Episode Title: Waiting for the Man
Original Airdate: 2-13-15
After a strong first season as far as the writing goes, even though the ratings didn’t always live up to that, we have made it to the season finale. There is still hope that the show will continue on into a season 2, most likely on SyFy but nothing has been announced yet. On Twitter, those involved with the show seem hopeful and the impression is that NBC as a whole is happy with the show itself and want to work with it to find an appropriate home to continue. I will save my thoughts for the season as a whole for next week, but I will say that this makes a much better season finale than it does a series finale. The episode features the return of many different characters from across the season so far, including Jim Corrigan who will become the Spectre, Poppa Midnight, and even a brief appearance by Gary Lester from beyond. One reason why I do think it is a great season finale rather than series finale is because it sets up so many possibilities rather than wrapping anything up at all, especially a big reveal with Manny at the very end.
One interesting thing about this episode is that even though there is a bit of magic and supernatural elements, the main characteristic of the villain of the week is that he was just a man, and the evil that he brought upon the world wasn’t specifically some demon-induced madness, but it was something that could easily exist without the influence of the bruheria. He is presented as the lowest of the low save for maybe one category as a man who lures young girls in to marry him in a demonic ritual which involves killing them. There’s an added element of the supernatural as the three girls he has previously “married” act like ghostly sirens to lure the fourth girl. It’s not fully apparent when they first appear though they are fully rocking the creepy vibe even before they show the wounds on their necks as their “wedding rings”. It also doesn’t help that The Man as they call him hides out in an old, run down amusement park. I also noticed that the episode often made use of Dutch Angles in scenes involving The Man to help make everything about him a little bit more off kilter, and something that I don’t believe has been used in earlier episodes. Or at least, I never noticed it if it has been used before.
This episode also marks the return of a few players, most important being Jim Corrigan. While I haven’t seen much of the Spectre in other formats aside from a great DC Animated short, I did enjoy how he was depicted there. We get a bit of distance between him and Zed because she can see him dead in her visions, with a spectral green glow around him. It’s pretty clear that he’s not yet the Spectre, but it seems that he will be before too long. It’s also interesting that the show makes John the one who pushes Corrigan to deal out his own form of justice rather than putting The Man through the regular system. While Corrigan wasn’t given much to do in this episode, it does end with a bit of a love triangle when he and Zed kiss. While John hasn’t given much in the way of romantic attraction, he very much does act jealous when he sees the two of them when he’s later talking with Manny. Poppa Midnight also makes his return as he tries to collect a bounty placed on Constantine’s head by La Brujeria, and while he does have some nice antagonistic chemistry with Constantine, he doesn’t really make for a very effective villain as he was fairly easily tricked by John.
Which does bring me to the big shocker at the end of the episode where Manny is the one who frees Midnight from the police, and tells him that the bounty on Constantine’s head has been cancelled. And to cap things off, he says that La Brujeria is working for him. Now of course, the easiest conclusion to jump to is that Manny is a fallen angel, like back in Blessed Are the Damned where he said he would “have to face consequences for his actions”. Although I initially didn’t get that impression, instead I got the impression that Manny was still working for the right side, and he was using his power and influence to convince Poppa Midnight to also work for their side. When he said that the Brujeria work for him, I initially thought it was more of a scare tactic to show Midnight that he was more powerful than the Brujeria and that it would serve him better to be on Manny’s side rather than the other side. It definitely puts Manny’s role in the show into a whole new light, and I would be very curious to see where it ends up going if the show is allowed to continue, which I really do hope it does.