
On Your Knees – 4 out of 5
- Good setup for season finale.
- The focus on the Saint of Killers.
- Cassidy’s Fight Club theory.
- Still don’t care for the Tulip/Cassidy romance hints.
- Sucks that the Saint was taken out again, but I’m sure he’ll be back, just as he told Jesse.