(Beware, spoilers below!)
One more round of Constantine to go boys and girls (as far as we know), so let’s get started. Out in the middle of nowhere a man wakes up three girls that are all sleeping in the same bed (not as sexy as it sounds). The three girls show up as a teen gets spooked in a rusty old fairground. It turns out the three girls are married to the man. They show their girls their ‘wedding rings’, which are actually slits in their throats. She’s taken a way to be a bride to ‘the man’, who’s sitting out in his truck and chokes a man that comes too close to the truth.
John’s helping Detective Corrigan solve a case dealing with the Lunar Tetrad, a case which got a friend of his killed. Elsewhere ‘the man’ goes around branding another victim with devil’s irons. Suddenly, Gary animates a corpse from the other side, telling John that there’s a large bounty on his head. The man after that bounty? Papa Midnite. Come morning and the lost teen wakes up in the house of ‘the man’ who turns out to be a Satanist.
Constantine and the gang go to visit the house of the now missing girl. Zed confesses to John she saw Jim dead and in the kitchen she meets Manny once more. She tells the angel that she doesn’t know if she should tell Jim that he’s going to die and in response he says he envies the choices she can make. He uses a means of ‘seeing through the veil’ to find out where the girl, Vesta, was taken from as elsewhere the girl is preparing for her wedding. Papa Midnite awakens a man he killed with the sole purpose of sending him to kill Constantine.
As John investigates the carney where Vesta disappears, Papa Midnite’s zombie servant takes a hold of John, but Jim turns up in time in order. In a vision Zed manages to salvage a address whilst the Papa tries once more to get a hold of Constantine. The team show up and find a dead man in the attic of the house as John susses that there’s more bounty hunter trouble on the way. Vesta sits in a chair as ‘the man’ shows up, ready to marry her. True to Constantine’s words, Papa Midnite soon shows up with a shotgun and shots John squarely in the chest … or so it seems. He’s prepared to kill Constantine in exchange for his sister’s life. Just when he think he’s killed John it turns out Constantine has reanimated a corpse, and he knocks out the Papa.
During her wedding ceremony Vesta changes her mind at the last minute and fleeing into the woods. As John shows up in the house he finds the dead bodies of the other three girls and he searches the house for ‘the man’, except that he’s not here, and is instead searching for Vesta out in the carney. John manages to find Vesta just alive, and the team gets ahold of ‘the man’, eventually killing him. He sends the spirits of the dead girls to peace whilst Zed confesses to Jim that she saw him dead. He kisses Zed and John shows up just to see it. Leaving for the comfort of a rainy bridge he has his own heart to heart with Manny. John’s downhearted but the angel tries to comfort him by saying that what they’re doing is working. Constantine is nothing but still pissed because he doesn’t know what to do once the rising darkness is finally gone.
In a cop car, Papa Midnite finds himself finally free – but who freed him? It turns out to be Manny, who tells him that the contract on Constantine is dropped and that the man is off limits. Bewildered, Midnite ask him if he’s working for the Brujeria but the … angel(?) gives him a smile and tells him that he’s got it the wrong way round. That’s right, the Brujeria are working for Manny.
Dun dun DUUUUN. Trust Constantine to make things interesting as everyone’s wondering if the show is even coming back at all. The multiple storylines helped keep things ticking over this episode and the reinsertion of Jim Corrigan helped rejig the relationships in the crew. Zed and Chas always seemed like staunch followers of John, rarely going against his shot unless push came to shove. Corrigan, on the other hand, exudes more of an alpha male vibe which causes a little friction with the main man. Manny’s reveal was the scene stealer for sure, but it leaves questions which I’m sure will make the most devoted of fans go back through all of Manny’s appearances to see if there’s anything we might have missed (he has white wings, I checked that pretty clearly – if he’s Satan, shouldn’t he have black wings? Is he turning Zed against John? Who is he really – what’s his endgame?). If anything this episode once again showed the potential the show has to do better, and even if NBC doesn’t renew it I hope another cable or pay-per-view channel will give it a shot and maybe tweak the show. When Constantine gets the creepy element just right with their attempts to explore more about their characters the formula works, but given that it’s on NBC it almost feels like the horror is compromised a little. A move to another channel could give it a greater kick of darkness that the show needs, as well as being more in line with the comics. It seems a shame to lose the show altogether as the show is upping the ante: Matt Ryan is brilliant casting as the Hellblazer and they’re lucky to find someone with enough charisma to carry the show irrespective of the supporting cast. No need to waste that – bring Constantine back and let’s see if it can really shine after a bit of tonal rejigging.
(photo credit: melty.fr)