2 Seasons | 24 Episodes | TV-MA
1934. The Dustbowl. In a time of sandstorms, plagues, drought and pestilence, the final conflict between good and evil is about to begin. This epic HBO series focuses on the battle as it plays out against a pair of unusual backdrops: a traveling carnival working the American Dustbowl circuit, and an evangelical ministry in California.
In the Season Two premiere, Brother Justin's word reaches a new 'apostle'--prison inmate Varlyn Stroud--and occultist Wilfred Talbot Smith, who pushes him to seek out the elusive Henry Scudder. Meanwhile, Management also urges Ben to find his father, showing him visions of the apocalyptic horrors that otherwise threaten.
Stroud hits the road on his mission. Ben seeks out a former associate of Scudder's named Father Kerrigan. Meanwhile, Lila challenges Samson's easy dismissal of Lodz; Management confides in Ben about a secret fear; and Justin makes late-night visits to Chinatown, where a mysterious woman helps manifest his destiny--in the flesh.
As Ben searches for a mysterious next link, Justin tends to his flock. Meanwhile, Stroud investigates a mining accident that left all but one man dead; Sofie refuses to read Ben's tarot, but the cards have an agenda of their own; Dolan grills another arson witness; Ruthie is visited by a mysterious shadow; and Ben receives a rough welcome by distant relatives.
Old Cherry Blossom Road
A relative of Ben's reveals to him dark family secrets--and the face of death. Stroud reports on his progress to Justin, who now sees the threat Ben poses; Balthus bears witness to more of Justin's abuse of power; and Iris beseeches Justin not to keep secrets, though she's desperate to protect her own.
Justin is pushed by Dolan to make a difficult decision; Iris gives an important dictation; Ben has a nightmare visit with a mask-maker; Ruthie shares her visions with Sofie, who decides to help Ben; Rita Sue is generous with Stumpy, who bets on a big fight; Libby fishes for a compliment from Jones; and Justin receives a gift that gives him a new perspective.
The Road to Damascus
The troupe breaks bread with another carnival and Samson makes a deal with an old friend named Sabina; Iris and Justin prepare for their most difficult sermon yet; Stumpy panics as Rita Sue goes on a charity mission; Jones and Stumpy both try to defend Libby's honor; Lila makes a new friend; and Ben and Sofie dance around family issues.
Justin and Iris placate Bishop McNaughton with breakfast; Ben follows his visions to a seedy hotel with Stroud hot on his tail; Sabina airs her dirty laundry with Lila; Libby and Rita Sue reflect; Iris displays her strength to Norman; the troupe worries about Sofie; and Samson is distracted while Management tries to destroy a gift from Ben.
Outskirts, Damascus, NE
Ben and Samson have a heated argument; Iris and Justin back a local politician; Rita Sue tries to play hardball with Stumpy's debt collector; Libby shocks her parents; Ruthie seeks refuge in the safety of her trailer; Smith interprets a bad sign for Justin; Stroud nurses a wound; Jones is blamed for an accident; and Sofie finds a new job.
Ben and Jones learn that justice is 'for the birds'; Ruthie's visitor leaves lipstick traces; Lila tries to reach Lodz; Sofie finds salvation in her work; Iris takes Eleanor on a picnic; Balthus misses a big chance; Stroud keeps the morphine flowing; and when chaos breaks out during a public speech, Justin shocks the crowd with forgiveness.
Libby struggles to stick to her alibi, buckling under the weight of Rita Sue's superiority; Ruthie delivers a nocturnal message to Lila; Talbot-Smith intercepts a near disaster for Justin and reneges on a deal with Scudder; Iris discovers a relative; Stroud increases security with his 'Knights of Jericho,' and Justin does some backseat driving.
Outside New Canaan
When Samson announces the carnival's next stop, Lila challenges his authority; Stumpy and Rita fear dark days to come; and Libby urges Jones to reveal a secret to the troupe. As Justin baptizes his converts, a new tragedy rises to the surface; Iris welcomes a chance to sponsor some fun; and Justin is startled by a development in the migrant camp.
New Canaan, CA
In the series finale, as the world grows smaller, Samson devises a grand plan; Justin forces Iris to face her fear of heights; Stroud wants to protect Justin; Sofie finds herself in the dark; Rita Sue is touched by Samson's generosity; Ben performs his most important healings; and the carnival once more shakes dust...