(Beware, spoilers below!)
The newest episode of Constantine opens up the mystical worlds of Heaven and Hell, and the series is the better for it.
In a small parish in Kentucky a Pastor is bitten by a snake and apparently dies, but is soon revived and what’s more, he seems to be able to heal the sick. Hailed as a miracle, he soon draws people in from all over. Zed is at her art class when she sees snakes round her feet. As the class takes a break following her outburst she’s confronted by the good looking model, who asks her out for dinner. She accepts before running off to find John.
They travel to see that the whole commotion is about and upon touching the man’s hands, Zed sees a vision of him being taken up to Heaven. John is even more further disturbed when the man starts speaking in the language of the Angels. He desperately tries to summon Manny and after a bit of difficulty, is lead to a clue that brings them right into the path of an angel, Imogen.
We’re told that the man (Pastor Zachary) with the special powers managed to get them because he pulled a feather from her wing and without it returned to her she will die. All this time we’re made away of those miraculously healed turning beserk and attacking other people, which John eventually realises is because they are running to the source of the feather. He fails to retrieve the feather directly because he does not believe, but Zed does and hurriedly runs to Imogen, who is concealed in a barn that John has put a protection spell around.
John is talking to the now depowered preacher as the zombiefied victims close in around them and he finds out the Pastor murdered a man, meaning he was not on his way to Heaven, but to Hell. However, he’s too late with the realisation even though Manny himself felt something isn’t right. Zed puts the feather back in and she’s instantly transformed from a sweet angel into a dark one (nice costuming touches, by the way), and she threatens to choke Zed to death unless John undoes the protection spell around the barn and lets her go. John implores Manny to help, since he has thus far insisted he cannot intervene, and just when we think Manny’s skimped out for good, he reappears and pulls out the dark angel’s heart.
This is an episode that doesn’t reveal many more details about the frontrunners of the show, though by the looks of the end scene Zed’s past will be catching up with her. By opening up the conflict of Heaven and Hell whilst providing a plot twist or two the concept of the Rising Darkness becomes immediately more intriguing. Manny also taking more action is a welcome change, and the hinting that Chaz is visiting his daughter also sets up other interesting possible scenarios. Just how would you deal with your dad who couldn’t die? The turn at the end was, once again, pretty cool and unexpected, though there were bits in the episode that could be glossed over, like Zed and John coming to blows over religion. It’s nice to see the differences between them, but I think it could have been done better differently. The small little rules and artefacts that John reveals have also become a whole lotta fun, and I’m looking forward to whatever comes up next episode. Special mention goes to Patrick Carroll as Pastor Zachary, who acted the character spot on, wavering dangerously between crazed desperation to do good and crippling guilt.