Episode Title: A Whole World Out There
Original Airdate: 1-30-15
It’s coming down to the end of the season already with only two more episodes to go after this one and unfortunately the ratings aren’t quite living up to the quality of the show as this week dropped off once again from last week’s slight bump. It’s disappointing because I really am enjoying this show and it seems to get better each week as it gets deeper into its own mythology. This episode marks the return of one of the few friends of Constantine who hasn’t died. The professor and tech guy Ritchie from the pilot episode returns as a professor who has some students that invoke a very real ritual to go on an out of body experience and end up releasing the spirit of a someone long trapped in his own plane of existence. It was a really great episode that had quite a few horror elements to it that I wish they would do more of. The one downside was that much of is was fairly predictable, but the characters were all interesting enough to hold it together for me.
The angel Manny also seems to be taking a bit more of a proactive role as he clues John in on the supernatural event of the week during a nice subtle callback to another great episode, the Feast of Souls. Even though Manny is starting to pull the strings a bit harder, it’s still a little hard to figure out what his role really is besides being a generally impartial observer. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing that he really reminds me quite a bit of what little I remember of Castiel from Supernatural when he was first introduced. He has a very mischievous air about him, but when it comes right down to it, he doesn’t really have much effect on the plot.
The actual meat of the episode revolves around this out of body ritual that starts out as a drunken college dare or gag, something done for a lark like the light as a feather, stiff as a board only it actually works. And the group end up in this random house with a psycho killer loose, and they eventually realize that even though they are back in their own bodies, he can still get to them through mirrors, and when you die in his world, you die in the real world. After the set up, it does generally follow a standard horror movie course where you can pretty easily predict who is going to die next, though it is done quite well. There’s also plenty of nice imagery like when Ritchie and John are talking to each other in the park there’s a tree in the frame separating them, just like there is a metaphorical wall between the two of them at that point in their relationship. Ritchie doesn’t want to be a part of John’s world anymore, and when all is said and done, Ritchie finally has the light shine down on him enough to stop phoning in his teaching and start putting his heart back into it. The entire concept of the out of body reality that was fully shaped by this one psychopathic killer who created his own victims that he could capture and torture again and again was fascinating. As was the solution where Ritchie had the presence of mind to reshape the reality around him to show that he had the stronger and more creative mind. Really a great episode all around.
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