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During the Great Depression, an Oklahoma farm boy and a charismatic minister learn that they are key players in a proxy war being fought between Heaven and Hell.
Samson: Lyle, I'm tellin' you this operation is 100% legit. Sheriff Lyle Donovan: I never heard an honest man use "legit".
Justin: I'm reminded of the phrase "making a deal with the devil". Tommy Dolan: Aw, come on. I'm not that bad. Justin: No. You're not.
[Opening lines of the series] Samson: Before the beginning, after the great war between Heaven and Hell, God created the Earth and gave dominion over it to the crafty ape he called man. And to each generation was born a creature of light and a creature of darkness. And great armies clashed by night in the ancient war between good and evil. There was magic then, nobility, and unimaginable cruelty. And so it was until the day that a false sun exploded over Trinity, and man forever traded away wonder for reason.
Charlie Lewis: You always had a beard? Lila: Ever since I was thirteen. Charlie Lewis: Me too. Lila: You come by my tent later, dark and handsome, and I'll show you something else I had since I was thirteen.
Sofie: Go to hell! Justin: Go? Why, I plan on bringing it here.
Justin: The clock is ticking, brothers and sisters, counting down to Armageddon. The worm reveals himself in many guises across this once great land; from the intellectual elite cruelly indoctrinating our children with the savage blasphemy of Darwin, to the craven Hollywood pagans, corrupting them in the darkness of the local bijou, from the false prophets cowering behind our nation's pulpits to the vile parasites in our banks and boardrooms and the godless politicians, growing fat on the misery of their constituents. The signs of the end times are all around us, etched in blood and fire by the left hand of god. You have but to open your eyes, brothers and sisters. The truth is that the Devil is here. The Anti-Christ, the Child of Lies, the Son of Darkness walks among us cloaked in the flesh of a man. Does the Lord not weep at this degradation? Does He not tremble with righteous fury? And shall he not seek retribution? I open my eyes and I see a black sky that tears apart and screams with a voice that is thunder, 'Rise up, rise up brothers and sisters and take your place at my side. For you shall be my scythe and your face shall shine like a thousand suns and the streets shall be sanctified by the steaming black blood of the heretics.' And together brothers and sisters, together we shall build a shining temple, a kingdom that will last for thousands and thousands of years.
[Repeated line] Samson: Let's shake some dust, children!
Samson: When it comes to livin', dying is the easy part.
[first time line is used] Waitress: Every Prophet in his house.
Samson: On the heels of the skirmish man foolishly called The War to End All Wars, the dark one sought to elude his destiny, and live as a mortal. So he fled across the ocean to the empire called America. But by his mere presence, a cancer corrupted the spirit of the land. People were rendered mute by fools who spoke many words but said nothing... for whom oppression and cowardice were virtues... and freedom, an obscenity. And into this dark heartland, a prophet stalked his enemy. Until, dimished by his wounds, he turned to the next in the ancient line of light. And so it was that the fate of mankind came to rest on the trembling shoulders of the most reluctant of saviors...
Prof. Lodz: Have you seen my bear?
Justin: You always knew what was inside of me.
Justin: Vulgarity is not a sin against God, but against polite society. Between you and me, I don't give a shit about polite society.
Justin: Do you know that there is a boy here whose mother abandoned him in the restroom of a Five and Dime? Iris: No, but... Justin: Or that Polly Ann's father sold her to some men for one dollar? No. No, of course not. Who wants to dwell on things like that? We never consider the little ones. We only put on our clothes. Who can see the children feeding the endless, ravenous hunger of the textile mill, mechanical mouths that aren't choosey: silk and thread, a lock of hair, a scrap of scalp, tiny, torn fingers. We only turn up the heat. Why think of the boys in the mines crouched over the chutes? For hours they sit, sifting the refuse from the coal, their backs bent. Old men by nine, black lung by twelve. Coal is heavy and hard, hands are soft and fragile; crushed, feet crushed, skulls crushed. Go for a walk; you see them. Poisoned girls selling themselves to men and women. A nickel buys a virgin; some are kept in cages. Babies, bought by men who raise them as livestock. Animals to abuse, soft flesh to violate, to tear and bite! 'If anyone causes even one of the little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and be damned in the depths of the sea!' They must open their eyes! They must open their mouths and drown!
[to maid who is kneeling at his feet] Justin: Your mama taught you how to pray, didn't she?
Ruthie: That ain't funny. Samson: Well I ain't funnen.
[Ben, unbeknownst to him, is translating Latin] Ben Hawkins: "In hoc signo vinces." By this sign you will conquer. Samson: When did you learn Latin? Ben Hawkins: Latin? Samson: You better hurry up and get born, kid.
Clayton Jones: Je-sus Christ. Samson: On a bicycle.
[Brother Justin is in an insane asylum when a radio program concerning him begins to air amidst the cacophony] Justin: Be still. [Total silence except for the radio broadcast]
Lucius Belyakov: A dark heart dwells where the branches meet / Anointed dagger plunge thee deep.
[Samson has just hinted to Rita Sue that he killed Stangler] Samson: You can only know a man so much.
Apollonia: [to Sophie] You were always the one who read the cards.
Ruthie: Crazy as mud bugs on a griddle.
Ruthie: Honey, everyone has bad dreams. It's the times we live in, its hard to be happy. It's hard to feel safe.
[to Samson] Prof. Lodz: Well played, little man.
Justin: Ye offspring of serpents, who warned you to flee the wrath to come?
Rev. Norman Balthus: In desperate times, the good Lord looks over the flock and chooses one man to inspire the multitudes; one man to accomplish the impossible; one man to offer hope where there was only hopelessness; and who are we to judge the wisdom of the Almighty? He chooses his servants to fit his plan and when he chooses his servant from the flock and gifts them with talents, it is a grave sin to bury them in the earth.