(Beware, spoilers below!)
In this episode of Constantine we are presented with the first of a two parter that serves as the midseason final. Both John and Zed’s stories run parallel with one another here and by the end of the forty minutes both are left in a rather perilous position.
In Mexico a baby has been stolen and its mother killed. An old friend, Anne-Marie, calls on John to help her since she says he owes her a favour. They were old flames and she was also there during Newscastle.
As John jets off to Mexico with Chaz, Zed in left to explore the house alone. She enters one of the previously forbidden doors and finds a massive chasm behind it. Sometime afterwards she finds herself trailed by the same ‘model’ that we encountered last episode and she takes him home, only to give him a good beating and try and find out what he wants from her. We find out that ‘Mary’ is wanted home by her father, who locked her in a room as a child. She’s soon pursued by two other henchmen, who dispatch of any attempts by her to barter. After a struggle, Zed manages to push one of them into the cavern but the other still manages to hit her with a sedative, knocking her out.
Meanwhile in Mexico John realises that whoever is taking the babies are going after children from the same family, and he realises it’s one of Eve’s demonic sisters that is out to get the babies. He imbues a chicken with the blood of one of the family members and when Lamashtu takes the bait they follow her down into the sewers. This is creepy stuff, with the sounds of babies’ cries echoing off the walls but in the end they save the infants. Using more demon power he manages to get rid of Lamashtu and save the children. However just as they are escaping, an invunche appears, the same demon Zed was drawing earlier. In order to be able to save the child Anne-Marie shoots John, leaving him to die as the demon approaches.
This episode adds in a few large players by way of la Brujeria and the Ressurection Crusade. As of the moment, La Brujeria is a bigger player and the one that John obviously sees as cause of the Rising Darkness. the whole meaning around this crusade is a little clearer: John has to stop the worlds blurring over so that Hell can spill into everything. So far, so sensible. Whilst all of the many storylines are executed well – the tone, the character dynamics, etc. – we as an audience as still left wanting by the lack of suspense. If anything I’m a little annoyed by the final scene, for me ruining what could have been a great episode. The lack of action by way of the invunche after John is shot makes it far less of a threat than everyone else was playing it out to be, wondering why Anne Marie had to take that risk to begin with. From the moment the shot is fired, everything plays so slowly that any tension the show had managed to build up over an (admittedly) disturbing episode is lost in a damp plop. This episode does indeed show promise, a world (well, almost) away from the show that had us looking at coal people near the beginning and has slowly shed those chains. I suppose that makes this slip up all the more disappointing. But if the show has done anything to its credit, it is that they have made us care just enough for the characters or world they are in for us to want to know what lies on the other side next week.